Romford Town Master SC had a strong team at Sheffield Ponds Forge for the 2016 National Masters Short Course Swimming Championships.
Although a slightly smaller team (17) than in previous years, there was no lack of quality as Romford Town Masters set 4 new European and British Masters records and won a total of 17 golds, 13 slivers and 3 bronze Medals.
Day one, session 1, saw a great start with Jill Complin getting gold in the 1500m, and Kira Neal getting a silver in the same event.
Session 2 started with the first team, (of 11 team events entered), stepping up to the mark, with Peter Arundell, Dawn Palmer, Kira Neal and Paul Speller, getting a silver in the mixed 120+ 200m Freestyle. Further Golds came from this session from Martin Fenner (200 back), Dawn Palmer (50 fly), and David Ebank (100 Breast). Michelle Curry just missed out on gold by less than half a second in her 200 back, to take silver. The last event of the session saw the Mixed 160+ 200 IM team of Michelle Curry, David Ebanks, Martin Lane and Barbara Boxall grab another silver.
Session 3 started with Dawn Palmer setting a new GB record for the 400 IM, with Michelle Curry taking Bronze in a new PB for the same event in her age group. Barbara Boxall and Jill Complin continued their good form with Golds in their respective age groups for the 100 free. Martin Lane finished the session with a hard fought bronze medal in the 100 free in one of the toughest age groups (45-49) at the Nationals.
Day 2, Session 4 started with Romford Town Masters in the mixed 160+ 400 IM team of Martin Fenner (Backstroke), Cayman island International, David Ebank (Breastroke), Dawn Palmer (Fly) and Kira Neal (Freestyle), taking 4 seconds off the previous British record to take the Gold. The Gold rush continued with Jill Complin taking the 400 free title and Martin Fenner and Michelle Curry taking Gold in their respective age groups for the 100 back. Barbara Boxall added another silver to her collection in the 400 freestyle.
Session 5 started with the 200IM where both Michelle Curry and Martin Fenner did PB’s to get respective Silver and Bronze in their age groups. This was a precursa to Dawn Palmer, the current European Champion in this event (40/44 age group), who continued with her devastating form by setting a new European and British record for the 200 IM of 2.26.46. Barbara Boxall continued her good form with a PB in the 50 freestyle to take gold. Martin Lane took the silver in a season best time of 24.50 in his 50 freestyle.
Session 6 saw David Ebanks swimming in his prefered event, the 50 Breastroke, he swam a great race, and although beating the old GB record was beaten by just 2 hundredths of a second to come home in 2nd place. Further silvers were added by Martin Lane and Barbara Boxall in the 50 Breastroke for their respective age groups. The 200 freestyle saw Dawn Palmer finish well in front of the 2nd place person, and likewise Jill Complin took gold in her 200 freestyle age group. Barbara added to her growing collection with silver in this event.
Day 3, Session 7 saw many PB’s for Romford swimmers. The session finished with the Womens 400m 160+ Freestyle team of Michelle Curry, Barbara Boxall, Kira Neal and Dawn Palmer nailing another Gold with a new European and British record.
The last session of the weekend saw Jill Complin complete her medal haul by getting gold in the 800 freestyle and Michelle and Dawn capping their weekend with silver in the 100 IM.
Romford Town Masters Coach, Martin Fenner, stated that there had been some fabulous swimming and that it was one of the best championships that he had been to. Romford Masters swimmers should feel proud of their performances, as there was not one swimmer who didn’t come away from the championships with at least one personal or seasons best. There were a number of swimmers who competed for the first time at this level and all swam exceptionally well.