When the rest of the UK was in lock down preparing for the impending Hurricane an intrepid group of 35 Otters travelled up to Sheffield for the GB Masters Short Course Nationals, where the fearless folk from Otter put their swimming skills to the test against the very best Masters swimmers from around the UK. There was success across the board for Otter, with team members old and new all posting some impressively fast times, winning medals and national titles to boot.
It was great to see some new faces competing for Otter to join some well-established ranks this year. We had first competitive appearances for Otter at National level from Felicity Hannon, Lex Higlett, Olivia Reynolds and Will Wall.
There were some fantastic results over the weekend and it’s been a difficult task selecting the highlights from such a strong set of results.
- The “Otter Old Boys” (Derek Parr, James Stewart, Mike Wake, Roger Lloyd-Mostyn, Roger Philips and Tony Ray) demonstrated they are a class act by winning multiple national relay titles in the 280+ age group.
- Nico Barber not only completing the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m f/cprogramme (phew!) but also becoming National champion in his age group in 400m and 800m f/c.
- Gina Hobson winning multiple National titles and comfortably breaking 60 seconds for the 100m freestyle.
- Ted Evans having a great meet leaving Sheffield as a multiple national medallist.
- Olivia Reynolds for digging out her old suit, doing the wiggle dance and confounding her own expectations by setting masters PBs and being close to her all-time best swims in all the sprint freestyle events and not just the 50!
- Sprint specialist Matt Davis stepping up when it mattered with some exceedingly fast 50m swims both in the relays and individuals, in particular winning the 50m back national title.
- Middle distance queens Katie Kerr and Michelle Senecal winning National titles in the 200m back and 200m fly respectively.
- Dave Roberts once again showed class in both the 100m and 200m freestyle winning national titles with some extremely fast swims throughout the weekend.
- The Otter women dominated the freestyle relays with the 120+ 4x100m f/c team of Lex Higlett, Helen Prentice, Jess Trevellick and Jane McMenemy and the 120+ 4x50m f/c team of Gina Hobson, Lex Higlett, Olivia Reynolds and Cat Hasnain posting some impressively quick split times and winning by a clear margin in both events. Well done ladies!
- Topping off a very successful weekend for Otter, Dave Warren again showed his dominance in the pool by breaking the 200m f/c British record and dipping under the one minute barrier for the 100m IM lowering his own GB record in the process! Congratulations Dave!
Tony again stepped up to the challenge of “herding cats” also known as making sure that every Otter relay team got to the blocks on time, in the right lane, in the correct heat and with 4 swimmers ready to go! Not an easy task – thanks Tony!
Thanks to Coach Steve for his great work getting us all in tip top shape for Sheffield and his help and guidance on poolside throughout the weekend.
The Short Course Nationals are a highlight of the Masters season so it was great to see that all of the hard work in the pool during 2013 paid off with some very fast swimming. Everyone involved should be very proud of their achievements at the weekend. Well done team!
If you haven’t raced before for Otter and this has got your competitive juices flowing for 2014 then please do come and speak to Cat or I at training or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help (firstname.lastname@example.org, Catherine.email@example.com). There will be lots of opportunities to compete throughout 2014 so please do keep checking your emails.