Tigersharks held their inaugural distance meet in early December giving swimmers a rare opportunity to go to a meet and focus just on the 2 longest events in the pool; the 800m for the girls and the 1500m for the boys. This was the last opportunity of the year to gain valuable county and ranking times for the team and the meet was well attended by many clubs.
Distance swimming is a skill in its own right, the swimmer has to maintain a controlled aggression throughout the race to ensure that they get the best out of themselves over the whole distance. There is a fine line between being strong over the first half of the race and going too fast but go too easily at the beginning and the gaps will be difficult to close.
Fortunately Tigersharks have some form in these events having had great success at the county championships earlier in the year so the swimmers new what to expect and put in some great swims.
Andrew Smith capped off a great year with a dominant performance in the 1500m. Having broken the minute the week before he delivered another great swim achieving a time of 17:59.87 and going to number 6 on the national rankings for his age.
The other boys also put on a great show, Sam Hockin took the prize for the biggest PB in the 1500m with a staggering 94 second drop on his previous best time. Harvie Greenwood was not far behind in terms of improvement with a 72 second PB as he ducked under 20 minutes for the first time. His improvement was all the more impressive as his previous best was only 2 months old. Sam Dubarry knocked over a minute of his previous best time as he was agonisingly close to the 20 minute barrier and Marshall Fitchett just missed out on going sub 19 minutes and a regional qualifying time with a 58 second PB. Alex Reeves and Bogdan Reynolds also put in great swims as the boys delivered a full house of PB’s on the night.
The younger boys were also going well as James Andrew clocked up a regional consideration time with a great swim and Ryan Lawrence performed well in his maiden 1500m swim just outside the regional consideration time.
For the girls, Leia Griffiths secured her regional qualifying time in the 800m Free with a strong display of swimming, recording a 19 second PB in the process. This has capped off a great second half of the year for Leia after a first 6 months plagued with illness. Emily Preedy (pictured) took the prize for the biggest PB of the day across both events with a whopping 105 second PB only 2 months after her previous best time. Emily is really beginning to grow in confidence as the hard work begins to pay off.
Erica Mawer has a preference for the longer distances and showed great determination in improving her best time by 24 seconds on the night. Grace Osman swam well to deliver a 19 second PB and Amy Jackson followed this up with 15 second PB of her own. Sophie Walker, Jess Lawrence and Poppy Turner also improved their lifetime bests with some great racing.
The meet was a great success for Tigersharks with full programme of racing. The qualification period for county championships is now closed and the swimmers will look towards Christmas followed by the county championships distance events in early January. If they perform there like they did at this meet then the swimmers will have a real say in deciding where the medals go. We wish them well…..