News June 2012
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
Another 2x800 Record Set
19 Jun: Considering Phase 4 last did the 2x800 challenge just over a month ago, and set some pretty big PBs in the process, it was a big surprise to see a repeat during last week's attempt. Once again, the top 7 places all set best times, with Josh Reasbeck (Edl) singing "Anything you can do, I can do better" at the absent Katie Pendlebury (Ros) as he copied her approach to snatching the squad record.
For poor Robert Kirk (Spa) leading the way, playing pace-maker, that's twice in a row where the dirty rotten scoundrel on his toes has sneaked alongside in the final few metres. Rob recorded the fastest individual rep at 10:30 (matching Katie's from last time) with Josh just a single second behind. But as we all know, it's the average that counts, and consistency spins things on its head with Josh 1sec ahead of Rob.
So we have a three way contest for the squad record, next time should be fun.
Behind the leaders things are pretty close too with another 2 dipping under 12mins for the first time and chasing a spot in lane 1. Climbing up the rankings bit by bit is new-comer Rianna Hill (Min), splitting up the 11 year old twins. Struggling a little on his first time in the big lane, Matthew Jubb (Adw) didn't quite match his previous best, but the speed of the leaders can be quite intimidating. He recovered well to set his fastest round 2 swim to date.
Who will make up the top 8 next time is anyone's guess.
Biggest improver of the day though is right down in 16th place. Gillian Clarke (Arm) swam 29sec faster on round 1 and followed that up by swimming 15sec faster than her previous best on round 2. As always, click her name to examine the progress made since December.
|1||Joshua Reasbeck||19 Jun 2012||5:04||10:31||5:02||10:32||10:31||1 (1)|
|2||Robert Kirk||19 Jun 2012||4:58||10:30||5:06||10:34||10:32||2 (2)|
|3||Rebecca Heywood||19 Jun 2012||5:09||10:54||5:16||11:17||11:05||5 (5)|
|4||Harry Butterworth||19 Jun 2012||5:37||11:06||5:20||11:13||11:09||6 (6)|
|5||Eleanor Vodden||19 Jun 2012||5:23||11:14||5:21||11:21||11:17||7 (7)|
|6||Amber Hardy||19 Jun 2012||5:23||11:18||5:27||11:22||11:20||8 (8)|
|7||Rianna Hill||19 Jun 2012||5:30||11:31||5:29||11:35||11:33||12 (12)|
|8||Laura Brookes||19 Jun 2012||5:24||11:25||5:24||11:52||11:38||13 (10)|
|9||Mathew Jubb||19 Jun 2012||5:38||11:50||5:30||11:27||11:38||13 (9)|
|10||Oswald Hood||19 Jun 2012||11:42||5:47||11:57||11:49||14 (14)|
|11||Lauren Jarvis||19 Jun 2012||11:40||5:39||12:17||11:58||15 (15)|
|12||Lily Metcalfe||19 Jun 2012||11:55||5:54||12:10||12:02||19 (19)|
|13||Thomas Wilson||19 Jun 2012||5:49||12:11||5:52||12:11||12:11||22 (22)|
|14||Courtney Massey||19 Jun 2012||5:52||12:20||6:03||12:37||12:28||28 (28)|
|15||Lucy Clarke||19 Jun 2012||5:51||12:13||6:06||12:46||12:29||29 (26)|
|16||Gillian Clarke||19 Jun 2012||5:54||12:27||6:00||12:41||12:34||31 (31)|
|17||Lauren Heywood||19 Jun 2012||6:01||12:39||5:53||12:30||12:34||32 (30)|
|18||Grace Litchfield||19 Jun 2012||6:01||12:33||6:06||12:42||12:37||32 (17)|
|19||Tilly Arrand||19 Jun 2012||6:09||12:53||6:16||13:07||13:00||35 (35)|
|20||Taylor Hardy||19 Jun 2012||6:23||13:34||6:20||13:31||13:32||39 (39)|
|21||Olivia Drury||19 Jun 2012||6:22||13:40|
Rather interesting to compare the new record (and top 3 times) with those of the old record this time last year 10:10. The old record set originally by George Scatchard (Spa) and then matched on the final attempt by Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) was for the fastest attempt (not average) of exactly 800m in Adwick. The new record, for 27 lengths of the 331/3 yard St James, is actually for 900 yards, or approximately 823m (26 lengths would have been less than 800m - too easy). Calculate the actual average speed of Josh and Rob (823m/631s) and use that to find the time taken to swim 800m and you finish up with 10:13!
Next time boys, next time ...
Our Greatest Team!
16 Jun: To borrow the strapline of Team GB in Olympic year, 2012 is also a celebration at home in Doncaster. Over the past 12 months we've watched nervously as Christmas brought us more NQT than the same period in recent years. Then we fell slightly behind on the NQT count during Yorkshires, only to bounce straight back prior to NERs. And finally, what looked to be 6 teams qualifying for the summer extravaganza, 5 of them doing so in style as NER Champions!
Those 6 teams (1 still to be confirmed this weekend) slowly grew to 8 as a couple of teams dropped out of the Youth girls allowing our reservists to step up and hopefully demonstrate that they should have been there in the first place.
Add to all of that, Team GB selection for Max Litchfield (Spa) heading off to European Junior Championships next month, and we truly have ...
But not quite!
One thing that coaches have found concerning over the past few years is the lack of conversion! By which we mean, it's one thing getting to Nationals, but that isn't supposed to be the end goal. You're not meant to qualify, switch off, and then go to soak up the atmosphere. At past Olympics, that's what many members of Team GB have done. This year, they, like you, need to take the next step. Too many think qualifying for the big event is the goal, once achieved, how many step up, re-evaluate those goals and say: "Right, now I want a medal!".
Arriving at Nationals is NOT the limit of what Dartes athletes are meant to accomplish. There are 5 levels, 5 steps, and more of you need to make a leap for the next one. Here is what they are:
|5||European Junior Championships|
The last two steps are only available to older athletes, but the squad is now getting older and many of you should be targeting both for the future. This year for example, Max is old enough for Euro Juniors - and he's going. Two former Dartes team mates, Nick Grainger and Sophie Taylor, will be joining him on that British team. You're following in their footsteps.
Next year we have a strong bunch of girls who should be aiming for the big time, after them a bunch of boys should be doing likewise. But it starts for all of them with strong performances next month at Nationals.
So for those who've qualified, consider this. No one goes to make up the numbers, everyone with a lane is capable of reaching the final. If you have an NQT you'll have a lane in 1 of maybe 3 or 4 heats - that's all! That's not many you need to beat.
To progress from heats to final you pretty much need to swim a best time. But that's the same for everyone. Very few of your competitors will reach a National final without swimming a PB in the morning. It's far too tight for that, the time differences between you all are tiny. You need to arrive on the day determined to swim fast, determined to swim top 10!
Know what you're having for breakfast.
Know what your warm up will be.
Be sure you've brought along the right snacks and drinks.
Leave nothing to chance, because if you do, someone else will happily punish you for it.
Many of you are stuck in a jam on the medal table. A build up of NER Gold, but no where to climb without a top 10 National placing. You get one chance to change that, one chance to climb higher.
You are our Greatest Team and we do expect to see you in the final!
12 Jun: Tuesday evening introduced a new test set for Phase 4. It's not entirely new, they've been doing it for some time, but this is the first time we've recorded the results. Whereas the other tests are all about endurance, this one is all speed!
A tumble turn to start, followed by about 7m of underwater Fly kick. Another tumble turn in open water to change direction and a Freestyle sprint back to the wall for another flip. Out of the wall for another 7m of underwater Fly kick followed by another Freestyle sprint through 15m. We make that about 30m of hard work and a lot of breath holding.
To add more skill to the mix, anyone breaking streamlining before the head crosses the 7m mark earns a DQ, no time, and they're added to the bottom of the results.
As ever it's consistency that counts; the far-right column gives the average. No good doing a super fast rep, if the others are terrible. In races, fast turns need to be a habit, not the exception. Those habits are formed during training, and this set highlights who does a good job. A few quick calculations suggested sub 20sec should be the time to strive for - lots of work to do here then!
23.30 is the initial squad record currently owned by Eleanor Vodden (Adw). But everyone needs to get working those turns in training, there are big improvements to be made before next time!
|Pos||Name||Rep 1||Rep 2||Rep 3||Avg|
Spirit Discovered at NER Champs Weekend 2
10 Jun: Weekend number 2 of North East Regionals was at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds and the medal count earned from the previous weekend just kept on increasing.
Firstly the boys.
Joe Litchfield (Spa) grabbed all the Golds in 100m Butterfly, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley and 200m Backstroke. An absolute pleasure to watch him swim, especially in the Breaststroke. With team mate Jarvis missing with a dodgy knee, Joe was left to dominate the event, eventually winning by nearly 5sec! No one was any where near him.
Away from Breaststroke though, there was superb racing from Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) too. Despite the knee injury, a shiny Silver came his way in the 100m Freestyle, a Bronze in 100m Butterfly and a 4th place in the 200m Individual Medley. Hot on his heels, and rapidly catching our two established stars in this age group, Alex Pollard (Arm) had a busy weekend too. Swimming 5 events and finalling in all of them equated to 10 swims. He earned a shiny Silver in 200m Backstroke, 5th in 100m Freestyle, 6th in 400m Freestyle, 8th place in 200m Individual Medley, and 4th place in 100m Butterfly. The latter earning Dartes Gold, Bronze, and 4th in the same event; just Sheffield's Blake Bennett upsetting a full sweep of the medals.
George Scatchard (Spa) won a Silver medal in 200m Backstroke, 6th place in the 200m Individual Medley and 7th in 200m Breaststroke. Mark Beech (Spa) took Silver in the 200m Backstroke and a 6th place finish in 400m Freestyle. Another rapid improver of late, Matthew Jubb (Adw) pulled out a 4th place in 100m Freestyle and a 6th place in 200m Backstroke.
Breaststroker Oswald Hood (Adw) got a 5th place finish in the 200m event. Os' mum could be heard cheering back home in Doncaster for all our Dartes stars, she was very definitely Loud and Proud. And you all thought Louise was such a quiet and demur lady!
And now the girls.
First up is super fast Shannon Dodson (Adw) claiming 3 Silver medals for all her hard work: a brave 400m Freestyle spent desperately clinging on to Hull's Dervla Curran for a 3.4sec PB; a sprint 100m Freestyle leaving her just 0.5sec off NQT and less than that off the magical minute; and a 200m Individual Medley too. She also had a 4th place finish in what is a very rare appearance at 100m Butterfly.
Natasha Crow (SAS) finalled in 3 events, the best being 4th in 100m Butterfly (an age group below Shannon), a massive 7sec PB for 5th in 200m Backstroke, and almost the same in 400m Freestyle. Laura Brookes (Edl) came 9th in the 200m Individual Medley and 10th in 400m Freestyle. Laura's mum, another to keep the Loud and Proud tradition going.
The two Georgia's both managed a final each. Georgia Wright (Arm) made the most of her first NER campaign coming 7th in 200m Backstroke, while Georgia Stead (Adw) touched 10th in 200m Breaststroke. Chantelle Waugh (Arm) finished 5th in 100m Butterfly and 7th in 400m Freestyle to record a teeny weeny 13sec improvement from February. Gillian Clarke (Arm) finished in 8th place in 200m Breaststroke, Chloe Hardy (Adw) finalled in 200m Backstroke and finished 9th, while last but by no means least, Katie Pendlebury (Ros) finished in 10th place in 100m Butterfly to make it two Butterfly finals in her first NER campaign.
All that is fine and dandy, but there are special events which pull together all aspects of the team: supporters, athletes and coaches alike. When you drive in to Doncaster from most directions, you're greeted by a friendly welcome to Doncaster road sign complete with a caption that sums up these special events perfectly.
Team events obviously.
Discover the Spirit!
What was great about weekend 2 was how the majority of Dartes supporters sat together and cheered for all our athletes, together. That was Loud. Those of you wearing your new team shirts (a trend set to take off big next season we hope) and the three banners around the viewing gallery wasn't just dominant, it was Proud. You were particularly Loud and Proud in the Medley relays for the boys and girls events - it was deafening! Also when 3 of our girls finalled in 200m Backstroke and lined up next to each other in lanes 7, 8, and 9; Tash, Georgia, and Chloe enjoyed big support from everyone.
So while watching our twitter feed push through a few tweets from Sheffield's finest while racing on the Mare Nostrum tour over the past week or so, it got me thinking. If Sheffield associate themselves with the very fitting #TeamSteel what would be appropriate for ourselves?
What's tougher than Steel?
What is it that binds a team together?
What flows through the very core of Dartes?
Why, #TeamSpirit of course!
It would be nice to demonstrate that TeamSpirit by seeing lots of you make the short trip down the M18 to support our 8 teams competing at Nationals next month. Watch this space for more details!
Dartes Meets DCLT
6 Jun: This morning a core group of the Dartes leadership took a trip to The Dome to meet with DCLT's Jon Whiteley. It's the first meeting we've held at this level and was intended to start the process of forming a relationship, developing links, and buliding a partnership with the Doncaster pool operator.
Dartes' Chairman Chris Hirst and Club Secretary Peter Litchfield were accompanied by Head Coach Andrew Wallace and Assistant Coach Dave Cuthbert to introduce the key players to Jon and reach agreement on a number of recent issues.
The meeting included positive discussion introducing Jon to the needs of a performance swim programme and how we intend to move the club forward in the near future. Also on the agenda was closer co-operation when running open meets, so that both sides can get the most benefit from hosting such events and provide an even more memorable event for those taking part. Hopefully this will lead to a stronger long term position for performance swimming in Doncaster.
We hope to continue to work closely with DCLT to ensure that Doncaster's swimming pathway is able to provide a successful transition from the bottom to the top of the swimming performance pyramid to the benefit of all swimmers involved along the way.
BAGCAT NER Champs, Weekend 1
3 Jun: The first of a double weekend of age group North East Regional Championships kicked off at Ponds Forge Sheffield on June 2nd/3rd and as ever the young guns did not disappoint. By the end of the weekend we were sitting happily in 3rd position of a Yorkshire top 4 headed by two city Long Course programmes.
Firstly the medals.
"Have a go Joe" as the papers like to call him had a stormer, winning 3 Gold medals in 100m Backstroke, 100m Breaststroke and 400m Individual Medley and Silver in 200m Butterfly. Shannon Dodson (Adw) was on fire too showing everyone how it's done winning two Gold medals in 100m Backstroke and 200m Freestyle.
It was NQT number 4 for Alex Pollard (Arm) in the 400m Individual Medley and he celebrated with a Bronze medal after also taking 1500m Freestyle Bronze too. Another Bronze for Natasha Crow (SAS) in 200m Butterfly showing strength and determination in the final painful length for a 7sec PB. She fell short of what would have been a very unexpected NQT by just 1.13 seconds!
Last but by no means least, Chantelle Waugh (Arm) brought home another Bronze medal in the 400m Individual medley.
Secondly the teams.
In the team events our awesome foursome Joe Litchfield (Spa), Jarvis Parkinson (Arm), George Scatchard (Spa), and Alex took the North East by storm. Winning 4x100m and 4x200m Freestyle copies the double win of their older team mates who won 4x100m Freestyle and Medley at Youth Champs last month. Next weekend they get the opportunity to clean up and do the treble as they contest the 4x100m Medley. This week's two wins though, pretty much guarantees them 2 team appearances at Nationals, assuming the North East Champions are in the top 40 teams nationally.
And lastly the finalists, Not just team action for George, NQT number 2 came with a 4th place finish in 100m Backstroke. Eleanor Vodden (Min) raised a few eyebrows in reaching the final of the 100m Breaststroke with a 5sec PB. Eyebrows lifted higher still when half way through that final she turned with the leaders and looked to be challenging the medals until the final 15m. Another 1sec faster than her heat time saw her touch in 1:24.97 and 6th place to earn herself a spot on the Medley team next weekend.
Two girls from the same age group Natasha Crow (SAS) and Georgia Wright (Arm) were hoping and praying that maybe, just maybe, their hard work had paid off and an elusive NQT would be theirs in 100m Backstroke. In the heats both girls swam well and finished around a half second away from the prize. Could they pull out just a little bit more in the final?
But as so often happens, if you want a National Time at NERs you need to be in the medals. Bronze went to 1:09.81 - both girls needed 1:09.87 to qualify - 5th and 6th their placings. Oh so hard to swim faster in finals after a morning of tough racing. That point highlights the importance of swimming down and warming up correctly, a lesson many of those just taking part in finals fail to heed. Don't waste months and years of hard training with poor preparation on race day. The swim down pool is for exactly that purpose, preparing for your next race - not chatting with friends!
Amber Hardy (Adw) enjoyed two 5th place finishes, one in the 400m IM (2nd year in a row) and the next in the 800m Freestyle. Laura Brookes (Edl) finished 1 place above her in the big medley and 10th in 200m Freestyle.