2017: 10th Top Club in GB!

The final results for 2017 are in! Team Luton’s Masters have just attained their best ever placings in both the Mens and Ladies 2017 Great Britain Masters Decathlon Team competitions.

Our Men’s team finished 10th out of 476 clubs and our Ladies team 118th out of 428 clubs.

10th in GB: Alex, Graham, Dave & Alastair

The Masters and Seniors squad have gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Our men first broke into the GB’s top 30 back in 2013, finishing in 23rd place with 12,468 points. The following year a total of 14,555 points gained them 14th place. 2015 saw them edge up to 13th with 16,321 points but they slipped back to 15th in 2016 despite accumulating 16,495 points.

Come 2017, Graham Powell (aged 61), Alastair Gibb (57), Dave Wright (56) and Alex Mason (21) achieved 18,861 points, the club’s highest ever total, to finish in 10th place. Despite their advancing years, each of the three oldest team members recorded their highest individual scores. For Alex it was his first year (or rather six months) in Masters & Seniors’ competitions, as he only returned mid-year to his home club after completing his studies at Southampton University.

The decathlon competition is based on {FINA} points awarded for age adjusted times recorded in up to ten individual events, across six different categories, from the various Masters competitions held throughout the year. This is to encourage swimmers (aged from 18 years and upwards) to compete in a variety of events and not just their preferred ones. The highest scoring four swimmers from each club are combined together for the team competition.

In the Individual Men’s decathlon competition Graham finished nationally in 33rd place with 5,349 points, just down from his 29th place in 2016 when he attained finished 5,279 points. A National Masters medal winner over both Butterfly and Backstroke, Graham’s ten qualifying events ranged from 50m Breaststroke to 400m Freestyle. However, despite being in his sixties Graham is already contemplating completing a 400m Individual Medley or a 1,500m Freestyle if those events might gain greater decathlon points in 2018!

Despite cramming all of his ten qualifying events in to just four Masters competitions, including the English Masters in October where he won a gold medal over 400m Freestyle, Alex claimed 49th place nationally with 5,041 points.

Dave finished in 104th place with 4,267 points, 52 points more than in 2016, having won gold over the 200m Butterfly at the GB Masters in Aberdeen in June. It was only with Dave’s final competitive swim of the year – a 1,500m Freestyle to register his tenth qualifying event –  that saw us leap frog up into the top ten. Dave was just ahead of Alastair who finished in 110th place with 4,204 points, compared to his 4,117 points in 2016 in 110th place.

In 2016 Malcolm Barton had been Team Luton’s fourth highest scoring male. A snow boarding injury meant he missed all of the 2017 competitive season but he’s already back in competitive mood for 2018. With 27 year old Michael Poynton entering his first (and so far only) Masters swim meet in 2017, recording 1,869 points from just four (out of a maximum ten) qualifying races, there should be keen competition to claim one of the club’s top four individual places in 2018.

2017 also saw two “newcomers” to Team Luton’s Ladies Masters & Seniors’ Decathlon team with fellow students Amy Pelling and Nicola Pasquire both entering their first “Senior” Age Group events. Amy (aged 19) helped Karen MacKenzie (44), Glenda Mayes (61) and Lorraine Sadler (46) to claim 118th place in GB, our best ever position. This achievement was all the more notable as assorted injuries and illnesses severely disrupted our ladies’ competitive opportunities. It meant they only swam in 21 out of a potential 40 qualifying races. Nevertheless, between them our top four ladies accumulated 6,379 points, whereas in 2016 they had scored an aggregate of 5,786 points to finish 142nd.

All of the above is of course testament to the encouragement given all year round to all of our Masters and Senior Age Group squad (regardless of whether or not they compete) by Pauline Harrington, Team Luton’s Masters coach, assisted by Jane Cattle .

Detailed results of all Team Luton Masters & Seniors who competed in 2017 will follow shortly.