FOUR members of Doncaster’s Dartes swimming club contested the prestigious National Age Group (11-14 years) Championships at Ponds Forge.
Although they failed to get into the medals, Jamie Clarke and Mark Beech, who were making their debut in the event, Jarvis Parkinson and Joe Litchfield, all acquitted themselves well.
Mark, Joe and Jamie contested the 100m backstroke on the first day of the Championships. Mark finished 15th in his age group with Joe and Jamie touching home 16th and Joe 20th respectively.
One of the big things that Dartes’ coaches have noticed all season is how their charges have tended to not swim fast in mornings, especially at big meetings with morning heats.
“Our top guys are just far too used to cruising through heats, whereas they really need to get used to attacking heats and setting personal best times at this level rather than ‘saving’ something for the finals, ” said spokesperson Jo Wright.
Valuable lessons were learned from that first day, and Jarvis, who set new personal best times, reached the fiinals of both the 100m freestyle (sixth) and 200m butterfly (fifth).
Returning to swim the 200m backstroke on the third day, Mark was much more determined to perform in the heats.
A target time of 2:35 had been discussed beforehand as the likely standard required for a final spot, a personal best time by two seconds.
In the end Mark managed to knock a second off his previous best time, clocking 2:36.79 when finishing 12th - just 0.07sec off the last spot qualifying for the final.
Jamie also returned to the pool on the Saturday to take a spot in the final heat of the 200m backstroke. He posted another good solid swim of 2.17.30 and was reserve finalist.
Jarvis provided yet another demonstration of outstanding swimming to reach the final of the 100m butterfly in a new personal best time. He finished seventh in the final in a time of 1.05.81.
Jarvis produced another personal best in the heats of the 400m individual medley, but had to settle for being the fastest swimer from the North east region.