16 August 2010

Five days of great performances from every swimmer contributed to the team winning the National Age Group Team Championship title for the second time in three years. A fantastic achievement for all involved.

Top club final standings

Top club

  1. City of Leeds 208
  2. Nova Centurion 190
  3. Stockport Metro 170

Top boy’s club

  1. Millfield 156
  2. Plymouth 115
  3. City of Leeds 108

Top girl’s club

  1. Nova Centurion 143
  2. Team Bath 103
  3. City of Leeds 100

Day 1 (28/07): Graham, Thompson and Campbell-Grady Make Podium!

The first morning heats started with exceptional performances from everyone. Nine morning heat swims converted to 8 making finals.

Afternoon 1500m heats gave the team their first medal of the championships. Nicola Graham swam a lifetime best (LTB) performance to win a bronze medal. Rebekah Birrell continued her great start to the Championships by swimming a 32 second lifetime best to finish 7th after making two finals from her two heat swims in the morning session.

The finals session saw more success for the City of Leeds swimmers. Rebekah Birrell and Amy Light both came 7th in lifetime best performances in their respective age group categories for 200m individual medley. Kiani Campbell-Grady swam LTB to finish 10th in the 100m freestyle, while Rebekah Birrell competed in her second final of the evening swimming to a 10th placed position.

James Thompson swam his first final of the championships in the 200m breaststroke. After an over excited heat swim James performed a very controlled race to win a Silver medal in a new LTB. The teams last final of the evening saw Kiani Campbell-Grady win her first medal of the championships in the 200m backstroke in a LTB.

Sam Bloom swam a LTB in the 200m breaststroke in the morning heats, A fantastic first day!

Day 2 (29/07): Gold & Silver for Walker, Silver for Light and Silver for Bennett!

After a fantastic first day, the second morning saw some phenomenal swims, 14 heat swims saw 9 through to the evening finals. Kiani Campbell-Grady, Rebekah Birrell and Katy Fisher all swam LTB in the 400m freestyle and Chris Greenwood swam a LTB in the 200m butterfly.

The boys 1500m heats proved to be a success following on from the girls 1500m on the opening first day. Dougie Walker swam a LTB by 29 seconds to finish 4th, while Blake Bennett finished in the silver medal position in a 18 second LTB. Jacob Seddon was our third team member to compete in the boys 1500m, Jacob swam a fantastic 18 seconds LTB that he achieved just six weeks earlier at the NER championships.

The first of the finals on day 2 was the girls 400m freestyle. After an impressive start on Day 1, Nicola Graham continued her fine form finishing 7th in a LTB. Blake Bennett finished 10th in the 200m butterfly just short of the LTB he set in the morning heats. Douglas Walker swam a well paced race to win Gold in the same butterfly final as Blake, Dougie swan LTB both in the morning heats and final, a great conversion. Freddy Hoban competing in his first National Championships made his age group 200m butterfly final in a LTB to finish in 7th Place. Nicola Graham competing in second final of the finals session finished 10th just outside the LTB she set in the morning heats of the 200m breaststroke. Amy Light continued her fantastic start to the championships. Day 2 Amy qualified second fastest in the 200m breaststroke in LTB converting again in the final to win her first National Silver medal. Katy Fisher was the teams next finalist, Katy swam a 2-second LTB to make the final of the 100m butterfly, she converted again in the final to knock-off another 1.5 seconds to finish in 6th position. Katy was another swimmer that had qualified for National Championships and rose to the occasion. Next was our National Champion Dougie Walker swimming in the 200m individual medley, still on a high from his victory in the 200m butterfly, Douglas converted again the LTB he swam in the morning heats to win a silver medal. A fantastic first day for Douglas. The last event of the evening was the girls 4 x 100m freestyle team. Nicola Graham lead the team off in a LTB, the other three girls followed suit Rebekah Birrell, Linda Shaw and Amy Light all swimming 1:02 for their respective legs. The team finished in 5th place.

Day 3 (30/07): 7 Heat swims, 6 making National Finals!

Day 3 was off to a great start with Douglas Walker and Blake Bennett making finals in their age group of the 400m freestyle, Dougie also made the 200m backstroke final to add to his collection of fantastic swims so far. The girls did not let themselves down, all three of the girls, Rebekah Birrell, Katy Fisher and Rebecca Mottershaw made their respective age group finals in the 200m butterfly all in LTB.

The distance events in the afternoon sessions proved to be as successful as the first two days. Leeds had three girls in the 800m freestyle, each of them finished in the top 10 in their respective age groups. Kiani Campbell-Grady swam a fantastic 22 second LTB to finish 8th, Rebekah Birrell produced another LTB by 15 seconds to finish 9th and Nicola Graham swam a LTB to finish 7th after having emergency physiotherapy in the morning due to her neck muscles in spasm.

The finals session on Day 3 produced some outstanding swims. First in for Leeds were Dougie Walker and Blake Bennett in the 12years 400m freestyle, both improved on their LTB from the morning heats to finish 5th & 6th respectively. Douglas was in again in the final of the 200m backstroke, Douglas finished in 8th place just short of the LTB he posted in the morning heats.

Next were the 200m butterfly girls. Rebekah Birrell and Katy Fisher competing in the 12years final. Rebekah Birrell finished 10th place collecting a bag full of final representation for the City of Leeds. Katy Fisher came into the competition with a LTB of 2:36 in the 200m butterfly, Katy swam the heats and made the final with a LTB of 2:30.12, Katy kept her nerve in her second National final to swim a further 2.8 seconds faster (2:27) to finish in 4th position, a fantastic swim from Katy. Rebecca Mottershaw swam in the 13 years 200m butterfly final, qualifying in 10th position Rebecca dropped another second from the 4 seconds she dropped in the morning heats to post another LTB (2:26) to finish 8th in the final. A great result for Rebecca and the team.

Day 4 (31/07): Male and Female 100m breaststrokers win Bronze and Bennett makes podium again!

The City of Leeds swimmers on Day 4 morning heats put solid performances in to make evening finals, Blake Bennett, James Thompson, Amy Light and the Girls 4 x 200m freestyle team all made it through to evening finals in their respective events. Chris Greenwood kept his 100% LTB record at his first National Championships swimming a 4 second LTB in the 100m butterfly.

The afternoon, Boys 800m heats produced two fantastic swims from Blake Bennett and Douglas Walker. Blake was swimming in one of the earlier heats so had to swim against the clock to gain any chance of making the podium. Blake swam a 29 second LTB to win a Bronze medal. Douglas followed Blake in the heats remaining, continuing his excellent performances Douglas swam an 18 second LTB finishing in 4th position behind his team mate.

Day 4 finals session saw the City of Leeds youngsters swim fantastically well once again. Blake Bennett finished in 9th place in the 200m freestyle James Thompson finished 9th in 100m butterfly following a LTB to qualify for the evening finals. Amy Light and James Thompson finished in Bronze medal positions in the 100m breaststroke in their respective categories. Both Amy and James swam LTB in the morning heats and converted to swim faster in the evening finals. That’s the way to do it! The Girls 4 x 200m freestyle team were disqualified unfortunately, however the girls warrant a special mention as all four girls converted by some margin to improve their heat time. Well done to, Amy Light, Rebekah Birrell, Katy Fisher and Nicola Graham.

Day 5 (01/08): 100% LTB in 400m IMs & Walker Podiums again!

The morning heats of the final day of the National Age Groups Championships were very successful. Both Male and Females had 100% LTB in the morning heats along with both medley teams making finals. Kiani Campbell-Grady swam first in a 3 second LTB, Rebekah Birrell then swam an 8 second LTB to make the 12 year old final, Amy Light swam only her 2nd 400m IM in her career swimming a 5 second LTB, Nicola Graham was the last of the girls to swim in the event in which she made the 13 year old final in another LTB performance. Next… The boys were back in town!! Richard Mawson competed first for the boys with a 4 second LTB, Jacob Seddon kept his 100% LTB performances at the championships swimming a 6 second LTB, Douglas Walker and Blake Bennett swam a 16 second and 10 second LTB respectively to make the 12 year olds final and finally James Thompson swam a LTB in his final individual event of the Championships. The Girls medley team of Rebekah Birrell, Amy Light, Katy Fisher and Nicola Graham qualified for the evening finals whilst the boys medley team matched the girls also qualifying for their final. Lead off by Fabio Laredo in a LTB in the 100m backstroke, Sam Bloom, James Thompson and Harrison Day kept the good start turning it in to a great finish.

The concluding finals session brought a fantastic finish to an awesome week of age group swimming for the City of Leeds. Rebecca Birrell dropped a further 3 seconds to finish 5th in another LTB performance. Nicola Graham swam under the 5:10 (5:09.99) to finish 7th in a LTB. Blake Bennett and Douglas Walker competed in the 12 year old 400m individual medley final, after swimming massive LTB in the heats Douglas equalled what he swam in the morning to win a silver medal whilst Blake dropped a further 5-seconds to finish in 4th place in a LTB. The Girls medley team of Rebekah Birrell, Amy Light, Katy Fisher and Nicola Graham finished 5th all swimming under their LTB as did the boys medley team of Fabio Laredo, Sam Bloom, James Thompson and Harrison Day finishing in 10th position. Fabio lead the team off in a LTB of 1:05, Sam dived in to swim 1:12, James Thompson maintain his 1:04 from earlier in the week and Team Captain Harrison Day finished with a 0:58. An excellent team performance.

Congratulations to all the swimmers, you swam exceptionally well and we are all very proud of each and every one of you.