Level X success for East Leeds
Level X logo
6th September 2021

On the 8th August, East Leeds hosted a Level X competition. Level X is a strategy introduced by Swim England that encourages clubs to host internal club competitions. Times are valid and are posted onto an online leaderboard, allowing swimmers to compete with other clubs in a virtual format.

The event was inspiring and motivating for all involved. A total of 35 East Leeds members took part in the meet.

The competition began with the 400m freestyle. Veteran distance swimmers Andrew Carr, Nick Parkes and Richard Jagger all posted near PB efforts. Nina Williams, a former World Champion in sprint freestyle events, also tried her hands in the 400 version of the event, posting her fastest time in 4 years. It must also be mentioned that Anna Cheeseborough, a new member to East Leeds posted an impressive 4 minutes and 44 seconds. 

The following event saw Josh Spencer, the 200m Butterfly East Leeds record holder, cruise home in 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Peter Jackson and Ellen Winter followed in the 100 Breastroke, both posting near PB times.

The 50m Butterfly succeeded, the event was one of the most popular on the day, with a total of 13 members entered. Alistair Crawford touched home in the quickest time - 24.80 seconds. This was a new unofficial British Record time in the 35-39 age group. Ryan Flanagan was second in a 24.91. David Emerson followed closely behind in a 26.53. This time was an unofficial European Record and trailed the 55-59 World Record by a mere 0.08 seconds. Other great performances came from Shaheen Alghofari, Max Elphick and Emily Jones who all touched in personal best (or near personal best times). 

The 100m backstroke followed. Stephen Allen and Sam Lawman both cruised to the wall in respectable times. Julie Hoyle, the British Record holder in the 50-54 age group, touched just outside her best time. Followed closely behind was Emma Hiliyard and Jo Beardsworth. Jo, who has recently joined East Leeds posted a 1.18.42, just 0.7 outside her lifetime best. 

The last event of session 1 ended with the 200m Individual Medley. Medley specialist James Warren put out a respectable 2 minutes and 24 seconds on the board. New member Ellen Winter, who had just raced the 100 breastroke put up a 2 minutes and 41 seconds, easily qualifying for competitions later in the year.

After a 15-minute interval, Session 2 opened with the 100m Butterfly. Heat 1 saw Anna Cheeseborough and Martin Schofield battle it out until the final 5 metres. In the end Anna out-touched Schofield in a time of 1 minutes and 7 seconds. Alistair Crawford, who had just broken the British Record in the 50m distance, led from the start in heat 2 and finished in a 58.78. Shaheen Alghofari and Max Elphick were on Alistair’s hip throughout the race and finished in 59.91 and 1.00.43 respectively.

Proceeding the final fly event of the day was the 50m breastroke. Hong Kong national Manson Mak stormed the field in his favoured event, finishing in a fantastic 29.39. Joe Stott and Peter Jackson also registered stellar performances. On the women’s side Rachel Whitwell took down the field in a 36.65. This time registers as one of the fastest 50m breastroke times by any master this year.

The 200m freestyle ended up being one of the most nail-biting events of the day. Open water wizard Nick Parkes was just bested by Andrew Carr in 2.21 and 2.17 respectively. Stuart Hoyle only trailed Parkes by a mere second. Richard Jagger took the overall victory in a 2.03.39. Middle-distance trio Anna Cheeseborough, Karen Graham and Fiona Cryan all posted brilliant performances just outside personal best times. 

After just leaving the pool from the 50m Breastroke, Rachel Whitwell was ‘back’ in the water. Rachel stormed the field in the 50m Backstroke, touching out Julie Hoyle, the 55-59 British Record holder in the event. Rachel finished in a time of 32.94, whilst Julie closed in a brilliant 34.05. Emily Jones, Emma Hilyard and Ellen Winters were close behind all finishing in under 35 seconds. On the men’s side Sam Lawman finished in a 27.67, Martin Schofield in a 32.48 and Stephen Allen in a 34.25.

Next was the 100m Individual Medley. James Warren again posted the fastest time in a 1.08.69 and was followed by Ellen Winters and Rachel Whitwell. Followed swiftly after was the 200m Backstroke, the event only had two competitors; Sam Lawman and Stephen Allen who both posted tired times after the 50m Backstroke.

The final event of the day was the 50m Freestyle, which many East Leeds members class as the blue-ribbon event. East Leeds open record holder Nina Williams was pipped to the wall by new member Fiona Cryan in 29.51. Nina finished in a 29.73. Followed closely behind was Emily Jones and multi-time European record holders Julie Hoyle, Karen Graham and Phillipa Rickard.

On the men’s side, Ryan Flanagan posted a 22.39, which matches the current British Record in the 25-29 age group. Alistair Crawford finished second in a 23.33 & Joe Stott third in a 23.71. Paul Clemence also stormed home in an unofficial British Record in 50-54 age group in a time of 24.18. Next season Paul aims to challenge his best time of 23.31 as well as Rowdy Gaines’ illusive World Record of 23.38 standing from 2009.

Another stand-out performance came from Andy Frear, who is a new East Leeds member. Level X was his first ever competition and saw him dive from blocks for the first time ever.  Andy smashed his unofficial PB of 38 seconds posting a whopping 35.15.

Full results can be found at: eastleedsswimming.club/levelx/results.pdf 

Posted by: Sam Lawman

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