The 2008 IAPS Swimming Championships

What a surprise! I was ready for swimming training on Wednesday when I heard news that our girls relay team had qualified for the IAPS final at K2 on Saturday. I was overjoyed and swam as fast as I could to prove my worthiness. Now I really had a goal. Mr Jones’ word came back to me from his assembly, “If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time. But if you aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll be up there with the stars”.

In preparation for our bid day, the whole team had been working on a banner but by Friday afternoon, it was time to home and the banner was still incomplete. At the last moment Katherine and Camilla agreed to take it home and complete the final touches. It was our lucky banner.

The great day finally dawned and I woke with a need for speed. We were due to meet at the pool for 2pm but the roads around K2 were at a stand still with traffic. I was tense and as when we drove into the parking lots we were told there was no space, so my dad dropped me off just in time to see the banner before went poolside. The words read, “Go Copthorne!” with the Copthorne emblem.

We entered poolside, but the banner up and began with some stretches before we were allowed into the pool. “Everybody is here to win” I thought to myself, we are all aiming for the same goal but only one school with get it.” Finally, we were allowed in the pool and we began a proper warm up. We swam lengths and practiced dives, takeovers, and sprints.

Everyone was apprehensive and as the buzzer went for the first race we hurried up knowing that we were in the second heat. We had entered this final by the skin of our teeth being one of the slowest qualifying teams there, and we knew we had a point to prove. Our time came and we were called to the blocks. Harriet was first in from our team and held a steady second place for the whole length, next was Veronica performing  a great take over. By now we were very close to first place and everyone was anxious but with Federica and Elise next we scored an easy lead. Then it was Katherine and I, each of us clawed a little further into the lead and followed by Polly. She entered the pool like a rocket and swam a fast length giving Camilla a strong lead. We later found out that we had improved our speed by 20 seconds and we were blown away. We were unaware at this stage what was to come at the awards ceremony …

Once all the relays were finished and it was time to announce the winners. In 3rd place was Cumnor House, and in second was … Copthorne Prep School, we were overjoyed and rushed forward to collect our silver medals. First place went to Millfield who took the title of best in country by a second.

It was a great effort by the whole team and I would like to say a big thank you to all the parents who cheered us on and to our coach, Mrs Rigg, who trained us expertly and was always full of praise for our efforts. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the rest of the team for making this one of the most memorable days in my 10 years at Copthorne.

Hopefully 2009 will be gold!


By Charlotte Varela 7P

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