ATLANTIS IN THE ZONE
30th January 2012
Five Atlantis swimmers headed to the West Country this weekend to compete in the British Gas ASA South Zonal Championships, which was taking place at the purpose built 50m pool at the renowned sporting school of Millfield in the town of Street.
The Zonals were introduced for the first time last year to provide a high quality competition early on in the season that sits between regional and national competitions. Many of the swimmers at the meet were using qualify for the National and British Championships.
The quality of the Atlantis swimmers was underlined by the fact that all the swims were regional or national qualifying times.
The star turns were Cameron Lambourne and Bex Lobley, who are both in a purple patch of form at present.
On the Saturday Cam qualified for the 50m free final. Seeded 6th in the final, he improved on his position finishing 4th in a time of 25.08 - narrowly missing a qualifying time for the British Championships taking place in the Olympics Pool in March, but comfortably repeating his NQT. Later in the day Cam also made the final of the 100m free and on the Sunday the final of the 200m free and was rewarded with a silver medal in the 200m free.
Bex was once again in confident mood, consolidating the great strides forward she has made this season in her favoured breast-stroke. Having recently achieved an NQT in 100m breast, she went close to her PB in qualifying for the final here in a time of 1.16.89 and finishing a creditable 7th against some top competition in that final. On Sunday she was in equally good form qualifying for the final in a time of 2.45.06. In the final at the end of a tiring day, she improved on her heat time to finish 4th in 2.44.39, just outside her PB and narrowly missing out on a medal.
Issy Dunlop who is working hard to recapture last season’s form produced two solid swims in the 100m and 200m breast in RQTs, while Ella Windle achieved her first automatic regional qualifying time for the season. Ella’s younger sister Kate also turned in a solid performance in a regional time.
Atlantis Deputy Head Coach Andy Lobley said: “This was a new experience for our swimmers and a venue that was unfamiliar for most of them. They didn’t let themselves down in such quality company. It will really help to set them up for the Counties and the rest of the season”.
Another feature of the event was that Atlantis teamed up with local neighbours Crawley. This was a precursor to the swimmers formally joining forces under the banner of the new Sussex Seahawks Swim Team for this years Regional Championships in May.