Great Yarmouth Swimming Club held its Age Group Championships over two consecutive evenings in June. The championships enable club swimmers to race against other swimmers in their age groups, endeavoring to become the champion of their age group for that year. Swimmers compete in the 4 different strokes of breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke and freestyle, with points being awarded ranked by the fastest swim times out of all the heats in that age group. The points are then totaled up, to establish the overall age group winners.
There was a great atmosphere on poolside, with a strong turn out of swimmers, especially in the younger age groups. The audience members were generous in their support of all the swimmers, applauding each heat and cheering on their own children. Medals were awarded after each event, and swimmers got to parade in front of friends and family, with some upbeat tunes adding extra atmosphere to their walk to the podium. They were presented with their medals by club president Nigel Utting.
The club introduced the new age category of 8 year olds two years ago, and this year we had even more participants compete. The 8 year olds swim a distance of 25m and there were some great races. Mimi Tyler took first place in all the races she swam, and not only that, she also set new club records for the backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. For the 8 year old boys, Jan Beblot won both of his races, and also managed to set a new club record for the 25m backstroke.
At the Age Groups, it always adds extra interest by having boys and girls of the same age group compete in the same heats. Although their finishing positions are calculated separately (so if a girl did the fastest time and a boy did the second fastest time – his would be the fastest boys time so would rank as a win for the boys in that age group), having both genders in a heat often pushes swimmers to compete that little bit harder with pride at stake. This was clear to see in the age 11 100m butterfly with Sam Coman and Jasmine Coleman, who had a real head to head battle. Jasmine pipped Sam at the finish, and swam her 100m fly in an excellent new club record time of 1.19.03. A similar situation occurred in the age 14 100m freestyle, with Kelsey Wilson pushing Jacob Zandbergen hard. Jacob had to swim a new pb to just beat Kelsey, but Kelsey went one better by breaking the club record – that had been set back in 1997 and had therefore not been beaten for 21 years – in a new record time of 1.04.03. Very impressive.
There were a lot of new personal best times set over the 2 evenings, and a few surprise results, with some new faces appearing on the podium. At the end of the two evenings, the age groups champions were calculated as:
8 years – Mimi Tyler and Jan Beblot
9 years – Ava Patterson and Charlie Foulger
10 years – Amelia Dibble and Morgan Twose
11 years – Jasmine Coleman and Sam Coman
12 Years – Chloe Haworth and Charlie Shearing
13 years – Anna Pearce and Finley Coman
14 Years – Kelsey Wilson and Jacob Zandbergen
15/16 years – Anna Duffield and Tommy Chandler
The over all group champion was Mimi Tyler, who had first places in all her races and also broke 3 club records.
Age groups champions were presented with trophies and after that all swimmers were presented with a participation medal for taking part in the championships. Well done to all the swimmers who participated and thanks to all of the volunteers who ran the galas.
Full results, with all the swimmers’ times and placings, can be found on the club website. https://www.gysc.org.uk/calendar/fixtures-results/