By Eleni Ioannou and Ethan Bird (Youth Squad)
The season was kickstarted for several of COSC’s performance youth swimmers with the South East Winter Regionals Meet which took place at the new pool in Winchester on 5th and 6th November. COSC swimmers had a total of 10 race entries each in separate events.
In the first session Ethan Bird was first to race in the 100m Breaststroke; he swam brilliantly, ranking in the Top 10 Under 16 swimmers. Lachlan Middleton and Alfie Bone competed soon after in events 100m Butterfly and 400m IM respectively. Later on in session 2, Eleni Ioannou wrapped up the day in the 50m Butterfly event.
Going into Day Two of the competition, rested and refreshed, Ethan Bird pulled off another Top 10 result in the 50m Breaststroke, setting the bar high. Lachlan Middleton - 200m Butterfly and Imogen Duffen - 50m Freestyle also raced the same morning both achieving personal bests. Session 3 ended with Ethan Bird’s 3rd event of the meet: the 200m IM.
Finally, the last session featured another personal best from Lachlan Middleton in the 50m Butterfly; alongside Ethan Bird who swam a brilliant 200m Breaststroke achieving a Silver medal and a Winter National qualification time!
Overall a great competition and well done to all the swimmers who competed.
Then on the 20th of November, four youth performance swimmers departed for Guilford to compete at their annual level 2 meet.
Sunday started off early with Ethan in the 100m breaststroke heats. With a quick second 50, he finished just off his personal best to come away with a bronze medal in the 16 year olds category. COSC continued brightly with Leni and Imogen stepping up for the 50m freestyle. Fast and ferociously, the girls finished with power as they both came away with large PBs (27.8 and 29.0) and placed highly in their respective age groups. As the session came to a close, continuing the trend of fast swimming, Lachie exceled in the 50m fly, narrowly missing out on the podium. With a brilliant underwater off the turn, Lachie returned swiftly to ease into 1st in his heat.
In the afternoon session, Lachie dominated the 100m fly heats and finished 1st in his age group to bring home gold and secure a place in the open final (which he later did not swim); more importantly he swam a 59.03 (PB) to take him under the minute barrier! Ethan followed along in his 50m breaststroke to secure second place in his age with a 0.14 seconds personal best. As the gala came to a close, Leni swam another brilliant PB in the 50m backstroke (32.64) with amazing underwaters to round up a successful weekend for Oxford with lots of PBs and strong skills on display.
This was the last gala for the youth swimmers being led and coached by Craig Gibbons. From all of the youth squad and COSC, we would like to say thank you for your time on poolside at galas and hard work behind the scenes to help the swimmers; we wish you luck for the future.