News March 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
Captain Kirk finds his Limit
22 Mar: It looks as though we've found the limit to how fast Robert Kirk (Spa) can kick - for the moment at least. Since December, Phase 4 have done their 4x400m kick set (actually 426m, but who's counting) three times, and try as he might (and his face was looking a bit pained on rep 4 last night) Rob can't get his average down below 7:25. Clearly he needs more work with the dreaded sponge!
Just a word of warning for next time. If you do any of our test sets properly, you should be feeling rather ill before the end. So, good to see Gillian Clarke (Arm) complaining of exactly that after rep 3, then turning round and blasting out the fastest rep of her 4 to finish off. As athletes get older, the more it needs to hurt to get the reward. So don't back off, be courageous. Working your body to the limit rewards you in mysterious ways, not least the threat of throwing up.
That's the good news, now the bad. As we've said previously, if you let your time approach 10mins you run the risk of being eliminated from this set. Everyone should be comfortably inside that time, so the 3 of you slipping off the back need to be much more determined to improve your kick before next time.
|Pos||Name||Date||Rep 1||Rep 2||Rep 3||Rep 4||Avg||All Time|
|1||Robert Kirk||20 Mar 2012||7:22||7:24||7:30||7:31||7:26||2 (1)|
|2||Rebecca Heywood||20 Mar 2012||7:38||7:37||7:47||7:44||7:41||3 (3)|
|3||Lily Metcalfe||20 Mar 2012||8:09||7:59||8:09||7:58||8:03||8 (8)|
|4||Lucy Clarke||20 Mar 2012||7:52||8:14||8:07||8:08||8:05||10 (7)|
|5||Laura Brookes||20 Mar 2012||8:09||8:15||8:29||8:42||8:23||12 (10)|
|6||Chloe Key||20 Mar 2012||8:39||8:39||8:28||8:38||8:36||16 (16)|
|7||Amber Hardy||20 Mar 2012||8:27||8:43||8:50||8:49||8:42||18 (12)|
|8||Gillian Clarke||20 Mar 2012||8:42||8:51||8:54||8:23||8:42||18 (17)|
|9||Grace Litchfield||20 Mar 2012||8:51||8:37||8:36||9:02||8:46||19 (19)|
|10||Harry Butterworth||20 Mar 2012||8:53||8:42||8:38||9:25||8:54||20 (20)|
|11||Mathew Jubb||20 Mar 2012||8:40||8:58||9:22||9:03||9:00||22 (21)|
|12||Georgia Whetton||20 Mar 2012||8:44||9:04||9:12||9:15||9:03||23 (25)|
|13||Molly Butterworth||20 Mar 2012||8:52||8:51||8:51||9:41||9:03||23 (24)|
|14||Eleanor Vodden||20 Mar 2012||9:24||9:14||9:02||9:01||9:10||27 (27)|
|15||Lauren Heywood||20 Mar 2012||9:00||9:16||9:26||9:14||9:14||28 (22)|
|16||Olivia Drury||20 Mar 2012||9:05||9:20||9:24||9:27||9:19||29 (28)|
|17||Iona Holdsworth||20 Mar 2012||8:51||9:13||9:32||9:45||9:20||29 (29)|
Of course there are different ways of making swimmers feel ill. You may remember the method used by Aussie Olympian Brett Hawke with his Auburn University sprinters. Remember: don't try this at home kids, these are highly trained college athletes including a World Record holder!
Suddenly 4x400 kick doesn't seem so bad does it.
We promise this isn't what we put your kids through on training camps.
Well, not yet anyway!
Fun and Medals at Yorkshire Teams
18 Mar: After a mass of medals won at the February Yorkshire Championships, a load more at the Yorkshire Sprints and a few sneaky Senior NQTs, our athletes did not disappoint on the final day of Yorkshire racing for the teams.
Everyone likes to have a fun day and do team events right?
Well there was plenty of fun to be had but our Dartes ethos shined through and in true Dartes style we demonstrated we could be up there with the big city swimming clubs.
Show stopping races of the day had to be from the Dartes A girls team in the 13/14 year age group.
Shannon Dodson (Adw),
Caitlin Dixon (Arm),
Heidi Smith (Arm)
Jessica Gillatt (SAS)
were on fire and grabbed top spot in both the Medley and Freestyle races.
"Outstanding ladies!" That's all that needs to be said.
Showing some great promise in the same race were the likes of Georgia Wright (Arm), Natasha Crow (SAS), Georgia Stead (Adw) and Chloe Hardy (Adw) from Dartes B (our younger team) who also finaled in both events.
Two shiny silvers were snatched up by our awesome foursome Alex Pollard (Arm), Joe Litchfield (Spa), Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) and George Scatchard (Spa). Otherise known as the boys 13/14 year olds who all seem to have an obsession this year with buying and racing in the same green jammers! It's fair to say that they nailed both their races and not a complaint in sight from parents of other clubs grumbling about our loud and proud cheering from the balcony.
Everyone was on their best behaviour...
Anyone around a year ago may remember we were reprimanded on our cheering.
How dare we actually enjoy ourselves whilst watching our swimmers do well.
tut tut I hear you say.
Another silver medal came in from our 11/12 year old boys in the Medley consisting of Oswald Hood (Adw), Joseph Gatus (Spa), Mark Beech (Spa) and Josh Reasbeck (Edl). They also finished in 4th place in the Freestyle event with a slight tweak of the team minus Mark and plus Matthew Jubb (Adw).
Our Youngest girls (the 9/10 year olds) also made a fabulous contribution to the day bagging 2 Bronze medals in their events. The A team consisted of Gillian Clarke (Arm), Iona Holdsworth (Adw), Chantelle Waugh (Arm) and the fast improving Tilly Arrand (SAS). Our B team in the Medley also finaled and came in 5th place.
It was a day of making our mark and showing everyone who Doncaster Dartes really are. We made plenty of finals as well from 9/10 year old boys in both events, same from the mens open team 7th place in both races, 5th place for the 15/16 year old girls in the medley, again both events saw final placing for the 15/16 year old boys and last of all but definitely not least a 4th and 6th placing from the womens open team.
NQTs at Yorkshire Sprints
17 Mar: On the final session of the Yorkshire Championships 50m sprints, Doncaster Dartes came away with medals of all colours, club records and unexpected National Qualifying Times.
9 yr old Gillian Clarke (Arm) managed to final for all four events where she picked up 3 medals: Gold Backstroke, Silver Butterfly, Bronze Freestyle and 4th in the Breaststroke. These wins also secured 1st place in the all important BAGCATs competition.
In the boys 9yrs Backstroke Robbie Casson (Adw) won Gold, and Silver went to Bradley Hurdiss (Drn). Robbie then went on to win the Bronze medal in the Butterfly and Silver in the Freestyle. Robbie collected the 2nd prize in the Bagcats.
9 yr old Chantelle Waugh (Arm) and Kara Mayos (Spa) contested the Butterfly finishing 6th and 7th respectively. Only 0.02sec between them. With a time of 37.11 Chantelle claimed the Dartes age-group record, but both dipped beneath the previous standard.
Harvey Williamson (Arm) came away with the Silver medal in the 10 years Backstroke.
The 13 years saw Joe Litchfield (Spa) and Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) on top form yet again. The top three places in all four finals for them both. Joe collected Bronze in the Breaststroke and Freestyle, Gold in Butterfly and Backstroke. Jarvis the Gold in Breaststroke, Silver in Freestyle, and Bronze in Butterfly and Backstroke. Joe also managed to set new club records in the Freestyle, Butterfly, and Backstroke. But let's not forget forget Alex Pollard (Arm) swimming in the same age-group despite turning 13 only a few days before this final weekend. He secured places in the Butterfly (4th) and Backstroke (7th) finals. Overall, across all 3 weekends, Joe was runner-up in the BAGCATs and Alex 4th.
Georgia Wright (Arm) and Natasha Crow (SAS) were Dartes' finalists in the 13 year Backstroke, where we saw Georgia snatch her first medal of a major championships. What better way to start a medal collection than with a Gold! Just 0.20sec behind her was Natasha to bring home Bronze.
One of the most determined swimmers of the championship campaign was Jessica Gillatt (SAS) who qualified 2nd fastest for the 14/15 years Breaststroke. She led from start to finish in the final to give her not only the Gold medal but her first Senior National Time and a Dartes Club Record too. Well deserved, go Jess.
14 year old Shannon Dodson (Adw) qualified in 8th place for the 50m Freestyle, not often we see Shannon so close to the outside lanes in finals. Was a medal position possible from there?
Not only did T-Rex end up winning Gold but she also set another age-group Club Record, and best of all another unexpected National Qualifying time. Shannon also collected Gold in the Backstroke (another club Record and another Senior NQT), what a day Shannon was having.
In the Women's Open Sophie Coy (Adw) reached the finals in both Breaststroke and Freestyle. She collected the Silver medal in the Breaststroke along with a Club Record and yet another unexpected Senior National time.
Max Litchfield (Spa) fresh from his recent success at the British Championships competed in the Men's Open in all four events and made all four finals. Collecting Gold Medals in the Backstroke and Butterfly, Silver in the Freestyle, and Breastroke saw him finish in 4th place. Max was again on top form gaining two more NQT for his almost complete collection (Backstroke and Freestyle).
Too many other finalists to mention everyone, but well done to all Dartes swimmers who qualified for this meet. PBs came fast and furious in all age groups.
A big thank you from all the swimmers and parents to Andy, Dave, Kev, Leanne and Pete for being poolside to coach, team manage and wipe away the odd tear or two.
Talented Athlete Support Scheme through DCLT
16 Mar: With DCLT taking over Doncaster's Leisure Centres recently, and a change of management at Adwick, there have been a few alterations in the way things run during our morning sessions. One of our main concerns was gaining access to the gym for the older athletes in Phase 5 after early morning training. During the DMasa meeting with DCLT earlier in the month Coach Dave discussed the topic with their Chief Exec, who quickly pointed us at the Talented Athletes Support Scheme. This afternoon Assistant Coach Dave and Head Coach Andrew Wallace sat down for a meeting with Amanda Bradley (the DMasa's point of contact with the trust) to discuss how we go about putting that scheme in to action.
Of course, we weren't going to limit ourselves to that subject alone.
While we had Amanda's attention we took the opportunity to throw a few more ideas around the table. The all important topic of pathways was discussed (pet subject). It's good to hear once again how keen the trust is to develop the pathways from Learn to Swim through to our clubs, and the level of quality they're trying to ensure. It might take a little time, but we're confident that big things will happen over the coming months to build a strong future. There were also a few questions with regards how we might streamline what we do here at Dartes to make things more cost-effective and make better use of the space available to us.
To close the meeting we had a Pie in the Sky suggestion for her. Would it be useful to use the likes of Great Britain Junior International Max Litchfield (Spa) or Yorkshire County team member Shannon Dodson (Adw) as advertising aids to encourage and inspire Doncaster's kids to learn to swim? Local success stories to highlight the end result of a successful pathway that involves Trust, Clubs, and Performance Programme.
Thank you to Amanda for popping over to St James and talking us through the Talented Athletes Support Scheme, for letting us drag her off track a little, and for playing along when the camera came out.
Fast Sprinting Required at Yorkshires
15 Mar: There are 3 team trophies up for grabs at Yorkshire Championships each year. Traditionally Dartes have fared well in the contest for the B&I Trophy awarded to The Most Improved Club. We've won the B&I five times including last year and 2009. To stand any chance of winning the other two though, you need massively greater numbers than we've had recently. It's no surprise that City of Leeds is engraved on the George Lester Trophy (Top Age Group Club) more than any other name (I assume - I've never seen it, but I don't remember anyone else winning it) and they tend to share the Yorkshire Bank Trophy (Top Senior/Junior Club) with City of Sheffield.
The smaller clubs, like ourselves, tend to have a battle for the Most Improved Club each year, as the percentage improvement tends to be much greater than that of the big clubs. Although this year you can probably expect City of Sheffield to be in the running too, alongside Borough of Kirklees. After an outstanding championships in 2011 though, our chances of retaining the trophy are extremely slim.
To give everyone a sneaky preview at how the club competitions stand heading in to the sprints weekend, we sent our spies on a mission, the following table is what they found. This isn't official, but we expect to find it published in the meet programme at the weekend.
|Club||Yorkshire Bank||George Lester||Total for B&I|
Overall then we're sitting in 5th place. It's not where we want to be so everyone has work to do on Saturday. Remember, it's only the medals that count (3 for Gold, 2 for Silver, 1 for Bronze) so make sure your finishes are extremely good; beat people in the last 5m, don't let them beat you! We're only a single point off 4th place (a Bronze), and 16 off 3rd (5 Golds and a Bronze), so be sure to swim super fast and help Dartes finish in the top 3 or 4.
Cycle 3 off to a bang for Phase 4
13 Mar: With cycle 2 out of the way, it's time to get back down to hard work until the end of the season. What better way to see in cycle 3 than the 2x800m test set. They've had a 2 month break from this one, so it's time to set a blistering pace and the new look Lauren Jarvis (SAS) laid out her stall for 2012 with a 61sec improvement on round 1. A strong 2nd performance too, to stay 44sec under her previous best.
Almost matching that round 1 improvement was Chantelle Waugh (Arm) swimming 54sec faster. The smurf couldn't hold the pace on round 2 though, going the other way by a similar margin. Good to see the inital attack, next time be brave enough to set a strong pace early in round 2 - that's where the time was lost!
We always say that once they've had a practice, next time they come out firing on all cylinders, and as if to prove that both Molly Butterworth (Adw) and Rebecca Christmas (Arm) knocked off substantial time tonight. And of course Georgia Whetton (Arm) making her first attempt will be expected to do likewise next time!
The closer you get to the top though, the harder it is to knock time off, so a big pat on the back to Katie Pendlebury (Ros) and Rebecca Heywood (Min) for lowering their average by around 30sec. Judging by how close together Katie's attempts were, we'd expect to see her pushing round 1 much harder next time to possibly break 11mins and start putting Robert Kirk (Spa) under pressure at the front!
|1||Robert Kirk||13 Mar 2012||5:09||10:53||5:15||11:06||10:59||3 (2)|
|2||Katie Pendlebury||13 Mar 2012||5:25||11:12||5:25||11:14||11:13||4 (4)|
|3||Rebecca Heywood||13 Mar 2012||5:25||11:16||5:25||11:29||11:22||5 (5)|
|4||Harry Butterworth||13 Mar 2012||5:25||11:15||5:33||11:57||11:36||8 (6)|
|5||Amber Hardy||13 Mar 2012||5:42||11:53||5:41||11:56||11:54||10 (9)|
|6||Oswald Hood||13 Mar 2012||5:43||12:01||5:39||12:00||12:00||11 (11)|
|7||Lily Metcalfe||13 Mar 2012||5:45||11:50||5:55||12:15||12:02||13 (13)|
|8||Lauren Jarvis||13 Mar 2012||5:42||11:56||5:52||12:13||12:04||15 (15)|
|9||Rebecca Christmas||13 Mar 2012||5:57||12:23||6:10||12:54||12:38||21 (21)|
|10||Molly Butterworth||13 Mar 2012||5:55||12:36||5:52||12:42||12:39||22 (22)|
|11||Courtney Massey||13 Mar 2012||5:55||12:22||6:19||13:09||12:45||23 (23)|
|12||Georgia Whetton||13 Mar 2012||5:55||12:35||6:04||13:02||12:48||25 (25)|
|13||Chloe Key||13 Mar 2012||6:08||12:56||6:07||12:43||12:49||26 (26)|
|14||Lucy Clarke||13 Mar 2012||6:02||12:31||6:13||13:11||12:51||27 (24)|
|15||Grace Litchfield||13 Mar 2012||6:24||13:21||5:57||12:47||13:04||30 (28)|
|16||Chantelle Waugh||13 Mar 2012||5:53||12:09||6:45||14:01||13:05||30 (30)|
|17||Gillian Clarke||13 Mar 2012||6:12||13:14||6:22||13:18||13:16||32 (32)|
|18||Lauren Heywood||13 Mar 2012||6:21||13:17||6:35||13:39||13:28||34 (20)|
|19||Joseph Gatus||13 Mar 2012||6:16||13:18||6:28||13:44||13:31||34 (17)|
|20||Iona Holdsworth||13 Mar 2012||6:51||14:31||6:24||14:05||14:18||(27)|
DMasa Meet DCLT
6 Mar: For those who aren't aware, Doncaster's leisure facilities have recently been handed over by DMBC to DCLT. With that hand over comes a new management structure, new focus, and if tonight's meeting is taken on face value (and there's no reason to do otherwise) a strong desire to work together with local sports clubs to increase participation throughout the pathways.
With a busy hand-over period for DCLT, this was the first 'round-table' discussion between the swimming stakeholders, and on behalf of its affiliated clubs the DMasa invited their new host's management team to its regular meeting. DCLT offered Hatfield Water Park as a location for the meeting, their senior management team were joined by representatives of all the DMasa clubs.
Nothing much was going to be decided on a first meeting. This was more about both organisations getting to know the key players, and laying the foundations for a strong future relationship. As such it worked quite well. Ideas were thrown around the table, concerns, suggestions, clarifications. The obvious topic of Pathways was discussed too.
The next step will be the formation of a more focussed steering group involving the DMasa (representing the clubs) and DCLT to take the relationship forward. Hopefully then we can start building the future of Doncaster Swimming as a joint venture, towards even stronger times.
So far, so good.
Olympic Trials for Max
3 Mar: Dartes' very own Max Litchfield (Spa) is London bound for the British swimming championships this week to try out at the Olympics selection trials. He's qualified for the 200m and 400m Individual Medley and the 100m and 200m Backstroke.
Head Coach Andrew Wallace, Max and Pete Litchfield (Max's dad and Team Manager) will be travelled down after 5am morning training on Friday from Doncaster and will be staying in a brand new Travelodge Hotel just 400m away from the Aquatics Centre in Stratford.
As anyone who competed at Nationals last year will be familiar with, photographic evidence is required to gain access to the venue and to get their swimmer and coach's passes (which must be worn at all times, even all the way to marshalling before and straight after racing). On Friday evening Coach Wallace will enjoy the customary coaches meeting at the pool and Max can have a warm up in the 50m training pool to get acquainted with the new surroundings.
The 400m Individual Medley is the first event on the Saturday morning, 100m Backstroke is on the Sunday leaving both Monday and Tuesday free to just train, watch the racing, and relax before the big day on Wednesday where Max has both 200m Backstroke and the 200m Individual Medley.
Overall it should be a fantastic experience for Max, not just swimming in the Olympic Pool in the official Olympics test event, but spending time rubbing shoulders with Britain's and some of the World's top swimmers over the five days. While Max is away, the rest of us will obviously be gearing up for the final weekend of Yorkshire Championships action later this month. Assistant Coaches Kevin Nicholas and Dave Cuthbert along with our ever growing army working with them will be trying to ensure that last year's high placed finish to the Championships is repeated. Everyone in the pool of course, needs to do likewise: polish up skills and work even harder than normal for the next couple of weeks.
Fingers crossed that all goes well for all of Dartes swimmers at Yorkshires and for Max who will hopefully swim some good Personal Best times; he has an outside chance of a semi-final in the 200m Individual Medley. Having just turned 17 he's still a couple of years short of a realistic shot at a place on Team GB, but last year's National Silver medallist has his eyes fixed on Rio in 2016 and if he can reach a semi this time round it'll put him firmly on the radar for next time.
Dartes would like to thank BK Builders for sponsoring the kit for the championships which included Hoodies and T-shirts for Coach, dad and athlete.
For anyone wanting to leave a message of support for Max to wish him luck for the trials here is the link.
Make sure you give Dartes a mention while you're there!