What an explosive first county weekend – without a shadow of a doubt the best I have experienced at Farnham Swimming Club, and I’m so proud of everyone.
Massive milestones broken by many swimmers racing for the first time at this level, including swimmers making finals at their first championships!
This all culminating with a swimmer achieving their first county championship title and an overall medal tally greater than ever.
To begin the day, we had an incredible battle between Cillian Lee and Alexander Brown for the 100 breast crown. Cillian took gold and Alexander silver with massive personal bests in the heats to further smash these in the final to reach the podium.
Tom Noel, more determined than ever, took silver in the 200 front crawl and this was repeated in the afternoon with silver in the 200 back, also with lifetime-best swims.
Further finals from Rocco Whitehouse, Andrew Hooper (100 breast), Jay Austin-Burrows and James Parry (50 fly) all stepping up to the occasion and performing well above expectations.
To close the day Tom was on a mission, focused and more determined than ever to secure his first championship title in the 50 fly. Nothing was going to stop him as he rose to the occasion, calm, collected and with dignity, taking control of the race right from the start. So nice to see all his hard work pay off as he became our fourth county champion.
My thanks to all the coaches back at base keeping the programme running and their essential input into every swimmer’s success this weekend!
February 4 was a phenomenal day with lots of fantastic achievements.
Where do I begin? How about nine finals, three medals, one of each colour, gold, silver and bronze.
Two for Tom Noel, smashing the 200 fly and becoming county champion and to then take the bronze in the 100 back in the same session.
Just mind blowing how our talented youngsters can pull off back-to-back epic swims.
Other finalists in session one were Bronwen Price, James Parry and Alexander Brown, all rising to the occasion and making FSC proud, all only just missing the podium.
In the second session, Alexander obliterated the 400 IM to take silver, and Lucy Pieterse also destroyed her 1500m front crawl short course converted time – which is unheard of – to achieve a huge lifetime best swim.
On, then, to a further five more finals, firstly Tom, Alexander and James in the 50 back, all narrowly missing the podium with incredible performances from all to close the evening.
We also had Bronwen in the 50 breast final and one of my main highlights of the day was Amelie Farrier’s return to county final status in the 50 breast as she smashed her lifetime best in both the heat and the final to achieve her highest county ranking yet.
So many other swims, too – Will Jarrett swimming in his first county individual, for example, and many others rising to the occasion.
Now on to the final day...
Firstly, I’m glad I’m typing this as my voice is shot to pieces!
I am still processing the massive strides forwards the programme is taking, from exposing new swimmers to racing at this level to previous county level swimmers qualifying for a magnitude of additional events and above all our heat to final to medal conversion ratios.
All in all, the club trajectory of progression is astronomical and something I am deeply honoured to be a part of.
The team of coaches and volunteers make me so proud to say I am head coach of FSC.
I love the fact our focus is not just on expansion. The priority is raising standards and helping every FSC member maximise their full potential.
We added to our medal tally: Tom dominated every fly event, becoming county champion in the 100 fly which gave him gold in all three distances. Alexander smashed the 200 IM to take silver and Tom did the same in the 800 front crawl.
Bronwen then closed the evening with an epic 50 fly final to gain her first county championship title.
This took the medal tally to the highest, I believe, in the club’s history – seven gold, eight silver and five bronze, 20 medals and an overall county club ranking of 11th in Surrey.
Words cannot describe this achievement and how through Covid and now beyond we have just gone from strength to strength.
A massive thank you to Alex Bowsher, the assistant head coach, for all his hard work and support. I couldn’t have done it without you, and I know all the swimmers appreciate your continued hard work and dedication to the programme.