DSC’s Hackett Excels at National Swimming Champs!
Dunstable Swimming Clubs Walter Hackett swam into the record books again, following his return this month to Sheffields Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
Qualifying in 5 events, the 16 year old had broadened his national event qualification beyond his backstroke specialism into individual medley, that includes all 4 strokes. The format of the competition meant he was up against strong competition in the youth category, including swimmers of 18 years and under from across the country.
Walter’s 1st event, the 200m IM saw him improve on his personal best (PB) by a second, to finish in 2.09.79 this put him in 3rd place in his heat and in 23rd position overall in the youth category.
On day 2, and in his 2nd event, 50m backstroke, Walter pulled out another PB of 26.45 seconds to finish in 20th place overall.
In his 2nd event of the day, Walter competed in the 200m backstroke – an event that is incredibly tough on the legs. From the outside lane, where he was seeded 9th fastest in his heat, he absolutely smashed the race, leading for the 1st half and only being overtaken by the fastest seed. His incredible time of 2.04.28 knocked 3 seconds off his previous PB and earns him an all time Bedfordshire County Senior Record.
A challenge at big competitions such as this is, is the ability to stay focused and cope with the physical and mental demands of early starts and short bursts of intense activity, all with the pressure to perform in front of the spectators both in the venue and the wider swimming community watching on the You Tube live stream.
On the 3rd day of the 4 day event, Walter demonstrated he had the ability to cope with these pressures as he achieved 2 more PB’s, over a second in the 100m backstroke, to finish in 56.40 seconds and 1.00.88 in the 100m IM. These earnt him 16th and 40th positions respectively.
Walter’s continued success on the regional and national stage is built on the resource and support of Dunstable Swimming Club, whose member’s supported Walter strongly on social media during the competition. This garnered a lot of coverage from the commentators about him and the club.
Director of Swimming, Tim Hutton said “Walter is really reaping the results of his heart physical work in training and his determined mental attitude. His ability to channel the pressure and rise to the big occasion is a huge asset. That he has achieved this progression whilst training across a number of temporary pools, while our home base has been closed, is amazing. We’re really looking forward to getting back into the fabulous new pool, just re-opening in the Dunstable Centre. With this we are able to offer our swimmers more water time and better facilities, giving the area’s swimmers more opportunities than ever before”.