Swimming - more national success for COPS

Jaxon Simmons and Matt Gray woth their silver medals.
Jaxon Simmons and Matt Gray woth their silver medals.
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There were more medals yesterday (August 8) for City of Peterborough Swimming Club (COPS) members on day five of the ASA National Championships in Sheffield.

They had eight swimmers competing in the morning heats and all qualified for the evening finals and all with new personal best (PB) times.

Fifteen year-old Jaxon Simmons was competing in the multi classification 400m freestyle event.

Simmons is classified as S13 as a result of his sight impairment and although he swam the fastest time of the heats with a time of 4:38.37 the calculation of disability swimming points placed him in third place behind two S10 category swimmers.

In the final Simmons was the only S13 swimmer with five swimmers in the S10 category and the remainder being S9 or S6. Jaxon’s target was to swim as fast as he could and hope he could put enough distance between himself and the other finalists to nullify his points differential.

At the 100m turn he was in second place and by 200m he had moved into first place. From then on he was in a head to head fight with the S10 swimmer from Trafford in the lane next to him and he finally overcame Jaxon’s resistance at the 350m mark and edged Jaxon into second place with a new PB of 4:35.62 earning him 624 disability points.

It was now a matter of waiting for the rest of the field to finish to determine whether Simmons was among the medals. The next swimmer home finished 9.77 seconds slower than Jaxon and his time earned him 622 points meaning Jaxon had won the silver medal by just two disability points.

Matthew Gray (15) was competing in the 100m backstroke event where he set a new PB of 1:02.63 earning him third fastest qualification time for the final.

In the final Gray was head to head with the Chalfont swimmer in the next lane and turned in second place at the 50m mark just .21 seconds down.

In a thrilling finish Gray closed the gap to .15 seconds and his new PB of 1:01.95 earned him the silver medal.

First up yesterday for COPS were Joe Welch (14) and Harvey Norman (14) in the 200m breaststroke.

Their qualification times placed them in the same heat and Welch came in ahead with a time of 2:42.81 placing him seventh in the final while Harvey clocked 2:42.88 to qualify in eighth position.

James Newton (17) qualified in ninth place for the 200m breaststroke final in a new PB of 2:31.37.

In the finals Welch turned after the first 50m in fifth place and then slipped back to seventh after 100m. However, he fought back to fifth after 150m and finished in another personal best time of 2:39.14.

Norman maintained his qualifying position throughout his race to end with another PB of 2:41.01.

Newton also kept his qualifying position ending in ninth place but with a slower time than his qualifying time.

Next event up was the women’s 400m individual medley. Mia Leech (13) set a new PB of 5:19.22 to qualify in fourth place for her final and Holly Jaszkiewicz (14) also posted a new PB of 5:17.01 to also qualify in fourth place for her final.

In the final Leech turned in sixth place after the fly leg and dropped one further place back to seventh at 200m before a storming breaststroke leg saw her move up to second place. But she wasn’t able to maintain that position and she finished in fifth place with a massive PB of 5:15.68.

In her final Jaszkiewicz turned in seventh place after the fly leg but a cracking backstroke leg saw her move up to third place. At the end of the breaststroke leg she had dropped to fifth but only by 6/10th of a second and then she fought all the way in the freestyle leg to edge out the UEA Norwich swimmer to take a valiant fourth place in another huge PB of 5:13.79.

Thirteen year-old Anna Blakeley was competing in the 50m backstroke event. In the heats she set a new PB of 32.22 to qualify in fifth place but in a closely fought final she was unable to repeat her best and finished eighth.