Masters Coach Jim was on the poolside throughout the entire 8 session event. The Ladies and Men swam in separate pools (except for the mixed relays), Jim certainly had his work cut out not to miss anyone, not that anyone missed Jim’s inevitable call of encouragement, all 10 lanes in both pools could hear him “Up – Up – Up”.

710 Men and 595 Ladies entered 3061 and 2642 individual events respectively and there were 590 relay teams. The event is open to swimmers who had qualifying times from only the past 2 years. The entry process selected the fastest time recorded in the past 2 years and this could not be changed. This helped swimmers recognise if they did a 2 year pb as well.

So off to the first event, 1500m Free and three medals, Dave Davenport Silver, Claire Moore and Caroline Madden Bronze. Karen Bassett was to just miss out on a Bronze. Laura Wilcox took a whole minute off her entry time, despite cramping up half way through.

Kirsty Johnson started her medal collection with a Bonze in the 50m Backstroke, then in the 100m Breaststroke, the first of 21 Bracknell Masters records fell, Charlie Madden and Katie Hislop. Two more fell in the 400m I/M, Ian Daniell and Nicki Thorpe, Nicki taking Bronze also, the fist of her 4 medals. In the 200m Freestyle, Karen Leftley broke the 200m Freestyle record, only to have it broken a day later by Nicki when going first in the 4x200m Free relay. In the 200m Free, Dave Davenport triumphed with top spot in his age group and the first of two Gold medals. In the 100m Butterfly, Kirsty Johnson, who holds every short course record for her age group, took this one even lower. The final event of day one, the 200m Backstroke, Huw Jones achieved Bronze and Owain Rance – at his first Masters Nationals, set a BWSC record for his age group. Also swimming in their first National Masters event were Chloe Benfield and Jo Raistrick, neither were phased by the event and Jo managed to improve on both her entry times.

Day 2 and Dave was back on increasing his medal haul, Bronze in the 100m Freestyle. It was interesting to see that Mandy Johnson bettered her entry times in all of her 6 individual events with a massive 5 second pb coming from the 100m Free.  Another swimmer who improved on all 4 of his entry times was Kerry Black. Emily Goodwin did the same, but for all of her 6 events.  In the 50m Butterfly, Chris Ehinger started his club record breaking streak, one that was 24 years old and was held by the epic swimmer we know as Mike Daniell. In the 200m Breaststroke, 2 records and 2 silvers both for Charlie Madden and Katie Hislop. Jenny Crittenden also swam in the 200m Breaststroke and whilst still wet got back to the blocks for the next event, the 4x200m Freestyle relay.

The long awaited 4x200m Freestyle relays with the Mens team of Chris Ehinger, Terry Wright, Mark Straw and Dave Davenport romping home for Gold by some 43 seconds. The Ladies team were runners up, Nicki (club record) Thorpe, Karen Leftley (went quicker, but it was a moving start), Laura Wilcox and Jenny Crittenden, they were pushed all the way and were ahead of the third placed team by 1.25 seconds. In the 50m Freestyle Chris took his 2nd club record. In the 200m I/M, three more club records, Nicki Thorpe, Kirsty Johnson and Amy Vaal. The ladies 4x50m Free team took bronze, this was Kirsty Johnson, Mandy Johnson, Karen Leftley and Katie Hislop. With Laura Coke replacing Mandy, the team equalled the success with bronze in the 4x50m Medley team event. In the mens 4x50m Medley, Chris who went first, took his third club record, this one again held by Mike Daniell was set 20 years ago. In the last event of the evening, Dave Davenport took yet another medal, Silver in the 400m Free and Nicki Thorpe – yes, another Club record.  All off for an evening meal with the knowledge of an extra hour in bed before Sundays session started.

Day 3 and it was called One Man Down Three Men Up Day.

The mixed 4x200m Free relay started with Terry Wright, Claire Moore, Caroline Madden and Dave Davenport being runners up to an almost European record breaking winning team. A younger relay team of Chris Ehinger, Karen Leftley, Laura Cooke and Ian Daniel were also 2nd in their age group category. A bit of a lull for medals and records followed from the 100m I/M and 100m Backstroke, but the ladies 4x100m Free team soon amended that with a bronze, Amy Vaal, Nicki Thorpe, Karen Leftley and Katie Hislop.

The final session started with an extremely exciting mixed 4x50m Freestyle relay. Kirsty Johnson lead with Ian Daniell, Katie Hislop and Greg Adams. They triumphed in their heat by a huge distance and had to watch the second heat of nine teams to see if they could be caught. Only one team did, so Silver medals all round.

Ian, Greg, Kirsty and Katie, Silver medalists in the exciting 4x50m Free relay.

The last of two of three records fell in the 50 Breaststroke for Ina Daniell and Katie Hislop. The final record was taken by Nicki Thorpe in the 800m Freestyle, in dons by 24 seconds she also took home a silver making it four medals from an extremely successful event for her.  In the 800m Freestyle event, Mark Straw was amaized to discover that he achieved Bronze.

In total, the Bracknell swimmers took home 2 Gold, 9 Silver and 10 Bronze medal places and 21 Club Records. The event awards points for these and Bracknell finished 10th overall, something that is a true reflection on the dedication from Jim Dobinson, the Bracknell Masters Coach.

2019 National Medals