Basildon Easter meet

What a wonderful relaxing walk on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village, through picturesque parkland and arriving at the Sporting Village at noon.

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Madison had the privilege to swim on the Saturday 31. March 2018 and the great organisation of the meet enabled her to get some very good result. Considering it was a level 1 meet, with national swimmers in attendance, it is superb that Madison achieved a bronze medal in the 50 Butterfly and achieved top 10 status within her age group in all events swam. All event result in the 13 year old girls.

There was a

  • 5th place¬† for 50 backstroke with a new PB of 35:29 LC
  • 7th place for 200 freestyle with a new PB of 2:29:43 LC
  • 3rd place for 50 butterfly with a new PB of 34:88 LC (bronze medal)
  • 6th place for 100 freestyle with a new PB of 1:07:54
  • 4th place for 200 backstroke missing the PB by 2 seconds.

But considering that the 200 backstroke came shortly after the 100 freestyle with no rest in between it is not surprising that a PB wasn’t achieved. 200 backstroke is hard.

This is the first level 1 meet that Madison has won a medal. Well done.

Basildon & Phoenix regional qualifier

Madison did 4 races and won Gold twice, obtained 3 regional qualifying times and achieved some very good Personal Best Times.

  • 400 freestyle – entry time 5:13:01 = result 5:05:97
  • 200 backstroke – entry time 2:46:16 = result 2:36:88
  • 50 backstroke – entry time 35:80 = result 32:55 Gold medal
  • 100 backstroke – entry time 1:15:87 = result 1:12:64* Gold medal

This time we came fully prepared. We started preparations the day before with good nourishment routines and this time didn’t get lost on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village.

There is a very easy walking route from the Basildon train station and with a little research, this time we made it without problems. We arrived early, had an early lunch at the Basildon Sporting Village cafe and then the event started.

And at last but not least, Madison finally now achieved regional qualifying times. The hard work and excellent training at Hackney Aquatics paid off. Madison has 2 guaranteed and 1 consideration time. Wow and well done.

*There was one faster swimmer on a time-trial.

MCASA weekend (2)

Junior County champs at the LAC was a two-day gala at level 1, that is the highest level possible in swimming.

Madison swam with Hackney Aquatics and the event was for 14 years upwards. All the medal winners from the club were 15 years or older. Madison is still only 13 years of age and only joined the club 4 months ago and had to do so suddenly, due to LACPP being dissolved. Madison swam for National Youth in LACPP but since joining Hackney Aquatics now swims with the second squad, the Performance Age group, which are much younger; but she did have a few  training sessions with the Performance Youth squad prior to the Counties.

Despite all the upheaval, Madison managed to get 5th place in the 200S back stroke for 14 year olds and 2 reserve finalist places in the 50 and 100 back. See full results here:

Of course every reserve finalist becomes a finalist should one of the base finalists decide to drop out, which didn’t happen in Madison’s case.

In a 10 lane pool, the fastest 10 become finalists in sprint events ranging over all the 50 and 100 meter stroke disciplines. Being a finalist could result in a 10th place. Longer distance events do not have any finals.

A fifth place in the 200 back is not a medal but good progress and an excellent stepping stone to develop the swimming skills in the future.

We need to develop skills realistically and having had the courage to swim the 100 breast for the first time in a long course meet and getting a county time is not bad at all.

For Madison this is so far the best result achieved in a county meet and that is encouraging. Madison still enjoys swimming and we are not at all upset for not getting any medals this time.

I strongly want to encourage all swimmers who do not win medals to continue with the sport because we have seen so many young and very fast swimmers drop out of the sport. Being fast when you are very young does not mean that you continue in the sport, what is important is that swimmers lead healthy lives and if it is enjoyable, continue with it.

Just a bronze?

If you come in 4th place you wish you had a bronze medal at least.

Medals are very hardly fought for and are one expression of success. Many clubs are very proud of their medal winners.

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200 m backstroke bronze won at the BWFSC county qualifier meet 1.10.17

For an athlete like Madison the amount of medals is currently rising.

But for each successful medal earned comes also a Personal Best and greater confidence as a swimmer.

This is the one time that Madison swam for Newham&UEL swimming club and she earned a medal. Madison had 2 events in that meet.

 

County qualifiers

Qualifying for County is the first serious step any competitive swimmer can take. The Counties are the first stage to competition.

We are practically having to work well ahead of age. The counties age-band works that you have to be swimming at the age that you would be at the end of the year that the competition is in. Plus you need to gain those qualifying times in the year prior to the competition.

If you are born in the first six month of any year, you are having to work way ahead of schedule. Madison is born in June and now 13 years old. But next years County competition she has to swim as if she was 14, the competition is held in January 2017 when Madison is still 13.

Madison by now in 2017 has gained 2 automatic and 7 consideration times for next year. There are still a few qualifiers coming up this autumn. The qualification times have to be set in the 12 months prior to the competition in January / February next year.

Madison go the consideration time for the 400 IM last year and now strives to up-date this.

Yesterday Madison swum 2 races and improved one county time in the 100 fly and is now within 1 second of the automatic time and gained the consideration time for the 200 back-stroke.

It’s great to be an all-round good swimmer and gain County times in as many strokes and distances as possible.

Getting ready for the meet

On Sunday, Madison will swim for her first and last meet with Newham & UEL club.

Preparations centre around

  • how to get the home work done over that weekend
  • how many hours are needed for the meet
  • which foods are needed and how to nourish
  • travel time and arrangements
  • packing the bag for the meet
  • mental preparation
  • which races are swam
  • promoter’s conditions
  • study the accepted entries list

Luckily the BWF early county qualifier level 3 meet is in the London Aquatic Centre, which is one of our local pools. We can just take a local bus there and arrive within 20 minutes, we do not need to worry about parking either.

We see that entry in the LAC is now security screened, visitors are not allowed to bring drink or food in but swimmers are.

Swimmers always have their favourite snacks to use as pick-me-ups and preps before or between races. Most of the time in swimming meets, there is also not enough time between sessions to have a proper lunch. There are delays and if a meet goes on from 8AM till 5pm, swimmers need to find time to get useful nourishment.

This Sunday we’ll only have half a day, usually we stay the whole day. But if Madison swims longer distances we do less races altogether.

This Sunday it’s going to be 100 fly and 200 back.

The social aspect is also important beyond the just racing. Swimmers get to know each other over time and meet up at race meets. Swimmers who change clubs still see their friends at meets too. That is very enjoyable for the swimmers.

With the arrival of the LAC, local swimmers’ lives were quite affected. Before we had our local pool and suddenly that opportunity with the LAC arose.

New swimming arrangements were introduced and swimmers often commuted between their old club and the LAC Beacon schemes.

Luckily most local clubs are very sympathetic to swimmers and often allow seemless transitions between clubs, so that swimmers do not lose out on training times. Rules were changed that swimmers could be members in more than one club and have dual registrations, which is all very helpful.

From next week Madison will become a member at Hackney Aquatics. We already preparing for the week after this Sunday’s meet to train fully with the new club.

Swim England have this brilliant online system whereby swimmers best times get recorded on the data regardless of which club they swim for and that is very good. These days people move more often because of job or housing needs and also because the swimming club scene can change and have an impact on training needs too.

BWFSC, first meet of the season

Since Madison was now signed up for the LAC ACS, she will be competing under the colours of Newham & UEL swimming club at competitions. Our first meet of the season will be the Gators meet at the LAC on 1st October 2017, second session.

Madison will try to improve on some weaker strokes because she already has gained qualifying times for counties in other disciplines.

We are looking forward to see you there.