May Open Meet 2014 - Report

What a great weekend in Weston and a massive thanks to all our organising committee, volunteers, parents and swimmers! Special praise must to go to the face (and voice) of Southwold, Rachel Lowther, for keeping things moving so well through the two days and ensuring calm during the false fire alarm on Sunday morning.

Southwold had 59 swimmers competing over 464 races in this Level 3 Meet and it is only fair to mention the achievements of our children who do not always get the recognition on these pages that their hard training deserves. We know that not everyone can win County medals or go to Regional Championships but there were some great swims and massive PBs across the age groups.

My favourite race across the weekend was Tom Burney vs Josh Holloway in the 200 free. They were stroke for stroke for 8 lengths and finished within a second of each other, both in huge PBs. Tom in fact managed 10 PBs over the two days – a fantastic improvement.

Other swimmers who collected many new PBs included Josh Ovens, Katie Pellow and Skye Jee (5 each), Carolina Silva (8) and Jess Swales (6 including a fine and brave 200 fly). All showed great form across several distances and strokes.

It was also splendid to see three swimmers back in form: Matt Reeves, Livi Fry and Becca Lowther. All have had breaks from swimming but the rest does not seem to have done them any harm based on their strong performances. Expectations are high now for the 2014/15 season!

Three extra special moments for me:

Finn Lingham at 9 lined up on the blocks for the 50 fly between a 13 and a 14 year old. You know you’re swimming well when you can compete with lads that much older and bigger than you – great meet Finn!

Emma Roddan with a mega PB in the 100 free by going out so hard she PB’d the first 50 too. That’s how to swim if you want to compete.

Will Paget (9) completing the 200 breast for the first time. If swimming was based on size not age, then Will would already have many medals.

It was great to see so many of our younger swimmers competing across a variety of events and distances, earning new best times that will stand them in good stead for entering more meets next season. The strength in depth of the 9 and 10 year old girls was evident. Abigail Butters smooth style caught the eye but there were also many strong swims from Millie Burton, Harriette Gregory, Jessica Hawkins, Scarlett Howes, Heather Jones and Sophie Noble.

The younger boys were not to be outdone and we expect to see more of names like Jonathan Newman, Brandon Creed and Cody Farrell in the future. Cody will be delighted with breaking 50 seconds for the 50 fly for the first time while Brandon was sporting a new pair of go-faster red trunks – perfect for PBs in Southwold colours.

Among the older swimmers, Charlotte Sayer and Becky Morley competed across many events. These two both coach our younger members and are not afraid to compete against them too.

Final mention must go to our swimmers who won their overall age group categories (Beth Cox, Maria Jones, Henry Bennett, Aidan Loughnane and Jon Lowther) as well as those that came in the top 3 (Lily Clarke, Finn Lingham, Georgie Lloyd, Arno Turner, James Webb, Georgie Locke, Jasna Nickells, Jess Shaw, Charlotte Sayer and Peter Rogers).

See you all again in 2015 and if you feel I’ve missed you out, come and moan at me on the balcony in Yate and we’ll put it right for next time.

J Harding

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