It was all change for this year’s Counties – the Championships started and finished a month earlier; the `swimmer’s age at’ date moved to the end of the year; there was a new rule that only entry times recorded at licensed meets would be accepted;
the £16 million redevelopment that is Harvey Hadden Sports Village with its 50m pool became the main venue; and, if we’re talking about change, most changeable thing of all was the weather – snow, rain and sunshine – we had it!
The first and third weekends of competition were held at the brand new Olympic-length pool, but the second was at Water Meadows, Mansfield.
Ever constant, however, was the quiet determination and great effort of the Portland swimmers.
Here’s a round-up:
First weekend – 16th & 17th January – Harvey Hadden
Gaby and Beatrice thrived in the sparkly new Harvey Hadden surroundings, setting fantastic new Personal Best times that should also be County Times for the 2017 Championships (Notts ASA will issue qualifying times later in the year): Gaby in the 200m backstroke, 100m & 200m freestyle events; Beatrice in 100m freestyle, in which she finished 9th in age group. Excellent!
Dahlia and Rebecca swam competitively in a strong field in both the 100m and 200m freestyle, demonstrating their terrific front crawl style.
Second weekend – 6th & 7th February – Water Meadows
The middle weekend Mansfield mash-up comprised 100m IM and a trio of 50m events for Portland swimmers, producing numerous PBs and a collection of County Times, and ended with exciting relays.
Rebecca achieved a PB and Gaby and Dahlia were close to theirs in the 100m IM; all 3 times should count for the 2017 Champs.
After a short rest, Gaby and Rebecca were in action again, joined by Beatrice to race 50m backstroke. A fantastic new PB and 9th place for Bea and, again, County Times for all three. Well done girls!
In the afternoon, Emma and Esther joined the team to compete in the 50m breaststroke. Good swims by both. Esther attained what should be confirmed as a County Time.
The last event of the day brought forth powerful 50m butterfly swims from Gaby, Beatrice, Esther and Dahlia, all at County qualifying level! Gaby not only finished 6th fastest in the heats to reach her age group Final, but she set a fabulous new PB, which is a confirmed MIDLAND TIME! Absolutely brilliant, Gaby!
After 8 hours in the stifling atmosphere of the Mansfield Hynd & Henshaw Competition Pool, 3 hours on from the heats, Gaby managed to pull another PB out of the bag to finish 6th in the 50m fly Final. Amazing!
Sunday Fun Day was an occasion of crowds, heat and, above all, noise emanating from muscle-slapping swimmers, inflatable-thunder-stick-bashing parents and cheering by all for the magnificent relay events.
26 swimmers competed for Portland in Freestyle and Medley relays against some of the best swimmers in Nottinghamshire. They were courageous and great representatives of Nottingham Portland Swimming Club.
Mixed 11/12 years 200m freestyle – Raj, Ruby, Mai & Dylan
Girls 11/12 years 200m medley – Ava, Angelina G, Dominique & Alice
Mixed 11/12 years 200m medley – Dylan, Raj, Dominique & Ruby
Girls 11/12 years 200m freestyle – Angelina G, Mai, Ava & Alice
Mixed 13/14 years 200m freestyle – Dan, Gaby, Briony & Stanley
Girls 13/14 years 200m medley – Emma W, Bethan, Gaby & Maddie
Mixed 13/14 years 200m medley – Emma W, Briony, Stanley & Dan
Girls 13/14 years 200m freestyle – Emma W, Bethan, Maddie & Gaby
Mixed 15/16 years 200m freestyle & medley – Edward, Esther, Angelina D & William
Girls 15/16 years 200m freestyle – Esther, Angelina D, Lucy & Chloe
Mixed 17/Over 200m freestyle & medley – Matt, Emma H, Rebecca & Jonny
Well done to those swimmers who achieved PBs on the first leg of relays:
50m Freestyle – Dan, Edward (would have been a County Time if split times were allowed!), Matt & Angelina G.
50m Backstroke – Dylan & Emma W.
Thanks to those swimmers who fought off illness and injury, gave up or postponed treats and events with family and friends and travelled long distances on the day (non-stop London to Mansfield!) to ensure their team could swim. The Portland swimmers did themselves, their parents and their coaches proud. THANK YOU!
Third weekend – 14th February – Harvey Hadden
Back in the 8 lane pool, Bea, Gaby, Esther and Rebecca gave a Valentine treat of fabulous performances on the final day of Counties.
First up, Bea with a mighty swim to knock 3 seconds off her 100m backstroke time, securing a place in the Final and a County Time for next year’s championships.
Then, the always ultra-exciting last individual event of the competition, the 50m freestyle.
Gaby swam nearly 2 seconds under her previous best to reach the Final and qualify for the MIDLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS!
Bea also set a fantastic new PB to join her team-mate in the Final and compete at the MIDLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS in May!
Esther PB’d, breaking the 30 second barrier, so surely has a 2017 County Time.
Rebecca too swam a great time that should meet next year’s County Qualifying Times.
Bea finished 7th in the 100m backstroke and 6th in 50m freestyle. Tremendous!
Gaby finished 8th place in 50m freestyle. Great!
Magnificent swimming girls – congratulations!
HUGE THANK-YOUs to
Head Coach Dan for the advice, support and time you gave to all the swimmers over the five (and some very long!) days of competition.
Coach Matt and Master Swimmer Jonny for racing in the relays and showing our younger swimmers what they can aspire to!
Parents for encouraging and supporting your children and helping the Club.
Above all, Portland Swimmers for the bravery you showed as individuals and your generosity of spirit to your team-mates. You are amazing!