The Swim England National Masters and Seniors Championships held in Ponds Forge Sheffield. 29th October 2017 – day three.

20 BWSC swimmers qualified and entered this event and with Coach Jim Dobinson what followed was one of the best set of results that the BWSC masters had recorded in many many years. Not only in terms of medals, but with seasons best times, personal bests, club records and great camaraderie and team spirit.

Four medals, Nine BWSC Club records broke and Fourteen two year seasons best times on the final day.

An extra hours sleep with the clocks going back was most welcome. The team had gone out for a celebratory meal the night before where both Coach Jim and the teams success were toasted, more than once.

The first session started with the mixed 4x200m Freestyle relay with Terry Wright, Rachel Langton, Karen Bassett and Neil Holmes. A medal was on the cards, but a very strong Cambridge team ensured that Bracknell picked up the Silver. Terry’s time was some 2 seconds behind the club record, something to go for at the next meet perhaps. The 200m Individual Medley followed where Kyran Edmunds smashed his entry time by six seconds. Nicki Thorpe also beat her entry time and in doing so broke the club record by 4 seconds and more so took the Bronze Medal. Eight Bracknell swimmers were then in the 100m Freestyle, Kyran in entry time beating form still with a 2 second reduction, Neil followed this with a 3 second reduction on his entry time. Sasha Forster and Rachel were just outside their entry times as was Karen Leftley, although Karen swam herself to gain the Bronze Medal. Both Kirsty Johnson and Terry reduced their entry times and also broke the existing club records. The swim that is worthy of a special mention came from Greg Adams. With pressure placed upon him from the previous day where he was just 0.28 away from breaking the minute, he was expected to “go for it”. He did, a 28.21 at the 50m compared to his 27.92 the day before, but then followed it with a 31.75 rather than a 32.36, and if you work it out, it was an amazing 59.96, something that he had not achieved for 25 years. Straight on to the 200m Butterfly with Catherine Shearn and David Bell. David was 5th and set a new club record. Catherine also set a new club record, by 0.05, but still a record, she also was glorious with a Bronze medal.

The final session of the event included the 50m Breaststroke and the 800m Freestyle. There were 6 club Records and a Gold medal. In the Breaststroke Georgie Vlatas took 0.11 off the club record and was 8th in a very competitive age group, there were 23 in her age group. Karen Leftley swam in heat 7 and lane 7, so fitting was her result finishing 7th. Lane one heat one next year! Sasha left her last race to record a personal best time, so it was nice to see an even bigger smile from her. Kirsty Johnson excelled in her race, clearly winning the heat, breaking the club record and becoming the National Champion.

The final event, the 800m Freestyle did not produce any medals, but did have Terry break his entry time by 47 seconds, finish 6th and break the club record by 36 seconds. Caroline Madden back in the pool after swimming in the first event the 1500m Free, was only 1 second outside her entry time and finished fourth. David Bell also finished fourth with a very impressive swim. The final swimmer in this event was Nicki Thorpe. Watched on by her family she smashed her entry time by 27 seconds, finished fourth and took 22 seconds off the club record.

In summary. 5800m was swam competitively, there were 9 club records, one Gold, one Silver and three Bronze medals.

All of the BWSC swimmers could not have achieved their results without the input from one person, Jim Dobinson, the Masters Coach. It is such a benefit to have a coached swimming session, to then have a coach that attends all the competitions through out the year is exceptional. The BWSC Masters were truly honoured and appreciate this. Upon returning, it was not back to the drawing board, but back to the cycle of training for the next big event.

Here follows Jim’s message to his swimmers.

“To All those who swam at Sheffield last weekend I have to say that I was a proud Coach to see the results of all the hard work that you have all put in during the last fifteen week phase of training which resulted in some terrific swims – PB’s and medals galore. Well Done.

An easy week coming up then we start again working towards the South East Region LC Champs at the K2 in Crawley at the end of January.”

Greg Adams, David Bell, Terry Wright & Neil Holmes, Bronze medalists mens 4x100m Free