Sette Colli International
On Wednesday the 19th of June we embarked on an epic adventure to one of the most prolific senior European swim meets, the Sette Colli International. The meet is held at the home of gladiators, in the Olympic park of the 1960 Olympic Games.
On Wednesday we took the midday flight out of Bristol on route to the majestic city of Rome. Thursday was filled with a little bit of venue familiarisation, training and some adventures through the beautiful city of Rome. The students on this were all national champions in their own right in domestic age group competitions, in this venue, that didn’t count for anything. We had 3 days of hardcore racing ahead and the students were ready to rumble. The students involved were: Sophia Wilson (L6), Rachel Anderson (L6), Jess Podger (L6), Lily Booker (U6), William Ellington (Y11), William Mitchell (L6), Huw Williams (L6), Danilo Rosafio (L6), Jakob Goodman (U6) & Brodie Williams (OM).
So along came Friday, Race Day number 1!!! The young pretenders from the mighty Millfield did not disappoint. They took the messages of resilience, ownership and accountability on board and showed wisdom beyond their years. Key performances on day 1 were Rachel Anderson & Jess Podger both smashing the 400m freestyle to make to B final, both girls put in season best performances to showcase the female depth in middle distance freestyle at Millfield. Rachel, swimming a world class time of 4.16.1 to finish 2nd. Also putting in a shift was young gladiator William Ellington, storming through heat 1 of the 100m breaststroke to outline his intentions for the upcoming European Youth Olympic festival.
The weekend was here, and it was speedy Saturday, the students managed to learn from day 1 and came to the 2nd day with an intensity that was clear for everyone to see. Some key performances include, Lily Booker storming into the B final of the 400m IM, up against the world record holder in the heats. Lily dropped again in the B final to post an in seasons best of 4.53.2. Also showing great form was Danilo Rosafio & Huw Williams who had a head to head battle in the 100m freestyle, the event was one of fastest in the world, taking 48.9 seconds to make it back for the A final. Both Huw & Danilo executed their race strategy to post an encouraging time that will set their eyes on the target races later on in the summer. Danilo is set to compete in this event at the World Championships. OM student Brodie Williams showed his class with a 3rd place finishes in the 100m backstroke, touching home in a time of 54.23, that time was a personal best and one that will firmly set his eyes on Tokyo next year.
The third and final day of racing and our students had become at one with the arena and probably had their best day of racing. William Mitchell put in a hugely efficient 200m breaststroke to finish with a strong in season performance and with technical compounds to really move it forward to the upcoming British Summer Championships. Sophia Wilson went to different level on day 3 of the meet, posting 2 season best performances in both the 200m backstroke and 200m IM, making the B & A Final respectively. Due to a final flight departure in the evening Sophia only had time to do the 200m Backstroke B final and she didn’t disappoint, showing great UW development to finish in 2.16.3. Jakob Goodman had a point to prove in the 200m freestyle, he was up against the best the world has to offer in one of the most competitive events at the meet. Jakob showed great commitment to the front end of race and finished with an in season best performance of 1.52.0. Brodie had his favoured 200m backstroke on the final day and produced a truly mesmerising swim, winning the A final with a huge personal best of 1.56.26, putting him 9th in the current world rankings for the event.
Director of Millfield Swimming, Euan Dale, had this to say about the team’s experience:
“Bringing our young developing students out to an international meet of this quality is truly invaluable. The self-awareness and knowledge that they will gain from this experience will help prolong their swimming careers and effectively transition them into senior swimming. The key is to be exposed to the best in the world. This meet will help them understand the process of getting to that point. The fact that we are the only school at this event speaks volumes. I have to say the students where a true credit to Millfield and I was proud to lead them in this experience. I would also like to thank Coach Waddingham & Coach Burdett for their support during the trip”
Appendix 1: Rome Race Analysis
Below you will see a table outlying the race analysis from the 42 races out in Rome. This compares the student's personal best times with the times that they produced in Rome, a tough international meet with little chance of second swims. A summation is that we had 42 swims, 38% of these within 1%, 67% within 2%, 83% within 3% of their personal best time. It is important to understand that in the main this was a meet in which the swimmers were not rested for and that some swimmers drop huge amounts at the target taper meet. We always suggest that if you can swim within 3% of your best time, anytime, any place, you are in good shape. Awesome stuff below!