The Black Line – Mini Meet Round 1

Saturday saw a team from Piranhas take part in round 1 of the COPS mini meet series 2013/2014.

This is a hotly contested group of swims across 4 rounds between now and April 2014.

Coming at the end of the year, as the swimmers are in the middle of hard winter training, swimming PB’s are anything but guaranteed. So how would our mix of experienced and new swimmers perform?

The girls team was strong as always and with the last 2 months training has been based around IM. With John being renown for his breaststroke coaching we were in with a decent chance with the girls as their races for this round were 50 breast, 50 free and 200 IM (100 IM for the 9 year olds). Boys had 50 fly and back and the 200 free so their test would come from the new backstroke turn and freestyle endurance.

So how did they all swim?

First, the girls:

Emily Aston – continued her excellent form from the previous weekend with a 36:00 dead for the 50 free another 2 second improvement and a further 4 second PB in the 50 breast with a 51:90. Emily is great to have in the team with a strong spirit and infectious smile she grows stronger and more confident each event.

Hannah Daley – has been swimming well recently and her improved strokes and stamina showed this. A 24 second PB in the 100 IM (1:46:67) was an excellent swim and gained her a 4th place. Followed up with a very quick 39:86 50 free for a 3rd place

Katie Ladds – is one of the toughest trainers in the pool and has recently transferred this effort into some great swims. However as she has not raced that often, 2 of the swims she had entered were without entry times as she had never swum them before. This didn’t stop her as she showed she is getting stronger each gala and posted great times for both the 50 free 38:85 and the long and tough 200 IM at 3:39:03

Mia Leech – is as experienced as you can get at swimming galas and open events. Mia always prepares well for her races and didn’t disappoint with a new PB in the 50 free of 33:14 and 3rd place, she followed this up with a 1st in the 50 breast just outside her PB and a superb final swim in the 200 IM with a 9.5 second PB finishing in 1st place with a 2:45:33 to round off her night

Ava Lessing-Caller – like Mia had 3 strong swims, resulting in 3 PB’s. Her fitness has been significantly improving under Johns guidance and her speed is now catching up. Her 50 free PB was the first since the counties last year with a 2nd place swim, another strong 50 breast PB, followed up with a 2nd place in the big 200 IM and a 3:25:59 almost 10 second PB finished of a great night for her.

Havana Miller – one of the newer swimmers to individual competition, Havana has made a lovely impact on the team with her infectious smile and great attitude. A strong athlete in other sports (running and cycling) her swimming has been getting stronger each month. 3 swims and 3 PB’s can’t be bad can it? With good PB’s in both 50 breast and 50 free Havana fished this of with a 200 IM, a swim that she would have struggled to complete a few months ago.

Lucy Noble – another newbie to the mainstream galas, Lucy is quiet as a mouse, but has shown she likes to race. Her 36 second PB in the 100 IM was a tribute to her hard work in the pool and was followed up with a 7.6 sec PB in the 50 free. An unfortunate DQ in the 50 breast didn’t dampen her spirits and she finished the night smiling

Ciera Norman – always a quick racer Ciera once again showed her speed in the 50 free finishing 4th with a 1 second PB and a time of 38:45, followed up with a decent 50 breast. Her final event was the 200 IM and an unknown event for her. With a strong fly leg and a decent backstroke, her endurance on the breaststroke affected her slightly, but after the freestyle she had still set herself a strong first race time of 3:41:63 for a 7th place

Beatrice Pauley – Bea has swum in a number of the JFL teams and has recently moved lanes to a tougher training schedule. With a first race swim PB in the 50 free, she followed this up with a close to PB 50 breast and a great 7.5 second PB in the 200 IM with a 3:53:59

Millie Steel – is another of our promising 10 year olds and no newcomer to big event days. Millie had a great evening with a PB in the 50 free and a 23.3 second PB in the big 200 IM swimming close to her teammates with a 3:47:83. Millie has also taken on the challenge of a tougher lane and training schedule so I am sure this won’t be the last of her improving times.

Skie Wallace – another of the hard workers in the lane, Skie has also recently moved up a lane and taken on the additional distance and speed needed with her great attitude. Another 3 swim 3 PB swimmer with marginal improvements on the 50 free and 50 breast she topped this off with a great swim in the 200 IM and a super PB of over 15 seconds to complete it in an excellent time of 3:19:04

Lotty Wylde – another of our multi sport athletes Lotty swims amazingly quick times on limited swim training, relying on her excellent strength developed from other sports to support her swimming. Lotty had a great swim in the 50 free to post a 33:65 with a 1.4 second PB, followed by a similar improvement in the 50 breast. The 200 IM is a long way for a sprint specialist, however she once again swam a PB in 3:28:99 ( 5.3 second improvement)

So the girls were great. Could the smaller but experienced boys team show similar levels of improvements?

Will Edwards – will is one of our younger swimmers, but a regular at the JFL meets and local galas. Will had another strong series of swims, setting a first swim PB in the 50 fly, he then swam a great 50 back for another PB at 51:20 and 3.7 second improvement, however his greatest swim of the night came in the 200 free where he swam under 3:30 for a 57 second improvement!!! Just shows how his stamina is improving

Lorcan Harbour – Lorcan has had a few interruptions in his training schedule over recent months and is only recently back in the pool on limited training. Lorcan is a fit lad from his other sports so is never out of shape, but to race under limited training was a big decision. Whilst not setting PB’s, Lorcan swam strongly to record times around a second outside both fly and back and within a few seconds of his 200 free time, so nothing to be disappointed with. I am sure we will see strong swims from Lorcan once again, as soon as he strings together a few weeks of consistent training.

Henry Pearce -a great guy to have in the lane and cheekily charming, Henry had a set of awesome swims at the counties qualifiers. On the night he turned up under the weather and far from his normal chirpy self, however he started the night with a 3.5 second PB and 4th place in the 50 fly to post a time of 38:70. A very dodgy backstroke turn put paid to a PB in this event but the final time was nothing to be disappointed about, however he then fully redeemed himself with an almost 8 second PB in the 200 free and a final time of 2:45:10 and another 4th place…not bad for someone feeling rough!!

Will Steel – with a set of great swims behind him from the counties qualifiers, Will came into the COPS mini meet series with a great chance of an overall podium position. he started the series with a great 50 fly and an almost 2 second PB, narrowly being beaten into 2nd place due to a turn that he wont be repeating anytime soon!! he followed this up with a strong 50 Back to record a PB and 2nd place and finally an excellent 200 free with an almost 7 second PB and a time of 2:38:50 and yet another 2nd place.

Connor Thacker – an experienced event swimmer, Connor started the evening with a PB on the 50 fly with a 40:41 and a 50 back just outside his best time. Not to be outdone buy his short distance times, Connor swam a great 200 freestyle to PB By 16.7 seconds and a time of 2:46:60.

Tyler Thacker – like Will Edwards, Tyler has been swimming in the JFL meets almost all year and has put in some strong performances. He set himself a race time for the 50 fly as it was his first time at this distance. Closely followed up with a 3 second plus PB in the 50 back. Tyler’s platinum race was the 200 free where he swam a PB of exactly 57 seconds! Great to see all that stoke length training is paying dividends.

So once again little old Piranhas swim team has performed excellently and is out swimming teams of many times our size of squad.

Winner of the much coveted Flag … Emily Aston for not just her performance on the night, but for a second week in a row, performing so strongly.

So that’s it before Christmas, right? No, it’s definitely not! This weekend sees a breaststroke swim camp for a few swimmers on Saturday, run by COPS; of course, Saturday training takes place as usual. Then the ALL DAY Newmarket open on Sunday, where we have a very strong team out with a chance of individual and overall age group honours.


A message from Dick:

Don’t forget the Christmas Cracker on the 10 December. Where from 7:00 to 8:30 we will be holding a number of festive races for children and adults … don’t let the mums and dads “forget” their costumes kids. This will be followed at 8:30 by a training session for the main squads.



If you have a topic you would like covered or something of interest you would like me to add to the next issue of Black Line please send it to me by email and I will do my best to incorporate it.