Swansea Swan Song
Last weekend at The Wales National Pool, Swansea, Andi Manley walked out onto poolside in his last appearance as Swindon Dolphin Chief Coach. For Youth swimmers this was their last chance to hit long course NQTs and for BAGCATS some valuable long course race practice prior to their Regional Championships in June.
Sam Berry, who had been threatening all season to hit a National mark did so in style with NQTs in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle. Joe Kerslake also powered his way to two NQTs in the 100m and 200m backstroke.
Having already firmly booked her place at Sheffield, Tilly Gray was out to improve on her butterfly events, destroying her previous best times in all three distances and setting new club records in the process. Continued performance at this level should put Gray in medal contention at this year’s National Youth Championships.
Charlotte Pitts put in some impressive performances in the 800m and 1,500m freestyle finishing close to her first National time and another attempt in a few weeks time could see her make the grade. Also coming close to adding to his existing NQTs was Liam Herbert in the 100m butterfly, 100m and 200m freestyle.
Many other fine performances over the weekend from the 23 competing Dolphin swimmers made a fitting end to Manley’s seven years as Chief Coach; a period that has seen the number of national qualifiers grow from just one in 2002 to a peak of 16 swimmers. Moving on to take up the position of Head Coach with Derventio eXcel, the Derbyshire based elite swimming squad, it seems that Andi Manley’s success as a performance swimming coach looks set to continue.