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Articles by Dartes Swimmers Past and Present

Every now and again, someone pops up out of the deep end and writes an article for the website. Sometimes these are former Dartes swimmers with happy memories to share. Often they're current members with something special or interesting to shout about. Either way, if it's interesting and in some way connected to Dartes or Doncaster Swimming, we'll probably publish it.
Here's one of those articles.

Proud to be associated with Doncaster Dartes


The closing weekend of National Age-Group Championships saw the rest of Dartes travel to the City of Bradford 'End of Season' meet for the big taper meet to close the season. In addition to the weekend marking our most successful Age-Group Nationals for over 10 years, the Bradford meet proved to be a huge success for our non-National qualifying team mates. It also showed off the unique and passionate team spirt for which Dartes has built a strong reputation.

So much so that when the call went out for someone to write the meet review, two were submitted within 24 hours, with another one promised. Here's the second of those meet reviews (or read the first).

Date: 29 Jul 2009
Author: Martyn Rushton

Bradford 'End of Season' Meet

With 12 flag bearers competing at ASA Nationals and another one at Welsh Nationals, the Bradford End of Season meet fell to the Age Groupers of Phase 4 and the JDS. They flew the black and red banner proudly and could not have picked a better meet to make their mark.

The daunting task of opening the Dartes spree came to Alex Pollard (Arm) who swam a great 50m Fly for a time of 44.01 and a Silver medal; a PB of 4.19 seconds. This set the benchmark for the weekend with 143 best times being recorded over the two days, ranging from Chloe Hardy's (Adw) 0.02sec improvement to Eleanor Chafer's (SAS) massive 27sec PB [ed: and not forgetting her even more massive 32sec PB for 200m Fly too].

Holly Lewis (SAS), one of only two Phase 5 swimmers competing, made just as good an impression as the youngsters. 5 PBs and each one qualifying her for another race to swim in the North East Regional Championships. She now has the entire set.

No matter which meet you are at, no matter what age you are, and no matter which club you are from, there will always be some intra club rivalry. This weekend had a lot of that. The two main ones being the battle of the Armthorpe boys: James Mullen (Arm) Vs Jamie Clarke (Arm); and the clash between the two older boys: Keagan Guest (Spa) Vs Jack Waddington (Arm).

Martyn organising the boys For the latter pairing, the one race both swimmers wanted to excel at was the 100m Freestyle. Things looked set for sparks to fly with Jack in lane 5 and Keagan right next to him in lane 6. With Jack only swimming one race per session he certainly went in with a distinct advantage. It was set to be a race for the record book.

To put the pressure on for both swimmers, an old friend of Dartes showed up. He's been back training at Dartes throughout August (a comeback on the cards maybe) but before that Mr David Holmes, now Jack's coach at Armthorpe, arrived to pile on the pressure for each swimmer to go under the minute mark, an achievement they have been picking at for a while. The 50m turn was a dead heat with about 0.01 between them and the race then turned to power and stamina. Both boys powered home with the year older Jack hitting the wall in 1:01.42 and Keagan just 0.69 behind.

The best event had come two sessions before that though, with the boys 200m Backstroke between James Mullen in lane 1 and Jamie Clarke in lane 5. Our two swimmers surfaced 1st and 2nd after their starts, a fact their coach Dave Cuthbert will be particularly proud of. Then after 50m Jamie stunned everybody and went about 80% of his full speed and this certainly paid off. At the 100m turn the two Dartes boys were well out in front but James had to pull something out of the bag to drastically close the gap between him and his team mate.

With 25m to go everybody thought Jamie was home and dry (metaphorically speaking) but out of nowhere James turned on the after burners and began hunting him down - fast!

It looked like James was going to catch him in the final few metres but at the end he ran out of space. Jamie finishing with a Gold medal (one of many) in a time of 2:36.56, a PB by over 8secs. James brought home the Silver (one of many) in 2:40.23, another 8sec PB. Both boys qualify for North East Regional BAGCAT Championships.

30 Swimmers,
143 Personal Bests,
31 Speeding Tickets,
51 Golds,
50 Silvers,
and 27 Bronze medals later, the Dartes youngsters have, one again, proved themselves a force to be reckoned with. Well done to all swimmers and let's all look forward to a new season of super fast swimming and see how many of you can make it to Nationals next year!

Special thanks to Assistant Coach Kevin Nicholas (who is proving to be a legend himself) ably assisted by Coach John Smith; and our Team Managers: Jim Cook, Julie Hirst, and Helen Smith who all spurred the swimmers on and organised the teams.

Also thanks to all the parents for supporting the swimmers - it really does make a huge difference.