News July 2014
Keep up to date with what's happening at Dartes and performance swimming in Doncaster. This page records the news as it happens -- history in the making!
The Stories behind the Headlines
Day 2 at National Champonships
31 Jul: Going in to Nationals there's one thing we always say: rip up the heat sheets and ignore the rankings! Trying to predict who the challengers are, or who is in line for a spot in the finals is notoriously difficult at this meet. Most people who reach finals set massive PBs just to get there - if you don't, someone else will. To put that in context, after day 2 we've had 15 swims, and 13 of them have been faster than the times they qualified with! A whopping 86% PB ratio so far! Usually that's around 60%, and assisted by new PBs in events not swum previously. The two swims which haven't been PBs have been the next best time swum! It's a far cry from Yorkshires and NERs where many can swim relatively easy knowing a final berth is coming their way. At Nationals you don't know your competitors and most are out to take your scalp!
And so it proved on day 2!
We had expected Simon Kliment (Arm) to reach the final of the 200m Butterfly. We hadn't expected Newcastle Staffs' Mario Coman to drop 4sec and push our Slovakian wonder boy down to 4th. Simon himself set a 1.27sec PB to push himself to 2nd on the Dartes all-time list, but would he find more for the final? Would any other medal challengers appear in the evening?
Our other 12 year old super star Harvey Williamson (Arm) was up in the 100m Freestyle ranked around 26th. A half second PB lifted him to 21st in the 12 years, the 2nd best boy from the North East.
Ranked 17th in the 100m Butterfly, Laura Brookes (Edl) was back to see if she could make any improvement on yesterday's 15th spot in Freestyle. Jumping 3 spots higher would do the trick. More ambitious still, the 10th ranked swimmer had qualified on 1:06.69, a second and a bit faster than Laura's PB. Heat 4 came around, Laura performed brilliantly to touch the wall 2nd.
Her time: 1:06.68!
Those watching the live results website were then treated to an hour long, nail biting wait, as no more results came through! Was that good enough to sneak a final spot? In the end it was, she claimed lane 1 for the final as 7th fastest. Her first ever National final - a very proud moment for the noisy one!
Another one to rip up the form book and finish 2nd in his heat was the returning Simon. 200m IM we didn't expect a final, he was ranked down in 15th. He would need to drop 3sec just to get a sniff of the top 10.
Just to be safe, he dropped 4!
Level with the leaders (2nd or 3rd) after the Butterfly leg, he used his Backstroke to pull out a lead. Live streaming focused on him, commentators praising him, he turned in to Breaststroke and held the lead. He got pipped on the Freestyle, but can't grumble on a 4sec PB which leaves him 2nd on the Dartes all-time 12 year olds list!
And so to the finals and a nicely paced 200m Butterfly (32.37, 37.20, 37.55, 37.71).
5th until the 3rd 50m where he started to claw back at Mario in 3rd.
In the last 20m the boys looked to be almost level.
With 10m to go could he really be edging in front?
Inside the flags it would be down to the touch.
Final stroke, judged slightly (and we do mean slightly) better by the Boldmere swimmer, Simon 4th - by just 0.11sec!
Another 2sec knocked off his PB though, and that swim gives Simon his first Dartes Age-Group Record. It had been set by Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) while finishing 5th in the exact same final in 2011!
Laura had pulled out something special to qualify for the 100m Butterfly final, improving on her own 13 year olds Dartes Age-Group Record along the way. She couldn't quite match that in the final swimming to her 2nd best performance ever (fastest before today). 10th spot in the final still moves her up the Dartes all-time medal table though, sitting now at number 32. She still has a few events remaining too, including Friday's 200m Butterfly where she actually is ranked number 10!
Our final final of the day saw Simon return for the unexpected 200m IM. His overall PB on the day for this event was destined to become 5.29sec! He finished 8th.
Day 1 at National Champonships
30 Jul: Nationals got off to a busy start for Dartes today with 5 age-groupers contesting 5 events (not quite as obvious as it sounds). First up was Miss Super Skills Gillian Clarke (Arm) in the 200m IM. Her turns have been looking phenomenal in training this last week or two, and she was going to need every advantage she could gain from them in order to progress from Heat 1. At this level of course, awesome skills are nothing unusual. In fact if you don't have them, you're going to find competing at Nationals extremely tough! Despite being at, or near, the front of her heat throughout (even appearing to lead for a brief few metres after the final turn) Gill's 1.28sec PB would place her 25th in the 12 years age group. A commendable achievement for a girl who still has 9 months remaining as a 12 year old.
To put that in context, her performance makes her the 2nd fastest 12 year old ever at Dartes for 200m IM. She has until the end of April next year to topple Emma Parker (Adw) from the top spot 3sec ahead of her. Fingers crossed.
That wasn't her only event. She returned an hour or so later for the 200m Backstroke. No PB this time, and a 38th placed finish in her weaker of the two events.
Quickly following Gill's Medley, our two 12 year old boys did battle in the 100m Backstroke. Another big PB for Harvey Williamson (Arm) saw him duck beneath 1:09 for the first time in heat 2. Immediately after that, heat 3 witnessed Simon Kliment (Arm) almost get the better of 1:08. Nailing it to the hundredth and earning 8th spot for the evening's final; Harvey would join him - just - in 10th.
In the final Simon would finally enter the realms of 1:07 to touch the wall 7th. Harvey, a little slower than in the heats, still managed his 2nd fastest time ever to finish 9th. Final positions at Nationals are counted on our medal table and make a significant difference. Leap-frogging the glut of NER Champions never to reach a National Final, Simon now sits at number 27 and Harvey jumps a whopping 30 places to 31st. Both boys have also made further inroads on our Top 6 Age-Group Performers list too. The faster of the two is 2nd, within 0.3sec of our Dartes Age Group record held by Joe Litchfield (Spa) on 1:07.29 (Simon 1:07.56). Harvey is 4th on 1:08.57.
Back at Nationals, they're currently 14th and 15th on the boys BAGCATs points table after a single event - still a long time to go though and more events for both.
The next event had Laura Brookes (Edl) returning for her 2nd year. Our only athlete on day 1 with previous National Championships experience. Heat 6 of the 100m Freestyle (a new event for her) saw her touch in a small PB of 1:01.58. 15th position in the 13 years age group is 10 places higher than her best event of 2013 (200m Butterfly). She might be back to race that one later in the week. Her performance leaves her 4th on the Dartes all-time 13 year olds list. She has half a year to to find another 2sec for the top spot, or half a second for number 2!
Finally, last man to qualify Oswald Hood (Adw) took on the 200m Breaststroke from heat 6. He couldn't quite match the breath taking pace he set at NERs to secure his place on the National Squad, but it was the next best time he's ever swum. 24th place at his first Nationals - we're sure he's still smiling!
Ones to Watch at Nationals
16 Jul: Earlier today British Swimming announced their pick of the athletes to keep an eye on at next month's National Championships. As you'd expect with 19 events qualified for between them, nationals veteran and five times National Champion Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) along with nationals newcomer Simon Kliment (Arm) were among those highlighted.
To add a little more spice to the proceedings, Jarvis could earn himself top spot on our all-time medal table, finally knocking off Emma Parker (Adw) after 20 years. But will he manage it? Emma won 8 Gold medals in the 1990s. Jarvis currently sits in 2nd place with 5! If he does win another 3, and British Swimming introduce the proposed changes and removes Age Group Nationals from the meet calendar, it would take something extraordinary to replace him at the top. Alternatively of course, if he doesn't climb to the top, Emma could stay there forever!
With a record National Squad of 14 for 2014 though, we may have other candidates for medals beyond the two British Swimming identified today. The programe suggests there are other chances, but then Nationals has a habit of tipping the form book on its head at the end of the season.
Phase 4 Kick Test
8 Jul: Last time we did this test set back in May, we had some excellent results, hinting at us being very close to seeing a new squad record being claimed. It's the end of the season though, and this last opportunity leaves Tilly Arrand (Arm) an average of just 3secs short! Grace Litchfield (Min) and Chantelle Waugh (Arm) couldn't better their previous bests of 6:31 and 6:32, leaving Kara Mayos (Spa) and Robbie Casson (Adw) to sneak up the leader board.
The top 5 all managed to go faster than 7mins, which should be everyone's target (an average 100m pace of 1:44). On his way to eventually making that a reality, Aiden Lancaster (Adw) took this opportunity to finish comfortably inside the cut off time. He failed to achieve that on his first attempt, two months later though an average of 8:29 shows a big improvement - well done to him.
Just a quick note to those hoping to climb the table: get good at Fly kick. The record was set on Fly, and those good enough to use it through this set tend to get closest. Backstroke kick comes a close second, followed by Freestyle. Try and do it on Breaststroke on the other hand, and you're giving yourself a handicap.
|Pos||Name||Date||Rep 1||Rep 2||Rep 3||Rep 4||Avg||All Time|
|1||Tilly Arrand||8 Jul 2014||6:27||6:26||6:31||6:28||6:28||2 (2)|
|2||Grace Litchfield||8 Jul 2014||6:48||6:27||6:33||6:29||6:34||6 (3)|
|3||Kara Mayos||8 Jul 2014||6:43||6:46||6:43||6:47||6:44||7 (7)|
|4||Robbie Casson||8 Jul 2014||6:38||6:48||6:45||6:49||6:45||8 (8)|
|5||Chantelle Waugh||8 Jul 2014||6:40||6:53||6:34||6:59||6:46||9 (4)|
|6||Bradley Hurdiss||8 Jul 2014||7:05||7:02||7:08||7:05||7:05||12 (10)|
|7||Lucy Pickard||8 Jul 2014||7:08||7:09||7:09||7:02||7:07||14 (14)|
|8||Taylor Hardy||8 Jul 2014||7:06||7:13||7:03||7:13||7:08||15 (15)|
|9||Corinne Hill||8 Jul 2014||7:03||7:33||7:19||7:24||7:19||21 (19)|
|10||Lauren Christmas||8 Jul 2014||7:28||7:28||7:33||7:30||7:29||24 (18)|
|11||Charlotte Howard||8 Jul 2014||7:51||7:19||7:44||7:26||7:35||24 (12)|
|12||Callie Ramshaw||8 Jul 2014||7:35||7:33||7:38||7:35||7:35||24 (23)|
|13||Rebecca Allen||8 Jul 2014||7:35||7:34||7:41||7:36||7:36||24 (21)|
|14||Alanah Hill||8 Jul 2014||7:36||7:52||7:38||7:35||7:40||24 (20)|
|15||Leah Hague||8 Jul 2014||7:48||7:51||7:50||8:09||7:54||27 (27)|
|16||Tia Bennett||8 Jul 2014||8:12||8:26||8:04||7:51||8:08||30 (30)|
|17||Ben Wright||8 Jul 2014||8:13||8:07||8:26||8:27||8:18||32 (31)|
|18||Emma Stringer||8 Jul 2014||8:16||8:19||8:35||8:38||8:27||34 (25)|
|19||Aiden Lancaster||8 Jul 2014||8:22||8:29||8:28||8:40||8:29||34 (34)|
|20||Gillian Clarke||8 Jul 2014||7:34||8:32||9:17||8:55||8:34||36 (9)|
|21||Casey Waugh||8 Jul 2014||8:04||8:28||8:38||9:32||8:40||36 (29)|
|22||Ria Finch||8 Jul 2014||9:12||9:11||9:08||9:05||9:09||(36)|
|23||Gabby Wedgwood||8 Jul 2014||9:07||8:42||8:40||X|
|24||Harvey Williamson||8 Jul 2014||9:17||9:39||X|
|25||Emily Gilliver||8 Jul 2014||9:33||X|
A Visit and Presentation from Fred Furniss
7 Jul: Those of you in Phase 5 will be starting to recognise Fred Furniss by now. He's visited the club a couple of times to keep an eye on the development of the likes of Joe Litchfield (Spa) and Jarvis Parkinson (Arm). We've also bumped in to him poolside at big meets due to his role as England Talent Development Officer for the North. For Coach Alison it's always a reunion with the coach who took her to Nationals multiple times during her days with City of Sheffield. In addition to his years in charge at our South Yorkshire rivals, Fred also enjoyed great success at Lincoln Vulcans and has coached numerous athletes on to national teams. He also has a more famous brother (Bill) - but we'll leave you to work out what he's achieved.
As part of Fred's role in the North, we get to twist his arm occasionally to come along and talk to parents about performance swimming. The first such talk took place during training this Monday at Hall Cross school. Invited were parents of Phase 4/5 swimmers of 11 years and upwards. Armed with a variety of British Swimming powerpoint presentations and the odd video, he discussed in some detail the parent's role in the Coach/Athlete relationship and where to draw the line.
He highlighted the differences between Outcome Goals and Process Goals and emphasised why process goals should be encouraged by parents. Outcome goals (i.e. winning medals, beating other people, and even PBs) aren't controllable, they depend on other people or things we have little control over. They're good as long term goals, but focusing on them in the short term can be demoralising and cause jealousy as kids are compared with one another. Short term goals for your next meet should be process goals - things that are entirely under the control of the athlete. You can't control the clock (so PBs are out), you can't control the opposition (so Gold medals shouldn't be the focus), but you can control your skills. Process goals are things like: breathing patterns, pacing strategies, underwater work, stroke counts, preparation. Things that an athlete can choose to do, and then make sure they're done right!
All those things that coaches are constantly asking their swimmers to do in fact.
Fred went on to discuss the importance of warming up properly and swimming down post race. These too are process activities, things an athlete can choose to do right, or choose badly and ignore; they make good process goals. Those familiar topics of Nutrition and Hydration were also covered. Yet more process goals that are easy to tick off by a motivated athlete, and have a big (yet often unseen) impact on performances towards the end of weekend competitions.
So instead of parents being upset with children for a lack of PBs or medals, think instead about the process involved in achieving those outcomes. Encourage young swimmers to focus on the controllable skills that need to be done right for those PBs to happen. Then when each of those is done well, celebrate each little success so you both feel good about your efforts.
Or in other words, if you want to be a Champion, start making Champions Choices!