On the hottest day of the year so far … that sounds familiar … Portland families travelled to Chesterfield to the (for once appropriately named) Summer Splash Open Meet. The flume-lined pool and giant poolside conservatory lent the venue an exotic look to complement the tropical climate for this end of 2012/2013 season competition.
The top 3 heat declared winners in each event and age group would receive medals. Anyone swimming faster than the upper cut-off time would be presented with a Speeding Certificate.
Highlights of the weekend in running order:
Ryan Pigott, who competed under the Portland banner for the weekend, set a Personal Best in the 400M FREESTYLE during the morning’s SESSION 1 and was pleased to see more of the Portland team arrive for SESSION 2 after lunch.
In sauna conditions, Dizzy Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’, played during the warm-up, encapsulated just how everyone felt – giddy from heat and going slightly mad: people appeared to be walking on the roof, but were just reflections from solar panels; parents were stealing each other’s water bottles; one of the coaches seemed to think he was on ‘One Man and His Dog’, the way he whistled at his swimmers at the start of SESSION 2.
The swimmers, however, were not fazed: Emma Horne and Jade Kennerell (who won 2nd place medal) set new fastest times in 200M BREASTSTROKE, so too did Ryan in the 200M IM. Lizzie Mulligan got PBs in the 100M BACKSTROKE and in the 200M FREESTYLE.
The Mulligan sisters made a fantastic start to the second day’s SESSION 3 with PBs in the 400M FREESTYLE – Alice by 20 seconds and Lizzie by almost 16 seconds.
In the 200M BACKSTROKE Andrew Tsolakis achieved a PB and County Time (CONGRATULATIONS!) and Stan Toplass set a great new time, clinching 3rd place medal in the process.
Holly McGarva got a PB in the 100M BREASTSTROKE and finished 3rd, Jade came 2nd. Anthony Tsolakis set a new PB in the 50M FREESTYLE.
SESSION 4: Andrew kicked off the afternoon with a good 200M BREASTSTROKE swim, cheered on by the biggest, loudest bunch of lane end supporters. Mikey Pawluk followed with a fantastic 1st place and PB to boot; Ryan also PB’d.
Holly, Rebecca Horne and Emma all beat previous times in the 200M IM.
Stan, Anthony, Archie Symes, Mikey and Ryan all went faster than ever before in the 100M BACKSTROKE. Rebecca, Lizzie and Jade achieved PBs in the 100M FREESTYLE.
Archie knocked almost 7 seconds off his 50M BUTTERFLY time and was duly rewarded with a 3rd.
In their 50M BREASTSTROKE heats, Rebecca, Holly and Emma were drawn in Lanes 6, 6, 6 – a bad omen? Nonsense! Rebecca and Holly came away with 3rd and 2nd respectively.
In the last event of the day, the 200M FREESTYLE, Archie seemingly wanted to set as many PBs as possible in one race and he did. He now has new fastest times at 50m, 100m and 200m.
Well done to all the swimmers – for managing turns despite the illusory effect of the scary 3.8m deep diving-board end and for coping with the dreaded Lanes 1 and 6, with tiles angled perfectly for tidal splashback. Everyone got a PB – Archie and Lizzie in ALL their races!
Finally, a ginormous THANK-YOU to Jo for looking after the swimmers on both days, encouraging them all the way to the heat-exhausting end.