ASA National Masters

Twenty one Barnet Copthall Masters swimmers competed in the ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.  The team returned with 7 Gold, 9 Silver and 10 Bronze medals plus a WORLD record and three British Records.  Our record breakers came in the form of our Women’s 200+ relay teams and, individually, from Mark Reynolds.

Mark’s British Record was a two seconds improvement from last year’s success completing a superbly paced 400 freestyle in 4.25.27. This swim in particular showed his vast superiority over the rest of the age group 50-54 years. He moves an age group next year so we expect more records to tumble in 2018. Mark returned with three GOLD medals from four swims. His 100m and 200m Freestyle swims saw him dominate his group and so many other much younger swimmers at the event. Well done Mark.

Previous years have seen our relay teams excel at many events and this time it was our 200+ years women’s relay teams on top the world.  The foursome of Christine Porter, Melissa Cannon, Cate Jackson and Lisa Dawson crashed through the previous WORLD RECORD time by over two seconds in the 4 x 100m Freestyle relay. The same team dominated in the 4 x 50m freestyle team returning a British Record, winning easily. They also broke the old record for the 4 x 50m Medley relay but, unfortunately were pipped at the finish by 0.12sec.

Not quite a record but Cate and Melissa were joined by Mark Reynolds and Sean McQuaid in a mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle relay where they finished over 20metres ahead of the next team.

Our other gold medallist was Judy Alden who collected the 50m freestyle title easily and narrowly missed a second gold finishing only half an arm stroke behind her main rival on 50m breaststroke so she settled for silver. Great performances when considering Judy has spent the last two years undergoing cancer treatment. Regular checks still required but she is improving with every swim.

Also among the medallists were Emma Harvey, 800m freestyle. She was very happy to have a sub ten minute time recorded at the end of a long weekend. Cate Jackson saving her best swims for the relays, still managed to collect silver in 50 breaststroke and bronze in 100 freestyle.  Christine Porter, silver and bronze in 50m and 100m freestyle respectively.  Lisa Dawson a silver in 200m IM,  Melissa Cannon silver 800m freestyle and two bronze in 50m and 200m freestyle.  Three bronze medals for Mike SkinnerSusan Procter won bronze in 400m IM and keeping it in the family, her daughter Sarah picked up a silver in 100m freestyle in 59.63secs and bronze in 50m butterfly in 29.19secs. Great times from Sarah also saw her produce a life time best in 50m freestyle 27.51. Ranked in the entry lists in the penultimate heats for her age groups, she smashed her heats and knocked out many supposedly faster ranked swimmers in the final heats of her events.

Another “new kid on the block”, (well, starting from the water actually), was Helen Barrison. Swimming all three backstroke events, she really shone in her first “big” competition since she was racing as a child. She has children of her own now and swimming in the 40 -43 age group she picked up silver and bronze in best times for 200m and 100m races. Narrowly missing the medals in the 50m, Helen is a great asset to the team and, as she gets more racing, things will go from good to great.

Apologies if I missed anyone out of the medal tally. Lots of swimmers outside of the medals, performed brilliantly and showed some excellent results from their hard work over the past year.

Well done EVERYBODY!


Ian Woollard