Report by Kylie Lane, Club Captain & Caz Makin, Publicity Officer
Vikings win Nationals 2022 top point score trophy ….
“Extra, extra read all about it, we’ve got the team and we’re proud to shout it. We’re rough, we’re tough, we’re hard to bluff, we won the Nationals by showing our stuff!”
And that is exactly what our Tuggeranong Vikings Masters swim team did at the National Championships 2022, held in Sydney from 20-23 April. Our club won the Founder’s Trophy for the top point-scoring club for the meet with 1765 points, almost 400 points ahead of runners-up North Shore Masters with 1386 and Warringah Masters with 1363 points.
After a couple of false starts in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid lockdowns, and a long-anticipated wait for the Australian Masters National Championships to once again take place, the day finally came for masters swimmers from around the country to come together 3 years after the last Nationals in Adelaide in 2019 and again experience some serious “fun, fitness, and friendship“.
A group of thirty-three excited and extraordinary Vikings swimmers packed their bags and made the 3-hour trek to Sydney to compete, some for the first time at a National Championships and some seasoned Nationals competitors. This is the largest contingent of swimmers our club has had attending any swim meet.
It didn’t take long for the Vikings to show off some of our prowess on the first day during the 800m Freestyle event, where we achieved 3 gold and 1 silver medal and 3 club records, which paved the way for the following days of competition. Over the next 3 days, the swimming competition was fabulous and we witnessed our swimmers taking on a massive program of events, winning many more medals, and setting new club records. Overall, our team claimed 89 medals (30 gold, 27 silver, and 32 bronze) and set a staggering 99 new club records.
Some highlights included: Elizabeth Merenda wiping out her competition by winning gold in all of her ten individual events; Lisa Haurelik shaving 17 seconds off her previous best time in the 800m Freestyle; the 200m Butterfliers demonstrating their power and endurance; our distance-focussed swimmers pounding out significant overall meters at race pace in the 800m & 400 Freestyle, 400 Individual Medley and multiple 200m events and seeing some swimmers take part in their first major swim meet.
The most entertaining events were the relays, which are always exciting events between clubs. We saw our relay teams take on the men’s women’s and mixed Freestyle and Medley relay events across the age groups. The Vikings team banter and cheering were taken to a whole new level, with swimmers on the pool deck calling out for their teammates in the water, who were battling it out to be the fastest team home amongst the other clubs. Our second Nationals trophy was awarded to our youngest swimmers in the 120-159 age group relay, doing us proud with their super-fast swims!
Put simply, it was a fantastic 4 days of camaraderie, competition, and celebration, and we can’t wait for next year’s National Championships 2023 which will be held in Hobart, seeing our club defend the champions title.
Check out the other publicity the club has received around our success…
ABC Radio interview with Adrienne Francis, ABC Radio Saturday Breakfast Show, 30 April 2022
Tuggeranong masters of the pool win gold at nationals, Canberra Weekly News, 1 May 2022
YMCA Lakeside Leisure Centre Facebook post, 2 May 2002
Vikings Group e-newsletter, 10 May 2022