GB Masters victory for club president
Club President Ross Turner travelled to Manchester for the GB Masters British Long Course Championships, and came home with a 5th, a silver and a Championship title.
Ross having just moved up to the 35-39 age group was for once on his own, as the others stayed to compete in the Mercian league, but this didn’t stop him from bringing home the title he coverts the most, the 50m breaststroke crown.
He had stiff competition from Peter Williams, who had beaten him to the 100m title earlier in the day, but was confident of victory, after having led the longer race for 90m.
Ross is always disappointed to lose any breaststroke race, but the standard in the masters just keeps improving, with swimmers of various ages breaking British, European and World records across the weekend. Notably a 40-year-old lady, Kirsten Cameron, swimming 800m in 9.02, a time which would have made the semi-finals of the British Open champs, and in the 45-49 age group, where newcomer to the age, John Cunningham swam 100m Fly in 60.03, though he did go to two Olympic games in his youth.
Ross’s age group is no exception, with ex GB internationals appearing alongside the club swimmers and those who have taken up racing in later years. Ross started the weekend with a 50m backstroke, where he finished a very creditable 5th in 30.64, just 0.28 off a medal.
The next morning he was back for his main events, the 50 and 100m Breaststroke, a 1.10.80 saw him miss out on gold in the 100m, where Peter finished stronger to pip Ross on the finish. Ross had time to think about the 50m, and despite claiming a poor finish, he won comfortably in 30.40 ahead by 0.82 sec, just half a second outside the British record, held by Nick Gillingham, who won World, Commonwealth and Olympic titles in the 90s.
More locally, Rugby travelled to Leamington Spa for the second round of the Mercian league, which was going to be a tough task, as Leamington came second overall last year, to Rugby’s 9th. Rugby missed the first round due to the dates clashing with the Rugby Open, so may struggle to finish as high this year. This competition allows Rugby to compete against a variety of swimmers and clubs, and also for some swimmers to try other events, some forced, some by choice.
The team spirit and parental support is growing every time we swim, and it is great to see most of the parents sitting together and making a real noise, not just for their children but for all swimmers, and appreciating all performances, whether first or sixth.
Rugby chased Leamington all the way, finishes just 25 points behind, 244 to 219, with third a distant 167 (Redditch), though a couple of DQs didn’t help and some controversial results, where Rugby and Leamington were given the same time, only for Leamington to be placed first.
Also very pleasing was the range of relay winners, always a great sign of team spirit. The boys’ 12 and unders, of Dan Carey, Luke Anspoke, Lewis Cresswell, and Aaron Kirkaldy won both the free and medley relays, as did the 14s of Jack Carey, Max Markham, Rhys James and Ethan Fletcher, the girls 14s of Megan Williams, Maddie Haywood, Ellen Armeson and Jasmine Rigg, thought they had matched this, only to be given second in the Medley, with equal time to Leamington.
There were several individual winners, as it seemed either Rugby or Leamington won every other race, these included Jack Carey, Luke Anspokes, and Megan Williams who won two each. Alongside Jess Mackenzie, Maddie Haywood, Max Markham, Louie Gilroy, Dan Carey and Max Green, who also picked up a maximum six points. A variety of swimmers, ages and events, which is always encouraging.
Seconds were recorded by various relay teams, as above, and individually, Harriet Troupe, Ellen Armeson, Tom Parker, Rhys James, Dan C, Louie G, some more than once.
Thirds were recorded by Maddie, Tom, Max, Gleb Popov, the boys 10s relay team of James Armeson, Nathanial Kyada, Max Green, and Louie Gilroy, and the senior men’s team of Tom, Gleb, Junior Head Coach Devesh Chohan, and Veteran Simon Rigg, who came third in the free relay, despite having the same time as the winners, they also won the medley by 2 seconds, only to be dqd.
Special mention to the senior ladies team, who were somewhat short staffed due to unavailabilities, and had an age range of nearly 30 years, Karen Bates, Chloe Rymen, Olivia Gyatt and Aofie Williams, who along with Jasmine, Maddie, and Ellen all swimming up, certainly secured valuable team points, which is the key to these events.
We look forward to the final rounds in two weeks’ time of the Diddy and Junior leagues, where Rugby need a real fighting performance to stay in the premier division of the Junior league, and looking to improve on the 17th of last year in the Diddy league.
Chairman Simon Rigg