TWO of Swadlincote Swimming Club’s swimmers took up the challenge of competing against some of the Midlands’ elite swimmers.
Charlotte Catlin and Livvi Dickenson, both pupils at Abbot Beyne School, in Winshill, travelled to swim in the Midland Youth Championships at the state-of-the-art Corby East Midlands International Pool.
In order to swim at the championships, both girls had to achieve the tough qualification times set down by the British Amateur Swimming Association.
Charlotte and Livvi both gained the qualifying times for their 50m events at the Derbyshire County Championships in March and Livvi went on to get her 100 Butterfly time at the Leicester age group meeting.
This was the first time either had managed to qualify for these extremely competitive championships.
The girls have been part of the Swadlincote Club’s elite swimming group for several years.
They have both enjoyed considerable individual success and also this year helped Swadlicote SC win their Leicester League Division match at Braunston.
The Midland Youth Championships are held over two days and feature multi distance racing between 50m and 1500m.
Heat and lane draw is dictated by each swimmer’s qualifying time and the Midlands champion is determined when the fastest eight swimmers in each age group meet in a final.
Livvi was the first to swim in the 50 Butterfly on Saturday and starting in the first heat, she had a strong swim. Getting a good start and surfacing in the lead there was nothing between the first three girls.
Despite having the slowest entry time, Livvie was swimming well and leading the race but unfortunately as the finish approach she was just touched out to finish in a well-deserved second place in a personal best time of 31.93 seconds, putting her 30th overall.This was good enough to move her up nine places in the rankings.
Swimming again on Sunday, Livvi was first to swim in the 100m Butterfly.
In lane six of the eight-lane pool, she went into her heat with work to do against a number of swimmers with faster entry times.
From the start Livvi performed well and although she surfaced last from the dive, her good underwater work had put her in the lead as she tried to make her good technique tell over the length of the race.
There was very little in the race at the 50m turn, with four girls all within 0.5 seconds of the lead.
However, Livvi just managed to turn first and was determined to maintain her lead.
Good work off the wall again allowed her to open up a half body length lead and she fought hard with the other three girls who were neck and neck all the way down the last length. All four girls finished with a second of each other with Livvi finishing in 1min 12.05secs, which was for her a long course personal best, putting her 26th overall out of all competitors.
Charlotte got her first taste of the Midlands in the 50 Backstroke.
Starting in lane two, she knew she had a tough task on her hands to make an impression on the leaders and this was not helped by her suffering from a very heavy cold.
However, from the start Charlotte set about taking on the race. Showing really good underwater work she made the most of her streamlining to surface after 10m and led the race.
She continued to press the race and still managed to lead at 30m, even though all eight competitors were within a body length of the lead.
All the girls kept up the fierce pace and everything was really tight at the front and would come down to the final touch. With the eight swimmers all finishing within a second of each other Charlotte can feel very pleased with a long course personal best time, putting her 17th overall in her age group.
The girls both enjoyed their first experience at this higher level and acquitted themselves well.