Swimming South Africa Level 1
Regional swimming champs 2016 results
Swimming South Africa (SSA) 2016 regional swimming champs:
We spent 3 days (1-3 April) at Kings park pool attending the annual Swimming South Africa regional championships. Our region consists of Northern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal. This is the last event on the swim calendar and the last time swimmers get an opportunity to increase their standing in the national swim rankings in each age group. The updated rankings are published on the first of May every year, which earmarks the beginning of the new season.
This year, swimmers from Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia also attended the event, giving the regional swimming champs a nice international flavor.
Monica took part in 12 events and 3 relays over 3 days, 3 weeks after her ninth birthday. Her events were all in the 10 & Under Age group.
SSA L1 regional champs Day 1 – Friday, 1 April 2016:
Our first day was hectic. We woke up to a 31 Degree Celcius day with a 59 – 75% humidity. The stadium became like an oven and most spectators fled from the hot stadium, looking for colder air outside just to experience more heat and humidity outside.
Due to the extreme heat and humidity, we were battling to keep our swimmer and ourselves hydrated. The swimmers spent too much time at the assembly point, waiting to be seated for their next event (the regional swimming champs brings over 600 swimmers with qualifying times together to compete for their spot in the rankings).
- Monica managed to do enough to qualify for the following finals:
- Women 10 & U 100 LC meter Freestyle: placed 7/10 in 1:20:17
- Women 10 & U 50 LC meter Backstroke – placed 7/10 in a personal best of 42:67
- Women 10 & U 200 LC meter Individual Medley – placed 6/10 in 3:19:40
- Women 12 & U 4 x 50 m Medley relay – bronze in a time of 2:41:34
Monica swam the Freestyle leg (50 m) in an unofficial time of 34:90 – (Pls note that SSA only makes the results available about 2 weeks odd after the event so we cannot confirm this time yet)
SSA L1 regional champs Day 2 – Saturday 2 April 2016:
On Saturday morning, we experienced a break in the heat wave with some cloudy weather and a temperature of 25 Degrees Celcius. Race conditions were much better. Monica swam 4 events but did not qualify for the finals in 2 of the events. She was the first reserve in both cases. The star of the day, however, was the Women 10 & Under 200 LC meter Freestyle.
In the morning heats, Monica swam a 2:54 and seeded third in the finals. We knew she could do a 2:51 but it was up to her to swim faster in the finals than the heats.
Making the finals without swimming personal bests in the preliminary races is something swimmers learn. Monica is still learning to just do enough in the prelims to make the finals and in the finals, put all effort in.
Monica did not disappoint. She touched in second place to earn a silver medal in 2:51:51. Just a note: The 10-year-old swimmers are closer to 11 so there is a bigger difference in their times than that of the 9-year-old swimmers. We do, however, teach Monica that age should not matter and she should swim her own race, which she did.
Nail biting and great excitement throughout the race – at one moment we thought she would make it, next moment we thought she is giving up and will place third. The build-ups we did in training paid off and she sprinted to the end to place second by a touch.
Loads of excitement followed with the Freestyle relay. Monica failed to swim a personal best time in the 100 Freestyle on day 1 of the SSA regional champs, but she swam a PB of 1:16:56 in the first leg of the relay. Her previous best and seeded time was 1:18 :90.
- Women 10 & Under 200 LC meter Freestyle: Silver medal in 2:51:51
- Women 12 & Under 4 x 100 LC meter Freestyle relay – Gold in 5:14:89 (Monica 1st leg of the relay in 1:16:56 – personal best over 100 m Free)
SSA L1 regional champs Day 3:
The cooler weather continued on day 3, Sunday 3 April 2016. There was, however, a cold wind blowing after some snow which fell in the Western Cape mountains on Saturday. We found a spot out of the wind in the stadium and just hoped we would not get sick following the fluctuations in the weather.
On the morning of day three, we faced a decision. The 100-meter butterfly event was listed before the 50-meter freestyle with very little time between the races. We could see Mica was more comfortable swimming freestyle, so we made a decision to withdraw from the 100 m Butterfly in order for her to save all her energy for the 50-meter Freestyle and the 200 m backstroke. Our decision paid off.
- 2 Personal bests:
- Women 10 & Under 200 LC meter backstroke – seeded time of 3:15:77 – personal best of 3:12:91 (also level 2 qualifying time)
- Women 10 & Under 50 LC meter freestyle – seeded time of 35:64 – personal best of 35:24
In the finals Monica swam the following times:
- Women 10 &Under 200 LC meter backstroke – placed 4th / 10 in a time of 3:14:10
- Women 10 & Under 50 LC meter freestyle -placed 4/10 in a personal best of 34:88.
The last event of the swim meet was the Women 12 & Under 4 x 50 m Freestyle. Monica’s team placed third this event in 2015 – she was 8-years-old when she swam it. We also know that Monica swims her best times in relays. It must be due to the adrenaline flowing.
There were two heats. The girls swam this relay in the second heat – watch the 4 x 50 m relay here. Monica surprised us when she pulled away, caught up with the front runners and by the looks of it, touched in the second position.
The team touched in fourth place in their heat at the end, which was not sufficient to get them onto the podium.
Once home, we watched the video and timed the 50 meter in the relay several times – Monica swam the 50-meter in 33:80 (unofficial) – this was her third personal best in 1 day!!
Based on the Age group qualifying times, 33:80 is a Level 2 qualifying time for 14-year-old swimmers. Racing at the regional swimming champs is made of some good stuff and swimming 50-meters in 33:80 seconds at the age of 9-years-old is THE GOOD STUFF!!
It was a great end to a fantastic season. We have a bit of a swimming holiday now and will resume training and racing after 1 May 2016. Tired, proud and very happy with the results!