For the first time in over 10 years Tigersharks sent a team of swimmers to Wiltshire Masters competition. Round 1 at the Link centre saw swimmers from 18 to 83 years old compete over the shorter distances in the swimming programme. The balance of age switches in Masters as the swimmers mature, for the younger swimmers in the club being the oldest in your age group is a real advantage; it’s the opposite in masters swimming as the ‘youngsters’ in the older age groups have ‘youth on their side’ (it’s all relative!)
In the Women’s competition a very nervous Lucy Doughty donned her goggles for the first time in over 20 years taking a gold medal the 50m back in the 40-44 years old age group. Unfortunately, those goggles proved to be detrimental in the 100m FC as they came off and had to put back on. This cost Lucy well over 2 seconds and she ended up runner up, just over half a second off the winner with a time of 1:15.28.
Sophie Hawkins also struck gold in the 50m back in the 18-24 year old age group in an impressive display of sprinting as she clocked 32.59 to win in a new Age Group Best Time. Bethany Martin was just outside the medals in 4th place but stepped up the performance in the 100m Fly where she took a silver medal.
The men’s competition saw Gavin Doughty take the 25m breaststroke in the 45-49 year old age group despite a dodgy start. His time of 15.43 was a new Age Group Best Time. The 100m FC proved to be a big incentive to do some more training as he hung on down the last 25m to take gold just ahead of ex Tigersharks Nick Hudson.
Elliot Willoughby and Shaun Cornford also got their masters campaigns off to promising starts with Elliot taking the silver in the 18-24 year old 50m Back and Shaun matching him in the same age group in the 100m Fly.
Whilst it was only a small team, everyone came away with something out of the meet. The next round of the County Championships is at Trowbridge in June where we hope to add to our numbers and show that Tigersharks can compete at all distances across all ages.