Dragons and Phoenix swimmers unite for most successful national championships to date!
IzzyHamlen Grade 8 East Campus
Unlike most age group swim competitions, for the first time ever, the UWCSEA East Dragons and the UWCSEA Dover Phoenix teamed up to compete at the 47th Annual Singapura Finance Age Group Swimming carnival (SNAGS), held at OCBC Aquatic Centre. The united team spirit was palpable throughout the meet. SNAGS is an annual national competition that many Singaporean and Malaysian athletes participated in to qualify for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. The Dragons were able to experience prelims in the morning and finals in the evening, something that was new to quite a few of the seniors. But finals were no problem for us as nearly all of the 40 swimmers that competed, qualified for A, B, or C finals.
We showed a great deal of resilience during the 5-day meet. Swim-downs and pre-pulls were never forgotten, and that certainly paid off during finals. Swimmers like Yuko (100 Breaststroke) and Chien (200 backstroke) made PBs in the morning prelims and even better PBs in the evening finals!
There were definitely some striking performances by our swimmers: whether it was a PB smash, top 10 rankings, or something never seen before. Here are some of the honourable mentions:
Within the first session of SNAGS, our long distance swimmers, were able to make some noise by smashing their PBs by a lot! Dan, finished with an 11-second PB in the 1500 metre freestyle. A whopping 57-second PB improvement in the 800 metre freestyle was done by Georgina, who was also able to snag (pun intended) a silver medal in that event.
Celia placed 3rd overall, in the 1500 metre freestyle, shattering her PB by 1:04.73 seconds (new time is 18:49.87). Starting with the 13 & over Women’s 50 metre butterfly, session two was a great start for the rest of the Dragon swimmers. Georgina earned a silver and a bronze for 50 metre fly and 400 freestyle with a time of 29.83 (50 fly) and 4:34.80 (400 freestyle). Mikella won first place in 200 backstroke with a 2:28.51, a full one second in front of the second placer! Marieke and Moe both smashed their PBs by 6.46 seconds (yes, same time!) in their 400 metre freestyle. Chien managed to break 30 seconds for the first time ever in men’s 13-14 age group 50 metre butterfly with an impressive 29.46. Gus (13-14) and Kelly (15 & over) both placed in the top 20 for 50 metre breastroke, breaking both their PBs.
Kicking off session three, was the 13 & over Women’s 200 metre freestyle. Georgina received her fourth medal, a bronze, with a time of 2:10.34. The 13 & over 50 metre backstroke was a remarkable event; Chien, Izzy, and Alle all made the A finals with massive improvements. Chien, coming in 4th during the prelims, broke 30 seconds with a remarkable time of 29.93. Izzy and Alle were able to earn 7th and 8th place in their A finals, with a 0.36 second difference between the two. Izzy, with a 33.06, just missing the high 32s, and Alle with a 33.40, breaking her previous PB of 34.34. Kelly and Anna placed in the top 15, at 12th and 13th place respectively. Their times were: Anna- 1:20.73 and Kelly- 1:20.87. Gus not only made a new PB, but placed 13th overall for 100 metre breaststroke. To finish off session three, Georgina and Celia both made finals for 200 metre butterfly. This is something that is not for the faint hearted! Celia dropped 1.04 seconds and placed 13th overall with a time of 2:32.86, and Georgina placed 10th overall with a 2:36.08, dropping an impressive 6.81 seconds from her former time!
Session four’s first event was everyone’s favorite: 50 metre freestyle! India swam a personal best of 28.47 seconds, dropping 0.44 seconds. Georgina, placed second overall (13-14) with an astonishing time of 27.40, dropping 0.47 seconds too! Meha broke her PB by 17.46 seconds in the 200 metre IM, with a new time of 2:50.89; Celia and Jeremy both broke their PBs by 3.68 seconds (Celia got 2:33.82) and 3.91 seconds (Jeremy got 2:39.91) in the 200 metre IM, clearly showing a great deal of improvement! Up next was the 200 metre breaststroke, Yuko smashed her PB by 8.36 seconds with an amazing time of 3:01.46, just behind Anna. Another incredible PB was made by Gus, breaking his old time by 10.10 seconds! Gus came 12th overall, with a time of 2:51.88. And lastly, 100 metre butterfly, Liam swam a 57.80, placing him 11th overall.
Finally, to finish off SNAGS, session five was jam-packed with amazing swims that nobody would ever forget. Georgina’s 100 metre freestyle time, 1:00.63 gave her the title of third place. But the most recognisable swim that nobody will forget for a while, would be Annie’s 100 metre freestyle, where she swam the individual medley instead with a time of 1:18.47. Annie did something that most swimmers would be scared to do, especially in a meet as important as this one. Well done, Annie! Mikella, came in second place for the 100 metre backstroke with a time of 1:08.84, breaking her prelims time by 2.43 seconds!
Just behind her, Georgina (9th place 1:11.59) and Izzy (10th- 1:11.87) were both able to drop their times by 0.31 (Georgina) and 0.12 (Izzy). Chien came in 7th place with a time of 1:06.50 for 100 metre backstroke, breaking his PB by 0.70 seconds! As the 47th annual SNAGS came to an end, the last two events- 4x100metre free relay brought down the house as we showed Singapore what the Dragons Swim Team had to offer. The UWCSEA girls’ A team, Mikella, Meghan, India, and Georgina, placed third overall with a time of 4:08.08, just behind both the Singaporean and Malaysian National teams. And the UWCSEA boys’ A team, Lachy, Zak, Dan, and Liam, placed 7th overall, 3:45.10.
Thanks to our parents who support us day and night, in and out of the pool. Without them, we would not be where we are today. Special thanks to all the coaches that drive us crazy during training (Train Insane or Remain The Same!). These are the same people who make us want to cry during tough sets, and force us to swim butterfly through a death-like wave of doom on our birthdays. But all in all, they help us become amazing swimmers who keep on improving. It’s going to be a tougher SNAGS next year, but we are full of surprises, and there is no doubt that our team will not be ignored. Because we are the Dragons!