Blue Fins compete in British Championships

Bicester Blue Fins
Bicester Blue Fins

Hundreds of Great Britain’s top masters swimmers converged on the impressive Ponds Forge Pool at Sheffield for the biggest short course competition of the domestic masters calendar.

The 2014 British Gas ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships featured 12 swimmers from Bicester Blue Fins and the squad had seven top 10 finishes during the weekend.

Nineteen-year-old Jack Rowland was nearest to a podium position when he swam 2.21.81mins to claim fifth in the 200m backstroke in the 18-24 age group. He was also just four seconds off the medals in the 200m freestyle having finished sixth in 2.03.55, and was 9th in the 100m backstroke.

There were two impressive performances by the relay squad in the combined age 120-159 category. Andrew Smith, Francis Varney, David Jardine and Ryan Steward took fifth in a thrilling 4x50m freestyle relay, and then seventh in the 4x50m medley.

The 200m breaststroke delivered two solid seventh place finishes from Paul Davis (3.06.76) in the age 45-49 category and Gary Souch (3.10.49) in the 35-39 group.

Also swimming were Tim Ashley-Sparks, Karen Dela, David Jardine, John Littlewood, Andrew Pryce, Andrew Smith, Nick Starkey, Ryan Steward and Francis Varney.

Blue Fins head coach Struan McNeil said: “The younger swimmers get a lot of attention and headlines but our adult masters are also an integral part of the club. The National Championships are an intense test against a number of international standard swimmers, so the squad can feel proud after coming away with seven top 10 finishes.

“It’s not just about getting medals on the podium though, it’s also about striving for personal bests and their performances at Sheffield show how their dedication is paying off.”