The 200m freestyle brings us to the half way stage in the events that make up the club short course rankings and it is perhaps worthy of restating why the articles that make up ‘Pathway to the Top’ are being written.

Basically, the articles take one event at a time and are meant to provide the swimmers (and parents) with information where they stand in relation to the rankings and, if they are on the rankings list, what they need to achieve to move up the list. If they are not on the list, it will indicate what the swimmer has to achieve to do so.

Over the past few weeks there has been quite a bit of movement on the lists and some additions. The improvement throughout the club in the past months has been excellent and what the coaches will be striving for is to see this continue.

This brings us to the little Latin saying that appears in each article – ‘Labore et Scientia’ – through hard work and understanding – is probably more important than first appears. Most, if not all, swimmers who have reached the competitive stage know that to improve they will have to work hard, but the important element is the understanding. There is no use working hard if you are doing things incorrectly as you end up practicing faults, which, if allowed to continue, become extremely difficult to change. There is a lot more to understand about swimming competitively than you may think and it is important that the swimmers understand the techniques for all four strokes. In addition to arm and leg movements swimmers will also have to consider streamlining, pacing, breathing, starts and turns, proper warm up and swim down and racing strategies. This may all be achieved by listening to and working with the coach and it was interesting to read Erin’s comments, during her interview with Paul McCabe of the Fife Free Press, about slowing down in training and tweaking her techniques in order to go faster in competition.

Form a club perspective the aim is to provide a Friendly environment that will inspire swimmers to attain national level and beyond and achieve satisfaction for the swimmer by providing them with the confidence to succeed at all levels of competition

So, back to the 200m freestyle, and in girls’ rankings the club record currently stands at 2 minutes 4.86 seconds and was set by Nicola Lamb at the Scottish NationalShort Course Championships in December 2012. One member of the current squads is in the top 50 and that is Erin Taylor who is ranked 7th with a time of 2 minutes 11.68 seconds, recorded at the Fife Leagues in September 2019 and a 2 second PB from Erin would move her into 3rd spot, which is very doable. For swimmers looking to access the rankings the time to beat stands at 2 minutes 25.55 seconds. This was achieved by Emily Paterson at the East District Age Group Championships in December 2011. At the time Emily was a member of the Fife Performance Squad.

In the boy’s rankings the club record currently stands at 1 minute 56.19 seconds and was set by Nathan Lamond at the Scottish East District Age Group Championships in March 2004. Nathan is currently employed by Fife Council and is a former Scottish Schools Internationalist. Two members of the current squads are in the top 50 with the highest spot being held by Mark Scott who is also ranked 7th with a time of 1 minute 58.91 seconds, recorded at the Fife Time Trials in October 2021. A 2 second PB for Mark would see him move up to 2nd spot, just 0.72 seconds behind Nathan. Worth watching

The second swimmer in the current squads in the top 50 is Ben Lewis who sits in 29 th spot with a time of 2 minutes 6.61 seconds recorded at the Scottish East District Age Group Championships in January 2020. Ben is currently recovering from injury but a 2 second PB would take him up to 21st place. For those swimmers aspiring to enter the top 50 all time rankings the time they must better is 2 minutes 11.29 seconds, recorded by Callum Smith at the INCAS Distance Meet in May 2012. At the time Callum was also a member of the Fife Performance Squad, so the time for both male and female are not particularly easy to achieve but it the current group of swimmers continue to improve as they have done since the start of the year, we will see some new names in the rankings.

‘Labore et Scientia’ – through hard work and understanding