After sixteen months without competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the South Lincs swimmers were finally back in action over the weekend of the 31st July and the 1st August at the East Midlands Festival of Swimming.
The event has been organised nationally with swimmers aged 12 years and over having the opportunity to compete within their region.
Day 1 saw the turn of both boys and girls in the 12 years, 13 years and 14 years age groups take to the blocks for their first racing opportunity since March 2020, and the South Lincs swimmers produced some excellent results on their return to racing.
Oscar Goldsmith, competing in the boys 13 years age group, had a busy schedule with four demanding events on the programme. Oscar rose to the occasion and shone throughout the day. Oscar took first place in in the 200m butterfly with a new personal best of over five seconds to touch the wall in a time of 2 minutes 37.97 seconds. Oscar did the double when he also took first place in the 400m freestyle with a huge improvement on his best time of over fourteen seconds to post a time of 4 minutes 53.27 seconds. For good measure Oscar also took a second place finish in the 400m Individual Medley, again in a best time of 5 minutes 28.27 seconds and a fourth place finish in the 200m breaststroke in 3 minutes 03.89 seconds, his fourth personal best time of the day.
Frank Lamb was competing in the boys 12 years age group and also managed a hat trick of top three finishes. Frank started the day with a second place finish in the 400m Individual Medley and broke the six minute barrier for the first time in this event, Frank touched home in 5 minutes 58.94 seconds. Taking on the demanding 200m Butterfly Frank took a third place finish in this event and broke the three minute barrier for the first time touching the wall in 2 minutes 59.76 seconds. In the shorter 200m Individual Medley it was a further third place finish for Frank with another personal best time of 2 minutes 52.81 seconds. Frank closed out the day with another best time in the 200m breaststroke of 3 minutes 23.14 seconds where he took a fifth place finish.
Matteo Monaco saved his finest performance for the end of the day when he took a second place finish in the boys 12 years age group 400m freestyle. In only his second long course competition, Matteo touched home in a new personal best time of 5 minutes 22.59 seconds. Matteo also took fifth place in both the 200m Freestyle and the 200m backstroke in his age group with times of 2 minutes 33.15 seconds and 2 minutes 53.27 seconds respectively.
Alfie Bisby is the new boy on the team and showed what a great recruit he is to the South Lincs team. Competing in the boys 14 years age group, Alfie took a second place finish in the 400m Individual Medley in a massive new long course personal best time of 5 minutes 24.15 seconds. There was also a third place finish for Alfie in the 400m freestyle. Despite the event coming at the end of the day, Alfie managed to lift himself in one last effort and set a new ten second personal best time of 4 minutes 46.04 seconds. There was also a fourth place finish for Alfie in the 100m freestyle where he came agonisingly close to breaking the minute mark with a time of 1 minute 00.68 seconds.
Lucie Lund produced some fine swims at the event. Taking on three races, Lucie made it a hat trick of new personal best times in both the 100m and 200m backstroke with times of 1 minute 19.27 seconds and 2 minutes 51.87 seconds respectively. Lucie produced her finest swim in the 100m Butterfly. Powering down both lengths of the event, Lucie touched the wall in a time of 1 minute 17.29 seconds, her fastest 100m butterfly ever. Lucie managed to finish in ninth place in all three events.
There were also strong swims from Erin Siggee in the 100m breaststroke, who set a new personal best time by eight seconds to finish in 1 minute 33.89 seconds. Daniela Bringeman set a new personal best time in the girls 14 years age group 100m backstroke with a time of 1 minute 23.70 seconds. Lilli Bowman also posted a best time in the 200m backstroke of 2 minutes 57.73 seconds, a strong result for Lilli competing at this level of competition for the first time.
Day 2 saw the turn of the 15 years and over boys and girls to take to the pool for some fast racing. The girls got the day underway in the morning session and were led by Ellisha Cookson who claimed a first place finish in the girls 17 years age group 100m breaststroke. Ellisha swam strongly to a new personal best time of 1 minute 16.82 seconds to take top spot. Ellisha also added two second place finishes to her tally in both the 200m Individual Medley and the 200m Breaststroke with times of 2 minutes 31.14 seconds and 2 minutes 53.58 seconds respectively.
Emma Croker also claimed a first place finish in the girls 16 years age group in one of her favoured events, the 100m freestyle. Emma clocked a time of 59.47 seconds to take the top spot in her age group. Emma added a second place finish in the longer 200m freestyle with a strong swim of 2 minutes 11.16 seconds. Emma closed out her morning of racing with a third place finish in the 100m Butterfly. Emma’s time of 1 minute 07.76 seconds was a new long course personal best time.
Daisy Rummery also claimed a top spot finish in the girls 17 years age group taking first place in the 200m backstroke. Daisy swam a solid race to stop the clock in a time of 2 minutes 35.60 seconds. Daisy also added a third place finish in the 400m freestyle with another good swim of 4 minutes 47.82 seconds. Mollie Briggs also claimed a third place finish in the 400m freestyle in the girls 16 years age group with a time of 4 minutes 45.59 seconds.
Beatrice Finch and Jess O’Herlihy also set new personal best times over the course of the morning. Beatrice set a new long course personal best time of 2 minutes 24.91 seconds in the girls 15 years age group 200m Freestyle, while Jess made it a new long course personal best in the 100m butterfly with a time of 1 minute 14.18 seconds, also in the girls 15 years age group.
The afternoon saw the boys in action and Rico Bringeman led the way. Rico claimed a first place finish with a stunning swim in the boys 16 years age group 200m Butterfly. Rico powered his way through the second half of the race to touch the wall in an impressive 2 minutes 13.13 seconds for top spot and narrowly missing a County record in the process. Rico added a second place finish in the 400m Individual Medley with a further long course personal best time of 4 minutes 52.06 seconds. For good measure there was a third place finish for Rico in the 400m freestyle with a solid swim of 4 minutes 26.56 seconds.
Ed Skells produced an excellent 200m backstroke to touch the wall in a new personal best time of 2 minutes 24.92 seconds, which was enough to see him take first place in the boys 17 years age group in this event. Ed went on to back up his backstroke swim with a further personal best time in the 200m Individual Medley, lowering his best time by more than six seconds to set a new standard of 2 minutes 26.34 seconds.
There were also new personal best performances from Alfie Robinson, who swam four events and set new standards in each of them. Alfie set best times in the 100 breaststroke of 1 minute 20.58 seconds, before taking on both of the backstroke distances. In the 200m backstroke Alfie touched the wall in 2 minutes 27.77 seconds to finish in fourth place in the boys 15 years age group. In the shorter 100m distance Alfie broke the seventy second barrier and stopped the clock in a time of 1 minute 09.95 seconds. The final event of the day was the 400m freestyle and Alfie swam strongly to finish in another personal best time of 4 minutes 44.47 seconds.
Atticus Strickland posted new personal best times in the 100m freestyle where he set a new standard of 58.34 seconds and also in the 200m Individual Medley where he set a new mark of 2 minutes 25.63 seconds. Thomas Bruce racked up a number of personal best times over the course of the afternoon. Thomas set a new personal best time in the 200m freestyle with a time of 2 minutes 12.73 seconds. There were further best times in the 100m backstroke of 1 minute 09.50 seconds and in his final event of the day, the 100m butterfly, Thomas set a new best time of 1 minute 07.12 seconds for a fourth place finish.
Nitesh Anbazhagan was also in the mood to set new personal best times in his preferred breaststroke events. In the 100m event Nitesh just crept under his best time to finish in 1 minute 19.74 seconds. In the longer 200m distance, Nitesh took two seconds off his best time to set a new standard of 2 minutes 54.75 seconds.
Over the course of the weekend the South Lincs swimmers picked up a total of twenty-two top three placings and there were a number of very strong personal best times. The event was a great opportunity for the swimmers to get some racing experience after so long without competition. The club are looking forward to the new season in September and some more regular competition dates in the calendar for the South Lincs swimmers to demonstrate their abilities.