Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February 2020 – Ponds Forge
Sat 22nd – Individual 50s
After battling Storm Ciara at JC prior to the previous weekend of competition, there were at least no meteorological challenges to overcome during the weekend. But anyone expecting a relaxing first day outside of the racing itself would have been disappointed, as there was, of course, the annual sprints day “Battle of QPark” for the parents to survive before the swimmers risked life and limb during warm up.
No casualties were sustained, with Luke and Madeline raring to go for their Yorks Champs debuts. Overall, 30 swimmers took part in 70 individual races.
Free: Freya, Giorgia, Charlotte and Sophia
Back: Jacob, Sophie, Tabby, Libby, Lucy, Ellie, Alex and Meredith
Breast: Ethan, Tilly and Jessica
Fly: Harry, Jacob, Sophie, Emily, Libby, Aiesha, Tabby, Lucy, Meredith, Ellie, Alex, Chloe and Imogen
Free: Isaac, Ethan, Tom, Max and Jake L
In the free, Freya, Giorgia (sub 30s for the first time) and Charlotte all got PBs, with Giorgia qualifying for the final.
In the back, Jacob and Ellie both qualified for the final, with Meredith getting a PB, and Sophie and Libby LC PBs.
In the breast, Ethan got a PB and a place in the final, with Tilly finishing as 2nd fastest 10yo with a PB.
There was a PB-fest in the fly, with Harry, Sophie, Emily, Libby, Tabby, Lucy, Ellie and Chloe all improving their marks. Ellie’s first sub 30s effort earned her a place in the final, where she was joined by Meredith.
The heats concluded with the free, with PBs for Isaac (sub 30s for the first time) Ethan and Max. Ethan was joined by Tom in the finals.
In the finals, Giorgia finished 4th, Jacob 6th, Meredith 4th and Ellie 6th (fly – another PB). Ellie (back) and Ethan (breast) both won bronzes with PBs, before Tom added to the medal tally with a silver. Pride of place though went to Ethan, securing his first county title in the free.
Back: Freya, Rylie, Giorgia, Charlotte and Sophia
Breast: Tom G, Jimmy 7th, Luke, Eloise, Libby, Emily, Madeline, Alex, Ellie and Chloe
Fly: Isaac, Ethan, Tom, Max, Jake, Freya, Tilly, Jessica, Giorgia, Latisha, Sophia and Charlotte
Free: Jimmy, Sophie, Libby, Tabby, Emily, Aiesha, Lucy, Ellie, Alex, Meredith and Imogen
Back: Isaac, Josh, Ethan and Tom
In the back, Freya and Rylie both notched PBs, as did Eloise, Libby and Chloe in the breaststroke, with Emily bagging a LC PB here too. Giorgia didn’t add to her PB tally but qualified for the back final all the same.
There was another PB-fest in the fly, with new marks for Isaac, Ethan, Max, Jake, Freya, Tilly, Jessica, Giorgia, Latisha and Charlotte all recording new marks. Ethan progressed to the final, as did Tom, with Freya first reserve.
Sophie, Libby and Lucy all bagged PBs in the free, as did Isaac and Josh in the back. Ellie (free), Ethan (back) and Tom (back) all progressed to their finals.
In the finals, Giorgia and Jimmy added to their collection of pennants, before Tom chose a good time to pull out a fly PB, dead-heating for the gold medal. Ellie then won the free gold medal by a long way, with Ethan adding a brace of 4th place finishes in the fly and the back. Tom then rounded off the individual action with a PB and a silver in the back.
Sun 23rd – Teams Day – 4 * 50 relays
Teams Day is quite frenetic at the best of times, with a lot of swimmers to get to the right place at the right time. Danny decided to make things even more complicated quite often with different teams for medley and free. For some of the teams, getting the declaration forms correct was an event in its own right. Reporting the exact line-ups has also proved challenging, too much of a challenge in a couple of places, a process not helped by some of the younger swimmers not standing still long enough to be photographed in their teams to assist with identification. Apologies for any errors here – they did all swim in the declared order though!
With the 800 free first thing, the day started in a civilised fashion, with scope for a decent lie-in for the TYS contingent. As the racing unfolded, it was obvious that this extra time has also be used for consumption of more than a few of the proverbial “third Shredded Wheat” for breakfast.
First out for TYS were the 11/12 girls (Freya, Isobel, Jessica, Rebecca, Ruby, Rylie and Eloise H) in different combinations in the free and the medley. In numerical terms, this is the toughest category of all, with 8 teams from Leeds alone and a further 4 from Sheffield. The free team was only a couple of seconds off the final, which is a fine effort given the opposition.
The open age lads (Medley: A = Tom, Stephen, Will and Ethan; and B = Alex, Max, Callum and Jake. Free: A = Will, Max, Ethan and Tom; and B = Alex, Stephen, Callum and Jake) were out next, with the A teams qualifying 4th and 3rd fastest for their finals. Callum had stepped up at the last minute to fill an injury gap, but wasn’t fully fit either, and he definitely didn’t look himself in the freestyle.
The 13/14 lads (Jacob, Isaac, Blake and Taylor) were rather up against it, with Blake racing LC for the first time and Taylor making his gala debut. The lads battled well but without challenging for a place in the final.
The 15/16 girls had two teams in action in each event, with a confusing variety of line-ups: Lucy, Tabby, Libby and Abby P were the A team in the free, with Tabby, Abby P, Emily and Libby the A team in the medley. Emily, Lucy, Lorna, Aiesha, Gwen and Sylvie covered the B team duties between them. The A team qualified for both finals, albeit only just in the medley, with Libby nudging into 10th place in the final few strokes.
In the finals, the lads claimed 4th and 5th, beaten only by the might of Sheffield and East Leeds. The girls were in a blanket finish for 6th to 9th in the free, claiming 8th overall, and went faster in the medley than they had in the heats, albeit without gaining any places.
First out were the stars of the show for TYS, the 9/10 girls, Sophia G (in her first ever gala) Tilly, Zara and Tabitha, aka the “Tiny Tads”. Not that they were conceding much, if any height to the opposition – they all look very small in this age group! The Tiny Tads did battle with the Small Sheffields, the Little Leeds, the Baby BoKs, the Half-sized Harrogates, the Pint-sized Pocklingtons, the Diminutive Doncasters and the “Reet Petite” Rotherhams. And very successively they battled too, qualifying for both finals, seeing off the Averaged-sized Adwicks as well for good measure.
Next out were the open age girls. Medley: A = Ellie W, Abby P, Meredith and Clemmie; B = Tabby, Ellie G, Alex and Gemma; and C = Holly, Charlotte, Imogen and Chloe. Free: A = Alex, Clemmie, Abby P and Ellie W; B = Gemma, Tabby, Meredith and Libby; and C = Chloe, Holly, Aiesha and Imogen.
The A team qualified third fastest for both finals, joined by the B team in the free.
Next out were the 11/12 lads. Medley: A = Tom G, Jimmy, Harry N and Sam; and B = Harry L, Leo, Tom S and Luke. Free: A = Jimmy, Sam, Harry N and Tom S; and B = Harry L, Tom G, Leo and Luke. Competition is slightly less fierce here than in the equivalent girls’ age group, with “only” 6 teams from Leeds in action. The lads battled hard, but did not progress to any finals.
The 13/14 girls were also in action. Medley: A = Giorgia, Eloise E, Sophia K and Sophie; and B = Charlotte, Latisha, Maggie and Abby N. Free: A = Sophie, Abby N, Sophia K and Giorgia; and B = Latisha, Georgina, Carys and Eloise E. The free A team qualified safely for the final, with Sophie clocking her first sub-30 second effort leading off.
In the finals, the open age girls’ A team were realistic medal contenders, with the other TYS teams on the hunt for PBs and further scalps in the midfield. In the open medley, there was a stroke-for-stroke battle for silver up the last length between TYS and BoK, with Clemmie just edged out, but a bronze medal was still safely secured. In the free, the same two teams were battling for the bronze, with Ellie claiming the metalwork in the final few metres with a split time (25.8s for the record) that would have been the 8th fastest anchor leg in the lads’ open event in the morning session! The 13/14 girls put in a spirited effort in their final, with Sophie notching another PB leading off.
The downside of the earlier lie in was a fairly late finish, enhanced by an extensive photo call, and there a few tired bodies for the return journey, particularly Tabby, Abby P and Libby, who all raced 6 or more times during the day.
2nd Half Summary
- Golds: 3 (Ethan, Tom and Ellie)
- Silvers: 2 (Tom * 2)
- Bronzes: 2 (Ellie and Ethan)
- Other finals placings: 8 (Jimmy, Jacob, Meredith, Ellie, 2 * Giorgia and 2 * Ethan)
- Heat times “converted” to faster times in the final: 10/15 = 67%
- Bronze: 2 (Open age girls)
- Other finals placings 7: (2 * Open age lads; 2 * 15/16 girls; 2 * Tiny Tads; open age girls free; and 13/14 girls free)
And the usual thanks…
Danny – Saturday
Jane and Danny – Sunday
Rachel and Rob – TMs on Saturday
Eleanor – Social Media