National Championships – 8-11 March 2017

Report by Caroline Makin, Club Captain

“Hello Sunshine!” was the tag line for the 2017 Masters Swimming Australia National Championships held at the spectacular Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and organised by Masters Swimming Queensland on 8 to 11 March 2017.

Eleven Vikings travelled from Tuggeranong, Canberra to the sunshine at the Gold Coast to take part in the 50m Long Course format outdoor pool.

Our club finished 10th in the overall pointscore which was tremendous given the smaller number of swimmers we had competing this year compared to the last two years. Powerpoints club from Victoria had a staggering 39 swimmers competing and thus took out the overall top club and many of the relay trophies.

Our swimmers came home with a swag of PBs, medals, good memories and smiles, and the following thoughts about their time at the Gold Coast both in and out of the pool …

Jenna Freeman (F18-24)

My best swim was the 100m Breaststroke as I did a PB. My favourite experience was making new friends and having a laugh at marshaling.

Helen Morris (F40-44)

My best swim was the 400m Individual Medley – I was sure that I had been disqualified instead I got a bronze medal!!!! My best out of pool experience was going to the Australian Outback Spectacular with my 11 year old daughter. The whole Swim Meet was fantastic. By the last day my body felt as stiff as a board but it still swam!  Thanks to everyone who came and to Caz for organising the relays.

Kylie Lane (F40-44)

The 50m Backstroke in the relay was my best swim – I swam another PB breaking the 40 seconds! Out of the water it was great to have my mum and dad (Shirley and Howard Baker) come and support and encourage me, especially being my first major swim event in 24 years …. they’re not bad timekeepers either!

Caz Makin (F45-49)

The 400 Individual Medley was my best swim, knocking 2 seconds off my 100m Butterfly PB in the process and 3.5 seconds off my 400 IM PB – and that included doing Backstroke in an outdoor pool! I had some great conversations my two NSW swimming buddies Vince and Steve discussing tackling 800/400m Freestyle events and met some lovely new interstate friends too.  I finished off a great four days of swimming with a day spent drinking lots of wine with lots of laughter at Surfers Paradise with the lovely Kasey from Blacktown Masters!

Katrina Burgess (F50-54)

My favourite swim was the 100m Freestyle race as my partner Steve and I were seeded next to each other – it was fun to race at Nationals together – he did pip me at the wall with a better second lap. The score is now one each in the 100m Freestyle event! My best experience outside of the water would be all the socialising between races and getting to know my second claim club members from Western Australia better.

Andreas Falkenau (M50-54)

My best swim was the 200m Individual Medley, although just missing qualifying time for World Championships by 0.5 sec, I was happy with the swim as I gave it my all and had a result that was better than I expected.  My best experience was to see everyone again – it is a really nice feeling when you are with friends and can catch up after a long time away from the squad.

Donna Campbell (F55-59)

My best swims were the 50m Breaststroke taking 2 seconds off my PB and 200m Individual Medley staying controlled and strong throughout and coming in .08 outside my PB. My favourite experience outside of the pool was spending time with my Queensland friends and getting to see Adele in concert in Brisbane.

Leisa Cass (F55-59)

I was very happy with my 200m Freestyle swim — last event on last day, it seemed to come together. Outside of the swimming, I enjoyed the view from the apartment — all the way down the coastline to Burleigh Heads from prime spot on the lounge, and the company of course!

Ann Reid (F55-59)

The 200m Butterfly – the first event – was my best swim with my best long course time ever and my first National medal for an individual event. Otherwise, I enjoyed catching up with old(!) friends and watching my team mates complete many fantastic swims.

Brenda Day (F65-69)

I was stoked with my 400m Individual Medley time. My inspiration was right next to me –  team mate Helen Morris, in her first Nationals and not feeling so well – a very gutsy swim for Helen and a Bronze Medal! It was really great fun sharing accommodation with my Viking buddies who support each other so well.

Paul Maggs (M75-79)

My best swim was my 100m Freestyle – I did a good turn: not too far/not too close to the wall and had a good kick off. On the social side, I got to know club members better and I enjoyed volunteering for timekeeing: met some interesting people!

Some other highlights were:

The Womens 160+ Medley Relay team comprising of Kylie, Caz, Jenna and Katrina who won a Bronze medal …

It was very exciting that the ACT were given a chance to put in our own team into the Branch relay at the end of the final day – our four swimmers, Caz, Paul, Jenna and Andreas did the ACT proud finishing in 3rd place (based on closest to overall nominated time) finishing within 0.8 seconds of their nominated time. Watch the video – ACT are in lane 8!

Some of our members attended the presentation dinner on the Saturday evening after the racing was over.

A massive thank you goes out to Kylie’s parents and Paul Maggs for doing an enormous amount of volunteer timekeeping during the competition. Without timekeepers, swim events just can’t go ahead!

Full results are available on the MSA portal and there are also downloadable results sheets available from Masters Swimming Queensland.

There are also a fabulous selection of photos from the official event photographer, Gary Brinkman, on his website and also a compilation video to watch.

Next year Nationals will be in Perth, WA from 18-21 April 2018.  SEE YOU THERE YOU MIGHTY VIKINGS!


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