Over three consecutive nights some 150 plus swimmers, competed in 40 different events in five different age groups, overseen by 50 officials and volunteers, for over 600 medals, 42 trophies if you count the mum’s and dad’s dash, in an eight-lane pool, adding up to one huge logistical nightmare, but as always, one big success.
The club would like to thank QDJC for all their help and support, as these events just do not run smoothly without the help of all parties involved. Massive thanks also to the officials, all volunteers, some new to the brigade, others in their umpteenth year, some many more than that, also the timing/ tech team, of Steve, Steve, Steve, Andy, who were joined by Kim and others, to ensure the results were correct and then passed on to Catrina and Sarah on the medals table, who have the unenviable task of distributing the array of trophies and medals to excited, disappointed, sometimes upset, and other times, delighted swimmers, young and less so.
The occasion can be summed up by one swimmer, in probably the most competitive age group, who had no expectations of winning anything. They swam nine races, clocked nine personal bests, and came away with four medals, no trophies, but huge personal pride and a delighted smile.
Without just compiling a list of those who won trophies, here is a list of those who won trophies, in no particular order: Tom Parker, James Phillips, Matt Seaton, Jack Carey, Ross Turner, Tamzin Kyte, Eva Rath- Juanloa, Maddie Haywood, Anna Shepherd, Max Green, Erin Lloyd, Jess McKenzie, Ben Shurrocks, Luke Anspokes, Lucas Gregory, Ella-Mae Fereday, Megan Williams, Abbie Dolly, Max Markham, Cerys Allen, Karen Bates, Tom Tyler, Gleb Popov, Charlotte O’Brien, Ellen Armeson, Lauren Phillips, Jasmine Dolly, Ella Marlow, Nate Dixon, Charlie Aldridge, Lewis Cresswell, Aoife Williams, Luis Gilroy, Ethan Walker, Elana- Rose Fereday, Regan Walker, apologies if I have missed anyone. Obviously some of these were multiple winners, some winning five, six or seven events.
Special mention to Maddie Heywood, who won at least seven events, and at 14, some of these were in the 14 and over category in the longer races, she also managed to complete the 400 IM, losing her hat after four lengths and her goggles after ten, all this with hair half way down her back, now loose and covering her face.
Other events worthy of special note, include the weekend long battle between Abbie Dolly, and Karen Bates, for best over 15’s girl. Abbie is 15, and new to the club, Karen, well, is neither, giving away some 26 years, (you can do the maths), I think the points difference in the qualifying events is only a few in a combined total of 4000.
Other noticeable battles were Matt Seaton v Luke Anspokes in the 11/12s, each winning their own specialist events, and meeting in the middle on their less frequently swum events, I think they won ten events between them. We also saw the Lucas Gregory butterfly show, which for those of us who can’t do it, is poetry in motion, though he was chased home by Gleb Popov, so hopefully these guys can push themselves to new heights.
We also saw a changing of the guard, as the expected happened in the men’s longer races. No one can remember the last time Ross Turner lost a ‘domestic’ breaststroke race, but at 34, he specialises in 50s and 100s, and is current GB champion in his age group for both. Tom Parker is 15, built like a racing snake (water snake), and is improving with every event, and this year has posted faster times over 200m than Ross. Ross probably knew he was going to lose, but was magnanimous enough to enter the event to allow Tom the glory of taking his crown. The event went exactly to the script, with Ross 5 seconds up at 50, 4 seconds up at 100, 2 seconds up at 150, and Tom 3 seconds clear at the finish.
All in all a great weekend with only a few minor technical hiccups, but as always a fantastic event showing the club’s growing strength.