Winter National Championships 2021 - REPORT

Over three days of 3rd, 4th and 5th December, Winsford Swim Team had Amy Kenworthy, Lois Inch, Lewis Turner, Tom Kud, and Ethan Jones travel to Sheffield, Ponds Forge to race in the biggest short course meet of the season, the Swim England Winter National Championships 2021.
The meet was of an extremely high standard with swimmers coming from all over England, to race and compete over all events in the short course format. For Winsford this year we have had our highest number of qualifiers to date, and all were in very determined mood to swim their absolute best.
Day 1
On Day 1 we had Lois, Tom and Amy in action over four events. First up was our youngest qualifier Lois Inch in the girls 100 Breastroke. Lois as most will know loves a breastroke swim, and so she was absolutely loving the opportunity to be one of the very first swimmers in the whole meet to go racing. Lois in a nut shell had a phenomenal swim, looking strong through the race with a blistering last 25m. Lois after 4 superb length touched home in 1:14.28 in a new PB, and enough to place her 40th in the 16 under age category and counting for all the 14 years, Lois was in 8th place. A great swim and a huge improvement on her ranking going into the meet.
Next up was Tom Kud who was racing the male 100m Butterfly. Tom was keen to improve on his superb sub minute swim at Stockport Metro Meet just two weeks previous. Tom after 4 very strong lengths touched the pad in a time of 59.32, another sub minute swim in little under two weeks. Tom was very pleased with his swim, but we both know there is an easy 58 seconds if we can spot the turns. But what a great swim for Toms first ever National Championships.
Third up was Amy Kenworthy, Amy has just recently joined us from Belgium, but since joining us she has settled in so well to our program and our team. Amy is an allrounder with a particular liking for the distance Freestyle events. So for Amy her first race was the girls 800 Freestyle, which for the Winter Nationals is the longest pool event the girls will swim over. Amy as always battled extremely hard, always having the saying of “I like chasing people”, and she certainly does. Not only chasing but then over taking. Amy had a superb swim, after 32 lengths coming home in the time of 9:16.25, just 0.6 shy off her life time best swim which was only achieved a couple of weeks ago. 
The final event of the day for Winsford Swim Team was in the boys 100 Individual Medley, for which we had Tom Kud racing. Tom after his brilliant 100 Butterfly was looking to swim fast over the shortest medley event in the program. Tom had four solid lengths, with which his last length the freestyle leg being his strongest in my opinion, coming home with real energy. Tom touched the pad in a new PB of 1:02.68, and again improving on his ranking going into the meet. In fact every single one of our swims on day 1 from all swimmers improved on their ranking, and all swims were either PBs or on PB pace (within 10ths of a second). This is fantastic because for all our swimmers they only achieved these times over the last couple of weeks.
Day 1 was a great start to the Swim England Winter National Championships. We now look forward to Day 2, where we will have Ethan Jones, Tom Kud, Amy Kenworthy and Lewis Turner competing.
Day 2
On Day 2 we begun with Ethan Jones taking to the water, in the male 50 Backstroke. Ethan Jones in my opinion has been the greatest male backstroker Winsford Swim Team has ever produced, having over a decade of phenomenal races for our club. Ethan was looking to swim fast in his favoured event and possibly have one last swan song on the national stage, before he goes onto pastures new in the Royal Air Force. Ethan of course did not disappoint Swimming his second fastest time ever, and his fastest time over the last 2 years, and only 2 100ths shy of his life time best. A superb swim and a joy to watch Ethan with his super underwater skill and backstroke technique. Any budding backstrokers just watch Ethan Jones.
Next to go was Tom Kud in his favoured event of the 200 Butterfly, After his superb day 1 swims, Tom was again looking to give it some welly in his last event of the winter Nationals. Tom had his best swim of the championship touching in on 2:12.12, a new PB by over 2 seconds. Tom paced the race superbly well, executing good fly technique throughout the swim. His swim brought him home 28th out of 73 competitors, improving his ranking considerably. Tom is continuing our history of producing top butterfly swimmers, well done mate.
Third to take to the waters was Amy returning for the 400 Freestyle event. Amy again had a super race, one thing you get with Amy everyday of the week and twice on a Sunday is sheer guts and determination, and she showed that again over the 400 distance. Amy battled hard and came home in 4:33.33, ranking her 23rd in England for her 15 years old age group. A fantastic first nationals for Amy Kenworthy, I really can’t wait to see you race over the 1500 Freestyle, you will do amazing over that event, and I am not even kidding.
Finally, it was time for Lewis Turner to take to the stage for the longest event of the program the male 1500 Freestyle. Lewis over the last 6 months has improved tremendously over all strokes and distances, he is a true allrounder. Lewis swam his very best on the day coming in on a time just shy of his PB, however with him being 15 years old, he will I am absolutely positive come again next year, over lots of different events. This experience he and all our swimmers have gained is gold dust, all experiences are so important, we are always learning and striving to improve, and I know Lewis will certainly be even hungrier for the meets and championships to follow in 2022.
Day 3
On Day 3, we had just Lois Inch racing in her favourite event of the girls 200 Breastroke. After her super strong race in the 100m distance Lois was looking to bring her talents to the middle distance event. Lois as always was in very determined mood, and was eager to win her heat for the second time. Lois began the race in control and built up her speed phenomenally well through each 50m, Lois went form strength to strength winning her heat for the second time and touching the pad in a huge new PB of 2:36.94. This time improved Lois’s ranking considerably, narrowly missing out on the final by just two places, and placing her 16th overall for the 16 under age group and a top 3 placing out of all the 14 year old girls, technically and tactically it was a superb race from Lois.. A fantastic way to end the Swim England Winter National Championships not only for Lois but for the meet as a whole for Winsford Swim Team.
Well Done to all our Winter National Qualifiers 2021, every single one of our swimmers performed to a very high standard in Sheffield. This was very pleasing because sometimes people can let the nerves affect the performance in a negative way, but we did not. We let the occasion drive us on into some outstanding swims. 
This year we had 5 swimmers qualify (our most ever) over 10 events, which was great, but I honestly believe we can gain even more qualifiers for 2022. 100% I can see future national swimmers at our club, no doubt whatsoever. The year 2022 is looking super bright for many of our swimmers.
We now look forward to the Arena League this Saturday in Blackpool, and the following week we travel to Macclesfield for the Satellites last chance Cheshire County Qualifier meet. Also we are now on countdown for the Cheshire Champs, we have less than 7 weeks to prepare thoroughly, please, please, please can all swimmers maximise their training. The coaching team want our swimmers to have the best possible chance of success over the next 7 weeks.
See you at the pool.

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