More than 160 of Kent’s Masters swimmers (18+ years) competed at Medway Park on Sunday 25th June in the Kent Masters Swimming Championships.
Sevenoaks Swimming Club fielded a team of eight ranging in age from novice Masters swimmer Amy Farthing (18) to Tony Meek (67). In comparison, local friends and rivals RTW Masters brought a team of more than 40 swimmers in their bid for a ninth consecutive Top Club title, but we were determined to make it harder for them!
The Championships started well for the Sevenoaks squad with five swimmers in the 100 Freestyle event and Tony Meek (65-67 years) bringing home the first gold of the day despite it being his first competition after 18 months of health issues.
The next event (50 Fly) was Amy Farthing’s first event as a Master coming home in a creditable silver medal position. Both Shelley Robinson (65-69) and Pauline Caven (55-59) finished in gold medal positions with Pauline also setting an excellent new Event Best Performance (EBP) of 39.25 as well as a Club record.
The Ladies 100 Individual Medley event was a cracker, with Amy (18-24) coming home in a hard-fought first place in 1:08.58 - a Personal Best time and Club record. Stephen Rickards (60-64) was competing in his first ever IM event and finished in a creditable second place with new SSC Master, Peter Gruitt (65-69) finishing in third place behind Tony’s second.
The first relay was the Ladies 200+ years 4 x 25 Freestyle and, with only RTW Masters entering a team in the age group, the Sevenoaks team of Pauline, Jill Geer (40-44), Shelley and Penny Stotesbury (50-54) had something to prove - which they did - storming home in 1:04.96 to a gold medal and smashing a 20-year EBP in the process. Sweet success!
They then proceeded to finish off the first session in style, and in the 100 Backstroke event Penny, Pauline and Shelley all put in gold medal-winning swims in times that broke existing club records, with Pauline also setting her second EBP (1:25.84) of the day.
The afternoon session was ‘ladies only’ for the Sevenoaks team but opened well for Amy in her 100m Butterfly event, swiftly followed by the 50m Backstroke event. SSC made their mark in terrific fashion with first places for Amy, Penny (in an EBP of 38.44), Pauline and Shelley, and all in new club record times.
This was swiftly followed by success in the Ladies 200+ years 4 x 25 Medley Relay with the same team of ladies pushing RTW Masters into second place once again, but sadly missing out on a new EBP by just 3/10 of a second!
The competition finished with a well-deserved first place from Jill in her 100m Breaststroke event and gold and silver for Pauline and Shelley respectively in the final individual event (50m Free). The overall tally of 17 Gold, 8 Silver and 3 Bronze medals from a relatively small team was excellent, especially when factoring in the 4 Event Best Performances and 12 Club records.