The Tollcross International Swimming Centre witnessed a weekend of rapid racing over the short course format, with a number of new British records and world best times posted by the country’s top para-swimmers.
(Images courtesy of Bruce White for Scottish Swimming)
With three fast flowing sessions taking place over Saturday and Sunday, mixed-classification winners were decided by use of the heat declared format in all 23 events at the British Para-Swimming Winter National Meet 2022.
The meet delivered pace from the off with Reece Dunn edging over the one thousand point marker to indicate a world best time in the Men’s MC 100m Freestyle, with the Plymouth Leander-man subsequently adding victory in the Men’s MC 50m Butterfly on Saturday afternoon before touching home once more under the current S14 world record time in the Men’s MC 100m Butterfly in Sunday’s final session.
“I’ve just got to use this as a foundation and build off it now” said Dunn,
“I’m not really feeling race fit, so I spoke with my coach and we talked about using this [event] as a springboard to grab some motivation over the next four to five months into the world championship trials.”
Winner of ‘Outstanding Para-Swimmer of 2021-22’ at the recent British Swimming: The Awards, Supercharged by Speedo, Maisie Summers-Newton, showed a fierce continuation of form into the new season with a quartet of event triumphs (Women’s MC 100m Freestyle, 200m Individual Medley, 100m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle) all in world best times for her S6/SM6/SB6 classification.
“We’re in a big block of winter training so I’ve shocked myself a bit coming away with PB’s in all my events, I’m feeling really proud.” said Summer-Newton
“It’s great seeing a number of new faces here [this weekend]. I’m walking round and I don’t recognise a lot of faces but it shows there’s another new generation of swimmers coming along and that will be fabulous for the future.”
The highest individual race point score of the Winter Meet came from Ellie Challis with a monumental 1800 points in the Women’s MC 50m Butterfly. The Manchester Performance Centre swimmer had already earlier secured the Women’s MC 50m Breaststroke victory with a sub SB2 world record time ahead of Rebecca Redfern who posted an SB13 world best time of her own.
Speaking on her short course results, Challis commented:
“It’s obviously the start of the season, and it’s a winter meet, so we’re mainly focusing on technique at the moment - I really didn’t expect the times!
“It’s been an enjoyable 12 weeks with my new coach Aled [Davies] and I’ve enjoyed the change so far. We’ve still got lots of months until worlds, but the preparation has begun already. I’ll definitely be ready for a home Worlds [in Manchester] which will be great.”
With Redfern adding her thoughts on how the competition provided a platform for moving towards future goals:
“I think this meet is good to see where we are at now, ahead of a busy couple of years leading into Paris. The World Championships next year are a stepping stone, we are hoping to swim well there, but the main goal is Paris.”
The final event of the schedule saw Poppy Maskill close proceedings with a sub S14 world record time in the Women’s MC 100m Butterfly regardless of her personal compact racing timeline. Speaking after her race win the 17 year-old swimmer who was recently among the Top 10 athletes shortlisted for the SportsAid One-to-Watch Award, said:
“I thought it was really good because I was a bit tired from that 200m Free, but I just get in and try my hardest and know the results will come.”
Elsewhere 14 year-old Connie Ratley (S9) and 15 year-old Rhys Darbey (S14) impressed with respective wins against senior athletes in the Women’s MC 50m Backstroke and Men’s MC 200m Individual Medley – the later provisionally in a new British record mark.
William Perry (SB6), Lyndon Longhorne (SM4) and Jordan Catchpole (S14) all notched up British records (subject to ratification) in event wins of their own, with Harvey Phillips (S4) and Faye Rogers (S10) also producing times that are set to enter the British Para-Swimming short course record standings.
Providing a brief summary of the importance of the British Para-Swimming Winter National Meet 2022 on the roadmap through next season and in developing the next generation, Rob Aubry British Para-Swimming Head Coach commented:
“To swim short course at a licensed meet, and to have this competition with the younger athletes coming through and having that exposure to race against their peers is really important.
“It's been great to see swimmers post a number of those [world best and British record] short course times. It shows the rest of the world where we are – and as we start slowly moving our focus towards long course for when we go into National Championships and World Series events, it’s really important that we've already got this competition experience under our belt.”
Overall Mixed Classification event winners
- S1-S14 100m Freestyle – Reece Dunn (S14) and Maisie Summers-Newton (S6)
- SB1-SB14 50m Breaststroke – William Perry (SB6) and Ellie Challis (SB2)
- SM5-SM14 200m Individual Medley – Rhys Darbey (SM14) and Maisie Summers-Newton (SM6)
- SM1-SM4 150m Individual Medley – Lyndon Longhorne (SM4)
- S1-S14 50m Freestyle – Louis Lawlor (S14) and Callie Ann Warrington (S10)
- SB1-SB14 100m Breaststroke – Scott Quin (SB14) and Maisie Summers-Newton (SB6)
- S1-S14 50m Butterfly – Reece Dunn (S14) and Ellie Challis (S3)
- S1-S14 100m Backstroke – Jordan Catchpole (S14) and Jessica-Jane Applegate (S14)
- S1-S14 50m Backstroke – Jordan Catchpole (S14) and Connie Ratley (S9)
- S6-S13 400m Freestyle – Oliver Carter (S10) and Maisie Summers-Newton
- S1-S5 & S14 200m Freestyle – Jordan Catchpole (S14) and Louise Fiddes (S14)
- S1-S14 100m Butterfly – Reece Dunn (S14) and Poppy Maskill (S14)
Full results from the British Para-Swimming Winter National Meet 2022 can be found online HERE.