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:
- Seals 1 & 2 in Pietermaritzburg – 2 pre-season meets in June/July
- 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:
Monica 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.