Golden girl Lauren leads the way as COPS enjoy more national success
Swimming - Swim England National Summer Championships
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.