British Masters (LC) Aberdeen – June 2022
The 2022 British Swimming Masters Championships held in Aberdeen saw FOUR Team Luton members crowned individual champions.
Kelly Cooke, Karen MacKenzie, Dave Wright and Graham Powell spearheaded a weekend that saw the squad of eight competitors win 6 Gold, 5 Silver and 3 Bronze medals whilst setting 4 East Region, 15 Beds County and a total of 20 Club Masters records.
Kelly Cooke, aged 46, was our youngest champion with victory in the 45 – 49 years’ 100m Backstroke. She also claimed third place in the 50m Backstroke. In a busy programme, Kelly established new County records over 200m, 100m and 50m Freestyle, finishing in 4th, 6th and 7th place. A further Club record came with Kelly’s 5th place in her 50m Butterfly.
Competing at the top of the same age group, Karen MacKenzie was delighted to cap the weekend by setting a new Beds record long course time in the 200m Backstroke to claim gold, after finishing second in the 50m event ahead of Kelly.
New Club records over the same three freestyle events as Kelly were set by Sharon Thompson in the 55 – 59 years’ age group. Her best placing was 9th in the 100m.
In his last year in the Men’s 25 – 29 years’ age group, Sam Bradley competed in five events, claiming top ten finishes over 200m Freestyle and both his 100m and 200m Backstroke.
Dave Wright was the 60 – 64 years’ 200m Butterfly champion, smashing the East Region record by over 30 seconds. Missing the East region record by just 0.08 seconds as he finished 4th in his 200m Freestyle, Dave nevertheless claimed a new County record for both that and his 400m Freestyle. A further 4th place came in his 200m Backstroke.
Graham Powell won no fewer than three Gold and two silver individual medals in his individual 65 – 69 years’ Backstroke and Butterfly races, setting three new East Region records and two further County records in the process.
Both Colin Mayes and Malcolm Barton achieved top ten finishes in the same age group. Malcolm lowered his own County record when touching 4th in the 65 -69 years’ 100m Breaststroke. A silver medal came with his favoured 200m and that was followed by a bronze medal in his 400M Individual Medley. Colin meanwhile collected a bronze medal for his 200m Individual Medley, setting a new County record time for that and his 50m Breaststroke.
Colin was set to claim to a new 50m Freestyle County record for that 65 – 69 age group, only for Graham Powell to lower the mark with his lead off swim in the Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle relay in the 200 – 240 years’ age group. It was the first time the Club had entered a Masters’ Mixed relay in national championships. The quartet of Graham, Karen, Dave and Kelly finished 6th in that event. They had previously already claimed 4th place in the age group’s 4 x 50m Medley relay. With a combined age of 222 years, they were some 20 years older than each of the first three teams.
The quartet of Powell, Barton, Wright and Mayes in Men’s 240 – 260 years’ 4 x 100m Medley relay saw the lead change over each leg. In a nail-biting finish, they were sadly caught to miss out on gold by just 0.63 seconds.
Newmarket – April 2022
Triumphant Return To Newmarket’s Masters Meet
After a two year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, seven of our Masters made a triumphant return to the 8th annual meet in Newmarket, bringing home 14 Gold, 6 Silver, 4 Bronze medals and setting two new Beds County and three Club Masters records.
Graham Powell took three and six seconds respectively off the County’s 65 – 69 years’ record times with victories in both the 100m and 200m Individual Medleys. A further gold came with his 100m Backstroke but Graham was edged out into second place over both 50m and 100m Butterfly.
Dave Wright was unbeaten in all three of his 60 – 64 years’ events, namely 100m Butterfly and both 200m and 400m Freestyle. Alastair Gibb collected the bronze in the 400m event and he also finished third in the 100m Backstroke.
Team Luton repeated victory in the 50 – 54 years’ 200m and 400m Freestyle courtesy of John O’Rourke. He also bagged a silver over 50m Breaststroke but had to settle for 4th place over both 50m Backstroke and Freestyle.
In the Ladies 45 – 49 years’ age group. Karen MacKenzie and Kelly Cooke shared the honours, each picking up three gold and one silver medal. Kelly’s wins came in the sprint events, 50m Butterfly, Backstroke and Freestyle. She finished second in the 100m Backstroke having briefly set a new Club Masters record of 1:21.97 only for Karen to claim victory and take the record with a time of 1:19.30 in the subsequent heat. Karen’s other victories came in the 100m and 400m Freestyle, where she was within a second of her own Club record over the longer distance. Her silver medal was in the 50m Freestyle where she was out touched by Kelly in the same heat.
Sam Bradley completed the Club’s medal tally with silver medals in his 25 – 29 years’ 50m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke together with a bronze for his 200m IM, beating his entry time for all three events.
Sth East LC, Welsh LC & Bracknell : January – March
Masters’ Travels Reap Records And Medals
Five of the Club’s Masters travelled in various directions over the first quarter of 2022, but all were rewarded with medals of varying colours.
Sam Bradley and Karen MacKenzie ventured the furthest, to Swansea, to compete in the Swim Wales Masters Long Course meet, each returning with a silver medal.
Sam’s silver came in his 25 – 29 years’ 20m Backstroke in a time of 3:03.71, less than two seconds outside his own Club and Beds County record set back in 2020. He did however establish new Club Masters’ figures for the 50m Backstroke (40.75 seconds) whilst lowering his own Club record from 2020 for the 50m Butterfly to 39.34 secs.
Winning a Welsh bronze for her 38.70 second 50m Butterfly, Karen’s silver came from her 3:06.53 swim in the 45 – 49 years’ 200m Individual Medley. That time was some two seconds faster than her silver medal swim at the South East Masters Long Course championships at Crawley back in late January. Karen also won a silver at that meet for her 50m Backstroke, an event in which Alastair Gibb swam to an unexpected victory in the Men’s 60 – 64 years’ equivalent race.
Rather than Swansea, Dave Wright opted in March to drive the shorter distance for the Bracknell Masters Short Course meet where he won gold and broke his own County 60 – 64 years’ 200m Freestyle record, lowering the time to 2:25.26. Dave also won a gold for his 100m Butterfly and a silver for his 100m IM. Colin Mayes broke the Club’s 65 – 69 years’ record for the 200m IM, whilst coming away with three gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
Full results can be viewed here on the swimming.org results website.