Five swimmers from The Royal School Swimming squad competed at the first British Open swimming meet held earlier in March.  The Competition was full of top class international swimmers which included 2012 Olympic gold medallists Ronomi Kromowidjojo, and Ruta Meilutyte, so to stand out from the crowd our swimmers had to perform very well. The Royal’s freestyle queen Alice Dearing certainly showed her class and the determination to follow in the footsteps of previous RS Great Britain international swimmers. She had two opportunities to qualify for the GB European Junior Team on the 800 and 400m Freestyle.  The first event was the 800m on the first morning of competition. To qualify for the team she had to swim under 8 minutes and 50 seconds and finish in the top two places in her age group. She managed to do the later, but missed the qualifying time. This left her with one more opportunity to book her place on the plane to Poland in July, and it would be no small task as Alice would have to drop five seconds to make the qualifying time. She managed to do the first part in the heat and finished in the top two but still needed to swim the time of 4.19, but with the final still to come she still a chance to make it. With all eyes watching one of the last races of the weekend, Alice produced one of the most majestic and well judged races you will ever see. Despite other swimmers sprinting off in the first 50, Alice kept her composure and stuck to her race plan, and sure enough, as the race unfolded she began to swim herself into contention. As the race progressed into the second 200m, Alice turned on the after burners and blew the rest of the field away bar one. As the two girls entered the last 100 it would be a straight head to head duel to the finish. Coming back down the last 50 it was all Alice, but the girl from Swansea was not finished, and with 25 to go she came back again. Head to head in the last five metres Alice dug deep and stretched out a hand to touch the wall, and as she touched all eyes immediately went to the score board for the time.  4.18.04, first place, and her place cemented on the team. There was further reason for the RS swim team to celebrate as Tully Kearney once again swam into the record books by breaking her own 400m freestyle British record in the S10 category. Her time took two seconds off her previous best and left her only one second outside the qualifying time for the IPC World Disability championships, and with five weeks of training still to go before her trials the signs are positive that a second Royal Wolverhampton School swimmer could be representing Great Britain this season.

Tully Kearney - GBOver all the Royal Wolverhampton School swimmers performed magnificently under the pressure of such a prestigious meet particularly, Tom Derbyshire and Lillyella Craw- Seaman, for whom, it was their first timewimming at this level. Our fifth swimmer John Ling produced a great effort in his event but was up against a strong field. Head coach Nathan Hilton was delighted with all the swimmers performances and wanted to thank all those who have worked so hard to get the swimmers prepared to swim fast at the competition. He added that the hard work really begins now so that the swimmers can turn the excellent results into medals come the end of the season.