Cambridge Grand Prix was put on the race calendar last year for the older swimmers as an early opportunity to race their stronger events, which they generally can’t race at Legacy Meet. This year we also invited those who made Regionals last year for some early season race experience. It’s a fast, level 2 meet, and a bit different in that in runs from the fastest swimmers to the slowest.
Coaching Team: Amy Thompson, Jacqui Hammond, Steve Craig
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The biggest PBs went to James A, with 7.7s over 200m backstroke, Toby M with 5.8s in the same event, and Luci S with 3.0s over 100m freestyle. In percentages, James A improved by 4.9% in his 200m backstroke Frankie I dropped 4.7% on her 50m freestyle and Luci S improved by 4.5% in the 100m freestyle.
This early on it’s a big ask to get PBs in main events as they were generally swum at peak fitness in the middle of last season, so we were delighted with a 50% hit rate. We were also very pleased to see that the following swimmers who didn’t quite make a PB were within 1% of their best times: Aggie B (200m freestyle), Angus H (100m freestyle), Emma C (200m backstroke, 50m freestyle), Lewis D (200m butterfly), Frankie I (100m freestyle), Luci S (200m butterfly), Toby M (100m butterfly), James A (100m butterfly, 100m backstroke heat, 100m backstroke final) and Freddie A (100m butterfly). This is a great position to be in so early in the season, and it’s good to see the careful planning paying off with the swimmers being able to perform better than they did this time last year!
James A also reached the 14 & Under 100m backstroke final, in which he raced and swam fractionally faster than his heat. Heat to final improvements is a big developmental goal, and we were really pleased with this early season showing from James.
There were even some records set; Angus H broke the 17 year old 200m butterfly record and followed it swiftly with the 50m butterfly which had stood since 2010. Toby M continued his record-breaking streak from Fly Fest by breaking another record from 2010, the 11 year olds 50m freestyle.
Racing this early in the season is a learning curve, but also a great opportunity to take what the swimmers have been working on in training and apply it in a race. We saw some great skills on show even when the times were a bit off, and all of this means we are going in the right direction for the season to come. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a season isn’t defined in the first meet.
Swimmers were also asked to fill in some self-analysis forms after each race, and these have provided themselves and the coaches a chance to reflect on what is going well and badly, and to plan more specifically going forwards.
We were really pleased with this meet and look forward to building on the lessons learnt!