BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS: Monaghan strikes gold as COPS finish with a flourish
City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) finished the British Championships with a flourish over the weekend (July 29/30).
They added a fantastic five more medals to their haul - one of them gold - to end the six-day event with a total of eight medals (two golds, a silver and five bronze).
The gold came from 15 year-old Amelia Monaghan on Saturday night in the final of the 15yrs 200m individual medley.
After smashing the field in the 400m individual medley final and then learning she’d been disqualified, Monaghan was determined to make amends over the shorter distance.
And she did it in style, touching first in 2.21.92 to pip Aberdeen’s Gaia Alcaras by .07 of a second.
It was Monaghan’s second medal of the championships as she also won a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke.
She said: “Before the race I was so nervous I was shaking. After winning the 400 and getting disqualified I did have my eye on gold for this race. The other girls had their eyes on me so the call room was extremely tense.
“With my individual medley I always know I am a bit behind with my fly and the back and I did start to panic so I wasn’t sure if I would catch up.
“But when I got onto the breaststroke I just gave it everything thinking of how good the reward would be at the end.
“On the free I could see the other girls catching me up so I just kept my head down and kicked like I never had before.
“After the scoreboard said I had won I had to double check I hadn’t got disqualified before I could celebrate.
“After everything was confirmed I looked up at my parents and the COPS team and just let out the biggest sigh of relief.”
The other medal on Saturday night was won by Mollie Allen (18), who finished third in the 50m 19yrs/Over backstroke in 28.93.
She said: “Beforehand I was trying to keep my cool and control my nervous energy – something that is key in finals. Pre-race I try and remain focused on the job in hand to ensure I deliver the best outcome. My other focus pre-race is to ensure I was properly prepared in warm up and land work.
“I knew if I stuck to the gameplan I’d achieve a positive outcome and I did.
“The emotions and self-belief become real when you know that all the hard work and coaches’ guidance has paid off and come together.
“It was with great pride to stand on the podium, wearing the COPS colours. COPS has been a huge chapter in my life and none of this could have been done without the support from Ben (Negus) and his coaching team especially Tom and David. Their faith in all of us allows us all to achieve our dreams.”
COPS’ super Sunday started with a second medal of the championships for Myles Robinson-Young (15). The 400m 15yrs freestyle champion added a 200m freestyle bronze to his collection with a time of 1:54.92.
He said: “To be honest it feels unreal to be a double national medallist, compared to last year where I struggled to make a single final.
“I am overjoyed with my progression over this past year. My aspirations are probably to improve my swimming as much as possible and hopefully the rest will follow on from that.”
Jamie Scholes (17) also won a bronze medal in the 200m 17/18yrs backstroke in 2:03.47 and completing a high successful championships, Rachel Wellings, Rebecca Burton, Chloe Hannam and Mollie Allen joined foced to win the bronze medal in the 400m 17yrs/Over medley relay.
They finished behind Loughborough University (4.07.10) and City of Sheffield (4.12.21) and their time of 4.14.68 broke the ASA East record.
Hannam and Wellings have been with COPS since they were youngsters. Hannam is now based at college in America (University of Arkansas) and retains COPS as her UK club. Burton and Allen are hopefully off to combine swimming and degrees at Loughborough in September.
A team spokesperson said: “We are four great team-mates but even better friends and we fought every stroke for each other.
“We couldn’t have done it without the support and motivation of each other and we are all so proud to be part of COPS.
COPS head coach Ben Negus added: “I couldn’t be prouder of how we handled ourselves over the six days.”