“Youngsters” Spearhead East Region Masters’ Medal Haul

Eclipsing their 2017 performance, our Masters’ squad brought home 8 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 Bronze individual medals from Newmarket last weekend.

Having only returned to competitive swimming in mid-September, after a four year absence, Tom Lambert won the 18 -24 years’ 400m Freestyle in a time of 4:46.85. Tom went on to claim silver over both 200m Breaststroke and the 200m Individual Medley. Two bronze medals from his 50m and 100m Breaststroke brought his personal medal tally to five.

That medal total was emulated by Sam Bradley in the 25 – 29 years age group, with him winning both the 200m Backstroke and the 200m Individual Medley. Like Tom, this has been Sam’s first season as a Masters’ swimmer, having also competed at the Barnet Copthall Masters meet the weekend before. At Newmarket Sam swam a well-paced 400m Freestyle heat to claim a silver medal, finishing in his heat just 5/100ths of a second ahead of Graham Powell in the adjacent lane! A second silver came in the 50m Backstroke with Sam also finishing third in his 50m Freestyle.

Team Luton was well represented in the 400m Freestyle event with Karen MacKenzie, more renowned for her sprinting, making her debut over that distance. Competing in the 45 – 49 years’ age group, Karen’s time of 5.37.59 saw her claim the East Region title.

A further gold medal for the squad came from Alastair Gibb’s 200m Breaststroke in the 55-59 years’ age group.

In the 60-64 years’ age group, Graham Powell won three titles over 400m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly and 100m Individual Medley. Malcolm Barton meanwhile won a hattrick of medals over 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke. His time of 3:14.12 to claim the silver over 200m augurs well for the English National Masters at the end of the month.

This year Team Luton has a total of eleven swimmers who have both qualified and are free to swim at the Nationals. In addition to five of those who competed at the East Regions, Sharon Thompson, Sonia Bradley, Alex Mason, John O’Rourke, Dave Wright and Colin Mayes will be taking part.

As those National Masters championships approach, Team Luton are up to 12thplace as of 1st October in the GB Men’s Masters Team Decathlon competition.  Alex, Graham, Alastair and Tom are currently the top four highest scoring males to date from the club. Close on their heels is Dave Wright. He is due to compete at the South East Region Masters in the lead up to the Nationals and should therefore be vying for one of the top four places in the team competition. Our Ladies team of Karen MacKenzie, Sonia Bradley, Sharon Thompson and Michelle Neal are meanwhile in 76thplace in the Ladies Team event, having already achieved their highest cumulative points total to date.