Rugby Swimming Club
Matt Seaton and Dan Carey represented Rugby Swimming Club at the English Nationals earlier this month at Sheffield’s Pond Forge International Pool.
Qualification for the prestigious event can only be described as every competitive swimmer’s dream. During the week of competition, the top 20 in England fight it out to be best in their age group, and whilst Matt and Dan are experienced at Regional level this would be a new arena to test their skills and nerves.
Both boys are home grown talent, having progressed through the ranks from juniors to seniors. They have played a key role in Rugby Swimming Club’s recent promotions and successes in the National Arena League, which competes with larger rival midland clubs. Here though, they were representing the club to earn individual honours at national level.
First up on Thursday was Warwickshire Junior backstroke champion Dan Carey in 50m backstroke. His qualifying time of 29.53s ranked him third best swimmer. After being placed even higher before the end of the qualifying window, and at times sufficiently high to qualify for the British Nationals competition, hopes were high. Dan’s start was not great and even after pushing hard he could not quite recover to make the finals. His time of 29.60s placed him outside the final. It was a bitter pill considering his PB would have got him a ticket to the final. Dan still had another chance the next day for the 100m backstroke, so fingers were crossed.
Dan’s meteoric rise has come after suffering a broken arm early in the season, which with recovery and expert coaching, has seen him reaching the top times in the country for under 15s backstroke.
Friday saw Dan racing again but in his less preferred 100m backstroke. After a great start in his heat it was looking good, but the first 50m was not up to the level he needed and left him too much to do to make the final. He finished 11th, one place away from qualifying for the final in 1:03.90s after qualifying in 1:03.50s.
Saturday saw Matt Seaton, Junior Midlands Winter Meet 200 back champion, go in his preferred 200m backstroke. He secured his place early in the qualifying window with some storming performances. A qualification time of 2:17.55s placed him 14th best, entering the competition. On the day, he swam 2:18.28s, coming 11th overall. Though narrowly missing the final by 0.1s, Matt was pleased to improve on his entry position.
Head Coach Lucas Gregory, who has supported the boys with his experience from being a top class youth swimmer, is proud of the club’s achievements in developing two male backstrokers to National level. He said: “I am sure both boys have learnt from this and this has demonstrated what can be achieved with work and commitment to all the younger swimmers at the club. I hope we see them here again next year going one better making the finals.”