Seagulls Swimming Championship 2016

Seagulls swimming championship 2016:

Seagulls swimming championship takes place during the long weekend in October every year.  By now all readers know that our swimmer represents Seagulls swimming club. Our club’s annual swim meet takes place in October every year and forms part of 3 short course meets:

  1. Seals 1 & 2 in Pietermaritzburg – 2 pre-season meets in June/July
  2. Seagulls swimming championship

Swimmers, therefore, do not have many opportunities to improve their short course database times as most age group meets and club meet takes place in the long course pool.

This particular swim meet is very popular as it is presented by National swimming coach, Graham Hill (Seagulls swimming club was started by his late mother, Doreen Hill). Swimmers from other provinces travel to Durban to swim this meet as it takes place during school holidays and racing at sea level benefits the inland swimmers (we have more oxygen at the coast).

This meet also gives KZN age group swimmers an idea what they are up against as there are not any National age group swim meets.

Monica’s events at Seagulls champs:

Seagulls swimming championship eventsMonica has been swimming this meet for 3 years. She is now 9-years-old and falls within the 10 & Under age group.  It is a tough year for her as she competes against older swimmers.

We do not want this to be an issue as age should not matter.  (We found that Monica delivers her best times when she competes in the older age groups).

Our swimmer had a very busy 3-day swimming schedule but we also know that she prefers swimming versus being a spectator, therefore the 12 events entered, with an addition of 3 relays.

Short course swimming:

Short-course swimming is not quite Monica’s cup of tea.  She explained it like this:

I just find my rhythm and have to turn. It makes the swimming hard for me, I prefer the longer pool.

We understand her point but she has to experience all levels of swimming as an age grouper.  There is also no tapering or rest in her program when she swims these meets (i.e. she is not rested). As a result, we did not expect a lot of personal bests or podium places.  I must admit that this was one of the few swim meets where we were just going to relax and enjoy the event.  No pressure whatsoever.

Seagulls swimming champs 200 meter Individual medley & breaststroke

Monica did her best in the 200 IM and swam a personal best of 2:59:45 (Lane 6 in the video).  We were ecstatic.  There are just no words to explain how proud we are as parents of this 9-year-old swimming a sub 3 minute in this event!  Converted time to US short course yards: 2:41:67 (AA qualifying time in terms of US swimming).

Working on turns is something we do every day as we train in a 25-meter pool.  Dad coach Jan and Monica worked in particular on her breaststroke turns.  All 3 breaststroke events were just amazing as Monica really performed her turns well and surfaced in line with the other swimmers.  Monica in Lane 3 in this video, swimming the 14 & Under 200 SC meter breaststroke.

We returned home with 3 Gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals.  It has been a fruitful Seagulls SC winter championship taken into account the personal bests and great times logged in the SSA database for her National short course rankings, which will be updated in March 2017.  We will feature the Ladder relay in a separate post as it is always such great fun for the swimmers.  In 2016 the girls broke the 2000 275 m Ladder relay record.



KZN Junior Winter Championships 2016

KZN Junior Winter championships

September is an important month to all swimmers as the annual KZN Junior Winter championships takes place during this month.  In our household, it is not just the Junior championships month, but also a month where the following happens:

  • September is the beginning of Spring – normally warmer weather although this year, there was still snow on the mountains, so cold, rainy days followed.
  • Monica visits the pediatrician for her annual checkup – we are ecstatic with a predicted 2-year waiting period before Mica’s asthma medication will be reduced.
  • We swim the KZN Junior championships.
  • We support the Gold in September childhood cancer awareness project – 100 gold cancer awareness ribbons distributed to swimmers at the championships.
  • Monica’s godparents traveled from far to attend the championships – it means a lot to Monica as it is normally just mom and dad as the support team.

Why are KZN Junior championships important?

The KZN Junior championships are the official start of the next season.  We are now officially swimming the 2016/2017 season.  It is also a test for age group swimmers aged 8 & Under to 13-years-old to see where they rank in their age group.

It is, furthermore another opportunity for age-group swimmers to set new meet or national age group records.  This year, 12-year-old Sune Liebenberg traveled from Gauteng to swim the 100-meter Freestyle and she set a new National age group record in a time of 59:69 (2015 record stood at 1:00:60).  The inland swimmers benefit from altitude change when swimming at the coast which makes new records possible, besides the amount of training it takes.

KZN Junior Winter championships 2016 results:

KZN Junior Winter championships 2016

Seagulls 9 & U relay team: Left to right: Noah Botha (9), Anthony Clayton (8), Monica Botha (9), Jessica Carmody (8)

  • Monica placed first in the overall points scored with 116/120 possible points.  This earned her the best 9-year-old female trophy with a second place in the Victrix Ludorum trophy.
  • She placed second in the 10 & Under 200 LC meter Freestyle and 200 m individual medley – (timed finals in the preliminary events).
  • A total of 6 personal best times with 8 gold medals
  • She took the lead in 2 mixed relays (4 x 50 m freestyle and mixed medley relay) with both teams winning gold in the events.

50 meter freestyle @ 34:97 (Gold)
100 m Freestyle @ 1:15:78 (Gold & PB)
50 m Butterfly @ 38:95 (Gold)
100 m breaststroke @ 1:43:18 (Gold & PB)
50 m backstroke @ 41:39 (Gold)
100 m backstroke @ 1:28:59 (Gold)
50 m breaststroke @ 46:21 (Gold & PB)
100 m butterfly @ 1:32:14 (Gold & PB)

Girls 10 & Under:

200 m IM @ 3:07:93 (Silver & PB)
200 m Freestyle @ 2:42:89 (Silver & PB)

We love the 200 m Freestyle – what an exciting race amidst 10-13-year-old swimmers!