Kent swimmers had their best result at the British Masters Championship held at Plymouth on 8-10 June winning a total of 14 National gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze medals. Twenty-two Kent Masters records were also smashed at the Plymouth Life Centre’s 50 metre pool.
The best performing Kent club was Kent Weald Swim Squad (KWSS) which finished in 12th place overall out of 202 clubs. KWSS is a squad made up of swimmers from Tonbridge Swimming Club, Royal Tunbridge Wells Masters and Black Lion Swimming Club banded together to be able to enter multiple relay events. This was the first one the small team of nine KWSS swimmers had entered but, punching above their weight, won 6 gold, 6 silver and 1 bronze medal, tying with Guildford City in the team rankings.
The top-performing Kent and KWSS swimmer was RTW Masters swimmer and Tonbridge SC coach, James Pearson, who won an astonishing nine medals in the 70-74 age group: gold in 800m freestyle, 400m free, 200m free, 100m free; silver in 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly; bronze in the mixed 200 years 4 x 50m medley relay with KWSS teammates Sam Petter, Keith Roshier and Danielle Ryan.
Glen Isaacs (50-54 years) won gold in 800m free and in the Men’s 120 years 4 x 50m medley relay with KWSS teammates Chris White, Calum Winton and Mariusz Barcikowski. He also finished in silver medal position in the mixed 200 years 4 x 200m freestyle relay with Kirsty Alfredson, Keith Roshier and Sam Petter.
Mariusz Barcikowski won silver in the 40-44 years 200m breaststroke and swam the breaststroke leg of KWSS’s silver winning mixed 200 years medley relay team with Sam Petter, Kirsty Alfredson and James Pearson. He was also in the silver placing 4x200m freestyle KWSS relay team with Glen Isaacs, James Pearson and Keith Roshier.
Of the other Kent swim clubs competing in the Championships, Saxon Crown was placed 51, Sevenoaks 86, Gravesend 99, RTW Masters 117, and Black Lion and Larkfield Swimming Clubs were both 152.
Lauren Willcox (30-34 years) from Saxon Crown, won a brilliant three gold medals in 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle with new Kent records. Her team mate Katherine Stevens won Bronze in 800m freestyle.
From Black Lion, 19-year-old James Castle won three gold medals in 200m Butterfly, 400m Freestyle and 400m Individual Medley.
Sevenoaks Swim Club’s Shelley Robinson (65-69 years) won three bronze medals in 800m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle and 200 Individual Medley, also setting a new Kent record in the last event, with Anne Raymond finishing well in a very competitive age group.
Rhona Courtier from Larkfield Swimming Club set new Kent Records in her 50m Free and 200m Back events.
Kent County Amateur Swimming Association Masters Manager, Glen Isaacs, was delighted with the medal haul, praising the organisers, officials and volunteers, and said that the next target will be the KCASA Sprint Championships at Medway Park on 24 June.
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