Golden girl Lau­ren leads the way as COPS en­joy more na­tional suc­cess

Swim­ming - Swim Eng­land Na­tional Sum­mer Cham­pi­onships

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - SPORT - By Bob French

City of Peter­bor­ough Swim­ming Club (COPS) have had a siz­zling sum­mer.

They fol­lowed up their out­stand­ing ex­ploits at the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships and the Na­tional Open Wa­ter Cham­pi­onships with an­other daz­zling dis­play at the Swim Eng­land Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

The six-day event at the Ponds Forge pool in Sh­effield came to a con­clu­sion on Sun­day, by when COPS had added an­other five gold, one sil­ver and two bronze medals to their sparkling col­lec­tion.

At the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships last month they won three golds, one sil­ver and five bronze medals and at the Open Wa­ter Cham­pi­onships they won an­other gold.

Lead­ing the way with a dou­ble gold in the English Cham­pi­onships was Lau­ren Har­ri­son.

She won the women’s 16yrs 100m breast­stroke fi­nal in 1.15.19 and then blasted to vic­tory in the 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley fi­nal as well in 5.07.82.

She said: “It feels ab­so­lutely amaz­ing! I was not ex­pect­ing it in the 400 med­ley so it’s a sur­prise too.

“In the 100m breast­stroke I was just try­ing to keep cool and fo­cus on length be­cause that’s what I do best. The race plan was ba­si­cally to use my line on the first 50 and then take the girls down the sec­ond 50.

“For the 400 med­ley I just thought I would go for it from the start! I just used what I learned from my heat to im­prove each leg and I think it paid off .

“To pre­pare I just lis­ten to mu­sic and roll and stretch . . . a lot.”

Jamie Sc­holes, Harry White­man and Mol­lie Allen were the other gold medal­lists.

Sc­holes, who won an Open Wa­ter Na­tional Cham­pi­onship gold last week, touched first in the men’s 17yrs 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley fi­nal in 4.37.34 and he was also sec­ond in the 17yrs 200m freestyle fi­nal in a per­sonal best time of 1.54.33.

White­man led from start to fin­ish in the men’s 17yrs 1500m freestyle fi­nal, clock­ing 16.31.00, while Allen won the women’s 17yrs/Over 100m freestyle in 57.80.

White­man, who also com­peted at the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships and Na­tional Open Wa­ter Cham­pi­onships, said: “‘This was the medal I wanted more than any other. I en­joy dis­tance races, I like the strate­gic in­put and play­ing mind games with my com­peti­tors.

“Ben (coach Ben Ne­gus) and I had a plan and the time achieved was bang on the plan.

“Ben was great pool­side. It’s a real en­durance over 30 lengths and see­ing him ges­ture and move his arms to keep me on track re­ally mo­ti­vated me and kept me fo­cused.

“I am just so proud to have achieved gold in the race I re­ally wanted to win.”

Com­plet­ing the COPS’ medal haul were Mia Leech, third in the women’s 15yrs 200m freestyle, and Ken­zie Why­att, third in the women’s 15yrs 400m freestyle.

Need­less to say the club’s head coach Ne­gus was thrilled with the medal haul.

He said: “This year COPS truly showed its strength at na­tional level. It’s our high­est ever medal tally and I’m de­lighted.

“I’m also de­lighted to have achieved our first podium in open wa­ter, with Jamie Sc­holes earn­ing gold in a time good enough for a GB in­ter­na­tional team place in fu­ture.

“Not only this but we also ac­crued the high­est num­ber of in­di­vid­ual fi­nal ap­pear­ances at both the Bri­tish and English Cham­pi­onships.

“While I was away on in­ter­na­tional du­ties for the last 10 days of prepa­ra­tion, the team were pre­pared well enough and pro­fes­sion­ally enough to en­sure that their per­for­mances at these cham­pi­onships met our goals set early in the sea­son.

“I’m de­lighted for a large num­ber of our ath­letes this sea­son - three in­ter­na­tional de­buts, eight na­tional golds and 17 podium fin­ishes, but more de­lighted with the fact that as a pro­gramme we are show­ing true lead­er­ship qual­i­ties at this level and that should lead to more in­ter­na­tional de­buts in 2018 and there­after .”

Ne­gus is now in his 10th year at COPS and is also a mem­ber of the Eng­land coach­ing team. Just be­fore the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships he was in the Ba­hamas with the Eng­land team com­pet­ing at the Com­mon­wealth Youth Games.

Jamie Sc­holes won gold and sil­ver.

Ken­zie Why­att won a bronze.

Harry White­man won a gold.

Mol­lie Allen won a gold.

Lau­ren Har­ri­son won two golds.

Mia Leech won a bronze.

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