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.