The Black Line

After Tuesday night’s rant on the behaviour of race teams, I could not be in a better frame of mind given what I now know. Yesterday in Coventry twenty three of our racers were well drilled, fed and watered, beautifully behaved and they picked up the jingle jangle.

To an individual they were there for results and their behaviour demonstrated that perfectly. From rookie to seasoned pro, with both of next year’s captains on the deck Lou, Gavin and I had the easiest job in the world. Thanks to all the parents for letting is do our job, I hope you are as proud as we are of what the swimmers achieved.

Coventry may be an old pool but with eight, 50m lanes it can be a daunting place for those who haven’t raced long course before. It was the first time for several but as soon as they hit the water for warm up they were in the zone and ready to race.

At this stage of the season the expectations cannot be too high as many have not really got back in the swing of high volume sets, but with a recent training focus on IM, sprints and starts it is almost like our coaching team know what they are doing! With expectations measured imagine the surprise when the PBs started to roll in!

In the heats (one length of each stroke) Sam Gray PB’d every race with some stunning swims, Mason Christy started the season with two PBs and Will S, Tom B, Mia, Skie, Livvy P and Charlotte E took one each. City of Coventry’s finest mathematicians worked their magic calculating eclectic 200 IM times from the four fifty metre sprints and soon the finalists were announced.

Heat medalists included Mia (3G, 1S), Jess (4G), Will S (2S, 2B) and Emma (1S).

On our time recording sheets I had (I thought optimistically) created seven cells for seven finalists, which is embarrassing when I returned from the results board with an announcement. “Our finalists, for the 200IM are – Mia, Chloe, Jess, Poppy, Livvy P, Will S, Connor T, Dan R, Tom B, Ben H and Will D”. Gavin was good enough not to mention my clerical error!

It’s an interesting meet, which has caught us by surprise before. Four sprints qualify you for a speed endurance final, so Lane 4 is in no way guaranteed to be the winner’s lane. Last year Ryan Skeels smashed the heats and died in the final whilst Katie Rogers plugged the heats and smashed the final. Who knew what would happen.

As imagined, some of our swimmers saved their best for last and we scored another five PBs from the eleven finalists, which is an awesome result as they’d been poolside since 0830 and it was now 1600!

Lane 4 was no guarantee for winners but two of our swimmers started there and finished there. Mia won comfortably for a four second PB, most of which came in the breast stroke leg. Jess swam an unbelievable race to finish 19 seconds ahead of the girl in second place despite not PBing herself. Will Steel started in Lane 5 and came out second with a controlled, aggressive and perfectly drilled race for silver in a two second PB time.

We can build on this result and would encourage anyone interested in racing opens to ask us which events are best suited to them. We pick a bunch of events that suit a variety of abilities and have some nice events coming up. Lou and Sue organise the entries and myself or any of the coaches will help you determine a programme of suitable events.

Happy days  – well long, hot, humid, happy days anyway!