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April, 2013:

38th Masters Swimming National Championships – 17-20 April 2013

Report by Roger Dietrich & Caroline Makin

27 Tuggeranong Masters Swimmers competed in the 38th Masters Swimming Australia National Championships held at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre from 17 -20 April 2013.

Our club had a fantastic meet with many individual personal best times and truckloads of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals brought back to Canberra. Tuggeranong finished fifth out of 96 clubs nationally and third out of 47 clubs in NSW only narrowly behind Warringah and Seaside Pirates (there were only nine points in it across the three top NSW clubs). We set the pool on fire bringing home 48 individual medals and 3 relay medals!!

Our top Viking swimmers of the meet were definitely Gary Stutsel, Atsuko McGowan, Cassie Lindsay, Kade Howitt, and Anne Smyth who claimed ownership over a large proportion of the our medal tally.

Vikings Medal Tally

Individual performances, in alphabetical order, were as follows:

David Bale swam in the maximum ten individual events and three relays with PBs in the 200m Individual Medley and 200m Butterfly. David’s performance was solid throughout the meeting putting in great times in the majority of his swims. His best performance was probably his 400m Freestyle on the last morning, knocking 2 seconds off his PB, especially as David would consider himself a sprinter much more than a distance swimmer.

Jill Blomeley swam in six individual events and three relays, winning a Bronze medal in the 100m Breaststroke and coming fourth in the 200m Breaststroke. Jill showed yet again how strong a Breaststroke swimmer she is and also a fun person to be around at Nationals.

Thomas Boyce took part in five individual events and one relay and swam a really solid time of 7:13.34 in his 400m Individual Medley. Tom’s best personal performance was probably his nifty 37.94 for 50m Butterfly.

Club President, Annette Britten swam in nine individual events and three relays, putting in a good performance in the 50m Breaststroke for a PB time of 47.62. Annette also swam a slick 100m Breaststroke for a PB as well.  Great stuff for someone who historically has been considered a Backstroker.  Annette swims with a smooth and gliding style in all her strokes and has a super efficient Freestyle and Backstroke turn.

First time Masters swimmer for our club and Kade Howitt’s mum, Katrina Burgessswam in five individual and three relay events and can move through the water quickly. Katrina’s best performances were probably her 400m Individual Medley and 200m Backstroke swims.

Leisa Cass did the maximum ten events and swam in three relays. Leisa has been recovering from broken ribs, so has been working hard to get her fitness back since the early part of 2013. Leisa’s best performance was probably her 400m Freestyle in a time of 6:29.93 and a solid swim also in her 200m Individual Medley.

Second claim member from Molongolo Water Dragons and breaststroke specialist,John Collis swam four individual events and three relays. “All my individual swims were PBs for my current age group.  Not by much, and I’ve only been in this age group since 2012, but I’m claiming it nevertheless”, John said. He was a Breaststroke age champion in Queensland when he was a teenager. John smashed out impressive 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke times and his 50m Freestyle was not too shabby either in a time of 35.08!

Nick Dando had two individual swims and three relays and took home Bronze in the 200m Breaststroke to add to his relay Bronze.  Nick is a very proficient Breaststroke swimmer and it was great to see him competing at his first Masters Nationals and have him in our relay teams with his fast 50m sprint times!

Brenda Day swam eight individual events and three relays and took home a Bronze medal in the tough 200m Butterfly event. Interestingly, Brenda was very quick off the blocks and the first to hit the water in her 800m Freestyle, leaving everyone else standing on the blocks napping.  Brenda put in some really sold swims across the board in all of her events.

In the same heat in the 800m Freestyle as Brenda, and whose hands were just entering the water at the same time as Brenda’s feet was Roger Dietrich who swam nine individual events including five Freestyle swims with impressive PBs in each one of them. He sliced the following from his times – 50m Freestyle: 0.63 sec; 100m Freestyle: 3.1 sec; 200m Freestyle: 5.27 sec; 400m Freestyle: 26.4 sec and 800m Freestyle: 42.23 sec. Roger also swam a PB for 200m Breaststroke to better his existing club record.  [newspaper article about Roger’s efforts …]

Richard Flockart took on six individual events and three relays picking up a Silver medal in his 100m Butterfly with a time of 1:27.86 and also won Silver in his 200m Butterfly with a time of 3:33.04. Amazingly, Paul Blackbeard from Claremont WA was over a minute quicker than Richard to take the Gold in both events.  Richard’s Butterfly is pretty impressive being almost as quick as his Freestyle over 50m!

Greg Gourley swam seven individual events and three relays and swam a PB in the 400m split of his 800m Freestyle in 5:55.00 and finished the 800m in 11:54.25. Greg’s best performance was probably his 50m Butterfly in an impressive time of 36.45 — the quickest he’s gone in about 5 years! Greg also knocked out a quick 31 second 50m Freestyle in his relay leg.

Ian Hampton entered five individual events and took back to Cooma a Silver medal for his 200m Breaststroke with a time of 3:30.91. Ian also swam a good time of 7:17.85 in the 400m Individual Medley to pick up a Bronze Medal, and swimming in three relays he took a relay Bronze home with him too.

Paul Hitchman is a pretty fast swimmer for his age and it’s always great to watch him swim. This was pretty much Hitch’s first outing at Masters in a LC pool so he set PB times in all of his six individual swims. It was great to see Hitch and youngster Kade Howitt race in the same heat of the 100m Freestyle — Hitch held Kade until the last 15 metres, when the youngster pulled ahead to finish only 2 seconds ahead of Hitch! Hitch was a key member of the three relays with his speed down the 50m distance of the pool.

Kade Howitt earned much attention throughout the meet as he was the youngest swimmer taking part, and he was nurtured by many of the older swimmers who had great respect for an 18-year-old swimming in Masters competition. He bagged ten medals, three individual of each colour and a relay Bronze. Kade swam an nifty 29.42 50m split in his 100m Freestyle and finished in 1:01.39 and put in four super relay swims.

Kristen Leydon attended the last day of the meet and swam in three events and a relay.  She had a fantastic dive start in the 100m Freestyle and finished in a quick 1:32.75, then did a 1:04.45 for another PB in her 50m Breaststroke. Kristen also put in a solid relay leg on that single day of swimming after her 200m Butterfly ‘Iron Person’ event.

Adelaide based swimmer Cassie Lindsay who used to swim for Tuggeranong, represented our club for the second time at Nationals and notched up five individual medals including two Silver, three Bronze and one relay Bronze with eight PB times from her ten individual swims. Cassie is a fantastic long distance Freestyle swimmer with a beautiful smooth stroke, and proved to be a valuable asset in her three relays also.

Our Club Captain, Caroline Makin competed in nine individual events and three relays.  Caz put in a huge effort in her 800m Freestyle with a 21 second PB and a 400m PB in her split along the way, leading out her heat by a significant distance in the first 200-300m.  Caz also secured a PB in her 100m Freestyle finally breaking the 1.15.00 she had swum twice in the last 12 months with a 1:14.80.  Narrowly missing out on the Bronze in the 400 Individual Medley by only 1 second, she secured an individual Bronze medal in the last event of the meet in the 200m Butterfly. Caz also claimed a Bronze relay medal.

Nicolee Martin swam in eight individual and three relay events. She had a very quick 100m Freestyle knocking almost 4 seconds off her PB with a 1:15.91, and setting a PB in her 50m split along the way.  She also swam PBs in her 50m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley. Nicolee also achieved a 100m PB in her split in the 200m Breaststroke. Nicolee’s best swim of the meet was probably her 200m Breaststroke.

Atsuko McGowan, backstroke extraordinaire and 34-year-old pocket rocket swum her heart out at her first Nationals, earning nine medals from ten individual swims, including five Silver and two Bronze as well as two relay Bronze medals from her four relay events.  In doing so, she knocked out PB times in her 50m and 200m Freestyle, 50m,100m and 200m Backstroke, 50m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley and took a massive five seconds off her 100m Freestyle PB finishing in a very impressive time of 1:07.99, which was probably her best performance of the meet!

It was nine out of nine PBs for Jon McRae in his individual swims and he said “I think I am now fully fit, and any further PBs will now have to come from improved technique!” Jon’s best performance was probably his 100m Freestyle in a time of 1:16.91. Jon also put in three solid relay swims.

It was three individual medals for Backstroker Liz Needham who won Silver in her 50m Backstroke and Bronze in her 100m and 200m Backstroke events. PB times hit the board in her 100m and 200m swims. Liz did five individual swims, taking on the 50m and 100m Freestyle events as well. Liz also took home a Bronze relay medal.

Mary-Liz Partridge, another second claimer from Molongolo Water Dragons hit the PB button seven times out of eight individual swims and had an exceptional swim in her 400m Freestyle dropping her time from 6:49.87 to 6:31.63, as well as a solid 800m Freestyle swim on the first day.  Mary Liz has a lovely Backstroke style, and looks a bit like Annette swimming Backstroke!

Ann Reid swam PB’s in her 400m and 800m Freestyle events smashing her 800m time from 13:01.07 to 12:44.05 — probably Ann’s best performance of the meet. Ann also smashed her 100m Butterfly time by three seconds and swam in her first 400m Individual Medley ever. Ann took home a Bronze relay medal for her Freestyle leg.

Anne Smyth won two Gold and two Bronze medals from her seven individual swims. Anne upstages considerably younger swimmers in her long distance Freestyle and Medley events and her Butterfly swims in particular.  Anne is not known as a sprinter, but she swam a PB of 35.13 in her 50m Freestyle at this meet and swam in three relays.

74-year-old Gary Stutsel won a swag of medals from his ten individual events with four Gold, one Silver and two Bronze along with a relay Bronze. This man is a machine and swam 50m Freestyle in 33.01 upstaging many that are considerably younger than him.

Marianne Tweedie swam eight individual events and four relays and and picked up a Bronze medal in the 800m Freestyle in a time 11:47.95. She also swam PB’s in her 50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle events as well as 50m Backstroke. Marianne’s 100m Freestyle was probably her best performance other than her 800m Freestyle, where she put in a super swim finishing in a time of 1:11.20. Marianne also took home a Bronze relay medal.


In the relay section it was the story of medals again with the Vikings winning three relay Bronze medals.

  • In the very first relay of the meet on day two, the 100+ 4 x 50m Mixed Freestyle relay team of Nick, Atsuko, Marianne and Kade won Bronze behind the Victorian Power Points and the Sydney Seaside Pirates in their age group setting the scene for a great relay competition. The team each put in a great swim with a sub 2-minute time of 1:58.19.
  • Later in the day Liz, Ian, Gary and Ann stepped up to the blocks in the 240+ 4 x 50m Mixed Medley relay and also won the Bronze medal in their age group behind Blacktown and the Victorian Malvern Marlins.  Their final time was 2:43.33.
  • Late on day three, Caroline, Cassie, Marianne and Atsuko secured a further Bronze behind the two Victorian clubs, Power Points and the Casey Seals in the 120+ 4 x 50m Women’s Freestyle relay. The two older ladies lead off with Caroline taking it out in 33.62, followed ably by Cassie in 34.54. The youngsters brought it home, with Marianne in a 32.02 and Atsuko powering to the finish in 31.50. The final time for the ladies was 2:11.68.

Full results are available.

David Bale joins the Million Metres Club — August 2012

A big congratulations to David Bale who joined the Million Metres Club in August 2012. David was presented with his certificate and t-shirt in March 2013 at the State LC Championships.

It took David just over two and a half years to achieve his million metres, which is a pretty impressive time period in which to achieve this award. David said that his 5+km swims of a morning with Steve and the Woden swim club kids contributed tremendously to his getting there in such a short time period. David’s desire to reach that million mark resulted in his high level of fitness at that during that period.

… if you are new to the club, why not start logging all the swims you do at training and in endurance and race meets.  All of these count towards your Vorgee Million Metres Awards which are open to all registered members of Masters Swimming Australia.


NSW Long Course Championships – 24 March 2013

Report by Roger Dietrich

Fifteen swimmers travelled to Blacktown Aquatic Centre in Sydney’s West to the NSW State Long Course Championships on 24 March 2013 for a great day of swimming and camaraderie. The weather at Blacktown was fine and sunny which was a bit different to the last couple of meets, however this meet was indoors and the last couple have been out doors under adverse conditions.

This year’s State Championships were held in conjuction with Blacktown club, over only one day instead of the normal two days which are usually held at SOPAC as the National Championships were coming up a few weeks later.

The club finished second in the average points per swimmer and eighth in the overall meet point score.

First time swimmer for our club 18-year-old Kade Howitt had a great day at his first ever Masters meet and took home two gold medals in the 100m Backstroke and the 50m Butterfly. Kade was a little disappointed in his 50m Freestyle swim but none the less won a silver medal and was out touched by 0.3 of a second by Stephen Nguyen of Merrylands. However Kade’s time of 27.82 is nothing to be sneezed at and he has a PB in the low 26 second range. Kade was equal first in his age group with Stephen.

Meanwhile, Atsuko McGowan won three gold medals to earn maximum points and won her age group in her three Backstroke events, the 50m 100m and 200m. Atsuko was also a little disappointed in her times and was some 9 seconds away from her PB in one of these events. However she still looks as relaxed as can be and is the clubs powerhouse in the water.

In the same age group, Marianne Tweedie picked up medals of each of the three colours in her 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle events, Gold for her 100m, Silver for the 200m and Bronze for the 50m. Like Atsuko, Marianne is going from strength to strength and finished fourth in the age group.

Caroline Makin had been suffering with a virus for a couple of weeks prior, and a seized neck and shoulder since the day before the meet, but Caz would still swim even if her arms had suddenly fallen off!!! She managed to win three Silver medals in all her 100m events, Butterfly, Breaststroke and Freestyle. Caz finished fifth in her age group.

Anne Smyth finished equal first in the age group and won two Gold medals and one Silver medal in her 200m events. Anne swam the 200m IM, 200m Butterfly and 200m Freestyle. Anne is a real inspiration and gives great advice in her coaching in the lead up to these big events.

Three medals also were won by Ann Reid in her events in the same age group with Silver’s in the 200m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle and a Bronze in the 200m Freestyle.

Also in the same age group as Anne and Ann, Liesa Cass won a Gold medal in the 200m Backstroke and a Bronze in the 100m Freestyle. Liesa came fifth in the 200m Freestyle and finished eleventh overall in the age group.

Catherine Alexander brought home a silver medal for her 50m Breaststroke and two Bronze medals for the 100m and 200m Breaststroke. These were great swims considering that Catherine is up against Jenny Whitely from Ryde who broke the National records for the 100 and 200m Breaststroke on the day. Catherine finished sixth in her age group.

Cecelia Kaye ad Brenda Day both came equal fifth in their age group with both ladies winning a medal of each colour for their events. It was Gold in her 100m Backstroke, Silver in the 50m Backstroke and Bronze in the 50m Breaststroke for Cecelia and Brenda won Gold in the 200m Butterfly, Silver in the 200m Backstroke and Bronze in her 200m IM.

In the men’s section, Gary Stutsel won maximum points for our club and won his age group and took home three Gold Medals 50m Freestyle, Butterfly and Breaststroke. At 74 years of age, Gary is a valuable freestyle swimmer for our club as his 50m time on the day was a vigorous 33.57.

Luke McGowan had a mixed day. He finished equal eighth on his age group but won Gold in his 50m Breaststroke and a Silver medal in his 100m Breaststroke. Luke was placed sixth in his 50m Freestyle with a zippy time of 30.83.

David Bale won Silver in his 200m Butterfly and came fourth and fifth in his 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle finishing equal eleventh in his age group.

Ian Hampton won a Gold medal in his 100m Breaststroke and won two Silver Medals in the 200m IM and 200m Breaststroke. Ian finished equal fourth in his age group.

The only swimmer to not win a medal was Roger Dietrich; however he smashed 3 seconds off his PB in the 200m Freestyle and picked up a club record in the 200m Breaststroke. Roger also swam more than 23 seconds faster than he did at Campbelltown in the 200m Freestyle a few weeks before taking on board Ian Hampton’s comment in the Campbelltown meet report and swimming about 13,000 metres in training the week before this meet.


In the Womens 4 x 50m Freestyle Relays the Womens 160+ team of Caroline, Anne, Marianne and Atsuko came third in this division and secured a new club record, whilst Leisa, Brenda, Catherine and Ann won their 200+ division.

In the Mens 4 x 50m Freestyle Relays we had a very fast team of Kade, Gary, David and Luke who came fifth in the 160+ age group in a slick time of 02:05.18.

The Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle Relays were next with Kade, Atsuko, Marianne and Luke finishing fifth in the 120+ age group. Caroline, Anne, David and Gary came second in the 200+ age group and setting a new club record.  Finally, in the 240+ age group, Brenda, Cecelia, Roger and Ian came sixth also setting a new club record.

Full results are available.