SWIMMING: Personal bests galore for COPS at National Championships

COPS swimmers at the ASA National Championships. From the left are Katie Brown, Mollie Allen, Leah Roughan,  Rachel Wellings and Becky Burton.

COPS swimmers at the ASA National Championships. From the left are Katie Brown, Mollie Allen, Leah Roughan, Rachel Wellings and Becky Burton.

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The ASA National Short Course Championships were held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield last week and once again City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) were busy breaking records.

Qualification times had to be gained in 2015 to enter the championships and there were eight COPS swimmers at poolside on day one.

They competed in 12 events and set six new personal best times (PBs) and there were two appearances in the evening finals.

Rebecca Burton (17) started the ‘PB fest’ by qualifying for the B Final in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 32.26s where she took ninth place.

Also scoring great new PBs in this event were Leah Roughan (16), who was placed 27th in 32.66, and Rachel Wellings (15), who was placed 49th in 33.69.

Rachel also set a new PB in the 100m backstroke event where she finished 36th in a time of 1:02.39 and joining her in the PB stakes was Mollie Allen (17), who fared slightly better with a time of 1:02.35 to claim 35th place.

Also swimming the backstroke event was Bethany Saunders (15). She was 62nd in a time of 1:03.96.

COPS’ other finalist on day one was Katie Brown (16). She finished 19th in the 200m butterfly event to go through to the evening’s B final where she improved her qualification time to 2:14.03 to take ninth place.

Poppy Richardson (14) also swam in that event and achieved a three-second PB to take 34th place in a time of 2:17.71.

Poppy then went on to the final womens event of the day, the 200m individual medley, and set another huge PB of 3.5 seconds to take 32nd place in 2:19.35.

In the sme event Rachel Wellings was 40th in 2:20.28 and Mollie Allen set another PB of 2:20.81 to secure 43rd place.

COPS’ only male swimmer in action on day one was Matthew Brigham (19). He clocked 2:07.29 in the 200m backstroke for 47th place.

Day two also saw eight COPS swimmers in action. They took part in 10 events and once again they showed their ability to compete on the national stage as many more PBs were sent tumbling.

The performance of the morning was put in by Leah Roughan, who set a time of 2:27.02 to take fifth place in the preliminary round of the 200m breaststroke event.

That gave COPS their first A final appearance of the championships, although the time was outside Leah’s best.

Rachel Wellings set a new PB of 28.72s in the 50m fly before going on to set another PB in the 100m individual medley to secure 18th place and an appearance in the evening finals.

Also swimming in the 100m individual medley were Mollie Allen, who clocked a PB of 1:05.10 for 27th place, and Rebecca Burton, who also clocked a new PB of 1:05.16 to take 29th place.

Rebecca also competed in the 200m breaststroke event where she finished with yet another PB of 2:33.81 for 29th place.

Also in that event were Amelia Monaghan (13) - 42nd in 2:35.61 (PB), Lauren Harrison (14) - 46th in 2:37.29 (PB) and Mia Leech (13) - 47th in 2:37.43 (PB).

Eighteen year-old Joshua Graves put in a sterling performance in the 400m individual medley, clocking a time of 4:35.28 to take 48th place.

On day three six COPS swimmers and one relay team swam in eight events, acheiving more PBs and East Region records.

Mollie Allen gained COPS’ second appearance in an A final as she set a new PB of nearly half a second to qualify in 10th place in the 50m backstroke final where she again reduced her PB to 28.31 to take a very creditable sixth place. Also swimming the backstroke event was Rachel Wellings, who clocked a time of 29.74 to take 45th place.

Rebecca Burton and Leah Roughan were both competing in the 100m breaststroke event. Rebecca posted a new PB in the preliminary round of 1:10.40 to finish just outside the top 20.

Leah’s preliminary round time qualified her just one place ahead of Rebecca and put her into the B final. Rebecca then discovered that she was joining Leah in the final and both put in excellent swims with Leah finishing in eighth place with a time of 1:09.52 and Rebecca finishing 10th.

Katie Brown competed in the 400m freestyle taking 29th place with a time of 4:19.32 and then she competed in the 100m fly, finishing in 40th place with a time of 1:02.52 before joining Rachel, Leah, and Mollie in the 4x100m medley relay.

They qualified for the evening final in seventh place, having been just edged out by Newcastle, but in the final they beat their bigger city rivals by nearly two seconds to finish again in seventh place with a time of 4:12.01 which is a new East Region record time.

During these championships COPS’ talented team of women broke several other East Region records. Rebecca Burton is the ASA Eeastern Region senior 50m breaststroke record holder, Leah Roughan now holds both the junior and senior Eastern region 200m breaststroke records and Rachel Wellings is the Eastern Region junior 100m individual medley record holder.

Joshua Graves put in another sterling performance in the 200m butterfly event clocking a time of 2:07.31 to take 43rd place.

On day four, Poppy Richardson again put in two sterling performances to make these championships a real milestone for her.

In her first race of the day, the 400m individual medley, she posted a time of 4:55.93 which was a 3.78-second PB. Poppy then went on to lower her PB in the 200m freestyle clocking a time of 2:05.87 to take 58th place.

Katie Brown was also competing in the 200m freestyle and finished with a time of 2:04.44 to take 43rd place.

Competing alongside Poppy in the 400m individual medley was Leah Roughan, who clocked a time of 4:52.48 to take 21st place.

Molly Allen also set a new PB of 26.46 in the 50m freestyle for 30th place as did Rachel Wellings, who clocked 26.88 to take 54th place.

Rachel was also competing in the 200m backstroke event where she finished in a time of 2:16.67 to take 45th place as was Bethany Saunders, who finished in a time of 2:16.61 to take 43rd place.

David Standish-Leigh