Swim England Norfolk County Championships 2024
Wow! What an incredible two weekends of racing at this year’s Swim England Norfolk County Championships. 39 swimmers took part from Foundation, Development, Junior Performance, County and Regional Squads. Firstly, I want to congratulate every swimmer for their amazing energy and enthusiasm throughout the championships. We have had laughter, singing, cheering, dancing, and lots and lots of support for all swimmers of all ages and we really have worked together as a team.
Saturday 29th January saw the start of our 39 swimmer’s county championship campaign and what an awesome start we had. Bronze medal in the 12 year age group 50m Backstroke from Tayla, 5th place for Fraser in the 10/11 year age group 50m Butterfly a great achievement considering he is still only 9 years old. Double finalist for Noah in the 50m Backstroke and 50m Butterfly setting new personal bests in the heats and bettering them in the finals. Another double finalist on day 1 was Donald who finished 5th in the 100m Breaststroke and 7th in the 50m Backstroke. Personal bests tumbled throughout the day across all strokes and distances. For some of our younger swimmers this was their first opportunity to swim in a long course 50m pool and they showed great determination and courage and really performed well.
Day 2 began with the men’s 100m Backstroke 5 Diss Otters took on this event with 100 % PB rate and many achieving a top 10 finish with Donald through to the final. As the final approached Donald showed great maturity and focus and again took a further 2 seconds off his personal best inching ever closer to his regional qualifying time, he finished in an incredible 4th place. Next up were the many Breaststroke swimmers. Demonstrating to other clubs how the under waters are supposed to be completed the swimmers did fantastic.
Session 6 was the fastest female event the 50m freestyle. Fast reactions, great dives and underwaters meant we had some brilliant new times recorded. Well done to Tayla who made the 12 year final finishing in a respectable 7th place and gaining another regional qualifying time. Big shout out to coach Emily who multitasked this session being a team manager and swimmer. Another great display of breaststroke from the Otters this time in the 200m Breaststroke well done to Millie and Ashleigh who had a listened well to the pre-race plan and executed this perfectly in the race. Nice top 8 finish as well for Ashleigh in the 13 year old age group. We also had a Diss Otters head-to-head in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke with Donald, Noah, Forbes and Laurie, all battling it out in the 1 length sprint. Forbes narrowly beating Noah to the touch by 0.01 and making the 16 year old final.
My highlight for weekend 1 was the new junior team captain’s energy and spirit. Special mention goes to Olivia who led and created a new story-based land warm up for the group.
Weekend 2 another action-packed weekend - 10 finalists, 2 more Bronze medals and loads more top 8 finishes. The men’s 50m Freestyle a particular highlight with Diss winning 5 heats straight. Again, in the men’s 100m Freestyle with all 11 entrants gaining personal bests times. Development swimmers Henry, Elliot, and Fraser all knocking 10+ seconds off their entry time with Noah and Donald both making the finals. Noah set himself a challenge to try to go under the 1-minute barrier for the first time and achieve his regional qualifying time. Although narrowly missing out on both his performance was fantastic coming back so quickly in the final 50m and with a great last stroke to finish in third place and take home the bronze medal. Well done to Oscar for also making finals in the 50m Breaststroke and Freestyle.
Some other great finals this weekend was Ruby in the 100m Butterfly. Massive 4.5 second PB in the heat Ruby swam the final with such determination that she knocked a further 2 seconds off her time to finish in 7th place. Emily also made the final in the 17 year and over 100m Freestyle final with awesome first 50 pace Emily finished in 7th place. Tayla went in the 100m Backstroke final a rapid first 50 finishing with the bronze medal and a new club record.
The final session of the County Championship was up next the…. Relays.
First though some special awards Coach Lee was awarded the Gold County award for representing Norfolk Swimming an incredible 16 times. Well done, Lee!
The relays were fast paced with a great team atmosphere the Otters put on an awesome display with many swimmers competing across multiple age groups. The camaraderie and team spirit were out in full force. We really do have the best swimmers. A massive well done to our 9/10 year age group who for some had never swum in a competition before, we hope you enjoyed yourself and will be back to compete again. Diss finished in an incredible 4th place.
Throughout the championships there has been some amazing swims from the whole club I think the performances were brilliant. We had 189 swims which resulted in 135 new personal best times (72% of all swims), 28 top 8 places (many 4th place finishes) and 3 Bronze medals. Plus, every final the Otters have swum in we achieved a faster swim in the final.
So many great swims over the past 2 weekends so massive thank you to all the swimmers for giving your very best effort, thank you to all the parents and supporters for continuing to support what we do and all the volunteers at the meet- it really wouldn’t happen without you!