Almost all the Bracknell Masters at the 23rd Open Meet

Firmly established in the Masters Swimming Calendar, this meet was to be extra special as it was to celebrate Mike Daniell. Mike was an honorary member of Bracknell and had represented the team for over 40 years and had lost his battle against cancer in January. He was well known in British Swimming for being a true Gentleman and for his love and success of the 200m Butterfly event and previously held British and European records for all three distances in the Butterfly. The meet included a special Butterfly relay and a new Trophy in Mike’s honour for the 200m Butterfly event.

Twenty-Eight Bracknell Masters competed and collectively took home Nineteen Gold, Twenty Four Silver and Fifteen Bronze Individual medals and One Gold, Nine Silver and Three Bronze Relay medals. In addition there were Nine Bracknell Masters records broken.

Commentary throughout the event and leading the one-minute applause for Mike was from Bracknell’s Clair Baynton.

Kirsty Johnson took the first Gold and first Club record in the 100m Individual Medley event and followed it with Gold in the 50m Freestyle and then Silver in both the 200m Butterfly and the 100m Freestyle, the 200m Butterfly being her second club record.

In the 100m Individual Medley, Mark Straw broke the previous record in his age group by a huge Seventeen seconds. In his 200m Freestyle Mark, who was third, was an agonising 0.07 away from a second Bracknell record, but from two superb swims and Silver medals in the 50m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle saw the 100m Freestyle record go to Mark by a happy 0.5 of a second.

Karen Leftley started her medal haul with a Silver in the 100m Individual Medley, with a Gold in the 50m Freestyle, 50m & 100m Breaststroke, another Silver from the 100m Freestyle. More were to come from the relays.

Kyran’s Edmunds also saw success in the Individual Medley and also in his next four events, the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 100m Freestyle. No records, but he does already hold three of them.

Ian, Mike’s son, was one of the eight Bracknell Masters who competed in the 200m Butterfly event and was fourth in his age group, stating “never again”, let’s see. Kirsty as already mentioned was second in her age group with a Bracknell Masters Club Record. Simon Mellor and Jenny Crittenden were second in their age groups and Nicki Thorpe triumphed in her age group and all three, like Kirsty, broke the Bracknell Masters records. Catherine Shearn gained Silver in her age group, but was just outside her own Bracknell record, Sasha Forster was third in her age group and Terry Wright, well Terry who was not a fan of the event only managed the first four and last length doing full stroke, he only entered on the condition that a little use of single arm was permitted knowing that a disqualification would happen. David Bell was to swim in the event, but with his flights cancelled from Ireland, he could only watch out for the results via social media.

  • Ian also swam in the 100m Individual Medley – 2nd, 50m Backstroke – 3rd, 50m Freestyle – 3rd, 50m Butterfly – 3rd and 50m Breaststroke – 5th.
  • Simon Mellor was successful in the 50m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle with Gold in both, then Silver in the 50m Backstroke and Bronze in the 100m Individual Medley.
  • Nicki achieved Silver in the 100m Breaststroke, 4th in the 200m Freestyle, and 2nd in the 200m Individual Medley. Her children Olly and Issy were helping out at the meet handing out the medals during the first session.
  • Catherine double dup on Silver medals with one in the 100m Butterfly event.
  • Terry took two Bronze medals from the 50m and the 100m Freestyle events.

In the 200m Freestyle event, Laura Cooke swam very happy and much quicker than last year to gain Silver, she followed this with Gold in the 50m Freestyle and Bronze in the 50m Butterfly. Her daughter Catherine was on the medal table for the second session of the meet. Rachel Langton, just outside Bronze in the 200m Freestyle went far better in the 50m Backstroke – 2nd, and excelled in the 100m Backstroke with the Gold. Kathryn Martin in her first Bracknell Masters event started with 6th in the 200m Freestyle, then in the 200m Backstroke took the Bronze, was 5th in the 100m Freestyle and 4th in the 100m Backstroke.

Georgie Vlatas also medalled in the 200m Freestyle with a Silver which was the same colour medal in the 50m Freestyle. Then in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke events, Gold was the colour.

John Williamson started his medal collection with a bronze in the 200m Freestyle and followed it with Gold in both the 50m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke events.

Jim Hunter’s possible last competition was memorable as he was 2nd in the 200m Freestyle, 5th in the 50m and 100m Freestyle events. What made it memorable was that he swam his first Butterfly event in the special Butterfly relay events, something he thought he could not do.

Gary Dressel took Gold in both the 100m Individual Medley and 100m Freestyle with a fourth place in the 50m Breaststroke, this also being a Bracknell Masters Club Record.

John Sinclair, also in his first Masters event, gained a bronze medal in the 100m Freestyle.

Chris Ehinger made the 50m Backstroke a breeze with Gold, then Silver in the 100m Backstroke and Bronze in the 50m Freestyle.

If you’re wondering where the last club record came from, it was Greg Adams in the 100m Backstroke and by 0.05, this was after a Gold in the 50m Backstroke and Silver in the 50m Freestyle.

Whilst Simon Whiteside did not medal in his individual events, he excelled in the Freestyle relay where he gained Silver and in the Medley relay a Bronze.

Caroline Atkinson took three seconds off the 50m Freestyle in a very competitive age group to finish 8th.

Claire Moore was working with the back office team of Rob Moore and Stuart Fillingham and suited up to lead off her team in the special butterfly relay.

With all the relays, there were some very notable races, with the most exciting between Bracknell’s own 200+ men’s teams in the same heat and only being separate by 0.06 at the finish.

By far and most pleasing and fitting was that in the “Mike Daniell Mixed 4x25m Butterfly relay”, the team with Laura Cooke, Karen Leftley and Terry Wright and Ian Daniell swimming the final leg were victorious to an equally happy second placed Bracknell team of Nicki Thorpe, Rachel Langton, Jim Hunter and Chris Ehinger.

Bracknell’s Masters Coach, Jim Dobinson presented Teddington Swimming Club with their Top Club Status as they have done for many years now and also Gina Heyn and Mark Deakin as top Female and Male Swimmers.

The winner of the Mike Daniell 200m Butterfly Trophy was Gina Heyn. This was presented by Mike’s son Ian and Grandson Ben.

Top Bracknell Male and Female swimmers were Simon Mellor and Karen Leftley.