The 'Not so early Bird' Crawley meet (2011)
The midway stage of the season is upon us, and swimmers across the country count the days as regional championships approach.
This weekend's journey to Crawley for the 'Not So' Early Bird Meet 2011 marked the final opportunity for Windsor swimmers to race in a competitive environment before the regionals, providing one last chance to tweak race plans, test fitness, and generally flex some muscles.
The past five months of the team's training has gradually been building towards the final round of the Arena League and the Regional Championships, both of which take place in early December, so this weekend's events were viewed simply as a "swim-through meet" by head coach, Matt Heathcock.
And so, unwilling to compromise these important weeks of training leading up to two big meets, the swimmers battled through fatigue and stiffness to produce some great swims. Most notably, Flo Claringbold (15) earned her National qualifying time for the 100m Breaststroke in the 15/16 years age group with a time of 1.16.1secs., destroying the qualification standard by a full second.
Other great performances came in such events as the Girls' 800m Freestyle, in which Windsor's Lucy Campbell recorded a time of 9mins00secs., bettering all opposition by over 22 seconds.
On the Men's side, Oliver Leonard (16) and Robert Iddiols (22) picked up victories in the 50m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle events respectively. Equally, Sam Straughan (18) produced a solid swim in the 100m Fly to take the victory, cementing the sprint reputation of Windsor's men.
Many great swims followed from the squad on both the boys and girls sides, which collectively picked up another impressive haul of medals to take back to Windsor.
Heathcock was quick to applaud the team for racing well in a Long Course (50m) pool for the first time since the National Championships six months ago.
In two weeks the squad travels to Aldershot for the Regional Championships 2011.