Head Coach’s Report
Surrey County Championships 2018
With every passing weekend of intense competition, and as the coaching team was busy collating and pouring over data, the picture began to emerge of Leander doing rather well this year. But it wasn’t until the last weekend of the Championships – and a further day’s wait for the official tables to be posted on the Surrey website – that the great success we had achieved came shining through.
Each weekend the stats were collected after every swim and a thorough performance analysis was conducted. As more success, records and medals were accumulated, the more excited I became at the prospect of penning this report.
This year the Surrey Championships committee decided for the first time to include the Surrey B qualifiers in the 50m events. Due to the increased number of competitors the fantastic London Aquatic Centre was chosen as the venue for the weekend’s swimming which also included the relays. The magnificent team spirit on poolside coursing through the Leander ranks was plain for everyone to see.
An overview of the last 5 Surrey Championships since I joined Leander shows the great strides that we have made.
The standard of swimming in the Surrey Championships improves every year. Across most events and age groups the qualifying times are getting faster. In spite of the qualifying thresholds being more demanding (with the exception of the 50m events) Leander posted a record number of qualifiers this year: 65 swimmers featured in a total of 286 events, and Leander fielded 28 relay teams.
Surrey Championships – Tinlin Trophy (10-16y olds)
In the competition for the Tinlin Trophy Leander achieved a creditable 7 th place overall scoring 374 points. My first Surrey Championships as Head Coach with Leander was in 2014 when our tally was 210 points. At that point it was clear that we had work to do. While we achieved 6 th place in 2016, we scored almost 20 more points this year.
Kirstin (91) and Alderic (66.5) scored the most individual points while 23 Leander swimmers scored points.
After many years of the girls outscoring the boys, this year the boys (238.5) finally just edged ahead of the girls (224.5p) in the overall score.
With 35 medals in total, Leander also won more medals this year than in recent years. We brought home 5 gold medals each year in 2015, 2016 and in 2017. With 11 golds this year we more than doubled the tally and secured 8 th place in the medal table.
Altogether 9 Leander swimmers won medals. Among the girls Kirstin won 10 and Alderic scored the most for the boys with 7. Sonny won the most gold medals with 5 as he completed the Freestyle Grand Slam – winning the clean sweep of Freestyle events from 50m to 1500m!
Medals were also won by 2 Leander relay teams and one team regained a trophy won by Leander only on two occasions since 1930!
Finals and Personal Best Times
Leander swimmers reached 105 finals (including top 8 finishes in events which were straight finals) and 11 relay teams placed in the top 8. Our swimmers set 225 new PB’s.
Age Group Trophy Winners (10/11-14)
The Age Group Trophy is for the swimmers who gain the most points in each age category over 5 different events and for that reason it is highly prized. No Leander swimmer made the top 10 last year. This year was different: 4 Leander swimmers were ranked in the top 10: Sonny (12y) and Alderic (11y) collected their trophies for 2 nd and 3 rd respectively. Jacob (14y) and Saskia (12y) both finished 7 th while Keira Mc (14y) finished in 11 th place.
Our swimmers set 55 new club records (53 Age group and 2 Open). Alderic set 14 new records, Sonny 13, and Kirstin posted 4 Age Group and 2 Open records, with Saskia close behind setting 5.
Other notable performances and improvements
Our most improved and most successful event this year was 100m Butterfly overtaking the 50m Backstroke from last year. Butterfly became the most successful stroke overtaking Breaststroke. However the great news is that due to our breadth of talent the 3 other strokes vied closely with one another and were not far behind. The rivalry between our two performance squads was intense. Gold Squad chased our seniors in Platinum Yellow Squad all the way but finally had to settle for 2 nd place with 141 points to PLY’s 181 points.
In their final year competing in the Tinlin Trophy, our hugely successful 16 year- old age group, and the girls in particular, accumulated an impressive 141 points. They have set the bar and have given our swimmers coming through next year plenty to aim for!
The Surreys are a team Championships and success in the counties requires a combined and concerted team effort. To build on the wonderful achievements of this year with a view to an even better performance in the Age Group Trophy next year and beyond is now the goal for all our age group squads.