The Daily Deal - Vol. 6
DAY SIX – LAST ONE, FAST ONE
• THE UNDERDOGS RISE...
The final day was upon us in a muggy Ponds Forge. After days of fantastic racing, it was time to wrap up the British Summer Nationals in style; with the 200 Free being contested, two girls repping the windmill in the 200 breast, a whole host of speedsters in the 50 fly and of course the glamour event of the whole meet, the 4 x 100 Medley relay.
• The men’s 200 Free was up first; an event that Millfield historically produces fast swims in. Today was no different; with Calvin Fry, Huw Williams, Jakob Goodman, TK and Kieran Bird all dropping some heat. Huw, Jakob, TK and Kieran will return tonight to test themselves against the very best.
• Several girls went up in the 100 Breast; with Alice, Izzy, Sophia, Abbie and Lily all competing for places in the finals. The younger contingent of Izzy and Alice swam exceptionally well, with Alice agonisingly close to a final. Sophia, Abbie and Lily all swam strong races with the latter two making the senior final later tonight.
• We turned our attention to the 200 Back next. Alex, Gambold and Thorno all took to the water to show their backstroke skills and all did a great job. All three young men just missed out on finals swims but Alex will return to the pool this evening to lead off the A team medley relay.
• Our departing club captain Izzy Jones was up next in the 100 Fly. Swimming her last individual race for Millfield, Izzy showed her trademark grit to come flying back down the second 50 to touch just off her best.
• Sprint life was in full effect for late morning’s races. Calvin, SP, Rocco, Simon, Sean, Huw, Santos and Stan were primed and ready for some speed in the 50 Fly. After a tough week of racing, it was exciting to watch the boys let loose. Sean, Huw and Santos all made it back for a second swim this evening and the other boys all gave great accounts of themselves on the big stage.
• The relay then took centre stage. The crew had a fully loaded slate of racing; with a team in each event and age group. The junior girls swam a gutsy race, with Polly leading off in a new PB and Izzy, Rachel and Yasmine all swimming bang on their best but just missing out on a final. The senior girls then hit the pool with confidence. Led by Sophia’s stellar backstroke leg; Abi, Izzy and Emma then smashed through the heat to secure a good spot in the final. The junior boys were next, with the A team (Alex, Mitch, Sean, Huw) cruising through to pole position in the final and the B team (David, Elly, SP, Stan) swimming a tremendous race to grab a place in the final. This will be an interesting race come this evening. Finally the senior boys were up; Thorno, Jakob, Santos, Barker were fighting with the big dogs to get a spot in the final, which they secured and are hoping to challenge for a podium finish.
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DAY SIX – LAST ONE, FAST ONE – THE FINAL FINALS
• ARE. YOU. READY?!
What a week and what a fantastic group of young people. School records have fallen, British records have been smashed, scores of medals grabbed and national titles secured. The only fitting way to finish such an amazing week was with a finals session to match.
• The 200 free got under way with Huw Williams taking 6th place with a spirited back end for a Personal best time of 1:56.01. The relay's and the team look strong next year with Huw and his Welsh compatriot Ioan Evans heading to the senior ranks of Millfield. Jakob Goodman swam a great race in his 200 final, sticking strong to the "front-end" Goodman monicker that he has earned this meet. He swam strongly throughout the whole race to just be tipped at the finish for 2nd place. In his last race in the Millfield green, Kieran Bird swam a fantastic race, absolutely smashing the second 100 to gain on the leaders and finish 5th in an agonisingly close finish.
• Lily Booker and Abigail Hurst swam great 100m Breastroke finals in times just outside their best times taking 5th and 8th respectively. Both girls swam different races, with Abbie getting out fast and Lily attempting the 2nd 50 burst to gain a few places. It has been a great meet for both girls and it's exciting to see what the future holds for the talented pair.
• The sprint life crew hit the water once again in the 50m Butterfly finals. Sean Tsai had a great final swim moving up the pecking order to finish in 6th place. Sean has gone from strength to strength this year and has backed up this with some brilliant performances. The beast himself Huw Williams was in the water for the second time this evening, going up against a fast field. Huw smashed his way through the 50 finishing up in 4th with a near blanket finish. Next up was the Spanish superstar Santos Villalon and after an even first 25m, Santos’ last 25m was electric to finish strong and take the silver medal in a personal best time of 24.78.
• The meet closed out with the 4 x 100 Medley relays. MIllfield had a team in every event in the morning session and with the junior girls just missing out on a place in the finals, the 4x100 girls medley team stood up first. The girls swam phenomenal races; Sophia led off with a very strong backstroke leg, handing over to Lily and Izzy for two outstanding middle legs; finally handing over to Emma Harvey, who smashed down the first 50 and held on well to finish in a school record of 4:15.99 to take 5th place. The team of Sophia Wilson, Lily Booker, Izzy Jones and Emma Harvey has a great future and we wish all the best to the departing Izzy Jones.
• Next up were the junior boys medley relays. For the first time in a couple of years, the juniors had both A and B team swimming in the final and what a race it was. A great Breastroke swim from Will Mitchell put the A team in a commanding position after a strong leg from Alex Sargeant and they never looked back. A strong fly leg from Sean Tsai meant that Huw Williams never looked like reliquishing the lead his teammates had accrued and the A's took the National title in a time of 3:55.20. The B team swam superply with great splits from all swimmers taking a very commendable 4th place. A strong backstroke leg from prep school swimmer Matthew Hall put Will Ellington in a great position moving into the breaststroke, then SP and Stan swam huge bests to come back strong and just fall out of the medal places. The future looks bright for those juniors!
• In the 17/over medley relay the boys were up against stiff competition; once again being the only school aged team to swim in the senior final and be in medal contention. The boys all stood up chased down the big guns from the start; with Tom Thornley leading the team off, Jakob Goodman swimming an unfamiliar but speedy breaststroke leg. Santos and Louis smashed through the back end of the race to move up and finish 6th in a tightly contested final. Tom and Louis made their final appearances for Millfield in this relay and we wish them the best.