By Laura Lindley
Last Friday evening the masters team, Head Coach Collette, and some very keen fans (including 6 month old Hollie) drove up to Nottingham to check into the glamorous venue that is Premier Inn Nottingham West. After some disaster at check-in (with me having booked the wrong date) and a quick ropey dinner in the Beefeater, we hit the hay ready for a busy Nationals on Saturday.
Waking up without Lou in the hotel was very weird, as I type this she's actually in hospital working on getting our latest team member out into the world (more on this soon). We were missing our team mate LOADS .... but.... she is usually such a grump on the morning before competitions, everything was calm this time.
After checking in at the pool Collette and myself hit the team managers and judges meetings, and the wider team got ready for a quick warm up in the pool (which is huge and really clear!)
First up on the agenda was the technical team event. To a remixed version of Destiny's Child "Survivor" the team performed Collette's choreography of punchy arm movements, long hybrids, and of course the required elements. The judges really enjoyed the routine and scored 57.7 for Execution, 57.3 for Impression and 56.6 for the Elements, putting Kingston in second place behind Aquavision ahead of the free event in the afternoon. No pressure gals...
Next up was Rachael with her Freddie Mercury Solo "The Show Must Go On". The show actually went very quickly as Rach glided around the pool giving a very powerful, emotive and artistic performance. Her best ever swim we think! Rach secured the bronze medal and literally leaped and squealed with joy when she found out. We all burst into cheer and there might have even been some happy tears from a few. Well done Rach. So proud.
Following some jaffas for lunch we're back in the pool for a quick warm up before the afternoon session. I sat dripping wet in the judges chair for a few more hours before joining the girls for the free team event at a very late 6pm. We were all very tired by this point but ready to give it all we had!
Our walk on, deck work and dives were all strong (if we do say so ourselves). Patterns throughout the routine weren't as good as they usually are but execution and synchronisation was good. It was our first time swimming this routine at a competition and the crowds and the judges loved it... A score of 58.7, retaining second place with a silver medal - chuffed! Aquavision took gold and we were very happy for them, they deserved to win!
Huge shout out and big thanks to Collette for her spidey choreo which was loved by everyone on the day - we hope we did it justice. And thank you to our lovely fans and helpers on the day (Lis on Grandma duty, Lucy Ruff's family cheering and of course Amelia, Liv and Jess for all the hard work behind the scenes).
Another nationals out the way and a very happy masters team. Pics below. The team now look forward to London Champs 2023 where we hope to extend the Spider-Man routine and revive a combination routine, and of course - get Lou back in the pool! Watch this space.
Amelia Fletcher (Reserve)
Coached by: Collette Crow and Louise Chambers
Choreography by: Collette Crow