Meet report from Ann Reid
Four intrepid long distance swimmers hit the road to Sydney on Saturday 7 August to compete in the NSW Long Distance (LC) Championships at Blacktown on Sunday 8 August. A valuable bonding session was held at the Sutton Forest McCafe, before continuing to Blacktown to find our accommodation. A seafood buffet at the local club supplied the requisite fuel for the next day’s event.
After a disturbed nights’ sleep (nothing to do with dinner!) the swimmers then battled with the local netball fraternity to find a park near the Blacktown Aquatic Centre before hitting the water for a decent warm up before the serious stuff began.
Anne Smyth, Ann Reid and Suzie Gunning were all in the first event: the 1500m Freestyle. Suzie’s swim was epic stuff! Her cheer squad knew the time she had to swim in order to beat her competition (only 65 seconds faster than her nominated time) and urged her to swim faster (and faster) which she did, winning the gold by 1.28 seconds! No wonder she had a headache afterwards. Anne Smyth also won the gold in her age group and Ann Reid got the bronze in hers.
Next up was Caroline Makin in the 800m Individual Medley. Like Rod (one of our coaches from not so long ago) Caroline, until recently, thought that a 200m swim could be considered a long distance event. With only two previous 800m IMs (during aerobic swim sessions) under her belt, she put in a valiant swim and took out the gold in this race.
Another epic swim in the 400m Freestyle took place when Anne Smyth took on Pam Martin from the Woyong Wobbygongs Club and they swam neck and neck the whole way. Pam’s longer arm won the day and Anne took home the silver (just 0.51 seconds difference!).
Ann Reid managed to finish a slow, but steady paced 400m Butterfly without incurring the wrath of the beady eyed officials. Long distance form stroke swims give every budding Inspector of Turns and Judge of Strokes ample opportunity to watch for errors and to consult with the many other poolside officials. One feels like one is being put under a microscope! Six or so officials at each end of your lane for eight laps can be rather off putting.
… and finally, the 400m Backstroke event saw Caroline Makin put in another fine performance to take the gold and Suzie Gunning the silver, in their respective age groups.
Our haul of five gold medals, two silver and a bronze gave us seventh position on points (26 clubs competing), third on average points (there were 10 clubs with four or more swimmers) and second (by just two points) in the Second Division trophy. Not a bad weekend!