The Saga of Wellington LC Champs

24 Jan

Wellington LC Champs certainly did not quite turn out as we expected. The warnings signs for a change to a Red traffic light setting were there on Friday, but we let out a collective sigh of relief when it didn't happen. At that stage we then thought that we would see the competition through. 

We all turned up bright eyed and bushy tailed at WRAC just before 7am on Saturday morning (well most of us, there are always a few stragglers!). The general mood amongst the group was positive, and the feeling was that the training leading into champs was going to pay off. The competition was certainly going to be tough, with more out of region than local swimmers competing at the meet. Some of which were national title holders.

Day 1 produced some great results, with the club picking up lots of top 10 placings and medals. Every swimmer that competed made finals. Everyone knew Tawa Swimming Club was there - without fail, when one of our swimmers were on the blocks, you would hear loud cheers coming from the stands. Never all at once, more like a chain reaction once the first supporter called out, until the whistle finally silenced us. Some NAGs and Div II qualification times were gained, and there were some very tight races. The highlight was probably Zach blowing everyone out of the water with his 50 Fly, earning him a good PB and a gold medal placing.

Sunday morning was a bit more subdued - bodies were starting to feel the impacts of racing and it was another early start. You would think with morning trainings we'd be used to the early mornings, but everyone was to some degree probably still in holiday mode. The morning's racing yielded more great results, with more qualification times achieved. Then during the break the announcement came - the country was moving to a Red Traffic light red at midnight Sunday night. 

Some quick thinking by Swimming Wellington meant that by 2pm a new schedule was published, with the Session 5 events to be swum that evening after day 2 finals had completed. Sessions 5 and 6 would be swum as timed finals, unlike the heats and finals in the previous sessions. This was a great outcome. The easiest would have been to just cancel what was left over. But this way we could keep racing, something the swimmers have not been able to do for a long time due to Covid. Some swimmers were worried though, because they had already swum some big races that day, in particular Charlotte and Hannah still had some distance events to follow. The swimmers stuck together, kept the cheering up, practised their dance moves and took out the YMCA dance competition in the break (featuring on Lewis Clareburt's Instagram story!). The racing finished late, with us finallly geting out of the pool complex after 9pm.

The weekend's swimming would not have been possible without all the parental and volunteer support. Special mention to 1) Cliff for spending his birthday with us and coaching the team the whole weekend; 2) Julian who realised kai often cures a lot of problems and turned up with a whole lot of pizzas in the evening; 3) Maggie who turned up to help out with team managing to give Sandra a break after a long day; and 4) Nadia who came and supported despite only being released from hospital the first day of the meet.

Tawa at the champs - by the numbers:

20 swimmers, 18 volunteers, 105 events, 72 top 10 placings, 32 medals, 8 club records, club placed 5th out of 31 clubs (3rd Wellington Club).

We are TAWA. We are MIGHTY. We are ONE.

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