9 September 2010

The ASA National Championships in Sunderland saw a first senior international qualification for Bochmann and a first senior medal for Kiritschenko.

Whilst most of the swimmers arriving in Sunderland were somewhat weary after a long and demanding Youth Championships and found it very challenging to deliver the same performances against some of the best senior swimmers in the UK, the meet for others represented great opportunities.

The highlight for the team on day one was Anne Bochmann winning the senior 200m individual medley title in a new lifetime best performance of 2:13.88 to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and her first senior international meet. Kate Hutchinson, who moved from Leeds to Loughborough last year, was second in 2:15.33 and World Open Water Champion Keri Anne Payne was third in 2:15.38 secs.

Avril Kiritschenko continued her great form when she qualified second going into the final of the 50m breaststroke and raced to another lifetime best performance and club record of 32.44 to secure the silver medal; her first at a senior national level. Later in the week Avril went on to finish 4th in the 100m breaststroke in another LTB performance of 1:11.16 missing a medal by less than 5/10th of a second to finish off a very successful season.

Matthew Allison, who has been with the programme since coming to university last September cruised to the final in the Men’s 400m individual medley in what is his first Senior National Championships since moving from the youth ranks last season. In the final Matthew finished a creditable 4th place with a lifetime best performance of 4:24.7.

Emma Graham posted a lifetime best in the Womens 50m freestyle final after qualifying in the morning heats in 10th position. She succeeded in moving up to 5th place from the outside lane in a time of 26.53 and less than 2/10th of a second from a podium place. Both Emma and Danielle Hall-Jackson finished top 8 in the fastest heat of the Womens 800m freestyle with Danielle finishing 5th marginally outside her best time set at the recent Youth Championships and a good result for her first senior final.

In the Womens 400m freestyle, Anne Bochmann lined up with Olympic medallist and former world record holder Joanne Jackson and was determined to take her on. The expectation of a fast first 200m did not materialise and whilst Anne matched Joanne stroke for stroke until 300m her strength and maturity over the last 100m was too much for Anne who nonetheless secured her second medal of the championships. Only some 15 minutes later Anne was back in the pool for the 400m individual medley final where she had to settle for silver once again behind Stephanie Proud albeit with another lifetime best performance of 4:44.67 This topped off a great season for Anne culminating in her Commonwealth Games selection in the 200 IM, 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle.

It was another great team effort from a young team.