West Norfolk swimmers win gold at National Championships.
Below is the full article and picture released to the media. The club would like to apologize if the media have chosen to make any alterations to the report provided or the picture, but as I'm sure you will understand this is outside of our hands.
The British Summer National Championships and ASA National Swimming Championships 2015 took place in Sheffield from the 28th July – 9th August 2015. Seven swimmers from West Norfolk Swimming Club descended on Ponds Forge International Sports Centre to battle it out with competitors from 300 other swimming clubs from across the UK, winning a total of five gold medals and National titles.
First up were the British Summer National Championships, Nathan Wells got proceedings under way for West Norfolk competing in the 17/18yrs 200m Backstroke where he finished in 16th place in a seasons best time (2:09.98). On day 2 the excitement continued as Abigail Whiting and Zack Campbell-Maughan arrived for their first events, Zack, swimming at his first National Championships finished in 18th place in 16yrs 50m Backstroke (28.99) and Abigail 19th place in 16yrs 100m Freestyle (59.76). The third day of the championships saw Keely Empson race in the 19yrs+ 200m Backstroke where she finished in 14th place (2:29.05), the following day she went on to finish 16th (31.41) in the 50m Backstroke. The Saturday also saw Nathan and Zack return to the pool, Zack raced his 100m Backstroke finishing 20th (1:02.85) to round off his first nationals. The swim of the day came from Nathan with a brilliant display of pacing and determination to post a personal best (pb) time (16:17.65) in the 1500m Freestyle finishing 8th. The final day of the British Championships saw Abigail return in the 50m Freestyle with a speedy swim (27.52) placing her 13th, her best result to date at National level. Nathan had an outstanding heat in the 400m Freestyle swimming a 5 second pb (4:00.86) which was quick enough to progress him into a hotly contested final where he finished 9th.
Abigail reflected on her Nationals experience “I enjoyed Nationals a great amount as it gave me a chance to compete with the best of the best. I learned a lot about how your confidence affects your performance. Next season I’m going to be concentrating on doing the little things right all of the time in training and focus on coming to Nationals with a more confident attitude, I’d love to qualify for more events.”
Monday 3rd August saw Jenny Read and Nathan Wells compete in the ASA National Open Water Championships at Rother Valley. With the water temperature at 18oC and 15-20mph winds blowing across the lake both swimmers were going to have to be strong and pace themselves. It was Jenny’s first qualification at National level and Nathan’s first Open Water swim at Nationals, both swam very strong races with Jenny finishing in an excellent 5th in the 13yrs 1.5km event and Nathan 10th in the 17/18yrs 5km event.
The action returned to Ponds Forge on Tuesday 4th August for the ASA National Championships. Nathan Wells continued his busy schedule with a massive 6 second pb in the 400m Individual Medley heats which sent him into the final as fastest seed, he lived up to expectations and swam clear of the field to win by 5 seconds in another pb (4:35.75) and become 16/17yrs National Champion for the first time. After the excitement of the previous night Nathan took to the water on Wednesday to compete in the 200m Freestyle on a high, he swam a 3 second pb to become the surprise fastest qualifier for the final. This proved to be an exciting affair with his competitors taking the race out very fast but Nathan stuck to his race plan and timed his final charge to perfection to overtake them and take the win and his second National Championship by just 0.02 seconds with another pb (1:53.98).
A shocked Nathan said “It was unreal. I was not expecting to win at all. I was seeded 14th into the qualifying heats, so to take gold at the end is incredible.”
Keely Empson had her final swim of the championships in the 18yrs+ 100m Backstroke (1:07.51) finishing in 12th place, just missing out on the final. On Thursday we welcomed Natalie Coogans to Sheffield, she was obviously in great form as she swam a pb to cruise into the final of the 18yrs+ 200m Breastroke as the fastest qualifier. Nathan joined her in the finals as he once again swam a 2 second pb in the heat of the 200m Individual Medley to qualify fastest for what was to be a thrilling finals session. Nathan took to the pool first for his final and swam a much improved race from the heats with another 3 second pb (2:08.46) to storm home for an amazing 3rd National title. With the gauntlet thrown down Natalie did not disappoint, swimming a perfect race and dominating the field to finish 9 seconds ahead of the rest of 2nd place and become National Champion for the first time with a 9 second pb (2:34.62).
Natalie said “I haven’t actually had pb in this race all season, I did a slight pb in the qualifying heat and then a nine second pb tonight so when I touched the wall and saw my time, I burst into tears. I worked out a very specific pacing strategy with my coach; I had to be constantly reminding myself throughout the race how important it was to stick to plan. I’m glad I did, she was right!”
In the sprint events Molly Lee qualified for her first National Championships in the 14yrs 50m Breastroke and her excitement and enthusiasm drove her to a pb (35.78) in the heat to qualify her for the final on her debut where she finished 10th. Natalie Coogans competed in a dramatic swim-off for a place in the final in the 18yrs+ age group, just missing out to take 11th place but setting a pb (34.85) in an exciting race. Nathan Wells finished in 12th place in the 50m Backstroke (28.48) and set a pb in the 100m Backstroke heats, dipping under the 1 minute barrier for the first time to qualify for the final where he finished 8th in another pb (59.78) to round off an exceptional National Championships. Natalie Coogans had the final swim of the Championships for West Norfolk in the 100m Breastroke qualifying for her second final where she timed her finish perfectly to sneak the win in a 3 second pb (1:13.19) and take her second National title, making it a total of 5 National titles for the West Norfolk swimmers.
Head Coach Sarah Vanderloo commented on the club’s most successful National Championships: “I’m incredibly proud of all the swimmers who represented West Norfolk over the two weeks in Sheffield, they have been dedicated and focused in their training and this is reflected in their amazing results. It is the most swimmers the club has ever had qualify for National Championships and the highest number of medals won which is testament to the growing strength and depth of the club and the commitment of the swimmers themselves. We will now look forward to building on this success when the new season starts in September.”
West Norfolk Swimming Club is the local Swim 21 accredited competitive swimming club in West Norfolk and welcomes swimmers from 7 years upwards who are passionate about developing their swimming ability and becoming competitive swimmers.
Author: Sarah Vanderloo