Winchester Spring Qualifier Meet Report
30 Mar 2023
Author: Matt Boyd-Wallis
I want to say ‘Well Done’ to all of those who qualified and attended this Meet. Level 1 Open Meets are the best meets we can have in our competitive calendar, after Regionals and Nationals. In Level 1 meets, swimmers will have the opportunity to rub shoulders and compete with the best in the country and Olympic swimmers, which is exactly what happened for our swimmers last weekend!
This was a very long meet spread over two and a half days, with a full complement of events and some very long sessions too. To keep focused and then perform at your best takes a lot of effort, determination and self-discipline. Hence why I started by congratulating our swimmers, as they should all be incredibly proud of themselves and realise just how well they did.
I want swimmers to realise that we have both a Long and Short Course season in our competitive swimming year. At the start of the year, our competitions are Short Course, with the season moving into the Long Course Competition period (roughly) after Christmas/Counties. Even though we train in a short course pool and the majority of our competitions take place in short course pools, each swimmer will accumulate two sets of PBs on their Swim England profiles, Short and Long Course PB Times.
Personally, I feel the two sets of times are very separate as there is a big difference in what is involved in swimming in the two different lengths of pools. Short Course times are what we will have chances to improve upon more regularly, as we swim in short course pools more often. Long Course times are what we try to focus on for Regional and National Qualifying times and used as you develop up through the rankings. We can convert the two times, however personally I don’t like swimmers doing this for the above reasons unless swimmers have never swam in a Long course event/pool or race before.
So when you swim in a Long Course event please be looking at your Long Course PBs first and if you break your Short Course PB in a Long Course pool, then understand that it is a very big deal and achievement! Long Course will suit some swimmers better than Short Course and vice versa, but they are very separate disciplines in terms of stroke development, race strategies and physical development and fitness. Hence why we asked you to record both your Short Course and Long Course times in your notebooks.
However, a summary of the meet is as follows:
In total we had 73 swims over this competition, with swimmers performing in every session. We won six medals in total, two Golds, two Silver and two Bronzes, so keeping our medal and colour display balanced! For me, what was even more pleasing was the number of PBs and Regional Qualifying Times we recorded, with 32 PBs and 19 Regional Qualifying times from across all age groups.
Seriously, these numbers just prove how much you are all developing and becoming stronger, more confident and more competitive. So far this year, we have had more County Qualifying swimmers at the Hampshire County Championships than we did last year and we keep building on from that with results like this. Keep buying into yourselves, this competitive program and your coaches because these results do not lie. You are all truly getting happier, more confident, faster and stronger. Well Done!