In form Spencer back at Crawley

Well done to all swimmers that raced at the South East Region Masters SC Champs in Crawley last week. Lots of fast swimming and personal bests, records and medals. well done Emily and Sally and Barbara for improving on her event course 100 breaststroke record. Here are some personal stories from the event.

Di, Roma, Esther and Amanda
We were particularly pleased with our 3 British records in the 280+ women’s 4×50, 4×100 and 4×200 Free, as that means that Spencer holds all short course relay records in that age group. We took the 4×50 from Kings Cormorants, and 4×200 from Mid Sussex Marlins, both regular competitors of ours in the older age group relays. The 4×100 was a Spencer record, set in 2013 by Alison Gwynn, Muriel Hitchcock, Diane Ford and Jean Howard Jones in Sheffield. Di joined Roma Kiely, Esther Iseppi and me for the new record.

Karl’s story
On the first anniversary of coming back to swimming after a 30 year hiatus and joining the Spencer Swim Team, I was pleased to participate in only my second competition, alongside my teammates. My standout performance of the day was the 200m freestyle in a time of 2:26.01, knocking 4+ seconds off my previous time, which earned a bronze medal in my age category.  I also posted PB times in the 50 free, 50 fly and 100 free. It was great to get some competition practice and certainly more to do in training on those starts and turns!!

Matthew’s story
The SSE Short Course Masters at Crawley K2 was my first proper outing for Spencer. I did do the a 400m free in the first session of a meet at Barnet in July, but I was Billy No Mates again. (That was usually the case with my previous club!) It was lovely to meet lots of Spencerites and to put faces to names. Everyone was so welcoming. I sat with Esther and Amanda, because Esther was the first person I came across in a Spencer shirt (not really knowing what anyone looked like). So, I was an interloper in the World Record Holders’ Section…

The swimming got off to an inauspicious start: I did a lifetime PB in the 400m, but got disqualified. Apparently, you’re not allowed to wear a watch. I didn’t know that, but then I’ve only been competing since 1976…

After that things picked up: I got a silver in the 100m free (1:05.71), a bronze in the 200m free (2:24.15) and to my astonishment, a gold in the 50m back (33.12) – 55-59. I was astonished because, whilst I do consider myself a backstroker, I’m no sprinter and anyway, thought I’d lost the knack. I only entered it because otherwise I’d have had a long wait between races. It’s looking like it might be 3rd best in the country so far this year, which for those of us not breaking world records for fun, is worth having. (I’m usually “comfortably mid table” in  such rankings.)

So, thank you so much Spencerites for including me. I’ll hopefully see a lot of you in Sheffield.

Amanda’s story
I was delighted to break my world record for 200 breast by just over 2 seconds in 3.07.97.  Having said in my Rome interview that I don’t think about anybody else in my races, this time I was thinking “just relax and stay with Barbara and you’ll get a good time”. Sure enough it worked, so thank you Barbara (in the Lane next to me)!

Also, for the record, I broke my European 200 IM record by a few tenths.

Olegas’ story
My times did not completely suck. I mostly fulfilled my targets which were far from my PBs but showed that my fitness is closer to where I want it to be. I got 3 medals out of 4 events: 100 and 50 free bronze and 50 back silver.

Not bad at all considering Olegas trains once a week at the moment

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