SWIMMING: Rugby Swimmers at the prestigious Masters in Sheffield

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Peggy celebrates 96th birthday watching daughter Elaine win five gold and three silvers in 75-79 age group

Rugby Swimming Club were represented in the biggest and most prestigious Masters swimming event of the year at Sheffield by Lee Rogerson, Rachel Lloyd, Ross Turner, Ben Cunliffe and Simon Rigg.

This event gets bigger every year, to the point there are now qualifying times and official accepted times only for every event. This event is open to 18s and over, and in some case way over, 93, was the oldest. There was also a special mention for Peggy Coulthard, a RSC Stalwart for many many years, who celebrated her 96th birthday watching her daughter Elaine Bromwich add to her British titles.

Elaine won five golds and three silvers. Swimming for Birmingham masters in the 75-79 age group, Elaine’s first places were in the 800m and 400m freestyle, 200m 100m and 50m breast stroke. Her second places came in the 1500m, 200m and 50m freestyle. All of the swims were in personal best times.

Lee made his first appearance at these champs, (40-44)and acquitted himself very well, finishing 13th in his 200m free, 2.21.79, and 17th in the 100 IM, 1.13.21. He also took the fly leg in the men’s medley relay, as the boys took on the best in GB at the 160+ age group. The team of Ben on the back, Ross on the Br, then Lee, and Simon on the free, had little expectations, as they were giving away 23 years total age to some teams. This was not helped when one team set off with a 26.6 backstroke leg, and another team finished with a 23.2 freestyle leg, as the first three teams beat the old British record, and the winners smashed the European record. A top 10 finish was a decent result for the chaps.

Rachel Lloyd, (45-49) moved into a new age group, and was the only medal winner coming 3rd in both the 1500m free, in 20.21.62, a gruelling 60 lengths on a Friday morning, and 100m back in 1.13.67, showing great versatility there. This was backed up by 2 x 4ths a 6th and a 7th, in 50m back 33.87, 100m br 1.23.24, 50m free 29.22, and 50m butterfly, 32.60. Unfortunately Rachel was the only lady on parade, so RSC were unable to put out a ladies or mixed relay team, but hopefully this will change next year. Rachel swam superbly well, and has been selected for the Warks’ team in the inter-counties champs.

Ross Turner (35-39) missed out on a medal for the first time in many years, as he finished 4th by 0.04 in the 50m br, 30.16, he was fighting for a medal all the way, but was pipped on the line. This was a race won in a European record, and he was 5th in the 100m br in 1.07.97, also won in a British record. Ross showed his array of talents, by finishing in the top 10 in the 100m IM, 1.04.29, a race won in sub 60! and just outside the top 10 in the 50m fly. To put it into perspective two of the three swimmers who beat Ross in the 50m br, competed at recent Commonwealth Games. Ross will also be in the county team yet again.

Lastly Simon Rigg, after 15 months of injury, has started to get back into more regular training, but had no medal expectations. A decent relay split on the Friday, gave hope, a promising 50m free was floored by missing the turn completely, to end up 12th. Next up was the 100m free, now, Simon doesn’t really like turning and going back more than once, so four lengths is always a challenge. In only his second 100m in 2 years, the hope was to beat the 1.06.89 from the C&Ds in May, and anything beyond that was a bonus. Turning in a steady 29.7, he finished in 1.02.90, not great but not as bad as feared. Finally a top 10 in the 50m breaststroke, showing progress with over half a second off his time in the club champs last month. Simon is also in the county team, so hopefully will see the wall this time.