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News May 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

Meet the Swimmer: Markus Rogan

30 May: As London 2012 gets ever closer, we thought it would be nice to introduce you all to the likely stars of the Olympic swimming pool and showcase some of the World's finest athletes. For the last few we crossed the Atlantic to introduce a number of star Americans likely to grace our capital. This time we sort of stay there, but with a definite European link.

He's one of the most experienced swimmers, one of the oldest still competing, and also one of the more entertaining characters around. Austria's Markus Rogan is an Olympic and World Championship medallist who studied and swam for Stanford University after beginning his swimming life with the equally as prestigious Curl-Burke swim team in Washington DC.

So what makes him Austrian you may wonder?
His accent definitely, and we suspect only an Austrian could share his sense of humour. Here are a few interviews with the funny man. Look out for him in London, if Sharron can grab him, you can be sure she'll get him in front of the camera.

Welcome New Starters

27 May: JDS Coach Dan Winn has had another busy week. Another club visit, this time to Armthorpe, to back up the 3 from last week and 7 new faces arrived for their first session on Sunday afternoon. A big Dartes welcome to you all. 7 swimmers from 4 clubs and hopefully more to follow.

We'll give you all another look at the feeder club distribution towards the end of the season. For now though, that's a few more from Armthorpe, Edlington, Adwick, and Don Valley; and we had our first new starter from Rossington since 2010 a few weeks back too. Lets hope these new starters are the first of many.

Coach Winn has plans to get round a few more clubs in the next few weeks. If he hasn't visited yours yet, please be patient. While you're waiting though, if any coaches from our local clubs want to pop along and visit any Dartes squads they'd be more than welcome.

Animal Squad Update

Caitlin has NQTs in all 3 Animal Squad events 27 May: This is turning in to an extra special season for all kinds of reasons. Not only have we qualified for a record number of National Events (NER Age-Group Champs still to go), but we've smashed all previous records in the Animal Squad too. In celebration of Caitlin Dixon (Arm) getting NQTs in all 3 Animal Squad events (neither Max nor Jarvis can boast that this year), we've updated the listings, and just look at what's popped up.

Year200m Fly400m IM800m Free1500m Free
201233332012
2011252568
2010301614*4*
2009 16  
2008 21  
2007 17  
2006 15  
2005 3  
2004 3  
2003 2  
2002 3  
2001 2  
2000 8  
*in 2010 both Freestyle events were open to boys and girls

Before we introduced this special squad back in 2009 the quantity of Doncaster's athletes attempting the toughest events was pretty small. Other than the 200m Butterfly, the other 3 events were hardly worth counting. Over the last 3 years those numbers have sky rocketted. Everyone who has attempted one of these events this season deserves a pat on the back. It definitely gets noticed when half the competitors for a 200m Butterfly are wearing Dartes caps.

It used to be the case at Yorkshire Champs that 800m Freestyle or 1500m Freestyle would be a break for our coaching team. These days we seem to have 2 or 3 in every heat and with that many of the medals too. For those of you still too young to enter these big events, set your goals for the future. If you can master these events, you can do anything!
2012 Animal Squad ...

Busy Start for Assistant Coach Danny

Asst Coach Danny with DV's Head Coach Chris 23 May: He may only have been in post a couple of weeks, but our newest Assistant Coach has certainly dived in at the deep end. In an effort to introduce himself, see what's happening around the borough, and generally check out the standard of young swimmers coming through our clubs, Coach Danny has already visited Dearne Valley, Don Valley, and his old club the Edlington Stingrays.

His task really is to continue the good work laid down by Kevin Nicholas before him, while growing JDS in to a much larger squad. While Head Coach Andrew Wallace and our other Assistant Coach Dave Cuthbert spend their time running our full-time training squads, we hope Coach Danny will have more time to spend visiting our clubs and guiding their coaches as to the standard required to start in the Dartes programme.

Working alongside him with JDS are our regular stalwarts Derek Fretwell and Keith Gilbert; Dearne Valley's Head Coach Chris Allen and Edlington's Head Coach Jeff Squires. It's likely our other lead coaches will be playing a more active role with JDS over the next few months too, just to help him settle in smoothly.

Back to those club visits again, Coach Dave finally found time to return to Thorne this weekend to see how Coach Sarah is progressing with the Tigers. You'll remember the black-out cutting things short last time round. Coach Sarah works alongside Dave with Phase 4 on Friday nights and we're all very keen to see her club grow in to a competitive force once again.

European Junior Selection

20 May: You might have missed this flying past during the week, so here it is again. Max Litchfield (Spa) has been officially named on the GB squad for European Junior Championships. The rest of the squad comprises 30 athletes from 24 clubs. Plymouth Leander is the most highly represented with 3 swimmers selected, a few others have 2. Dartes is one of 19 with a single selection.

Half the Yorkshire contingent back in 2009 Dartes interest doesn't end there though.
Two of our former National Squad favourites also earned selection for their new clubs, so let's take the opportunity to congratulate them both and give their current coaches a virtual pat on the back for taking over their reigns so successfully.

Those 3 will be joined by City of Sheffield's headline act Matthew Johnson to make a Yorkshire quartet. We're sure you will be cheering for all 4 when the action starts in Antwerp at the beginning of July.

The official British Swimming announcement appeared on their website earlier in the week.

The best of fast swimming to the whole of Team GB, but especially Yorkshire's 4.
Well done to you all.

Captain Kirk Boldly Goes ...

15 May: He's been sitting around 7:25 for the last 4 rounds of the 4x400m kick set, but a couple of weeks ago Captain Kirk boldly kicked where no one has kicked before (sorry, couldn't resist). Robert Kirk (Spa) smashed his previous best efforts by 10sec to set the new Phase 4 record at 7:16.

Rebecca Catching Rob Captain Kirk, Boldly Going ... He had to.
Hot on his heels, and matching his previous best average(s) was Rebecca Heywood (Min) averaging 7:25 but beating Robert's fastest previous attempt of 7:19 on round 1. Now all Rebecca needs to do is learn to incorporate that fast kick in to her normal swimming and watch the times drop!

For those of you trying these sets in different pools, we need to point out that we only call this 4x400m for historical reasons - it used to be 400m when we did it at Adwick. These days it's 14 lengths of St James, which is actually closer to 425m. We don't like taking the easy option here at Dartes - increase the distance, increase the fun.

Pos Name Date Rep 1 Rep 2 Rep 3 Rep 4 Avg All Time
1 Robert Kirk 15 May 2012 7:11 7:14 7:18 7:24 7:16 1 (1)
24 Apr 2012 7:20 7:19 7:32 7:34 7:26
20 Mar 2012 7:22 7:24 7:30 7:31 7:26
20 Jan 2012 7:19 7:19 7:28 7:37 7:25
20 Dec 2011 7:23 7:25 7:33 7:23 7:26
22 Nov 2011 8:08 7:34 7:38 7:38 7:44
2 Rebecca Heywood 15 May 2012 7:16 7:33 7:27 7:25 7:25 2 (2)
24 Apr 2012 7:31 7:28 7:36 7:39 7:33
20 Mar 2012 7:38 7:37 7:47 7:44 7:41
20 Jan 2012 7:58 8:04 8:04 8:05 8:02
20 Dec 2011 8:04 8:00 7:57 8:07 8:02
22 Nov 2011 8:10 7:59 8:13 8:19 8:10
3 Katie Pendlebury 15 May 2012 8:00 8:03 8:05 7:45 7:58 8 (6)
24 Apr 2012 7:46 7:44 7:56 7:45 7:47
20 Mar 2012 8:05
22 Nov 2011 8:04 8:56 8:29 8:24 8:28
4 Lily Metcalfe 15 May 2012 8:01 8:06 8:08 7:49 8:01 10 (4)
24 Apr 2012 7:40 7:31 7:46 7:47 7:41
20 Mar 2012 8:09 7:59 8:09 7:58 8:03
20 Jan 2012 8:01 8:05 8:07 8:05 8:04
20 Dec 2011 8:07 8:03 8:39 8:37 8:21
22 Nov 2011 8:09 7:58 7:58 8:18 8:05
5 Courtney Massey 15 May 2012 7:56 8:18 8:26 8:19 8:14 13 (13)
24 Apr 2012 8:09 8:21 8:20 8:17 8:16
20 Jan 2012 8:23 8:36 8:24 8:33 8:29
20 Dec 2011 9:35 10:13 9:42 9:34 9:46
22 Nov 2011 8:45 9:05 8:37 8:16 8:40
6 Molly Butterworth 15 May 2012 8:25 8:15 8:14 8:26 8:20 16 (16)
24 Apr 2012 8:42 9:05 9:56 9:04 9:11
20 Mar 2012 8:52 8:51 8:51 9:41 9:03
20 Jan 2012 9:04 9:09 9:03 9:55 9:17
7 Oswald Hood 15 May 2012 8:16 8:41 8:23 8:07 8:21 18 (17)
24 Apr 2012 8:26 8:18 8:32 8:06 8:20
20 Jan 2012 8:58 8:57 8:39 8:23 8:44
20 Dec 2011 8:52 8:52 8:56 9:02 8:55
22 Nov 2011 9:08 9:36 9:14
8 Amber Hardy 15 May 2012 8:19 8:15 8:27 8:27 8:22 18 (18)
24 Apr 2012 8:21 8:24 8:19 8:36 8:25
20 Mar 2012 8:27 8:43 8:50 8:49 8:42
20 Dec 2011 8:02 8:30 8:32 8:34 8:24
 
9 Georgia Whetton 15 May 2012 8:11 8:24 8:28 8:30 8:23 19 (15)
24 Apr 2012 7:59 8:15 8:30 8:28 8:18
20 Mar 2012 8:44 9:04 9:12 9:15 9:03
10 Tilly Arrand 15 May 2012 8:33 8:29 8:28 8:31 8:30 20 (20)
11 Grace Litchfield 15 May 2012 8:18 8:25 8:38 8:50 8:32 21 (12)
24 Apr 2012 8:05 7:54 8:21 8:27 8:11
20 Mar 2012 8:51 8:37 8:36 9:02 8:46
20 Jan 2012 8:51 9:15 9:13 9:09 9:07
22 Nov 2011 9:00 9:10 9:10 8:33 8:58
12 Lauren Jarvis 15 May 2012 8:26 8:35 8:40 8:30 8:32 21 (21)
24 Apr 2012 8:32 8:27 8:53 9:10 8:45
20 Mar 2012 9:21 8:44 9:05
20 Jan 2012 9:04 9:04 9:04 9:03 9:03
20 Dec 2011 9:37 10:35 10:10 9:57 10:04
13 Chloe Key 15 May 2012 8:41 8:30 8:33 8:32 8:34 23 (23)
24 Apr 2012 8:43 8:56 8:51 9:24 8:58
20 Mar 2012 8:39 8:39 8:28 8:38 8:36
20 Jan 2012 8:43 8:51 8:34 8:48 8:44
20 Dec 2011 9:07 9:09 9:09 9:05 9:07
22 Nov 2011 8:54 9:10 8:55 8:13 8:48
14 Gillian Clarke 15 May 2012 8:39 8:47 8:51 8:30 8:41 26 (25)
24 Apr 2012 8:48 8:48 8:39 8:26 8:40
20 Mar 2012 8:42 8:51 8:54 8:23 8:42
20 Jan 2012 8:29 8:33 8:44 8:42 8:37
20 Dec 2011 8:32 8:40 8:51 8:48 8:42
15 Olivia Drury 15 May 2012 8:51 8:50 8:48 8:52 8:50 27 (27)
20 Mar 2012 9:05 9:20 9:24 9:27 9:19
20 Dec 2011 9:07 9:29 9:15 9:06 9:14
22 Nov 2011 9:57 10:10 10:20 10:29 10:14
16 Lauren Heywood 15 May 2012 9:00 8:56 9:12 8:43 8:57 29 (29)
24 Apr 2012 8:51 8:58 9:07 9:10 9:01
20 Mar 2012 9:00 9:16 9:26 9:14 9:14
20 Jan 2012 8:49 9:03 9:19 8:58 9:02
20 Dec 2011 9:15 9:15 9:22 9:08 9:15
22 Nov 2011 9:11 9:47 9:51 9:27 9:34
 
17 Eleanor Vodden 15 May 2012 9:04 9:15 8:55 8:45 8:59 30 (22)
24 Apr 2012 8:33 8:22 8:50 8:28 8:33
20 Mar 2012 9:24 9:14 9:02 9:01 9:10
20 Dec 2011 9:43 9:48 9:37 9:25 9:38
22 Nov 2011 10:00 10:15 10:12 10:45 10:18
18 Robbie Casson 15 May 2012 9:00 9:02 8:58 9:04 9:01 30 (30)
19 Taylor Hardy 15 May 2012 9:14 9:21 9:26 8:43 9:11 32 (32)
20 Harry Butterworth 15 May 2012 9:30 9:14 9:02 9:01 9:11 33 (28)
24 Apr 2012 9:32 10:13 10:06 10:07 9:59
20 Mar 2012 8:53 8:42 8:38 9:25 8:54
20 Jan 2012 10:33 10:14 9:27 9:48 10:00
20 Dec 2011 9:23 9:22 9:30 9:16 9:22
22 Nov 2011 8:52 9:52 11:22 9:09 9:48
21 Rebecca Christmas 15 May 2012 8:57 9:08 9:26 9:32 9:15 33 (33)
24 Apr 2012 9:18 9:31 9:18 9:08 9:18
20 Mar 2012 9:18 10:20
22 Rianna Hill 15 May 2012 9:49 9:52 10:03 10:24 10:02 36 (36)
Click on the name to expand previous results

We also had 4 newbies set their first times today too. Best placed among them was Tilly Arrand (SAS), 10th on the day and setting the 20th best time ever. The last column above shows where this effort sits in the all-time rankings and the 2nd number shows where their best effort puts them in the all-time rankings. If they're both the same, this is their best ever average.

Leeds Half Marathon - Sponsored Run

13 May: While the kids went for a long weekend to Middlesbrough, two of our parents took it upon themselves to tackle the Leeds Half Marathon. They'll be complaining about aching legs for weeks afterwards we're sure. Leann and Claire ran us proud though.

They didn't quite beat the 2 hour mark, but hey, they can always use that as motivation for next time. They crossed the line in 2 hours 4 minutes.

For all of you who sponsored them so generously - thank you. When they've recovered a little, they'll be wandering around collecting the cash. And if anyone else fancies having a crack next year, you'd better start training.

Update: Between them, Leann and Claire managed to raise £689 for club funds. So on behalf of everyone, a big well done and thank you.

A Weekend in Exotic Middlesbrough

11 May: On Friday 11th May a mix of phase 4 and 5 headed North to compete in the 11th Middlesbrough Open, a well regarded meet with Olympians in the record books and also in the pool. Good to see over half of the 10/11 year old girls meet records still owned by Molly Grayson (Arm) from many moons ago, Dartes were destined to add another age group to that dominance in the record books.

Jarvis getting on every photo on Friday night This was our annual chaperone meet, so two mini-buses were stuffed full of kids on Friday afternoon for a gentle drive. Keith took the boys (we expected them to be quietly entertained on various consoles throughout the journey), Julia and Coach Dave took what was expected to be the much noisier girls bus. Surprisingly they were all pretty quiet, and extremely well behaved.

We arrived at the hotel ahead of schedule and quickly dispatched the noisy ones to their allocated rooms to prepare for Friday evening's session in the pool. We've clearly been doing camps and chaperoned meets for a few years now, because the behaviour each time just gets better and better. There are enough with experience from training camps to know exactly what's expected of them, and that seems to be filtering down to the younger ones following them.

Coach and Chaperones braced for the worst as the lift stopped and the doors opened. The result: a silent corridor!
Awesome.
We had of course hit the wrong button in the lift, and ended up 2 floors higher. Nevertheless, by the time we got back to the correct floor, everything was still silent.

We'd sent them off with an hour or two to unpack and relax, but with instructions to be waiting in reception at 4.15pm for the drive to the pool. Fully expecting most to be late, it was gently suggested to aim for 4pm. Coach Dave arrived in reception bang on 4, 19 of the 20 swimmers were there waiting.
Wow.
Number 20 arrived 2 minutes later.

One of the big things stressed on talent camps is being responsible for getting yourself to meeting points on time. It sounds easy. But when you have 20 kids ranging from 11 to 14 it rarely happens that smoothly. They might struggle to leave 5sec gaps in the pool, but after a weekend of getting it right every time, our bunch can definitely turn up on time!

Down to the pool for 15mins stretching before warm up. With a packed schedule and a full meet, only 15mins was allowed to warm up. A little on the short side, especially as 6 of the 8 lanes were reserved for dive starts part way through. Our only criticism of a well run meet, there really needs to be more continuous swimming lanes if warm up only lasts 15mins!

The Girls Bus Jarvis discussing race strategy with Coach Dave Friday evening's programme consisted of 200m Individual Medley and 400m Freestyle. It wasn't long before NQT's, meet records, club records, medals, and an abundance of PBs were heading DARTES way. In what was to become a truly dominant age group, the 13 year boys set out on the 200m IM in fine style with Gold and Silver for Joe Litchfield (Spa) and Jarvis Parkinson (Arm). The Gold also earned Joe both Meet Record and a new club age-group record (taking it from his brother) sorry Max, but at least Joe's kept it in the family.

In the girls 400m Freestyle it was Bronze for both 11s and 13s; Laura Brookes (Edl) and Natasha Crow (SAS). Then the 13 year old boys struck once more. Gold to Jarvis, Silver to Alex Pollard (Arm). Jarvis not only getting his NQT but he also broke his first club record of the weekend. Not a good weekend for Max Litchfield (Spa), that's two of his old records smashed in as many events.

Session over it was time to head back to the hotel. A bunch of excited, noisy kids set to run rampage through a quiet hotel just before 10pm.
But it didn't happen.
Straight to their rooms in near silence.
Doors closed.
Lights out and swimmers sleeping - or close enough to make no difference.

A late start Saturday morning, with a relaxed 10am first race. In the boys 100m Backstroke it was back to business for the boys. A hat-trick of medals for the all-conquering 13 year olds. Joe Gold, Jarvis Silver and Alex Bronze.

Jarvis gained his first ever NQT in Backstroke and Joe setting another club age-group record. Up an age group was George Scatchard (Spa) earning his 2nd NQT and a Silver medal too. The boys were on fire yet again.

Heidi Smith (Arm) would later be voted swimmer of the meet in the girls bus, and she started Saturday with a Silver for 100m Breaststroke with an impressive 4sec PB, keep up the good work Heidi. The boys were next on the blocks for the 200m Breaststroke, so expect even more medals to flow. Joe Gold and the Breaststroke legend Alex claiming Bronze with a huge 10sec PB. Joe breaking yet another meet record and earning NQT number 6. In the same event Oliver Richardson (Edl) won Gold in the 15/16 age group, an impressive 7sec PB for "Rambo".

A little later, Mark Beech (Spa) completed the 100m Backstroke medal haul from earlier, snatching Bronze.

Then the 13 year old boys returned for round 3!

100m Freestyle and yet another hat-trick of medals. Jarvis Gold, Joe Silver and Alex Bronze. While Alex was dipping his toe under the minute for the first time, Jarvis smashed another club age-group record to remove Litchfield from yet another line in the record book. Max needs to start setting tougher targets!

Girls 100m Butterfly saw another Bronze for Natasha.

Then it was time for round 4 ...

200m Butterfly and more domination.
Joe Gold and Jarvis Silver.
Joe also lowered his own club record and the meet record. These guys were on fire this weekend and were already looking like taking the top 3 placings in the top swimmer awards - no one could touch them.

To end Saturday the girls had 200m Freestyle. A Silver for the newly aggressive Heidi, turning within 2sec of her 100m PB, just like she was asked for and earning herself a 3sec PB to boot. Tasha also grabbed a medal, Bronze her reward for an equally impressive 3sec PB.

Pizza Time! Next stop, Pizza hut!

We'd banned sweets and dodgy drinks for the weekend - probably a major contributor to such fast swimming. As consolation, Saturday night was pizza night. At which point we'd like to apologise to the waiter, we should have warned him earlier. When Joe asks for the largest pizza on the menu, and then starts debating with himself whether that'll be enough, you really should take him seriously and not tell him he can't possibly eat it all.

He's a swimmer!
He can most likely eat at least 2!
Most of the others probably can too, they were just a little shy.

Anyway, back to the action and Sunday morning. First medals for Dartes were Silver for Tasha and Bronze for Heidi to keep our 100m Backstroke tradition on track. The boys by now thought they could smash every meet record, get every NQT, and win every medal. The 100m Breaststroke was unlikely to faze them much. The Jarvis and Joe double act cleaned up once more with yet another meet record. Up an age group and Rambo backed up their performances with another Silver.

It speaks volumes for the standard of a meet when Laura Brookes (Edl) and Amber Hardy (Adw) are struggling to win medals. Laura managed a Bronze in the 200m Butterfly.

Event of the morning though was the 14 year girls 200m Breaststroke. Just before moving up an age group we enjoyed another aggressive performance by Heidi to win Gold in a 7sec best time. Not just Gold, she also put herself back in the club age-group record books. The very optimistic target was to see how close she could get to NQT (2:39). For that she would have to turn on a low 1:19 and hold on. A super attack in the first half saw her split 1:18.31 (a short course PB before this weekend) to put her in the game. Alas, the ultimate reward disappeared as she passed beneath the final flags, eventually touching in 2:43.40.

Nevertheless, a brilliant, stress-free, super relaxed, and fun performance. You could see Heidi's smile from the other end of the pool when she finished. That's what racing is all about. Leave the pressure cooker at home and have fun!

Did I say that was the event of the morning?
Well here's another contender, is this round 6 for the Silver Streakers?

If we tell you it's 200m Backstroke, you can guess the rest...

Joe Gold, Alex Silver, Jarvis Bronze.
Joe getting his 3rd meet record and Jarvis his 2nd Backstroke NQT. That leaves him just 1500m Freestyle short of the full set! Up an age group and "George Bush" brought home another Silver.

Heidi's final medal of the meet came in the 100m Freestyle. Another Gold and yes, another big smile from Heidi as she saw her time. Target was the magical minute barrier, and that target was smashed for the first time. The smiles made up for missing it by 0.01sec last time out and rounded out a brilliant weekend for her.

Time to go home Top Boy (we had the top 3!) Another record smashed in the 100m Butterfly. Joe demolished another big time Dartes record, this one belonging to James Male (Arm) set in 1999, on his way to another meet record and Gold. Jarvis of course, claimed Silver.

Towards the end of the meet, the team spirit came to the fore. When Mark Beech (Spa) stepped up for the 200m Backstroke, practically the entire team were behind the blocks to cheer him through. Order of the day was stroke rate, and with the encouragement Mark kept the arms spinning at a high rate of knots throughout the 8 lengths. It helped, he finished first by a considerable distance.

That was just the build up for the 200m Butterfly though. The big, painful events are always helped by a little support, and as everyone had to stay to the very end anyway, they may as well be cheering at the end of the lane. It helped Tasha to a Bronze and our other girls to keep fighting until the final stroke.

Fittingly, it was those boys bringing the meet to an end. 200m Freestyle saw yet another hat-trick for Jarvis, Joe, and Alex. A new meet record for Jarvis who has now improved on Max's 13 years 100m, 200m, and 400m Freestyle records. It also brought the Dartes tally of meet records to 6, just one behind hosts Middlesbrough who, thanks to London Olympian Aimee Wilmott, set 7! We even caught the last half hour of Aimee training on Friday evening. Or was that a sneaky warm up (told you 15mins wasn't enough) before swimming 400m IM against the Freestylers.

As a team we now have 51 NQT, the most on record, with 6 new ones being added this weekend!

We haven't even had time to mention Sunday's lunch time entertainment and unfortunately there are a lot of names without a mention, which is a shame for such an awesome weekend. We had quite a few attending their first chaperoned event too, we asked each to write a paragraph or two about their weekend away so hopefully we'll get those soon!

3 out of 5 ain't bad for Youth Nationals!

9 May: We weren't expecting confirmation quite so quickly, but earlier today we were sent the list of 40 teams who have qualified for Youth Nationals in each event. That'll be 4 heats on the day of 4x100m Freestyle, 4x200m Freestyle, and 4x100m Medley for boys and girls.

We had 5 strong chances of qualifying. The girls were entered in all 3 events, the boys just the pair of 4x100m. Records are a little bit fuzzy, but we don't think we've had more than a single team per year at Nationals since 1996, and we're pretty sure we haven't had 5 in total over all that time.

Caitlin, Jess and the girls team at Nationals in 2010 Sorry Jamie, we'll get you on a team photo soon Our wildest dreams didn't quite come true, we didn't get all 5. We did however get 3, and let's not forget this is only Youth Championships, Age-Group qualifying comes later!

So who can we look forward to watching in the summer?

Three quarters of the boys team that reached the final in 2009 are heading back for more. Max Litchfield (Spa), Richard Lee (Spa), and Elliot Trofimowicz (Spa) will be joined by Jamie Clarke (Arm) - we promise to get a team photo with Jamie in it soon. That adds Richard and Elliot to the National Squad.

The girls 4x200m Freestyle team from 2010 also heads back in that same event. You can even watch their 2010 performance on Dartes TV. Caitlin Dixon (Arm), Shannon Dodson (Adw), and Jessica Gillatt (SAS) are already in the National Squad, but they'll be joined by Heidi Smith (Arm) who qualified for 200m Backstroke in 2010. They are also 2nd reserve for the 4x100m Freestyle so have a slim chance of adding another event in that.

That makes 13 heading off to Nationals in one form or another, which is the same as 2009 and 2010. We might still be 1 or 2 short on individual qualifiers, but we have 2 extra teams, and the most events qualified for (45 compared to 43 in 2010), and we still have another month of qualifying left to go. Our age-groupers have a fast short course meet this weekend and two weekends of NER Championships left in which to add themselves to the list.

All to swim for then.
2012 National Squad ...

Guess Who, with a European Twist

9 May: Europe's governing body for swimming, the LEN, has a new website and it has a very definite South Yorkshire flavour about it.

The action photos are mostly the work of Sheffield's Simon Wright, the man behind GBSwimStars. As you'd expect, City of Sheffield feature quite prominently, but he's been kind enough to include a couple of the National Squad shots he took at Adwick way back in 2009.

This one takes pride of place as the big banner advert for Euro Juniors in July where Max Litchfield (Spa) will be competing, but a similar one also featured in a recruitment poster Simon kindly threw together for us. Your challenge: who is it launching from the blocks wearing a 2009 National Squad cap? Hint: he also featured on the British Swimming website design too, albeit a different photo.

He's not alone though. Check out the Open Water tab at the bottom of the page. That's another of our 2009 shots. We had to go searching through the back catalogue of photos Simon took that day to be certain she was one of ours, but one of ours she most certainly is (or was). In true 'Guess Who' fashion, we're not going to tell you who they are, you have to guess.

As always a big thank you to Simon for including our photos in his work. Hopefully we can get him down to Adwick again sometime for a refresh.

Big Drops on 2x800m

8 May: With a week to go before our trip to Middlesbrough, we put Phase 4 through another 2x800m challenge. We had some pretty big time drops and a shuffling of the overall rankings. The new squad record holder is Katie Pendlebury (Ros) after allowing Robert Kirk (Spa) to set the pace throughout and sneaking alongside in the final few metres. Not the honourable way to do it, but drafting behind someone does save energy in swimming in a similar way to cycling - just not quite as much. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see who breaks 10:30 first!

Drafting, slipstreaming, call it what you will, it's definitely easier swimming close behind someone than being out front setting the pace. Which is why everyone bunches up, and the less experienced swimmers in lane 1 overtake so frequently. When behind someone, getting a small drag off their slipstream, it's easy to keep up. In cycling they say slipstreaming saves around 20% of your energy, it's not quite that much in swimming, but it's still significant.

Imagine the extra effort involved in first of all overtaking, and then secondly staying in front.
It feels easy before you start.
Adrenaline will get you past.
But then what?
Suddenly you have to work 20% harder just to maintain your original pace. The result, more often than not, is whoever you overtook will soon go flying past you once again, and the entire cycle is set to repeat itself until one of you is too exhausted to try. So think before you overtake, and once you decide to go be determined to keep the pace up for a few more lengths and stay ahead. If you've tried on previous lengths and not been able to maintain it, probably best to stay put.

So who were the big movers this time. The obvious two are Eleanor Vodden (Min) and Matthew Jubb (Adw). Both jumping up in to the all-time top 8. It could well be the top lane for them next time. We had plenty of first-timers in the mix this time too. As ever, it's important for the newbies to understand how quickly their times will improve. What you did this time, is merely a starting point. Next time you could easily knock off 30sec to a full minute. Just have the confidence to attack it hard from the start and see what happens.

Pos Name Date 400m 800m 400m 800m Avg All Time
1 Katie Pendlebury 8 May 2012 4:59 10:30 5:10 10:47 10:38 1 (1)
13 Mar 2012 5:25 11:12 5:25 11:14 11:13
10 Jan 2012 5:37 11:39 5:45 11:57 11:48
13 Sep 2011 5:37 11:52 6:20 12:12 12:02
2 Robert Kirk 8 May 2012 5:03 10:33 5:13 10:51 10:42 2 (2)
13 Mar 2012 5:09 10:53 5:15 11:06 10:59
10 Jan 2012 5:15 10:55 5:26 11:14 11:04
6 Dec 2011 5:13 10:50 5:20 11:08 10:59
13 Sep 2011 5:23 11:19 5:46 12:06 11:42
3 Mathew Jubb 8 May 2012 5:27 11:03 5:30 11:40 11:21 5 (5)
10 Jan 2012 5:46 12:14 6:00 12:30 12:22
6 Dec 2011 5:58 12:28
13 Sep 2011 13:05 7:35 13:43 13:24
4 Eleanor Vodden 8 May 2012 5:22 11:16 11:33 11:24 7 (7)
6 Dec 2011 6:19 12:18 6:24 12:45 12:31
13 Sep 2011 8:37 13:42 14:04 13:53
5 Harry Butterworth 8 May 2012 5:37 11:28 5:25 11:24 11:26 8 (8)
13 Mar 2012 5:25 11:15 5:33 11:57 11:36
6 Dec 2011 5:55 12:52 5:26 11:36 12:14
13 Sep 2011 5:22 11:24 5:32 11:36 11:30
6 Amber Hardy 8 May 2012 5:35 11:30 5:28 11:28 11:29 9 (9)
13 Mar 2012 5:42 11:53 5:41 11:56 11:54
6 Dec 2011 5:31 11:40 5:39 11:54 11:47
13 Sep 2011 11:52 5:41 11:48 11:50
7 Laura Brookes 8 May 2012 5:25 11:27 5:31 11:32 11:29 10 (10)
10 Jan 2012 5:40 12:11 5:45 12:44 12:27
6 Dec 2011 6:26 11:47 6:33 12:02 11:54
13 Sep 2011 12:34 6:06 12:40 12:37
8 Rianna Hill 8 May 2012 5:33 11:42 11:59 11:50 13 (13)
 
9 Chloe Key 8 May 2012 5:40 11:52 5:44 12:11 12:01 15 (15)
13 Mar 2012 6:08 12:56 6:07 12:43 12:49
10 Jan 2012 6:28 13:05 6:48 14:28 13:46
6 Dec 2011 6:25 13:05 6:37 13:23 13:14
13 Sep 2011 7:29 14:02 7:29 14:00 14:01
10 Grace Litchfield 8 May 2012 5:38 11:55 5:50 12:09 12:02 16 (17)
13 Mar 2012 6:24 13:21 5:57 12:47 13:04
10 Jan 2012 6:10 12:52 6:10 12:57 12:54
13 Sep 2011 7:13 13:20 13:55 13:37
11 Rebecca Christmas 8 May 2012 6:07 12:02 12:09 12:05 21 (21)
13 Mar 2012 5:57 12:23 6:10 12:54 12:38
10 Jan 2012 6:18 13:15 6:09 13:12 13:13
12 Chantelle Waugh 8 May 2012 5:50 12:05 12:17 12:11 22 (22)
13 Mar 2012 5:53 12:09 6:45 14:01 13:05
6 Dec 2011 6:21 13:03
13 Sep 2011 7:24 13:21 14:04 13:42
13 Georgia Whetton 8 May 2012 5:49 12:20 12:03 12:11 23 (23)
13 Mar 2012 5:55 12:35 6:04 13:02 12:48
14 Molly Butterworth 8 May 2012 6:00 12:14 12:28 12:21 24 (24)
13 Mar 2012 5:55 12:36 5:52 12:42 12:39
10 Jan 2012 6:18 13:22 6:23 14:09 13:45
15 Lucy Clarke 8 May 2012 5:56 12:17 12:29 12:23 25 (25)
13 Mar 2012 6:02 12:31 6:13 13:11 12:51
10 Jan 2012 6:06 12:55 6:16 13:02 12:58
6 Dec 2011 6:11 12:50 6:10 12:46 12:48
13 Sep 2011 13:22 13:54 13:38
16 Joseph Gatus 8 May 2012 5:55 12:12 12:39 12:25 26 (26)
13 Mar 2012 6:16 13:18 6:28 13:44 13:31
10 Jan 2012 5:56 12:24 6:04 12:31 12:27
6 Dec 2011 6:17 12:54 6:21 12:40 12:47
13 Sep 2011 12:35 6:10 12:53 12:44
 
17 Thomas Wilson 8 May 2012 5:42 12:23 5:55 12:40 12:31 28 (28)
18 Lily Metcalfe 8 May 2012 6:15 12:01 6:21 13:39 12:50 31 (18)
13 Mar 2012 5:45 11:50 5:55 12:15 12:02
10 Jan 2012 5:53 12:25 6:00 12:05 12:15
13 Sep 2011 5:58 12:32 6:10 12:53 12:42
19 Olivia Drury 8 May 2012 5:55 12:39 6:06 13:02 12:50 31 (31)
6 Dec 2011 6:27 13:26 6:35 13:48 13:37
20 Iona Holdsworth 8 May 2012 6:02 12:54 6:39 12:48 12:51 32 (32)
13 Mar 2012 6:51 14:31 6:24 14:05 14:18
10 Jan 2012 6:16 13:09 6:02 12:38 12:53
21 Lauren Heywood 8 May 2012 6:12 13:09 6:07 12:47 12:58 33 (29)
13 Mar 2012 6:21 13:17 6:35 13:39 13:28
10 Jan 2012 6:12 12:52 6:15 12:55 12:53
6 Dec 2011 6:28 12:34 6:18 12:30 12:32
13 Sep 2011 13:15 13:00 13:07
22 Tilly Arrand 8 May 2012 6:08 12:57 6:26 13:18 13:07 34 (34)
23 Robbie Casson 8 May 2012 6:16 13:22 6:33 13:30 13:26 38 (38)
24 Taylor Hardy 8 May 2012 6:27 14:54 6:27 13:07 14:00 40 (40)
25 Lauren Jarvis 8 May 2012 5:50 12:20
13 Mar 2012 5:42 11:56 5:52 12:13 12:04
10 Jan 2012 6:10 12:57 6:12 12:59 12:58
6 Dec 2011 6:14 13:00 6:16 12:57 12:58
13 Sep 2011 7:30 13:29 13:22 13:25
Click on the name to expand previous results

More NQT and Double Team Champions at Senior/Youth NERs

6 May: Did anyone notice how quiet it was on Friday evening and Saturday morning at training?

For those of you who didn't notice it was NER weekend for our youth/senior athletes at Dartes. This event took place at the Sunderland Aquatics Centre and by all accounts our athletes were focused and up for some fast racing.

The ultimate Dartes machine Max Litchfield (Spa) added another NQT giving him a whopping 12 now in total. The guy is not only a lovely person and an outstanding role model to his peers, but a total legend to boot improving on 4 of his own club records on the way to a 4 Gold, 2 Silver medal haul out of his 6 events!

Also on fire this weekend was Caitlin Dixon (Arm), adding 3 more NQTs to her collection giving her 5 in total. Back in 2010, her first time on the National Squad, she qualified for just the 200m Butterfly; last year she switched to Freestyle and qualified for 200m and 800m; so this year is turning in to quite a leap forward for her.

The 4th member of the winning boys team Caitlin, Jess and the girls team at Nationals in 2010 This weekend she added the 100m Butterfly and both Medleys - with 2 out of the 3 Animal Squad events in her summer programme, the Crazy Cat certainly isn't one to take the easy route to Nationals. Her 200m IM was so fast it earned her a Gold (Youth) and a Silver (Senior) in the same event! And off the back of all that super fast racing she set 3 more Dartes Age-Group Records in her first event as a 15 year old!

The 15 year female 200m IM record had stood since 1995 and was owned by the girl at the top of the Dartes medal table. Emma Parker (Adw) held it after swimming a 2:34 at North Easterns last century; Caitlin's time this weekend was a whopping 10 seconds faster!

Wowwwwwwwwwwww, Caitlin you rock!

Jessica Gillatt (SAS) was another one of our athletes who had a great weekend of racing; Jess finalled in four of her events and along with Caitlin she too smashed Emma Parker's 200m IM record, slipping beneath it with a time of 2:31.83.

Between these two girls, Sophie Coy (Adw) finds half of her 15 year old records removed from the books too. Both her 50m and 100m Butterfly standards have been lowered. Jess shaved a mere 0.10sec off the 50m record, while Caitlin lowered the 100m time by over 1sec. Caitlin's other record came in the 400m IM along with another National Qualifying Time.

Other athletes who managed to final in some of their swims included Richard Lee (Spa) finishing in 10th place in both 50m and 100m Freestyle; and Heidi Smith (Arm) knocking big 2sec chuncks off 4 of her PBs, and an 8th place finish in the final of the 50m Freestyle.

The 3 veterans of National Team Campaigns The boys weren't exactly being quiet either. This weekend doubled up as National Team qualifying weekend for the Youths, and we had high hopes of qualifying more teams for the summer than we have in the previous 15 years combined (5 team spots were up for grabs). The girls team just missed out on a National final berth in 2010 while three quarters of the boys team reached the final the year before. How many could we get qualified for 2012?

It's something of a moving target, there is no set NQT for the teams. You simply have to be in the top so many in the country, and you only really get two opportunities to qualify: the Zonal Meet, and Regional Championships. The boys set themselves up brilliantly this weekend, winning Gold in both the 400m Medley team and the 400m Freestyle team. They have an excellent chance of qualifying for both - we'll have to wait and see what happened around the rest of the country. But well done to National Team veterans Max, Richard Lee (Spa) and Elliot Trofimowicz (Spa), and hopeful first timer on a National Team event Jamie Clarke (Arm).

The girls were up for 3 events, and while they didn't come home with the bling around the boys' necks, our veteran campaigners Heidi, Jess, Caitlin, and Shannon Dodson (Adw) may have just done enough to squeeze in on all 3 - keep your fingers crossed! A pretty good showing, considering 3 of the 4 have only just moved in to Youths, and the 4th will still be competing at Age-Group NERs later in the month!

Thanks as ever to our Head Coach Andy Wallace for taking the journey up to Sunderland and looking after the gang for the weekend, they did you proud!