In a break from traditional at this year's British University LC Champs, non-student members of the British Swimming team have been allowed to compete in the heats of this competition to get some much needed LC racing under their belts.
Despite only being able to swim in heats, some stunning times have been recorded. Elizabeth Simmonds led the way with a scorching 2:06.90 in the 200m Back. This just missed Kristina Egerszegi's 2:06.62, the fastest time ever set in a textile suit back in 1991. Simmonds recorded splits of 30.40, 1:02.31 (31.91), 1:34.67 (32.36), 2:06.90 (32.23). Simmonds swam the 200m Back time shortly after 2pm after having already swam the 200m Free and 50m Back in the morning session. Her 50m Back time was also quick, 28.58, only half a second behind Li Yang's 28.09 from the textile era. Simmonds' day started early as she raced to a highly respectable 2:01.68 in the 200m Free heats at 10am.
Fran Halsall continued her assault on world class Fly swimming setting the fastest time in the world this year in the 100m Fly with 58.71. (0.02 seconds faster than Felicity Galvez's effort at the NSW State Open Champs just hours earlier - comparing splits Halsall went out in 27.12 to Galvez's 27.53). Halsall backed this up in the afternoon session blazing a 50m Free in 24.94, 0.04seconds faster than Therese Alshammar's swim from the NSW State Open Champs. Halsall was a swimmer whose times improved massively during the techsuit era, however her relatively slight build and impressive early season form suggests she won't suffer too much with the 2010 regulations.
With the non-students not swimming finals, it was left to Loughborough Uni's Liam Tancock to shine in the final of the 50m Back. Tancock posted 25.01 and missed out on Thomas Rupprath's textile best time by just 0.21 secs. It was a full 1.03 slower than his own WR set at last year's worlds and whilst that time might take some beating, Tancock should dip well below Rupprath's previous time with a full taper.
Full results can be found here. Remember to check both the heats and finals.