Six Gold, three Silver and one Bronze medal plus four new Beds County Master records at the Swim England South East Masters Long Course championships kick started Team Luton’s 2018 competitive season.
Returning to competition after a 15 months absence due to a snow boarding injury, Malcolm Barton set the marker. He stormed to victory in his first race, the 60 – 64 years old age group. Whilst slightly disappointed by his own pacing and the resulting time, a gold medal in the 200m Breaststroke was testament to the time Malcolm had spent in the gym last year regaining his muscle strength. That victory was followed by a second win in the 50m Breaststroke in 41.43. Malcolm capped his weekend with a silver over 200m Individual Medley (“IM”).
For Karen MacKenzie it was a truly golden weekend as she stepped up into a new age group, the 45 – 49 year olds. Taking gold in her 200m IM, Karen smashed her own personal best time by 2.5 seconds, whilst establishing a new County record of 3:00.90. Karen had forgotten that she had even entered the 100m Freestyle until the start of the next session. She further surprised herself by winning that event in 1.11.38, another personal best by over five seconds which also broke the old County record by fourteen seconds. Two further gold medals came in Karen’s preferred 50m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke. Her time of 31.58 on Freestyle took over five seconds off the County record for her age group. Despite slipping at the start, Karen’s Backstroke time of 38.02 demolished the old County figures by fifteen seconds.
Competing in the 55 – 59 years age group, Dave Wright swam a well paced 200m Freestyle to claim second place in a time of 2:28.15. He then finished in fifth place in the 200m IM just behind teammate Alastair Gibb. In a small field of competitors, Alastair came away with a silver medal from his 100m Butterfly despite suffering the consequences of a suicidal pace over the first 50m. Better pacing at the start of his final race, the 400m IM, saw Alastair carry on to touch in third place.