Tigersharks swimmers ventured to Cardiff for the City of Cardiff International Open meet on the weekend of 7thand 8th of November. This meet offered some high level competition for the swimmers as they put themselves up against some of the top Welsh swimmers. With the regional qualification period opening on 1 October this was the first real chance for the team to see where they measure up against the new qualifying times for 2016. Training up to this meet has been hard but going well as we look to build the fitness of the swimmers through the winter months and the team of over 20 swimmers approached this meet with high hopes of success and didn’t disappoint.
There were so many fantastic performances that it’s difficult to mention them all in detail but like the swimmers at the weekend, we will do our best………
Charlie Griffiths turned 9 over the weekend allowing him to compete in his first open meet having previously only been able to compete at Club championships. Despite being the youngest swimmer in the entire competition and with another year in his age group, Charlie set about his task with great enthusiasm recording 4 PB’s, getting some great experience and winning a silver and a bronze medal over the weekend.
Andrew Smith was dominant in his age group winning 7 gold and 2 silver medals whilst recording new PB’s that not only saw him achieve a regional qualifying time but put himself into the top 10 in the national rankings on his Freestyle and Fly events. Marshall Fitchett also notched up some big performances dropping 13 seconds on his 400m FC as he experimented with a new race pacing strategy to great effect. He also recorded big PB’s in 7 other events as he excelled himself time after time over the weekend.
Leia Griffiths is going from strength to strength as she also put herself amongst the medals with 9 PB’s over the weekend in some strong racing she won 2 bronze medals in the 200m BR and FC making great inroads on both events and putting herself high up in the South West rankings.
Team captain Becky Cook displayed a great turn of pace in hitting new PB’s in both short breaststroke events and was just outside her PB in the 200m chalking up medals in all 3 breaststroke disciplines with a silver and 2 bronzes.
Gabriella Doughty continued her good progress with some strong swims in her favoured shorter events recording 3 PB’s and 4 regional qualification times. Her 100m FC time took her to number 3 in the South West and despite just missing a PB in the 100m backstroke she still won the event from the bottom of the age group.
Grace Osman clocked her first ever actual regional qualifying time with a fantastic swim in the 100m Fly winning a bronze medal, she added to this with another bronze in the 200m event.
Harvie Greenwood reaped the dividends of his hard work taking a well-earned bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke. He made further progress in his other events with another 5 PB’s over the weekend.
Sophie Walker is really beginning to come of age and her recent progress has been joy to watch. Being right at the bottom of her age group didn’t put her off as she put in some really determined performances, particularly the 100m back and the 200m Freestyle. Sophie is really rounding into shape and is in a good position to make her presence felt at the county championships in January.
Laura Edwards also had a strong weekend recording multiple PB’s across many races including the full range of freestyle events from 50 – 400m.
Sam Dubarry recorded 6 new PB’s over the weekend and Amy Jackson also made big steps forward with 5 new PB’s.
Poppy Turner added 4 new PB’s to her count with Lauren Curtis, Matilda Hart, Ryan Lawrence, Alex Reeves, Lisa Cowley, Jasmin Poole and Abi Cook all adding to their lifetime or seasons best times.
The meet was probably one of the clubs most successful in recent years. A huge effort from the swimmers saw the swimmers winning races, recording best times and getting right up there amongst the medals. Add to that a new club kit and the team really did make a great impression on the meet as a whole.
Also donning their new club kit was another group of Tigersharks who were at the Link Centre taking part in the Wroughton sprint meet. As with the swimmers in Cardiff the recent hard work in the training pool really paid off. Emily Preedy was in fine form making huge improvements in all 5 events showing great determination. She was joined by Harriet Hillman, our top biathlete, who also put in personal best performances on every event winning 4 gold and 1 bronze medals. Other gold medallists included Shaun Cornford, Lavinia Morsani- Jones, Isabella Thomson, Mia Smith, Alfie Smithson and Tom Dubarry. Many of the swimmers also won medals or set best times which is hugely encouraging at this time of year.
This was an outstanding weekend for Tigersharks, the club has taken another huge step forward with these sets of results. The swimmers move on to our own open meet at the end of November where we look to tidy up those times still required for county qualification and lay down some more regional qualification times before the new year and the Wiltshire county championships.