Masters success in Sheffield

Great performances all round from the Barnet Copthall Masters team at Ponds Forge, Sheffield when they competed at the British Gas ASA National Masters Championships last weekend.  Sixteen swimmers returned with a total of 10 Gold, 1 Silver, 7 Bronze medals and excellent times with an overwhelming number of best times.
Mark Reynolds with 4 golds and a bronze once again dominated his age group and many of the younger age group swimmers in his events. The disappointing third place in the 50m Freestyle was a close run race and he just missed out by a few 100ths of a second. All his other swims were fantastic performances. His “regular” successes in the 100 and 200 Freestyle are nothing new but he extended his dominance of his 50-54 age group by adding 400m freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley, narrowly missing the British Record in the latter. In all these events he was racing alongside and usually ahead of much younger opposition.
Moving up the age groups, we have three ladies with different stroke specialities leading the rest of their groups. Georgie Hamilton with her butterfly and individual medley winning 3 gold, a silver and 2 bronze, Elaine Blower in backstroke and freestyle with 2 gold and 2 bronze and Judy Alden in breaststroke and freestyle winning gold and silver with some excellent times.
The younger swimmers came close to the medals with many 4thand 5th places but probably more impressive were the improvements in time performances. Rachael Coleman and Michael Carse's times were especially encouraging. All Rachael’s swims were massive improvements of previous performances and 35 year old Michael was faster than he was when he was 18!
Congratulations to everyone competing as they continue to improve with age.  Well done!

Ian Woollard