The MCASA Open Water medal

As the medal service for Middlesex County is more than excellent, a representative of Open Water Swimming delivered my silver medal won in July to me yesterday.  I competed in the 3km distance.

I missed the medal ceremony at the time because I had to rush off for the Sponsored Swim taking place at the Hackney Lido for the purpose of collecting funds for the Hackney Aquatics Charity fund.

 

FINA points

Just trying to find the best way to appreciate the placings Madison has gotten in the latest County championships, where Madison did not get a podium finish but had some very good Personal Best Times.

In mixed ability races winner always gets determined by the amount of FINA points a swimmer achieves. The highest number of points is 1000 and that is the points awarded to the world record holder; all slower swimmers get awarded FINA points in proximity of that world record.

Clubs always tend to praise the podium winners the most because that is the highest award a race winner gets in any particular meet. Yet the fastest swimmer in total is the person that is closest to the world record in their particular category.

Name      year of birth      stroke      time              FINA points   place
Madison 2004                   fly             36:65            320                  28.
The current world record for

  • male 50 meter fly is 22:43  = 1000 FINA points
  • female 50 met  fly is 24:43 = 1000 FINA points
  • So all a podium finish in any race, other than a race that sets a new world record says, is that the person who won the medal was the fastest at that meet.

For the first time in her young swimming career, Madison has breached the 400 points barrier, achieving 412 points for 50 backstroke and 403 points for 50 freestyle.

All swims were of course brilliant swims and I am looking forward to the last leg of the Essex Championships on the weekend 18/19 February at the Basildon Sporting Village.

It is getting very exciting now, and the desire to swim even better at the next meets has grown immensely. All points achieved, help the club in the overall rankings within the Essex county. I think it is brilliant that a small club like LACPP managed to get to 16. so far, Madison will try the hardest in the Block C swimming competitions.

ECASA 2017, 50m sprints

Madison was very happy to compete at this event on 4th. February 2017 at the London Aquatic Centre. As stated in the previous post, it was a tremendously well organised event that managed to allow many swimmers to compete during the day.

This competition was very important for Madison as it was an important goal setter for her future aspirations in swimming.

I am awaiting the official results but believe Madison came 30th. out of 99 swimmers in the 13 years age category in the 50 freestyle, 14th in the backstroke out of 75 swimmers  (winning her heat) and 28th in the fly out of 55 participants. Madison achieved Personal Best times in all her swims since entering competitions as LACPP swimmer.

I am adding to this as the results get published.

We are extremely pleased that the entry times were suitable to catch brilliant level 3 swimmers like Madison and elevate them into this category 1 environment. It has opened our eyes by experiencing how fast others in her age-category are and how much faster Madison has to swim to compete at the top ten level.

I am now no longer disheartened, as I was after the 800 freestyle 2 weeks ago, but gotten fresh inspirations from today.

Seeing Mark Foster at towards the end of the day, make me feel that we are in the right place to achieve more.

Swims can only get Better

Madison’s previous club did not have early morning training for quite a while. Some years ago Madison went to morning training twice a week. Now it takes a little getting used to again. Especially on those cold winter-mornings, when it is really dark and frosty outside. Even for me as parent, I occasionally find myself moaning and not being exactly the best role-model there is.

But, overcoming the initial hick-ups, we are getting there. The hope that it will soon be spring and we can see the sun-rise again in the morning, cheers us up. (A picture will follow as soon as we can see a sun-rise again).

Obviously after changing club there can be no sudden jump in performance, especially as it takes around 9 month to get out of bad stroke-practise.

The best effect of changing clubs to LACPP is that Madison has found the will for swimming again. Madison can see hope that her swimming performance now stands a chance of achieving something in the long-term. If I had not changed club for Madison, she would have dropped out of swimming completely this year.

We do follow the County champs results of Madison’s previous club mates who also changed clubs to various other clubs closely. Some are doing extremely well.

OK, so the 800 free didn’t go too well, but then not everyone is an 800-meter swimmer. This weekend we have the 50 sprints to come and that is going to be very exciting. As it takes place in Madison’s home-pool the LAC, she hopes to do well. I am sure she will do her best. So far we had PBs in every race Madison entered, which is a good result. What more could we want?

British squad in Luxembourg

Please follow the events, when the British Squad will swim in a European competition in Luxembourg. British Swimming promoted the event and there are links to follow the results of the competition. LACPP’s Aimee Wilmott will be part of the team and Madison will see a good role-model for her future career in action here.

Aimee won 2 silver 400 free & 200 IM and 2 bronze medals for 800 free & 200 breast.

. Full results list here.

Christmas at Dagenham

Madison entered 8 events and gained Personal Best times in each event entered; she gained county times in 5 events entered and now has a total of 8 county qualifying times. Madison won 5 bronze medals also, which are in the shape of a decorated Christmas Tree, lovely. Madison’s PB improvements ranged from 3 – 55 seconds. Please see the full PDF results file by clicking bd2016-christmas-lr161593.

The sharp improvement in all strokes is due to the excellent quality training she receives at the London Aquatic Centre Performance Program’s coach Alexander McDonald, and the club, which employs top support staff with backing of the University of East London. That the club also trains in the best pool in the UK, is an extra bonus.

Madison trains 5 times per week in the 50m London Aquatic Centre Olympic quality pool and once a week in the LAC 25m training pool.

Picture taken by Alexander at the 800 freestyle event at Barking and Dagenham on 16/12/16 features  Kaia Cudmore, Madison Taylor.

 

County qualifying times

They vary wildly across Britain. I give some examples:

50 Free Girls age 13

Middlesex = 32:50
Essex         = 35:20
Devon        = 34:35 (includes Plymouth Leander, Mount Kelly)
Derbys      = 37.20 (2016)
Staffs         = 32:00
Kent           = 31:00
Hamps       = 31:20
Berks          = 32:40
Yorks         = 32:80

Middlesex includes parts of West London whilst Essex spreads towards the East. Middlesex includes clubs like Barnet, Westminster & Chelsea from where a few participants in the British nationals sprung.

Out of those areas listed above Plymouth Leander (Devon) and Sheffield (Yorkshire) supply more swimmers at national level than the other counties and yet they have slower county qualifying times in the 50 freestyle for example than the faster Middlesex and Staffordshire.

I have witnessed it myself, if the county times are too fast for at least 2 swimmers per club to qualify, the local clubs loose momentum and turn into leisure swim clubs and don’t become more competitive. Clubs need to be able to connect to the competitive events.

Hence even at the Olympics they now allow the fastest swimmers from developing countries to swim in the heats, even if that time is slow compared to our standards to bridge a connection.

From what I observed, talented swimmers can be very fast aged 9/10 if they start swimming early enough but then when swimmers turn 12 upwards it becomes a matter of regular training and eventual muscle-building, which is only allowed in British gyms from age 13. I think all County Associations should put on times that allow a wide participation even if it means that they struggle to engage enough officials to cover the events.

See the lists of all teams in the 2 divisions here.

ASA tips for support

How to support your child at swimming events is a page I just came across via my Facebook account. Have a look at their tips.  I shall also put a permanent link to this page in my links section.

Keeping clam is the main message. But also please do remember, your child won’t be able to hear you once they are in the pool. It is very loud in a swimming arena and because swimmers’ ears are under the water most of the time, they cannot hear you. They can hear the crowd in general.

In most level 3 age groups, where coaches are allowed pool side and team mates often support club swimmers, they are immersed in poolside support. The only time the child will see the parents is at the start when they line up and glance up into the gallery.

Another good tip is also become an official/volunteer, it keeps you busy and helps your child a lot.

Redbridge the 2-year interval age-group

Age-groups in 2 yearly intervals are very tough for those who are on the first steps of the year ladder. Madison only just turned 12 but her age-group spanned 12 – 13, meaning that anybody between 12 and almost 14 could take part.

We are grateful Madison could achieve some PB’s but her best placing out of all her races was 8th.

Madison usually ranks better in races, which are held in single age-groups e.g. just 12. But it always usually works out that those near the end of their age group do better than those at the beginning.

It is important as a younger swimmer, to not just become a medal hunter and only enter competitions where you know you are very likely to get a medal because of age and best stroke. Important it is though, to enter competitions for your weakest stroke and rather be last and work your way up than ignore that stroke and never learn it.

Click for the full results of the meet on 1/2 October 2016, Early County Qualifier at Fullwell Cross here.