Thanks to Ellie Pollard for providing the following report from the North East Region Championships in Sunderland this past weekend.
The combined Youth, Senior and Age Group North Eastern Championships held in two adjacent pools on the same weekend promised to be eventful with coaches and some parents split between two pools and running orders.
As always our swimmers rose to the occasion. The Youth & Senior swimmers provided their fair share of excitement with heats in the morning and finals after lunch they had a busy schedule.
Great PB’s across the team, Jamie Clarke reached the final in 50m backstroke to take silver in 28.97.
Jarvis Parkinson was on form taking silver in 200 fly and 400 IM and bronze in 200 breast. He also managed to add more national times to his repertoire in 200m breast and 400 IM.
The biggest surprise of the weekend and dare I mention comedy moment of the weekend came courtesy of Alex Pollard. A relative novice to the North Eastern Championships he took 9 medals and PB’s across 9 events. Saturday was Silverday with silvers in all events swum: 1500 Free, 200 Fly, 200 IM and 100 Backstroke. Sunday started strong with a silver medal in 400 IM and then came the 200 Free. Alex went out strong and led from the start, he picked up pace on the 3rd 50m and then much to everyone’s surprise hit the pads and finished the race well ahead of the field. Only problem was he’d only swum 6 lengths! After a delay of 3-4 seconds that felt like an eternity, Alex responded to the cries from poolside of, “2 more! 2 more!” and gave chase to the pack who’d turned and gone. He almost caught them as well but in the end had to settle for bronze. After the necessary ribbing that comes from not being able to count to 8 came the bitter disappointment of realising he’d missed his first NER championship gold through a lapse in concentration. How would he respond to this knock back? In true Alex style he came back fighting. Three events were left to swim and Alex wanted gold, he knew he could beat his friend, rival and BAGCAT winner from City of Leeds after the 200 Free and battled on taking gold in 200 back, 100 Fly and 400 Free. His fiery finish to the weekend also earned him 2nd place in the BAGCAT points, a job well done! We couldn’t let him get away with a 6 length 200m race without repercussions. He touched 1st in his 200m Back to be told by a frantic coach that he’d got 2 more to swim, what a rotten trick!
It was also a weekend of record breaking. Congratulations to the following record breakers: Alex Pollard, Jarvis Parkinson, Heidi Smith and Caitlin Dixon.