Each day double Commonwealth Champion Sarah Ruckwood (née Price) will pick her top swimmers in each age group from the ASA National Swimming Champs at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
I have been really impressed by the performances across all age groups at the ASA National Championships. Here are my race highlights from the heats and finals on the last day of the championships:
In the 12/13yrs age group Tia Ward and James Cooper have really stood out to me and the duo both won their sixth gold medal of the ASA National Champs in last night’s 400m Freestyle finals.
An increase in pace over the second half of the race saw City of Leeds’ Ward lead by over three seconds as she touched the wall in 4:28.04, while Romford Town’s Cooper made his move after the first 100 metres of his respective final to take victory in 4:20.13.
Rotherham Metro’s Debbie Cocking and Guildford City’s Anna Cutts were inseparable in the 14yrs 50m Freestyle touching the wall in 27.92 to share the second step of the podium. The pair have great technique and this was highlighted both in yesterday’s heats and in the final.
St Felix School’s Jakob Goodman was great to watch in the 15yrs 50m Freestyle. All ten swimmers were shoulder to shoulder as they went under the flags but Goodman’s strength was undeniable as he posted a new time of 24.81 to take gold.
James Gillies showed excellent determination in yesterday’s 16/17yrs 400m Freestyle final, the Dulwich Dolphins swimmer was put under pressure in the final metres of the race but was able to respond with an impressive burst of speed to top the podium in 4:05.60.
My 18yrs+ age group pick is Rachel Bowen of Mid Sussex, fastest qualifier from the morning heats, who was able to power through the water to take gold in the 50m Freestyle in 26.52, only 0.22 seconds off the British and English record.
Full reports and results from Day Six can be found on the Nationals hub.