Berko Masters make a splash as busy season gets underway

Berkhamsted swimmers.
Berkhamsted swimmers.

The first month of the season has been a busy one for Berkhamsted Swimming Club Masters swimmers.

The month began with Zoe Doyle travelling to the Berks & South Bucks Masters meet for her first ever competitive event.

A seasoned runner, she swept effortlessly into the pool environment and came away with three personal bests, a gold and two silvers. Beginning with 1:13.78 in the 100 Free to clock silver she followed it up with victory in the 100 Individual medley in 1:34.07 and then climaxed the meet with over a second chopped off her 50 Free to clock 33.19 for another silver.

Zoe then joined experienced campaigners Tracy Van Deventer, Sian MacDonald, Mark Strakosch and Charles Dainton, alongside another newcomer, Claire Mistry at the annual Herts Masters Champs at The Venue Borehamwood.

Both Tracy and Zoe took gold in the 100 IM whilst Sian took silver. Zoe sliced a further 3.3 seconds from her week old pb to clock 1:30.73 with Tracy posting 1:19.56 & Sian 1:32.26. Not to be outdone, the men claimed silver and bronze with Charles clocking an impressive 1:49.26 for silver and Mark 1:20.48 for bronze.

In the backstroke there were silvers for both Tracy and Mark. The 50 Breast saw Sian claim her first medal, clocking 43.20 for silver and Tracy add to her haul with a second swim inside her entry time and silver in 43.02.

Claire, in her first swim, improved her own pb with 49.77. Charles also claimed silver in 48.76. The butterfly is always a medal winner for the club and Tracy & Zoe picked up silvers whilst Mark pinched bronze and, in the final freestyle event, Claire improved for the second time on the night to 40.36, Tracy clocked 32.78 for second together with another silver for Sian in 37.03.

Zoe dropped even more time to pocket the bronze in her age with 32.58.

Charles took gold in 36.81 and Mark finished the individual session with bronze in 31.69, his fastest 50 for a while. The ladies then teamed up for the 4 x 25 Free relay, swimming to a well merited third which meant everbody had a medal from the evening. Mark, Sian, Tracy and Charles teamed up for the 4 x 25m Medley and posted a relay time of 1:10.72 for fifth.

The final swim meet of the first four weeks saw Tracy and Mark head to Newmarket for the East region Masters event on this Saturday. In a fast and furious gala, Mark and Tracy both won gold in the 400 Free with 5:01.37 & 5:15.43.

Tracy’s time was nine seconds faster than her converted long course time at the halfway point of her 800m swim in May at the European Masters.

Mark claimed another gold in the 100 IM as he swam himself into the meet and a third gold in the 200 Free just 0.13 outside his best ever.

He finished his meet with fourth in the 100 Breast. Tracy had a clear win in her 200 Fly, going sub 3 minutes with 2:58.87 and then finished with silver in the 200 IM.

Mark Strakosch swam the Serpentine mile. In the first wave of swimmers he was second out of the water clocking a mile pb of 22 minutes 39 seconds to place fourth in the 40 and over (at 55 years old).

Zoe Doyle completed her manic month with victory in the GB Pentathlon Association Biathlon at Woodside Leisure Centre in Watford.

Winning the run part of the event with a last 200m surge her swim time of 1:14.31 later was enough to take the victory and second in the swim element.

Jenny Atwill competed at the Sportspace Triathlon in Hemel on Sunday. swam the fastest swim and was placed 19th with 54.36.