Tadcaster meets City of Leeds Jan 2018

It was a busy weekend for Tadcaster at the City of Leeds New Year gala at John Charles (6th and 7th Jan). There was representation across the age ranges (9 to 19) and with the exception of the boys’ 1500 freestyle and 400IM, there was representation in every event.

There was some serious competition from the host club, particularly in the younger age groups, but even so, Tad won so many medals that it would be easier to weigh the total haul than to count it. Luckily, Vicki took up the numerical challenge and the final tally was 66 medals in total (16 gold, 24 silver and 25 bronze).

There were three Tad debutants: James Hendon, Georgina Gregory and Carys Oeppen, aged 9,10 and 11 respectively. James marked his debut with 2 gold medals and 2 Yorkshire qualifying times!

There were a further 10 new Yorkshire QTs from Emily Ball, Benjamin Colling, Daniel Colling, Ben Digby (*2), Ethan Baylin, Chloe Foster, India Bryant-Chesters and Ellie Walker (*2). And swimmers too numerous to mention repeated QTs that they’d already achieved.

It’s always hard to pick out individual achievements but there were some concerted attempts in the endurance events to win the unofficial competition that had broken out to be the toughest swimmer at Tad. In no particular order:

· Several 200 IM “first attempts” were made by the younger swimmers, with only a few declarations made afterwards of them also being “last attempts”

· India and Ellie secured 3 QTs between them over various 400m races

· Ellie also bagged a sizeable PB in the 800 free without appearing to even break sweat

· Ben Digby achieved a QT on his 200m fly debut

· Imogen Holbrook and Charlotte Holmes both also took on the 200 fly, winning gold and bronze medals respectively, with Charlotte also tackling the 400 IM along with Tabby Browning

Well done to all the swimmers who tackled these new, longer events. Are any of the lads ready to step up for the 1500 free next year?

On the subject of endurance events, Sarah Moss was signed off as a Level 1 judge over the weekend after 18 months of dedicated effort poolside. Well done, Sarah!

As always, there were a few moments of light relief, too:

· On the Sunday, Alex Chesters managed to forget his race trunks, so raced in a replacement pair sold to him by none other than ex-Olympian Jemma Lowe. Jemma clearly knows her stuff as the new trunks saw Alex to a big PB in the 50 breaststroke

· Sibling rivalry is always entertaining and the Collings (Benjamin and Daniel) didn’t disappoint as they raced each other in 4 events over the weekend. Colling the Elder proved that youthful exuberance is no match for experience and claimed the family bragging rights for the weekend

· It was also a family affair in the girls’ 50 backstroke, with Gemma and Abby Parkinson winning their age groups from adjacent lanes with their Dad on duty as turn judge for both their lanes

Next up is the Yorkshire Champs itself. Tad has so many swimmers qualified this year that parents are advised to get there earlier than normal on Sprints Day to ensure that the swimmers have time to secure a suitably large section of the poolside seating!