31 Oct 2021
The last weekend in October – forget Halloween – it’s the Masters Nationals in Sheffield, a much more scary experience having not competed for 18 months.
In all 18 Leander Masters, past, present, and future participated.
It was fantastic to see three Leander senior swimmers Bradley Francis, Matthew Fallow, Thomas Wells) their Masters debuts. Their age groups this year as particularly tough with the Loughborough national squad turning up for some mid-season speed work, breaking records in many events.
At the event were privilege to see many world records set. Not least Jane Asher setting at least three in the 90 years + age group. In the 50 free, we witnessed a 21.89 swim by a 29-year-old (yes, not a typo, 21.89).
Back to Leander swimmers.
Adam Rose led the team out in the first session with a 1500 swim. Next the 100 free, saw 7 Leander Swimmers with Carl Shaw getting a Bronze.
Six swimmers in the 50 Back, Gold for Alex Thurston and Silver for Mike Brett. Mike also picked up Silver in the 100 Back. We’ll not mention the Alex Thurston DQ for a Back to Breast turn in the 200 IM.
In the longer events the Carl Shaw took gold in the 200 free, and later in the 400 free too. The 200m race saw Paul Wheatley debut in the Nationals in the 55/59’s, with a very fast first 50. Adam Rose just pipped Colin with a 2:28.39.
Any Konowalik took Silver in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke.
The 240+ relay team for Michael Brett, Peter Abell, Robert Steel, Blaise Ford (4 blokes average age 60) return to winning ways two Golds: 4x50 Free and 4x50 Medley.
In the 4x100 free the youngsters (Bradley Francis, Matthew Fallon, Mark Wilson, Thomas Wells) only missed out on a Bronze by 0.5 seconds– a race in which the winners took the British Record. A great start to competing in masters to build on.
In the 200+ relay recognising the were some very fast teams, the team took a relaxed view with splits of Mike (61.05), Blaise (71.91), Pete (70.48), Colin (69.33)
Having been the first Leander swimmer in, Adam Rose was also the last remaining Leander swimmer with the 800 free on Sunday afternoon hitting the 200m split at the same time as his individual 200!
Masters is not all about medals. It about being there as a part of a community. Leander were also represented by Andy Sheppard persuaded to take on the first leg of a 50 free relay, James Colvin was delighted at not being as slow as expected following a social attitude to training, Mark Shipston doing a great 50 fly after struggling to train, Tom Wells did good swims in his first masters individuals and Sue Arrowsmith’s taking part in a 72+ relay!
Thank you to Louise Lambert, representing Leander as an official.
Kiyoko and Emma: we missed you and hope you able to join us in a future event.