Otter dominates again at short course nationals

We saw some fantastic Otter performances at the main event of the Masters swimming calendar, the National Masters Short Course Championships in Sheffield. Although there were far too many fine performances to list here, some of the highlights are set out below.

Notably, Dave Warren swam a superb 200 fly to set a new European record in that event (40-44), and also set new British marks in the 200 and 400 free. Paul Goudie, competing in the 55-59 age group, picked up a gold, two silvers and three bronzes, whilst Roger Lloyd-Mostyn (70-74) also showed great versatility by picking up a gold and three silvers. Bob Palmer (70-74), particularly enjoyed holding off his brother in-law to take the 200 back title! Also in the 200 back, Lizzie Redpath (70-74), picked up a fantastic silver. Roger Phillips (70-74), showed impressive endurance levels to win gold in the 800 free and silver in the 400 free. Gina Hobson swam a broad range of events, most notably picking up golds in the 50 and 100 back events in the 35-39 category, with Matt Davis also medalling in the same events in the men’s 30-34 age group. Lex Higlett showed real strength in the freestyle events, medalling in the 100, 200 and 400 distances. Oli Wilson and Neal Thomson flew the flag for Otter in the very tough 18-25 age group, with Oli picking up medals in both the 50 and 100 free events in very rapid times.

The weekend also saw a number of swimmers making their first Nationals appearances for Otter. Craig Gillespie (25-29) made a fine debut with medals in both the 100 and 200 breast events. Celia Marcadal (25-29) picked up a bronze in the 50 back, as well as putting in some fine relay swims. David Jones (30-34) was also an integral part of a number of medal winning relays, in addition to strong individual performances in the sprint free and fly events. Adam Brown (25-29) also put in a couple of very nippy swims in the 50 free and 50 fly events. We hope you all enjoyed your first major event for Otter!

As ever, Otter showed strength in depth in the relay events. The pick of the bunch was the women’s 120+ team breaking the European record in the 4x100 free. Well done Celia Marcadal, Lex Higlett, Olivia Reynolds and Gina Hobson! There were also gold medals for the 4x100 medley team (Hannah Brown, Craig Gillespie, Felicity Hannon and Nico Barber) in the 100+ age group; whilst in the 120+ age group the team of Cat Hasnain, Kat Hedley, Gina Hobson and Lex Higlett won the 4x50 medley relay, and in the same age group Gina Hobson, Dave Warren, Dave Roberts and Lex Higlett won the 4x100 medley team event. In the 280+ age group the team of Roger Lloyd-Mostyn, Bob Palmer, Tony Ray and Roger Phillips won the 4x50 free relay. Thanks to everyone for representing the club in the relays, in particular Ben Thomas, Cat Hasnain and Gina Hobson who barely had time to catch their breath after their 200 back events to jump in the water again to lead off their respective medley relays.

On behalf of the entire team we would also like to thank head coach Steve Bratt for getting everyone in shape for the meet, and for helping everyone on poolside pre and post-race (ably assisted by Aeron on the Friday). Thanks also to Tony Ray for shepherding everyone in to their relay teams, and Lesley Davies for organising the accommodation and the team meal on the Saturday night which was enjoyed by everyone.

If anyone is interested in competing for the club in future, but is not sure how to go about it, then please do ask Coach Steve, your Captains, or any of your co-swimmers who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.