17/03/2020

What an absolute roller-coaster the last 12 months has been, as some of our swimmers (with the support of parents, volunteers and coaches) have battled it out at various licensed meets to try and achieve regional qualifying times.

This weekend was the last chance for both our club swimmers and dual club swimmers to attempt to get regional qualifying times. The Stockport Metro Qualification Window Meet 2020 took place on Saturday and Sunday and was held at Grand Central Leisure Centre. This was a long course gala i.e. racing in a 50m pool as opposed to a 25m pool (25m pools are known as short course). 

The journey to this point was not just about getting a regional time; It was about getting  to this level of competition for the first time; it was about pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone and outside of their previous mind-set.  

Challenges that our swimmers had during this journey included entering licensed meets for the first time, travelling to new locations, attempting longer distance races, learning new techniques to go that little bit faster, quickly taking on-board and adapting to feedback from prior galas, quickly getting over disappointments in one race to tackle the next, and for those attempting long course races for the first time, getting their mind-set right to tackle swimming the 50m pool with fewer tumble turns to aid acceleration.  

Getting to Regional's requires more pool time, which meant that swimmers would usually have to train harder and for longer hours outside of our club, as well as sacrificing other activities.  Maintaining resilience was key. These swimmers were on this journay for up to 12 months plus.

“I may falter along the way, but I am determined to succeed”  - Neil Morris. An ethos all Scorpions should strive to display.

We should all be extremely proud of all our young Scorpions, not just for the times they achieved, but for the determination that they displayed. This meet is of a very high standard, with strict entry times. To get to Regional status usually takes more pool time than the 4.5hrs a week that Wilmslow Scorpions has to offer, and at this meet, our swimmers were competing against swimmers who train up to 6 days a week.

That said, last year Joseph Mortlock was the first non-dual club swimmer, in over 10 years to represent Wilmslow at the Regionals in the 50m free and the 50m breaststroke.

 This year James Dale (50m backstroke) and Stuart Harwood (50m breaststroke) took on this challenge, both as non-dual club swimmers, narrowly missing out on Regional times by hundredths of a second.  I was lucky enough to witness both races and the boys did the club proud.

Regional Qualifiers

This year, the following dual club members will be heading to the Regionals:  

  • Heidi Stansfield in the 50m breaststroke;  
  • Ella Faulkner in the 50m free and 50m back;  
  • Joseph Mortlock in the 50m free and 50m breaststroke

Lewis Brodie, the clubs’ honorary member, who now swims for Stockport Metro at National Level, has achieved an eye watering 16, yes I did say 16, regional qualifying times! What an achievement for someone swimming in the 12 year old age group.   

 His qualifying events are: 50m free, 100m free, 200m free, 400m free, 50m back, 100m back, 200m back, 50 breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 50m fly, 100m fly, 200m IM and 400m IM. Wow, just wow!

Rankings

The gala was also attended by Theo Ibeziako, Martha Sargent, Katherine Alexander, Oliver Mortlock and Phoebe Davidson. Whilst not everybody qualified for the regionals, they all achieved SE rankings in their age categories for events taken in the last 12 months.

Top 10 rankings in Cheshire County for Long Course Events

Ella Faulkner is ranked 1st in the 50m free, 50m fly and 50m back.  She is ranked 3rd in the 200m IM and has top 10 rankings in the 100m free, 100m breaststroke and 100m back. All in aged group 11-year-old.   

Stuart Hardwood is now ranked Cheshire County’s 3rd fastest 18-year-old in the 50m breaststroke in long course.  He is ranked within the top 20 in the North West Region.  All this, after attending his first licenced meet in December 2019!   

Heidi Stansfield in ranked 3rd in the 200m fly in age group 13-year-old. Heidi also has top 10 rankings in 50m free, 200m breaststroke and 100m fly.   

Other Top 10 rankings go to James Dale in the 50m back and Theo Ibeziako in the 100m free, both in age group 14.  Also, Joseph Mortlock in 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke and 200m IM in age group 16-year-old.

Top 20 rankings in Cheshire County for Long Course Events

Top 20 rankings in age group 13-year-olds go to Martha Sargent for the 50m and 100m breaststroke; Heidi Standsfield for the 200m free, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke and 50m fly.   

Top 20 rankings in age group 14-year-olds go to Theo Ibeziako for the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke.  

In the 16-year-old age group, ranked top 20 are Joseph Mortlock in the 50m free, 100m free and 50m fly, and Oliver Mortlock in 100m free and 50m fly.

Top 30 rankings in Cheshire County for Long Course Events

In this category Phoebe Davidson has rankings in the 50m free and 100 free in age group 14.  Oliver Mortlock has rankings in the 50m free and 50m breast.

What is your goal?

Our cohort of county level and regional level swimmers has grown.  Now is the time to set your goals to also achieve these levels in 2021!


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