As the year draws nearer to its end, the mood at Cranleigh Swimming Club is one of anticipation. Looking to the period ahead, there are thoughts of excitement and celebration. If you think that I am writing about Christmas, then, of course, many of our swimmers will be looking forward to this special time. But for many of our members, extra anticipation comes from the upcoming Surrey County Championships, early in the New Year.
To swim at the County Championships, a swimmer needs to get a qualifying time at a licensed swimming gala. The cutoff for achieving these times is 8th January. This means that autumn is typically a time where clubs enter many meets, giving their swimmers the opportunity to get those times. Cranleigh Swimming Club is no different. Since I last wrote, our swimmers have been very busy competing.
The largest event that the club has taken part in since the last article was the Haslemere Open Meet. In recent years, the club has taken part in the Dorking Open Meet, which happens on the same day. However, this year, Haslemere was our focus, providing a different challenge for swimmers and coaches alike. The pool at Haslemere is a great facility and our swimmers did the environment justice.
Out of just under 100 events swum, county qualifying times were achieved in 12. Of these, new times were obtained by Siena Reilly and Lucy Andrews. There were also plenty of PBs, with 36 swims being new bests for our swimmers. These numbers are very good when recent swims are taken into account. With our own Club Open Meet and Club Championships both less than a month before, many swimmers had swum these events very recently.
In the final results, gold medal winners were Thomas Craig, Martha Horstead, Lana Howells-Davies, Harry Jupp, Chris King and William Stanley. Silver medals went to Lucy Andrews, Millie Hastie, Martha, Harry, Ellen Shayler and Siena. Millie, Martha, Paige Howells-Davies, Will O’Brien, Siena, Callum Stevens and Jess Tomlinson all took bronze medals. Special mention goes to Martha who braved the 100m Butterfly and was rewarded with a new Club Record for 9-year-olds.
Either side of the Haslemere Open the club also ran our own Club Championships. These are more low-key competitions, which are restricted to Cranleigh swimmers. Club Championships take place in our normal training slots and are a perfect introduction to competitive swimming for our younger swimmers. They also provide more opportunities for County Times. Across the two weekends, 15 new qualifying times were achieved and 10 were improved. There was also a new Club Record for Thomas Craig in the 200m Freestyle.
It is fair to say that for our less experienced swimmers, the 2020 County Championships are not the target. Regardless, these swimmers have been swimming well and continue to make great progress. Many of this group have been promoted to the next training squad this autumn. And many have also had their first taste of swimming, taking part in the galas described above.
This all means that the lower end of the club is thriving and an exciting place to be, with many happy swimmers. If you have children who are keen to experience this, please get in touch. On this note, the club is also offering a new recreational “fitness” squad. Perhaps your children love swimming and would like to be part of a club, but are not able to commit to the hours of the competition squads. If this is the case, please contact us to find out more.
If you are interested in joining Cranleigh ASC, do come down and see us on a Sunday evening at Cranleigh Leisure Centre from 4.30pm onwards or visit our website www.cranleighsc.org.
We offer two free taster trial sessions, for children to see if they’d enjoy it.