BUSA SWIMMING SHORT COURSE by Martyn Cornish
It's 4pm on Saturday afternoon here at the Ponds Forge complex in Sheffield. Team Swim are in town to compete in the BUSA Short Course National Championships.
News from the event so far:
Last night saw the 800m and 1500m freestyle and the 4x50m freestyle relay heats, with Manchester securing a silver and two bronze medals and places in the relay finals. Jill Nesbitt finished 2nd and David Proud 3rd in their respective 800m races. David followed this with a swim in the 1500m - a mere sprint compared to his usual distance of 10km - but finished in 5th in a strong field. The second bronze medal came from Erica Brown (also a long distance open water swimmer) in the 1500m. The evening saw 4 new club records setting down a standard for the rest of the team to follow during the weekend.
The Saturday morning and afternoon sessions has been filled with heats of various events, with finals to follow this evening. Swimming in the finals this evening will be Abi Tetley (200m and 50m freestyle), Marie Jones (200m freestyle), Sarah Westwood (50m backstroke), Steph Hill (100m butterfly and 50m freestyle), Michael Rock (100m butterfly), Laura Bowden (200m backstroke), Mark McKenna (200m breaststroke) along with the relay teams from last night's heats. Here's hoping BUSA points come flooding our way!
Another update from Sheffield tomorrow!
BUSA SWIMMING SHORT COURSE (SATURDAY FINALS) by Martyn Cornish
Following on from Saturday's blog post live from the BUSA Short-Course Swimming Championships, here's the rest of the story from Team Swim's weekend in Sheffield.
After a few hours of rest for some of the squad and of preparation for the finalists, Saturday evening's finals session got under way. Abi Tetley and Marie Jones started off proceedings with 7th and 10th places in the 200m freestyle respectively. Next Sarah Westwood touched out Newcastle's swimmer by 1/100th of a second into 6th place in the 50m backstroke, followed by Gavin Hunter in 10th in the men's event in what is his 7th BUSA championships.
After a short break for presentations of Friday night's medallists, it was the turn of Steph Hill and Michael Rock in their 100m butterfly finals. Both were extremely close races with Rock coming home in 3rd in the men's event and Hill losing out on the gold by just 1/100th of a second in the women's race. Both swimmers set new standards for butterfly within the club by smashing the club records by 6 (men) and 3 (women) seconds.
Laura Bowden took 10th place in the 200m backstroke, before it was time for Tetley to stand up for the second time in the evening, this time for the 50m freestyle. Despite swimming a personal best time and new club record only a 6th place finish was possible in a race where both the first and second placed swimmers broke the BUSA championship record. Mark McKenna took 7th in the 200m breaststroke, Bowden 6th and Erica Brown 7th in the women's 400m individual medley, then McKenna swam again to finish 4th in the men's 400m individual medley.
With the individual events over, it was then the turn of the 200m freestyle relay teams to shine. And shine they did! Rock, Hunter, Sean Peers and Ben Fulford finished 6th in the men's event shortly after Westwood, Jill Nesbitt, Hill and Tetley had taken the bronze medal in the women's! So it was two days and 4 sessions down, Manchester had 6 medals in their pockets and were looking forward to Sunday's showdown sitting in 4th place overall.
BUSA SWIMMING SHORT COURSE (SUNDAY) by Martyn Cornish
The first event of Sunday morning at BUSA swimming events is always the 200m butterfly. For most of us this is unthinkable, yet the Team Swim captains had persuaded Jill Nesbitt, Michael Rock and Mike Bailey to take a dip. Heats of other events filled the morning session, resulting in finals for a number of Manchester swimmers in the afternoon.
It was the 200m butterfly final first off with Nesbitt finishing in 6th and Rock adding to his medal collection with 3rd place in a sub-2-minute time, breaking the club record by a massive 47 seconds (set by men's captain Mark 'Love The Pain' Howard just this time last year).
Abi Tetley was 6th in the 100m freestyle and Mark McKenna 8th in the 100m breaststroke, before it was once again the turn of Steph Hill and Michael Rock to show the rest of the squad how to swim butterfly fast! This time it was just 50m with Hill finishing with bronze behind swimmers from Bath and Napier in the women's event then Rock taking silver in the men's.
Sarah Westwood was up next in the 100m backstroke finishing in 6th, then Jill Nesbitt (4th) and Erica Brown (9th) in the 400m freestyle.
The final events of the weekend were the 200m medley relays, and after Saturday's heats it looked like it would be a close fought race. In the women's event Bath and Loughborough were well out in front, but the race for third was on between Nottingham, Stirling and Manchester going right to the wire with all three touching out within 3/10ths of a second. But it wasn't to be for Westwood, Marie Jones, Hill and Tetley as the three teams finished in that order with Manchester in 5th.
The men's race was equally as exciting, with the entire squad cheering on Gavin Hunter, McKenna, Rock and Ben Fulford to their 5th place finish.
So the swimming was over, now came the short tense wait for the overall results ... had Manchester improved further on last year's successes? ... had they managed to retain the overnight 4th place overall?
But first a quick summary:
The result: the most successful championships ever for Team Swim Manchester! The women were 3rd overall, the men were 4th, giving Manchester 4th place overall behind Loughborough, Bath and Stirling (these are all national performance centres with extra funding for performance in swimming) and above rivals Nottingham, Birmingham, Edinburgh and others.
A series of thankyous: Mark and Martyn for driving the buses; Lucy, Catherine, Becky, Matt, Lee, Roger, Andy and Dave (friends / club alumni) for supporting; the guys from RedBull for providing a supply of RedBull; Coach Eugenio for coming along to help out on poolside; and to Coach Tim 'Tiddles' Konowalik for coaching Team Swim Manchester into being the best non-performance-centre university team in the country!