An Ashville College swimmer’s performance at this summer’s National Swimming Championships has earned him a place on a prestigious development programme.
Matt Rudolph, 16, has been invited to join the AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) which offers a structured training and development route for talented young athletes who have a real chance of excelling in their sport.
At the national finals in Sheffield, Matt, from Harrogate, competed in three races; two individual and one team event.
In the 100m backstroke Matt reached the semi-finals with a time of 60.2s – which shattered his previous personal best (PB) by 1.5 seconds. However, he was unable to match this time in the semis and ultimately missed out on a place in the final.
His second race was the 200m backstroke, and again smashed his previous PB by five seconds, recording a time of 2m 8.71s, placing him fourth.
In the semi-finals, he could not replicate his earlier form but still qualified for the final. Fighting hard in the final against some formidable opponents, Matt finished the race in seventh place.
However, as one of those above him is from Belgium, this makes him the sixth best in the country!
In the 4x100m medley relay, he swam his backstroke time of 59.92 – another PB faster than his heat on the Monday, and going under the magic one minute!
In the relays the team improved on all their qualifying times, but failed to qualify for the finals.
Ashville College swimming coach Duncan Archer said:
Matt is one of the best swimmers Ashville has ever produced.
Whilst most of his classmates where enjoying a well-earned rest from the rigours of their GCSEs, Matt was training daily for this important competition.
We are thrilled he has been invited to join the AASE, and this will help with his continual development in the sport. Matt trains incredibly hard and I know he will continue to set more PBs over the next two years.