South East Regional Winter Championships (2011)
Bodies were shaved, racing suits were donned, and trophies were displayed as competition season began in earnest this weekend with the Winter Regional Championships 2011 in Aldershot.
Given the frustratingly rare opportunity to compete in a fifty-meter pool during this, an Olympic year, Windsor swimmers were assured in confirming their reputation as a dominant force not only in the local area, but in the South-East region.
After the first day Windsor were able to boast of an exceptional 23 medals, including two impressive wins in the boys and girls relay events, which unfailingly fair indicator of a club's depth, and of its team ethic. The boys' team persevered against a solid effort from Rushmore Royals to take gold in the 400m Freestyle Relay, and, soon after, the girls' team replied by picking apart their opposition in the 400m Medley Relay.
Determined to pursue the momentum from the first day of competition, the squad began the Sunday session with equal zeal and confidence. Katie Ambridge (21) not only won the Women's 200m Butterfly, but she also earned the qualifying standard for the Olympic Trials, adding to her favored event, the 100m Butterfly.
Similarly, Lilly Glover (15) responded to the disappointment of narrowly missing her National Championships qualifying time in the heats of the 200m Butterfly by bettering the time by a full second in the final, and thereby securing her place on the start sheet.
Lastly, Robert Iddiols (22) put the frustration of placing second in the previous day's 100m Freestyle to good use by touching the pads in the Men's 50m Freestyle final with a time of 23.3secs., destroying all opposition, and deservedly earning himself an Olympic Trials qualifying standard.
At the close on Sunday Windsor's medal tally had hit forty, and were it not for the organizers' decision to discontinue the 'Top Club' award, the squad would have enjoyed a richly deserved photo opportunity atop the podium.
Head-coach Matt Heathcock was delighted with the weekend's success, and will seek to condense that formula on Saturday for the final round of the Arena League, where he and his team look to finish in their highest ever position.