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39th Masters Swimming National Championships – 23-27 April 2014

Report by Anne Smyth, Head Coach & Caroline Makin, Club Captain

What a fantastic 39th Masters Swimming Nationals Championships at Rockhampton! The newly refurbished 10 lane 50m pool with its new roof turned out to be a spectacular swim facility and produced many expecpionally fast swims by our 10 Vikings who made the trip north to sunny Queensland for the 2014 Nationals.

The Championships embodied all of Masters Swimming’s ideals of fun, friendship and fitness. Our crew of 10 certainly made themselves known to all around the pool and truly showed that Tuggeranong Masters Swimming ACT is a force to be reckoned with. Our dynamic club finished 8th in the overall point score out of 93 clubs – what a fantastic effort with only 10 swimmers! Our team also achieved the highest average point score per swimmer from the eligible clubs with enough swimmers.

It was a huge week, swimming hard during the day and managing to fit in lots of socialising in the evenings – the team really enjoyed getting to know fellow NSW competitors better and meeting new swimmers from all around Australia. The Anzac Day service held at the pool was a special highlight and it was really moving to sing the national anthem and listen to the last post.

Brenda, Kade and Katrina attended the presentation dinner on the Saturday night and had a lovely evening. Liz decided racing an ocean swim was not for her and headed back to Canberra on the Sunday morning, whilst six of our swimmers were on their way to the coast at 5.30am to tackle the open water swims at Yepoon: Caz (5km), Tara (5km), Anne (2.5km), Ian (2.5km), Nicolee (2.5km) and Marianne (1.25km) which was a nice way to finish off the week with a dip in the ocean – although not sure you can call the 5km event merely a ‘dip’?!

Our total tally of individual medals was 18 Gold, 12 Silver and 12 Bronze plus a relay Gold, Silver and Bronze from our 6 relay teams. Our swimmers did well in their overall age group point scores with totals from the pool events as follows …

Name Age Group Events Points
Kade Burgess Men’s 18-24 12 104
Tara Olsthoorn Women’s 30-34 10 98
Anne Smyth Women’s 50-54 9 77
Brenda Day Women’s 65-69 12 72
Marianne Tweedie Women’s 30-34 10 61
Caroline Makin Women’s 45-49 12 59
Katrina Burgess Women’s 45-49 12 49
Ian Hampton Men’s 65-69 8 48
Elizabeth Needham Women’s 55-59 8 26
Nicolee Martin Women’s 45-49 9 25

The highlights from each of our swimmers were:

Ian Hampton …  “First ever 200m Fly where I managed to keep some kind of stroke going over the final 50m and ‘hang in there’ for 2nd place. 200m IM – closest to nominated time of my longer swims – Reasonable effort and finished in tie for 3rd place. I really enjoyed the Mixed 4x50m Freestyle Relay with mix of young and older swimmers … we did pretty well for 2nd place. I thought it was outstanding how all of the ‘girls’ swam the second half of the longer 800m & 400m Freestyle – either maintaining pace or even negative splitting … outstanding coaching and controlled technique and courage by all :-)

Brenda Day … “My highlight was my gold medal in the 200m Fly but I was also stoked to get bronze in the 100m Backstroke with Ian’s encouragement.”

Liz Needham …  “I couldn’t tell you which was my best swim , but the girls tell me my 50m Backstroke was great and that I sped up the pool and was actually puffed at the end! The branch relay at the end was good seeing everyone from around the country involved.”

Anne Smyth … “I was so surprised to swim a PB in my 400m IM – a time I never thought I could achieve to break my time I set at Nationals in 2011 at Perth.  I was really proud of the team and so satisfied as a coach to see so many of our swimmers smashing PBs and having a superb meet.”

Nicolee Martin  “I was really happy with my 800m Freestyle and breaking the 12 minute barrier for the first time. I also really enjoyed the 2.5km open water swim.”

Katrina Burgess … “I was so happy to get the bronze medal in the 200m Fly and also completing 12 pool swims, which was my overall aim for the meet.”

Caroline Makin … “PBs beyond belief and my hard work at training paying off big style! … Absolutely delighted with my 400m IM taking the Bronze medal, but my most emotional swim was the 50m Fly taking another 1.5 seconds off the PB I set at States just three weeks earlier … I just wish my sister Philippa and my Dad in the UK could have been there to see me swim that – they would have been so proud of me to see the time I swam in the stroke that was by far my worst as a kid back in the UK!”

Marianne Tweedie  “All of my Freestyle swims were PBs but my best swim was my 200m Freestyle on the final day – I was really happy with my time and the way I swam my race, taking 3 seconds off my PB set at States.”

Tara Olsthoorn … “My first event – the 400m IM – set me up for a great meet – I was ready to play – it was game on! The branch relay at the end was fun with my team mates loudly cheering on the NSW team – they were all lined up on the side of the pool deck all still wearing their Vikings club caps and making a huge amount of noise!”

Kade Burgess … ” The gold medal in 200m Backstroke was my favourite swim from the meet. I also had great fun using my coach’s iPad app to take the splits of all the girls swimming in the 800m & 400m Freestyle events!”

Hobart is the location for the 40th Masters Swimming National Championships in 2015 where the racing will be in short course for the first time in five years since Nationals was last in Tasmania. We will all be going again and would love more of our team mates there next year! Nationals is such a great event to be part of no matter what your age or ability.

Big congratulations to all our swimmers and to our coaches Brenda, Leisa, Jeanette, Caz and Anne for all their hard work, thought and effort at training over the past few months – it certainly has paid off - Go You Vikings!!!

More photos and full results are available via the Masters Swimming QLD website.

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