County Records On Masters’ Competitive Return

After 18 months’ absence due to the Covid pandemic, seven of our Masters’ squad revelled in being back in competition, all winning medals at the Barnet Masters Sprint Plus Meet. They won a total of 10 Gold, 8 Silver and 1 Bronze medals whilst three were also in County Masters record-breaking form.

L-R: Alastair Gibb, Sam Bradley, Dave Wright & Colin Mayes

Keen to test his speed and endurance, twenty eight year old Sam Bradley competed in no fewer than seven of the twelve events held over the two sessions. His efforts were rewarded with gold medals in his 25 – 29 years’ 400m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Individual Medleys and 50m & 100m Backstroke.

Alastair Gibb also tested himself by entering five events in the 60 – 64 years’ age group, bringing home one gold, three silver and a bronze.

Competing in the same age group, the Club’s Assistant Head Coach, Dave Wright, attempted (and perfected) a negative split strategy to win his 400m Freestyle in a new Beds County Masters record of 5:09.66. Dave followed that with a win in his 50m Butterfly (33.69 seconds) and a silver in his 50m Freestyle, touching just ahead of Kelly Cooke and Karen Mackenzie who were swimming in the same heat of the Mixed 50m Freestyle event.

Colin Mayes claimed a new Beds County 65 – 69 years’ record time of 42.18 seconds in finishing second in his 50m Breaststroke, whilst coming 4th in his 50m Freestyle. Both were Club Masters’ record times.

L-R: Kelly Cooke, Karen Mackenzie & Jo Mitchinson

For the ladies, Jo Mitchinson smashed the 40 – 44 years’ Beds 400m Freestyle record by over 30 seconds. Her winning time of 5:02:26 was all the more remarkable as it was achieved by going under the County records for her age group at both the 100m and 200m stages. Her swim even included some backstroke as Jo fought to complete the race and overcome breathing difficulties.

Kelly Cooke and Karen Mackenzie both demonstrated they had not lost any of their sprinting prowess, finishing 1st and 2nd in their 45 – 49 years’ 50m Freestyle. They each claimed a silver medal for their respective swims over 50m Butterfly and 50m Backstroke, with Kelly’s fly time being a new Club Masters’ record.