Crouch from under the radar secures national qualification
Event: ASA South West Open Water Championships Venue: Weymouth Date: 29th June 2014
Barely a week after competing in the Wiltshire county open water championships in the still waters of Lake 32 Keynes Country Park, three swimmers from Swindon Dolphin headed south last weekend to compete in the South West Regional open water championships in the slightly more choppy waters off Weymouth beach. Beth Crouch topped off a gruelling afternoon of swimming with a first place finish and qualification to the British Gas ASA Youth Open Water Championships in August.
Beth Crouch ~ ASA South West Open Water champion and national qualifier
Bethany Durston, Fraser Durston and Beth Crouch had all competed in the 3km event at Lake 32 the previous week. However, only 17 year old Crouch had to repeat the distance in the sea swim with 16 year old Fraser Durston competing over 2km and 13 year old Bethany Durston swimming a relatively short 1.5km.
Bethany Durston was delighted to have completed the 1.5km course in just under the 25 minute mark and older brother Fraser was pleased with his performance having picked up a silver medal for his efforts. In a tough race, and having led for the majority of the 2km, the last 15m saw Jordan Young of East Dorset make a break and touch out Durston on the finish by less than 2 seconds.
Although it is difficult to compare times between open water swims given the differing conditions, a drop of 7 minutes from Beth Crouch’s 3km lake swim to the equivalent sea swim signified a big improvement and a deserved first place in the 15 to 18 years age group as well as national qualification in the 17/18 years category. As Crouch is likely to discover however, the step up from regional to national competition is significant and whilst officially open water swimming is a non-contact sport, the impact is likely to be felt in more than just the speed of the other competitors.