Over 7 days, from Friday 22nd through to Thursday 28th July Winsford Swim Team travelled to Sheffield to race in the largest swimming event of the summer season. The British Summer National Championships are only for those swimmers who gained a ranking swim of top 24 in Great Britain, or top 18 for the 800 and 1500 Free events.
Winsford have had our largest number of swimmers competing at the British Summer Nationals for 2022 and the highest number of events all spanning over 6 out of the 7 days of competition, so it was sure to be a busy week for us all. All swimmers however were in very determined mood to compete at the very highest level against the best swimmers from the United Kingdom.
On Day 1 We had Adam Wright and Lewis Turner competing in the male 1500 Freestyle, both of which in the 16 years age category. Before I go onto to talk about how both our lads did, I would like to say how fantastic it is to see Winsford Swim Team have two swimmers qualify as one of the top 18 swimmers in the British Isles, that in itself is an amazing achievement.
For both of Adam and Lewis this was their first taste of any summer nationals, due to the last two years of nationals cancelled due to Covid. Both were in very determined mood to do their very best over the longest event in the pool. Up first was Adam Wright in heat 3, Adam went off fast and tried to maintain his speed for the 30 lengths, Adam continued working hard and touched home on PB pace with a time of 17:17.15 and improving on his ranking going into the event. Adam overall came 16th in Great Britain, well done young man a great effort.
In the following heat Lewis was racing, Lewis paced his swim in a progressive way, getting faster as the race developed. Lewis as always gave a fantastic showing, picking off swimmers as the raced developed. Lewis like Adam improved on his ranking, achieving a new Life time best swim of 17:01.62 and good enough to rank him 12th in Great Britain, well done Lewis. I am sure both Adam and Lewis will be gunning next season for sub 17 minutes.
A great start to our national championships for our team. We now look forward to tomorrow where Amy Kenworthy will be going in the 400 Individual Medley.
On Day 2 It was the turn of Amy Kenworthy, our middle and long distance queen, to be honest she is pretty good at the sprints also, so she is a bit of an allrounder. Her first event was the female 400 IM and with her just squeezing into one of the qualification positions (ranked 23rd) she had nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain. Amy as always is a happy go lucky character, but equally when she gets in the zone she more often than not performs and she certainly did that. Amy had a terrific heat swim, pacing each stroke superbly well and winning her heat in a time of 5:08.15 which was a life time best swim by 6 seconds. The race was so good that it qualified Amy for the British final, going into the final ranked 6th. Needless to say Amy was absolutely buzzing for the result she gained and even more determined for the final later that evening.
Into the final Amy was ultra focused, well after she had a little dance as she was walking up to the starting block. Yes Amy is a character where a dance before the biggest final of her life is the way to go! And so she stood behind the block and stared down the pool, and boom she she was on her way. Amy like in the heat had an outstanding swim, plus a little bit more. After a very exciting 400 metres Amy touched home in 8th place in Great Britain, and in a new life time best of 5:06.85, a fantastic swim, and a great way to finish day 2, Well done Amy.
Now that day 2 is done and dusted, we look forward to tomorrow where Amy will be returning for the girls 800 Free and we will be welcoming Lois Inch to race in the girls 200 Breastroke.
On Day 3 We again had Amy competing in the 800 Freestyle and then later we had Lois Inch making her debut at the British Summer Nationals. Amy was up first in the 800 Freestyle and after her superb performance the day earlier she was in confident mood to go again in the second longest event which is competed in the pool.
Amy as always had a relaxed first 100, before she started to turn the screw, progressively getting quicker and quicker as the race developed. Amy had a tremendous battle with the other competitors in her heat coming home 3rd and touching the pad in another new life time best swim of 9:22.59 smashing her previous best by 4 seconds. Amy also improved her ranking from 14th to 9th, so Amy is again ranked in the top 10 in Great Britain for both the 800 Free, and the 400 IM she raced yesterday. Well done Amy.
Next up in the afternoon was Lois Inch who was racing in her favourite event of the 200 Breastroke. Lois was racing in the fastest final heat of the event. Lois started off very brightly and raced with very good determination, coming home jut shy of her PB but still one of the fastest swims she has ever done. Lois after completing her heat qualified 5th going into the final which was to be swum later that evening.
Into the final and Lois was very excited to swim her best, Lois had a solid swim which was enough for 9th. 9th place in a British final is a phenomenal achievement whichever way we look at it. I am positive there is more to come in the future and Lois will be chomping at the bit to get on the podium next season. But of course we also have Thursday to look forward to where she will be racing in the 100 Breastroke. Well Done Lois on being one of the best in Britain over 200 Breastroke.
Now that day 3 is over, we are again racing tomorrow where we will welcome Lewis Turner for his second event of the championships, the 400 IM.
On Day 4 Lewis returned to Ponds Forge International sports centre to race in the 400 Individual Medley, Lewis was going in heat 5 and was looking to swim faster than he did in Swansea before the GCSE exams. Lewis dived in and had a decent fly leg putting him in a good position, unfortunately we couldn’t quite maintain our speed into the backstroke but Lewis continued to battle hard, finishing off well in his favoured stroke of the Freestyle. Lewis touched home slightly slower than his time he achieved in Swansea but still a good effort and his time was good enough for 21st place. I am sure Lewis will want to be finishing off his British summer nationals off with a bang when he goes in the 800 Freestyle on day 6.
On Day 5 We didn’t have anyone racing, so we now look forward day 6 where both Lewis and Amy will be competing.
On Day 6 We had two swimmers racing for Winsford, first up was Lewis Turner who was racing 800 Freestyle, which was his third race of the meet. Lewis definitely doesn’t do things by halves, competing over the longest events in the schedule. Lewis as always gave his very best, throughout his swim he was up on previous best splits and after a very gutsy swim he touched home in a new life time best of 8:57.05 and improving on his ranking considerably, placing Lewis 11th in Great Britain. Well done mate, I am sure next year you will be gunning for the finals and top 10 placings.
Next to race was Amy Kenworthy who like Lewis was returning for her third event of the meet and was also continuously racing over the longest events in the pool programme. Amy this time was racing in the 400 Freestyle, and as always was ultra competitive in the race giving her very, very best each length. Amy after swimming 8 strong lengths touched the pad in another new life time best of 4:33.60 which was 2 seconds faster than her previous best. The race also placed Amy considerably higher up the rankings, to 12th place in Great Britain, narrowly missing out on a final placing, but none the less a fantastic swim, and a fantastic British Nationals for Amy with a 100% PB Rate. No doubt Amy will be looking forward to the English Nationals in just over a weeks time.
On Day 7 And the very last day Lois Inch was competing in the shorter Breastroke event on the 100m. Lois after her final in the 200 Breastroke was eager to swim well in her second favourite event and try and finish off her season with a good showing. Lois started off steadily but grew into the race, finishing off the last length with a real good tempo and super speed. Lois touched in just over a second shy off her PB but all the same a good swim, coming in 19th place overall. Lois has had a fantastic season and I know she will come back for the new season with even more desire to push on for a podium finish which she is very clearly capable of. Well Done Lois and enjoy your holiday.
Well Done and Congratulations to Adam Wright, Lewis Turner, Amy Kenworthy and Lois Inch who all competed to a super high standard in Ponds Forge, Sheffield. All our swimmers did fantastically well, racing against the very best swimmers in the United Kingdom. For us this year as mentioned earlier this was one of our largest contingents ever, competing over the highest number of events (9 in total) and I thought everyone raced with great determination. It was a wonderful week for our swimmers and our club and everyone should be very proud with what was achieved. Remember only the top 1% of swimmers in Great Britain for each age group qualify for the British Summer Nationals and for that alone all our swimmers deserve one massive pat on the back!
Before I finish off this report I would also like to congratulate Giorgio Oxby who was representing SM but is a dual member of Winsford SwimTeam, Giorgio had some fantastic swims making life time bests on all his events. Giorgio is one of the kindest and most respectful swimmers I have ever had the pleasure to work with, well done in Sheffield Giorgio, keep it up the good work.
We now look forward to the English Summer National Championships which begin in a weeks time, Where I am sure all will be chomping at the bit to dive off those blocks in Sheffield and finish the season off in style. We also look forward to the Open Water Nationals at the Thryberg National Park.
English Summer National Competitors and Events
Jack Wheeler (14): 50 Butterfly.
Adam Wright (16): 400 Freestyle, 800 Freestyle.
Lewis Turner (16): 400 Freestyle.
Tom Kud (17): 200 Butterfly.
Ethan Wright (18+): 200 Butterfly, 400 Individual Medley.
Megan Rickels (14): 400 Freestyle, 1500 Freestyle.
Alissa Clarke (15): 200 Butterfly.
Carys Roberts (16): 50 Freestyle.
Amy Kenworthy (16): 200 Butterfly, 200 Individual Medley.
Sophie Grindley (17+): 200 Butterfly, 1500 Freestyle.
Open Water National Competitors
Everybody at Winsford Swim Team wishes all our National swimmers the very best of luck.
See you at the pool.