2016 Masters Meet Reports

Etwall Eagles Meet – 26 November – Masters End 2016 Meets On A Team High

Masters End 2016 On A Team High

A squad of six swimmers competed in Derbyshire at the Etwall Eagles Masters meet in a multitude of sprint events bringing their 2016 competitive season to an immensely satisfying end.

Our Masters squad at the Etwall Eagles meet

Having won the Top Non-Midlands club trophy at the meet for the past two years, the odds appeared to be stacked against us this year.

Four of Team Luton’s swimmers faced particularly stiff competition in their age groups, with East Leeds sending swimmers in their forties who feature in the top twenty of both the men’s and ladies individual ASA national decathlon competition for 2016.

A great team effort nevertheless saw our swimmers amass a grand total of 126 points, six more than their winning total in 2015. In part this was achieved by them competing over strokes or distances that were not their specialities but which still garnered valuable points. As a result Team Luton convincingly beat East Leeds in the top Non – Midlands team competition, only to lose out to Banbury on retaining the trophy. In the final analysis it transpired that the Oxfordshire team had few, if any, competitors in their age groups thus helping them to gain maximum points from all their races.

The meet was twenty-four years old Jonathan Pennell’s debut competitive performance for Team Luton. Competing in the 18 – 24 year age group, Jonathan secured 28 points, winning three of his races (50m Butterfly, Backstroke and Freestyle) and finishing second in two others (100m Freestyle and IM). As the second highest scoring individual in the “Senior’s” age group competition, Jonathan won a prize of free entry into two races in next year’s competition when he will be a fully fledged “Masters” swimmer.

In the Men’s 45 – 49 year age group Mark Wareham tested his stamina and body to the full. Despite straining himself mid-race, Mark showed true team spirit to finish his 100m Breaststroke in 2nd place and still went on to compete in eight of the nine individual events he had entered. Mark finished in 3rd place in the 25m Butterfly and 4th in three other events to help gain 23 points for the team.

In the same age group, John O’Rourke swam in six individual events. His best placing was 6th in the 25m Butterfly, whilst gaining valuable points for the team in his other races. Being more of a distance freestyle and backstroke swimmer, John showed true grit pulling away from the rest of the field in his heat on the breaststroke leg of his 100m IM. His time in the 50m Butterfly was also his fastest in that event this year.

With a huge total of 24 swimmers competing in their age group’s individual competition, Mark finished in overall 6th place and John 15th.

In the Ladies 45 – 49 year age group competition, Lorraine Sadler finished overall 5th and Sharon Collins 9th. Their performances were truly commendable having both only made their competitive Masters debut this year.

Lorraine’s best placings were 2nd in the 100m Backstroke, 3rd in the 100m Breaststroke and 5th places in four other events including the 100m IM, an event she had never even swum before.

Being a relative newcomer Sharon had become increasingly accustomed to recording Personal Bests (“PBs”) each time she swam. The lack of a warm-up on the day, due to traffic hold ups on the M1, were not ideal preparation leading Sharon to register her disquiet at swimming four out of five “PWs”- personal worst times! Consolation came in her final event, with second place in the 25m Freestyle and in a PB time to boot!

Competing in eight individual races, Alastair Gibb accumulated a total of 36 points. He finished second overall in the Men’s 55 – 59 year age group having gained four first places (25m, 50m & 100m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke) with a second place in the 100m IM. His times over 100m Backstroke, Freestyle and IM were all within less than a half a second of his PBs for the year.

Fourth places in both the Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle and Medley relays in the 160 -199 year age group rounded off the “fun day” end to the competitive season.

English Nationals – 28 October 

Successes Galore At The 2016 National Masters

The 2016 National Masters Championships in Sheffield yielded two champions in Graham Powell and Dave Wright with nine medals, three East Region and six Beds County Masters’ records for Team Luton. This bettered our 2015 performance when the squad brought home eight medals.

However it was not all about the material items. The weekend was yet another opportunity to witness the great team spirit that prevails, encouraging club mates to record numerous personal best times (“pbs”) for the year and to secure a fantastic grand total of 39 Top Ten finishes, another improvement on 2015.

The Masters Swimmers at Sheffield with coach Pauline
The Masters Swimmers at Sheffield with coach Pauline

The 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 6 Bronze medals are what make headline news but they were accompanied by a further seven 4th places and seven 5th places being achieved by the club’s ten swimmers who travelled up north. (Unfortunately Ian Norman was hospitalised in the run up to Sheffield but he had still taken time out to wish everyone well).

Neither Karen Mackenzie nor Sharon Collins had ever competed in any Masters swimming events until earlier this year but nerves were never in evidence.

Swimming in the 40 – 44 year age group, Karen’s best placing was 4th in the 100m Backstroke, emulating her placing in the British Masters back in April. Karen’s time in the 50m Freestyle, an event in which she had never competed, was less than 0.5 seconds outside her age group’s Beds County record.

Being at the top end of the 45 – 49 year age group, placings were never going to feature in Sharon’s mind but she was delighted to swim pbs in both her 50m and 100m Freestyle. In the longer event Sharon’s time was over a second faster than she had just swum at Barnet the previous month.

Glenda Mayes recorded current year pbs, with her best placings being 5th in both the 60 – 64 years age group 50m Backstroke and 100m Individual Medley (“IM”). The latter was all the more pleasurable as it was not an event Glenda had swum before.

Graham with his full Backstroke medal set; gold, silver, bronze (and one more for his IM)
Graham with his full Backstroke medal set; gold, silver, bronze (and one more for his IM)

Having set himself high expectations, Graham Powell was at first disappointed by his results in the 60 – 64 years age group. However one gold, one silver and two bronze medals, three East Region and five Beds County Masters records from his seven events offered some consolation. A full set of medals came over 200m, 100m and 50m Backstroke with a further bronze in the 100m IM. The East Region records came in the 50m Butterfly, the 100m and the 200m Backstroke.  Graham’s time in his 100m IM took nearly four seconds off that age group’s County record held by Colin Mayes. Colin nevertheless collected three bronze medals from his swims over  100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 200m IM. Team Luton’s third swimmer in that age group, Malcolm Barton, had set himself a challenging programme. He finished in 4th, 5th & 8th position over 200m, 100m and 50m on his preferred Breaststroke. A further 4th place came in the 200 IM and 5th position in both the 400m IM and the 800m Freestyle, earning Malcolm valuable points for the British Masters decathlon competition.

Three Bronze medals for Colin Mayes
Three Bronze medals for Colin Mayes

In the 55 – 59 years age group David Wright collected a gold for his 200m Butterfly to add to the long course (50m) title he won back in April at the GB Masters. He also collected bronze for his 400m Freestyle, taking over seven seconds off teammate Alastair Gibb’s Beds County Masters record. Dave also came fourth in both the 400m IM (in a pb) and the 800m F/s. Not content with excelling at the endurance events, Dave swam pbs in both his 50m Butterfly and Breaststroke events. Alastair, competing in the same age group, finished in the top ten in all six of his races. Five of those were completed in pbs for the year with his best placing of fifth coming in the 800m Freestyle, the final event of the meet.

Dave Wright: GB & ASA Masters 200m butterfly Champion 2016
Dave Wright: GB & ASA Masters 200m butterfly Champion 2016

John O’Rourke swam his best 200m Backstroke of the year by over 3 seconds to finish 8th whilst his 200m IM time was the fastest he had swum the event in over four years. Competing in the 45 – 49 year age group, John’s best placing was 6th in the 400m IM. For some reason just swimming a 100m Butterfly on its own in the last session seemed harder work!

Tell me. Why do we do this?
Tell me again. Why do we do this?

In the same age group, Mark Wareham finished 6th in the 200m Backstroke and 9th in the 50m Backstroke. His swim in the latter event was over a second faster than he had swum the previous month.

Masters Coach, Pauline Harrington, was delighted to see all the hard work put into training over the past year generate individual success for everyone. Her words of encouragement clearly carried through to the squad’s camaraderie that prevailed when individuals finished events in which they rarely compete, was still present when swimmers were breaking fellow squad members’ County records and which helped “lift” spirits  of everyone for their next race, however tired or disappointed they might have been.

Graham and Malcolm giving John a shoulder to lean on; all part of the Team Luton Masters spirit!
Graham and Malcolm giving John a shoulder to lean on;

East Regions – 1st October – Masters’ Trio Win East Region Medals

Masters’ Trio Win East Region Medals

Three members of our Masters squad competed at the East Region Masters championships in Newmarket bringing home eleven medals between them, two gold, five silver and four bronze.

East Region Masters medal winners

Having swum previously with Stevenage as a teenager, forty five year old Lorraine Sadler only returned to the pool earlier this year and the East Region championships were only her second Masters competition. Nevertheless, in front of her proud parents who lived locally, Lorraine collected four medals in the 45 – 49 year age group. A goggle malfunction at the start of her first race, the 50 metres Breaststroke, was not an auspicious way to commence the day as she finished in second place just outside her best time. Undeterred, Lorraine proceeded to win a bronze medal in the 100 metres Breaststroke and a silver medal in the 100 metres Freestyle. A third silver medal came with a personal best time by almost a second in the 50 metres Freestyle.

In the same age group, John O’Rourke swam in five events, winning a silver medal in the 200m metres Backstroke and bronze medals in both the 200 metres Individual Medley and 400 metres Freestyle. With his best 50 metres Freestyle time in over three years, John missed out on a further bronze by just 4/100ths of a second. A further fourth place came in the 200 metres Freestyle.

Having been hospitalised less than six months ago with the onset of an atrial flutter, Alastair Gibb continued returning to form, retaining his East Region titles in the 55 – 59 year age group 200 metres Individual Medley and 200 metres Backstroke. Alastair also won a silver medal in the 400 metres Freestyle and a bronze medal in the 100 metres Breaststroke.

Barnet Distance and Sprint Meets – July & September–  Every Master A Medal Winner (Again)

Every Master A Medal Winner (Again)

Like GB’s Olympians, Team Luton’s Masters have just had their best ever medal haul with all ten of the club’s swimmers bringing home at least two medals each from the Barnet Masters Sprint meet.

At a Masters meet in Newmarket earlier this year a squad of ten returned home with 29 medals. This time a similar number of swimmers, but with a few different faces, collected a massive 34 medals between them.

The Masters squad and supporters at Barnet
The Masters squad and supporters at Barnet

Whilst historically the male swimmers have tended to dominate the headlines, the club’s ladies are coming to the fore.

In the 40 – 44 years age Group, Karen Mackenzie collected her first ever gold for a 50m Butterfly swim whilst finishing second in the 50m Backstroke, just 0.35 seconds outside of the Beds County record.

Competing in her first ever Masters competition, Lorraine Sadler finished fourth in the 45 – 49 years 50m Backstroke but then smashed her entry times to collect silver medals in both the 50m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle. In the same age group, Sharon Collins won the 25m Freestyle and came third in both the 50m Breaststroke and 100m Freestyle. Fourth places in the 100m individual Medley – Sharon’s first ever race in that event – and the 50m Freestyle rounded off a hard day’s competition.

Glenda Mayes won a silver medal in the 60 – 64 years 100m Freestyle, a bronze in the 50m Freestyle and came fourth in the 50m Backstroke.

Our Ladies relay team
Our Ladies relay team

The four ladies, with a combined age of 197 years, also collected a silver medal in the 160 – 199 years 4 x 50m Medley relay, behind a much younger team from the hosts Barnet Copthall.

Having trained for and participated in triathlons over the past year, Mark Wareham was delightedly surprised in his first pool race of 2016, collecting a bronze medal for his 50m Breaststroke. A fourth place in the 50m Freestyle was swiftly followed by a gold medal in the 100m IM and silvers in the 50m Butterfly and Backstroke. Competing in the same 45 – 49 years age group, John O’Rourke swam some of the longer distances collecting gold in the 100m Backstroke, silver in the 100m Butterfly and bronze in the 100m IM. He also finished fourth in the 50m Butterfly and 7th in the 50m Freestyle.

In the 55 – 59 years age group, Alastair Gibb won gold in the 100m Butterfly and 100m Backstroke and bronze for the 100m IM and 100m Freestyle. As with his backstroke race, Alastair swam his best time of the year by over a second to finish fourth in the 100m Breaststroke. Dave Wright finished fourth in the 50m Breaststroke but powered his way to a silver medal in the 100m IM.

Malcolm Barton used the competition as practice for his 400IM swims later in the year, winning silver in the 60 – 64 years 100m Butterfly, Breaststroke and Freestyle. Malcolm’s Breaststroke time, like Gibb’s, was his best of the year by over a second. Another personal best time for the year in the 50m Breaststroke won him a fourth silver. Competing in a 100m Backstroke for the very first time, Malcolm finished in fourth place.

Graham Powell meanwhile concentrated on his favourite events, winning the 60 -64 years 50m and 100m Butterfly and Backstroke races. His 50m Butterfly time clipped his own East Region and Beds County record by 0.1 seconds but over the longer distance he smashed his own regional and county Butterfly records by over a second to claim gold in 1.08.70.

The Men’s Medley and Freestyle relay teams won both of their races in the 200 – 239 years age group with a further two silver medals coming from the Mixed Medley and Freestyle relay teams.

The net overall result was 12 Gold, 15 Silver and 7 Bronze medals as well as the East Region and Beds County records. The meet served as a great boost to all of the swimmers and coach Pauline Harrington ahead of the East Region and National Masters competitions next month. It also provided an entertaining day for the small group of travelling supporters that included all ages ranging from parents, partners to offspring.

In the British Masters 2015 Team competition, Team Luton Men finished in 13th place with 16,321 points. Following the times achieved at the Barnet meet, they have so far acquired 14,690 points bringing them back into the 13th position in this year’s competition. In 2015 the Ladies came 315th (out of 431 teams) with just 1,836 points. With a growing squad so far this year they have already amassed 4,483 points and are currently in 138th position.

The Barnet Cothall Sprints Meet followed on from the 3 medals gained at the same club’s Distance meet back in July.  Then Alastair Gibb collected golds from his swims in the 55 – 59 years’ 200m Breaststroke and 400m IM whilst Sharon Collins won her 45 – 49 years’ 200m Freestyle.

Open Water 2016 – July

Malcolm Barton and Dave Wright joined a number of our more junior club members in the East Region Open Water championships held in Norwich.

In what was his very first open water competition, Malcolm Barton won the Men’s 1,500m race for the 60 years and overs. Especicially satisfying for Malcolm, his winning time of 27 minutes 38 seconds would have also placed him 2nd in both the 40 – 49 years and 50 – 59 years age groups.

Having now “mastered” a 400m IM, a 200m Butterfly and Open Water, could the next challenge for Malcolm be a cross channel swim? Not if Maria, Malcolm’s wife, has a say! Somewhat unfortunately, she was literally sick during his swim. Shame. So many tumble turns is not an enviable prospect for Malcolm if he has to compromise next with just a 1500m “pool” freestyle race.


Malcolm Barton and Dave Wright
Malcolm Barton and Dave Wright

Fifty five year old Dave Wright won a  silver medal for the Men’s 50 – 59 year age group 3,000m race in a time of 49 minutes 37.7 seconds.

These East Region races also served as the basis for determining the Beds County Open Water championships for 2016. Accordingly, in the “Boys 18 years and over” Malcolm and Dave both finished in second place for their events. Quite an achievement as the winners in both events were their juniors by over  30 years!

European Masters held in London – May

Two European Masters Medals For Graham Powell

Our Masters were once again in tremendous record breaking form at the European Masters Championships held at the London Aquatics Centre.  Graham Powell twice made it on to the medal podium whilst Dave Wright just missed out on a medal, finishing in the top ten in both of his events.

Our Masters competing at the European Championships 2016

The hard work put in over the last year by all the swimmers under the watchful eye of Masters Coach Pauline Harrington was evident from the very first event, the Women’s 200m Individual Medley. Karen MacKenzie touched the wall in a time of 3:04.55, smashing her own Beds County Masters record for the 40 – 44 years age group set less than two months ago by nearly eight seconds. In the 50m Backstroke Karen also reduced her Beds County record by 1.7 seconds, finishing in a time of 37.68 seconds. To cap off the week she then swam 1.23.79 for the 100m Backstroke to take 1.32 seconds off the County record for her age group.

Having gone to the European Masters back in 2001, Glenda Mayes had taken an extended break from competitive swimming. Fifteen years later, Glenda was back. Her time in the 60 – 65 years 50m Backstroke earned her 19th place out of over 40 competitors.

Graham Powell had previously won a silver medal and a bronze medal at those 2001 European Masters. In the week of his 60th birthday Graham was hoping to once more come away with a medal. He was therefore delighted as he stormed to a silver medal in the 60 – 65 years age group 100m Butterfly with a time of 1.10.7. Graham was unlucky to collect a second medal in the 50m Backstroke, missing out on 3rd place by just 7/100ths of a second and only 0.24 seconds behind the race winner. However Powell returned to the medal podium to collect a bronze medal for his 100m Backstroke. His time of 1:13.87 was a new East Region record, beating his own time set last month by 0.09 seconds. It was also just 0.8 seconds outside of the British record for his age group.


Dave Wright just missed out on a medal as he improved his own East Region Masters record by 3.48 seconds to finish 4th in the 55 – 59 years 200m Butterfly. His time was 2:51.07. By his own admission Dave had been a little disappointed with his earlier swim in the 800m Freestyle, although happy to finish in 10th place. However disappointed he might have been, Dave did still beat the Beds County Masters record by 5.9 seconds.

In the 60 – 65 years age group Colin Mayes demolished the Beds County 200m Freestyle record by over 17 seconds, setting new figures of 2:44.30 to finish in 17th place.

The European Masters championships were held over five days. As the competition unfolded John O’Rourke improved with each of his swims. “It hurt,” said John after his 800m Freestyle in the 45 – 49 years age group on the first day. Forty-eight hours later he was just 0.7 seconds outside of his 2016 personal best time on the 400m Freestyle. Come his final swim, the 100m Freestyle, John beat his own long course personal best time by almost two seconds.

Pauline Harrington commented how she was “very proud of all the swimmer taking part in the Europeans. All their hard work has paid dividends. We will now start the hard work again as we aim for more good results at the British Nationals in October.” So no resting on our laurels then!

Newmarket Masters – April – Every One A Medal Winner


It was another record breaking medal haul for Team Luton at the Newmarket Open Masters meet with all ten competing swimmers each bringing home at least one medal.

Four new Masters County records were set as the squad collected a total of 29 medals. Many of these were from events in which they rarely compete, demonstrating their versatility, whilst two of our swimmers won their first ever Masters medals.

In the 40 – 44 year age group Eloise Tuner won both the 50 metres and 100 metres Breaststroke, beating her personal best time by nearly a full second over the shorter distance. Turner was also just 0.03 seconds outside her best over the 50 metres Freestyle in which she collected a silver, alongside one from the 100 metres Freestyle.

Sharon Collins claimed her first ever medal, a bronze, in the 45 – 49 year age group 50 metres Freestyle touching just ahead of the fourth placed swimmer by a mere 13/100ths of a second. Collins also finished in fourth place over 50 metres Breaststroke.

Competing in his first ever Masters competition, Darren Hale collected two gold medals (50 metres Backstroke and 50 metres Breaststroke) in the 45 – 49 years age group, together with one silver medal (50 metres Freestyle) and a bronze (100 metres Freestyle).

In the same age group John O’Rourke won the gold over 400 metres Freestyle. O’Rourke also picked up bronze medals over 100 metres Butterfly and Breaststroke, distances which he rarely swims other than as part of a 400 metres Individual Medley.

Dave Wright beat his own Beds County Masters record for the 55 – 59 year age group 200 metres Freestyle by over 1.5 seconds to finish in second place in a time of 2:22.73. Although he is more of a middle distance or open water swimmer, Wright showed his sprinting ability winning the 50 metres Backstroke, finishing second over 50 metres Butterfly and Breaststroke in addition to a third place in the 50 metres Freestyle.

Graham Powell took time away from his preferred Butterfly and Backstroke races to set new Beds Masters figures for the 60 – 64 year age group over 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres Freestyle. Winning each of these events, Powell smashed the old County records by 2.64 seconds, 7.58 seconds and 21.71 seconds respectively. He also headed up a clean sweep of the medals for Team Luton over 50 metres Breaststroke, with Colin Mayes finishing second and Malcolm Barton third.

Colin Mayes won the 100 metres Breaststroke and 100 metres Individual Medley as well as a further silver medal in the 200 metres Freestyle and a bronze over 100 metres Freestyle.

Malcolm Barton collected another bronze medal in the 100 metres Breaststroke whilst beating Mayes for third place in the 50 metres Butterfly and finishing in fourth place over both 200 metres and 400 metres Freestyle.

With the swims achieved in many of their non-preferred events, the squad is eagerly anticipating updates to the national swimming decathlon team competition rankings.

GB Masters – April – Powell Smashes British Record

Powell Smashes British Record

Team Luton’s Graham Powell set a new British record for the 60 – 64 year age group at the Great Britain Masters Championships in Sheffield. He smashed the old record set in June 2013 by 0.47 seconds to win the 50m Backstroke in a time of 32.91 seconds.

British Record Holder, Graham Powell
British Record Holder, Graham Powell

 With the European Masters Championships in London next month, Powell only needs to find a further 0.34 seconds to break the European record.

Whilst Graham was the club’s star performer, Team Luton’s Masters swimmers were all in excellent form as they set a total of 13 new County records and 6 East Region records whilst winning 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals and 17 other top ten finishes.

Team Luton's Masters in Sheffield
Team Luton’s Masters in Sheffield

Powell shattered the East Region and Beds records in all five of his swims, winning the 100m Butterfly as well as the 50m and 100m Backstroke. Finishing in 2nd place in the 50m Butterfly, Powell still beat the East Region record by over 2 seconds. A further silver medal came in the 200m Backstroke where Powell beat his own Eastern and Beds records by over 2.5 seconds.

Team mate Malcolm Barton finished 4th in the 60 – 64 years’ 200m Breaststroke, just 0.32 seconds outside his own County record. Barton went one place better in the 400m Individual Medley to win a Bronze medal setting a new Beds County record of 7:30.16 in the process.

David Wright continued this year’s demonstration of his endurance and versatility, winning the 55 -59 years’ 200m Butterfly whilst collecting bronze medals over 200m Individual Medley and 200m Backstroke. Wright’s medley time was a new East region record by nearly 4 seconds whilst he smashed the County record in the 200m Freestyle by nearly 7 seconds to finish in 5th place.

In the 45 – 49 years’ age group, John O’Rourke finished just outside the medals in three of his events. O’Rourke came 4th in the 400m individual Medley, 4th in the 200m Backstroke and 5th in the 100m Backstroke. His time of 7:00.97 in the 400m medley event took over 49 seconds off the previous County record for his age group.

Competing in her first national Masters championships, Karen Mackenzie was just 0.26 seconds outside her own Beds County record to finish 4th in the 100metre Backstroke in the 40 – 44 age group. Mackenzie set a new County record of 3:12.25 in the 200m Individual Medley.

Karen Mackenzie
Karen Mackenzie

In the same age group, Eloise Turner established new long course Masters County records over 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke, finishing in 5th place over the shortest distance.

A further 4th place was claimed by Glenda Mayes in the 60-64 age group 100m Freestyle. Mayes also finished 7th in both the 50m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle.

Gwendalyn Skingley made her competitive Masters debut at Sheffield and finished 13th in the 30 – 34 years 50m Freestyle.

Bracknell Masters – March 2016 – Four East Region And Five BedsCounty Records

Four East Region And Five Beds County Records


Friendly rivalry was in evidence as Team Luton Masters beat Beds County records held by fellow squad members at the Bracknell Open Masters Meet. In addition to the records the squad won a total of 10 Gold, 6 Silver and 1 Bronze medal.

Graham Powell was in fine form winning all four of his events in the 60 – 64 year age group, setting not only Beds County but also new East Region Masters records in each of them. He posted new times of 31.61 and 1:09.74 over 50m and 100m Butterfly. His 50m Butterfly time broke the East Region record that had stood since 2008 by over two seconds. In the 50m and 100m Backstroke Graham’s figures of 32.53 seconds and 1:12.68 beat the Beds County records set just ten months ago by club mate Colin Mayes. Powell’s Backstroke time in the 100m event also bettered the East Region record that had stood since 2007 by nearly three seconds.

Despite the loss of two records to Powell, Colin Mayes picked up three gold medals from his swims over 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke whilst collecting a silver in the 100m Individual Medley.

Team Luton’s domination in the 60 – 64 age group continued to the fore as Malcolm Barton finished 2nd to Colin in the 100m Breaststroke whilst also picking up a bronze medal in the 100m Butterfly behind Powell. Malcolm finished in fourth place in the 200m Freestyle. This was due in part to Malcolm electing to swim Breaststroke, rather than Front Crawl, as pacing practice for the 200m Breaststroke event at the GB Masters which take place at the beginning of April.

In the 55 – 59 year age group, Dave Wright picked up two Gold medals over 50m Backstroke and 200m Freestyle. His time of 2:24.31 in the Freestyle event took over 2.5 seconds off the Beds County record that had been set by Powell back in 2014. Dave also picked up silver medals over 50m and 100m Butterfly and in the 200m Individual Medley.

John O’Rourke swam to first place in the 200m Backstroke and picked up a silver medal over the 50m distance in his 45 – 49 year age group.

Sharon Collins made her competitive Masters debut at the tender age of 49. With the Bracknell Meet over-subscribed with entries, Sharon only swam in the 50m Breaststroke, rather than her preferred Freestyle. She finished in tenth place but is already looking forward to her next Masters competition in April at Newmarket.

Sth East Long Course – January – Record Breaking Start For Team Luton Masters


Team Luton had an excellent competitive start to 2016, winning seven gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the South East Long Course Masters Championships, held in Crawley. The swimmers established six new Eastern region and ten new Beds County records in the process.

 In her Masters competitive debut, 43 year-old Karen MacKenzie won the 100m Backstroke in the 40-44 year age group. Karen’s time of 1:25:78 was just 0.67 seconds outside the County record for her age group. Having finished ninth in the 100m Freestyle, Karen ended her first swim meet back on the medals rostrum, winning the 50m Backstroke. Her time of 39:35 seconds was a new Beds County record.

Dave Wright was also in record breaking form, having just moved up into the 55-59 years age group, His winning time of 5:10:69 in the 400m Freestyle was over nine seconds faster than the old Beds County record. Dave proceeded to set new Eastern region and Beds County records finishing second in the 200m Butterfly in a time of 2:54:55. In a further demonstration of his endurance training over the winter, Dave Wright took over three seconds off the East and Beds County records winning the 400m individual Medley in a time of 6:15:06.

In his first races in the 60-64 years age group, Graham Powell established new Eastern Region and Beds County records over 50m, 100m and 200m Backstroke, with his winning times of 34:21 seconds, 1:16:28 and 2:49:82.

In the same age group, Colin Mayes claimed two silver medals (100m and 200m Breaststroke) and two bronze medals (50m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley). Colin’s time of 1:28:12 in the 100m Breaststroke was a new East Region and Beds County record. He also set a new Beds County record in the 200m Individual Medley and snipped 0.19 seconds off his age group’s 50m Freestyle county record.

John O’Rourke finished just outside the medals in the 45 – 49 year age group, coming 4th over 400m Freestyle, 4th in the 200m Backstroke and 5th in the 200m Freestyle.