SWIMMING: Rugby master swimmers representing county

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Warwickshire defend Midlands title

Warwickshire Masters Swimmers travelled Rugby’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre on Sunday to defend their Midlands title. Master swimmers are those over 18, and in some cases in this meet, over 70. This is a fantastic, friendly but fiercely competitive meet, with some rivalries going back 50 or even 60 years. With 68 events, including mixed aged based relays, the logistics is somewhat complex, two male and two female swimmers with of total age exceeding a set figure.

Warwickshire, as ever marshalled by team captain, Trevor Clarke, went on to retain their title with relative ease, scoring 402 points, well clear of Notts, 352, and Derby, 302.5.

The full national results won’t be known until the master central computer compares all the times from the North, East, West and South regions, but it will be a great surprise if Warwickshire are outside the top three.

Rugby Swimming Club, provided five of the victorious team, from Gleb Popov, 18 last month, through Ross Turner, 27, Rachel Lloyd, 44, Simon Rigg 49, to Barry Davies 70, making his county debut.

Barry was a little nervous at first, but soon got into the swing of things coming second in the second event, despite giving five years away to his victor, clocking a very rapid 34.05 for 50m freestyle. Barry was also instrumental in helping the age totals in his relays.

Ross swam 50m breaststroke in the 18+ event, 25+ and 35+ and just about every medley relay going, as well as a freestyle relay or two, going sub 25 for free on a couple of occasions.

Rachel swam a variety of strokes and relays on her county debut, gaining very valuable points, clocking a very quick 28.7 freestyle and possibly a lifetime best 50m back in the medley relay in 33.96.

Simon Rigg in only his second race since being out injured for six months, was competitive if not on top form. Clocking 27s for freestyle when he would hope to be doing low 26s or even high 25s in relays. Still working off one good leg, his starts and turns were badly affected, but valuable points gained.

Gleb drafted in at the very last moment, showed just why he is such a force, swimming 50m backstroke in a couple of different relays, and doing most of it underwater, as his kick is just a sight to behold, dipping under 30 on one occasion.

All in all Rugby contributed heavily in this resounding victory for Warwickshire and despite the age range, a great team spirit was felt between the five.