Swimmers set NQTs

Weston Swimming Club members set national qualifying times at recent galas.

WESTON Swimming Club travelled to Millfield School for three weekends in a row.

The first of these was for the South West Region Championships. Captain Esme Gullick swam multiple lifetime bests to achieve four national qualifying times (NQTs) and finish third in the 200m butterfly and 200m backstroke and second in the 200m individual medley.

Evan King, aged 12, won the 16 and under 200m butterfly with both girls inside the time (in a 25m pool) that they need to achieve in a 50m pool to qualify to compete at the Olympic trials in March.

The following week saw the return of a much larger squad to Millfield to represent the club in the National Arena Swimming League (Western) Division One final. Having finished second to Seagulls in rounds one and two, Weston were hoping to surprise a few teams.

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The competition started brilliantly with 13-year-old Lucy Davies swimming a massive personal best, taking her to within 0.4 seconds of her first national qualifying time, to finish first in the open 200m individual medley.

The squad performed consistently well against strong opposition. Yet again, Seagulls were running away with the competition in terms of points, with City of Cardiff in second place.

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The battle for third was close fought and at the penultimate points announcement, Weston and Torfaen County were tied at 155 points each.

Two fantastic individual race wins from captain Esme Gullick, backed up by strong team swims from younger swimmers, gave Weston valuable points. As the gala came to a close, these hard fought points proved valuable, as Seagulls finished with 329 points, City of Cardiff 278, Weston 229 and Torfaen 227.

With the top three teams winning places in the Premier Division for 2012, Weston’s promotion came down to tenths of a second and was the result of determined race finishing and sharp reaction times.

Weekend three, the Plymouth Leander Christmas Meet, coincided with the end of the school term and the swimming cycle.

This meant the swimmers were rested and ready to swim fast. This was demonstrated by Esme Gullick with third places in the heats of the 100m backstroke and the final of the 200m backstroke.

This was bettered by second in the 100m butterfly with a fantastic performance in her final swim of the meet to win the 200m butterfly.

Lucy Davies continued her winning ways from the week before, finishing first in all three of her swims. Lucy was just 0.5 sec outside of the NQT and 2.5 sec away from qualifying for the Olympic trials in the 400 individual medley.

The 200m breaststroke saw Lucy achieve her first NQT in the heats, followed within a few hours by a time which qualifies Lucy to compete at Olympic Park in London in March, at the Olympic trials event.

Lucy finished the meet with a second NQT in the 200m individual medley, just 1.5 sec from a second Olympic trials time.

The season finished with the annual Christmas gala, including the headline event - the parents v lifeguards v water polo v coaches relay.

Congratulations to the lifeguard team (consisting of several club members), but thanks to all who got involved in the spirit of things and took part on the night.

For more information regarding club swimming from LTS (learntoswim@weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk) up to national level (headcoach@weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk) in Weston, please contact Zara or Rachel.

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