News April 2017
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
Olympians visit Edlington
29 Apr 2017: It's not every day that a young swimmer gets to share a pool with an Olympian. Today, Dartes' Junior Development Squads enjoyed just that during a special training session at Edlington Sports Centre. Thanks to our special relationship with City of Sheffield, their Head Coach Russ Barber popped over to deliver a Butterfly stroke clinic. Tagging along to perform the demonstrations were former Dartes champs: The Litchfield brothers.
Both Max Litchfield (Spa) and Joe Litchfield (Spa) now train in City of Sheffield's top senior squad under the coaching eye of Russ. For those with short memories, Max helped the British junior team win Gold at World Junior Championships the month before leaving Dartes for university in Sheffield; Joe won European junior Gold at 200m IM last year, before he too left for university in Sheffield. Max finished 4th in the 400m IM final in Rio; Joe hopes to beat his brother at the same event in Tokyo 2020.
Those two athletes were expected this lunch time.
They weren't alone though.
Accompanying them was their Sheffield training partner, and Max's fellow Olympian, Richard Nagy of Slovakia. Another 400m IM swimmer, Richard won the Silver at last year's European Championships. How many swimming pools can lay claim to a visit from three of the best big medley swimmers in the World? Two current Olympians and a genuine future Olympic hopeful!
So what did they all get up to?
It was intended to be just 90mins. A huge thank you to the DCLT staff who didn't blink an eye allowing the clinic to run over - by more than half an hour! Extra time for the race of superstars, plus obligatory autographing of anything that was available.
JDS were treated to a series of drills to help improve their Butterfly. Each was demonstrated by Joe and Richard, while Russ and Max gave instructions from poolside (eventually Max got in too, to help demonstrate turns - see photo left). Dartes' young athletes performed well, listened intently, and gave a good account of themselves in the pool. There may well be one or two setting off in the footsteps, or splashes, of their former team mates.
Coaches from Doncaster's clubs were invited along too. It was good to see familiar faces from home club Edlington, plus Adwick, Armthorpe, Spa Askern and Thorne Tigers (apologies if anyone is missed). Fittingly, former Dartes Head Coach Mick Gartside was among those watching poolside. He was both Dartes coach and Spa coach when Max and Joe arrived at Dartes all those many years ago. A reminder of just how many individuals influence the career and development of an Olympic athlete.
In addition, a small contingent from Phase 4 came along to observe too. Hopefully they, and our JDS stars of the future, all took on board a few of the lessons: hips up on Butterfly; knees up quick on a touch turn; and of course, get good at underwater Fly kick like Joe, and you can beat two Olympians at a 25m sprint!
Many thanks to our guests for a fantastic lunch time by the pool.
Josh Selected for Euro Juniors
26 Apr 2017: British Swimming announced on Wednesday their teams for European Junior and World Junior Swimming Championships in the summer. Selection was based on performances at last week's British Championships, and emphasise the need to step up and race when it counts. The higher end of the domestic sport has also been adjusted in recent years to focus swimmers on producing their best performance on-demand. Fewer opportunities to qualify for National events mean added pressure to perform at the right time, which is a firm objective for British Swimming heading towards Tokyo in 2020.
Since 2012, Dartes has built a solid reputation for placing boys on international junior teams, and this week's announcement continues that. Max Litchfield (Spa) paved the way between 2012 and 2013; followed by his brother Joe Litchfield (Spa) and Jarvis Parkinson (Arm) through 2014 and 2015. The following year Simon Kliment (Arm) took over the reigns with Slovakia. This week, the next in line was named as part of the British team travelling to Israel for European Juniors.
Congratulations: Josh Reasbeck (Edl). Likely to be competing at 200m Butterfly (yet to be confirmed), Josh continues an unbroken 5 year run of Dartes junior internationals.
The team for Netanya in Israel is 37 strong and contains two boys based in Yorkshire (congrats also to Harry Devlin at York City). Although he hasn't been named on the initial list to travel to Indianapolis for the World Juniors a month later, there is scope for Josh to gain late selection if his performance in Israel merits it.
All of this from a boy who is still to win his first Yorkshire Gold medal!
Dolphin Kick Test Set
24 Apr 2017: We gave Phase 4 a break from test sets for a few months. There are a lot of them, and the demands were starting to show. So we last saw the Fly kick test in January, it would be interesting to see what improvements have been made over nearly 4 months. Happily the vast majority managed to move things on, and many of the weaker kickers are now recording strong times. Samuel Honeybone (Arm) managed to squeeze beneath 20secs for the first time; his previous attempt saw a best of 24sec. Unfortunately his spread was also larger than everyone else which held him back in the table. Consistency is the name of the game through these 8x25 sprints!
New boy Alexander Francis (Adw) showed off his kicking ability - straight in at 12th fastest on the day. Up at the top of the table Casey Waugh (Arm) probably suffered from a lack of competition from her usual kick partner (Hannah having moved to Phase 5). Next time we'll have to put her and 2nd placed Blaine Underwood (Adw) head to head to generate some fireworks!
We now have a bunch at the top hovering around the 16sec mark. The top 5 are probably all capable of doing so, but they seem to like putting in a few slow ones too. Training sets are where the consistent high tempo needs to be developed, then these tests will reflect the quality of that work.
All to fight for before next time!
|1||Casey Waugh||24 Apr 2017||8||17.40||16.70||18.00||1.30|
|2||Blaine Underwood||24 Apr 2017||8||17.62||16.50||18.30||1.80|
|3||Daniel Bailey||24 Apr 2017||8||17.90||17.50||18.30||0.80|
|4||Marise Garbutt||24 Apr 2017||8||18.00||17.00||18.80||1.80|
|5||Isabelle Clark||24 Apr 2017||8||18.20||17.40||18.80||1.40|
|6||Katie Stringer||24 Apr 2017||8||18.60||18.20||18.90||0.70|
|7||Madison Johnson||24 Apr 2017||8||18.63||18.30||18.90||0.60|
|8||Mckenzie Jackson||24 Apr 2017||8||18.67||18.20||19.60||1.40|
|9||Lois Fillingham||24 Apr 2017||8||19.07||18.60||20.00||1.40|
|10||Georgia Phelan||24 Apr 2017||8||19.10||18.20||20.10||1.90|
|11||Leah Marshall||24 Apr 2017||8||19.51||19.20||19.80||0.60|
|12||Alexander Francis||24 Apr 2017||8||20.12||19.50||21.30||1.80|
|13||Cohen Stephenson||24 Apr 2017||8||20.62||19.70||21.30||1.60|
|14||William Slater||24 Apr 2017||8||20.70||20.10||21.20||1.10|
|15||Grace Newsam||24 Apr 2017||8||20.95||19.40||21.90||2.50|
|16||Alicia Cole||24 Apr 2017||8||21.45||20.60||22.30||1.70|
|17||Andrew Garbutt||24 Apr 2017||8||21.72||21.00||22.70||1.70|
|18||Daisy Guttridge||24 Apr 2017||8||21.75||21.00||22.20||1.20|
|19||Samuel Honeybone||24 Apr 2017||8||21.93||19.90||22.70||2.80|
|20||Cerys Thomas||24 Apr 2017||8||23.73||22.80||24.30||1.50|
|21||Scarlett Laver||24 Apr 2017||8||25.27||23.90||26.40||2.50|