Gala Reports

2019 Scottish Masters (Short Course), Edinburgh 19-20 Apr

Edinburgh played host to the 2019 Scottish Masters Nationals, where a record number of entries, from Masters swimmers from all over the British Isles, ensured this was a fiercely competitive event. Newcastle Swim Team sent a record nine swimmers north of the border and brought back an astonishing 33 medals, which is also a record breaking feat!

 

Kicking off the action for the team was Kevin Smith, who dominated the 55-59 years age group by winning gold medals in the 100m and 200m butterfly, the 200m and 400m individual medley and the 800m freestyle. He also won silver medals in the 100m individual medley and the 50m butterfly. His swims in the 100m and 200m butterfly were so fast that he broke the Scottish Masters record in both events and was only just outside the British Masters record in the 200m swim!

 

Equally dominant in the 50-54 years category was Julian Plumley, who won gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and the 200m individual medley, a silver in the 100m freestyle and two bronzes in the 50m freestyle and the 200m backstroke. During this weekend Julian swam events he had not swam before as a Masters swimmer and the 200m individual medley stood out as a particularly fantastic win for this reason!

 

Verity Dobbie continued her outstanding 2019 by winning a clean sweep of 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke gold medals in addition to two silvers in the 50m and 800m freestyle in the 60-64 years age group. Victories in the 50m and 100m breaststroke in Edinburgh, coupled with wins at the Welsh Masters in March, means Verity needs to only win gold medals at the English Masters in October to complete a 2019 Masters Triple Crown.

 

Also chasing a 2019 Masters Triple Crown was Will Jolly, as he won a treble of gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years category to exactly match the three victories he took at the Welsh Masters in Swansea. In Edinburgh, Will also won a silver medal in the 200m butterfly.

 

Tom Primavesi made his debut in the 25-29 years age group, which many Masters swimmers regard as a coming of age and therefore only the very beginning of a Masters swimming career! Tom continued where he left off at last year’s Scottish Masters, by winning two gold medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle and two silvers in the 50m backstroke and 100m butterfly. Hopefully there’ll be many more medals to come in the future!

 

Jennifer Tatters, who is in the last year of the 18-24 age category, continued her excellent form shown at the Billingham Masters in March. She won gold in the 100m backstroke, silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 100m individual medley. Meanwhile Eric Ni Yan, also in the 18-24 years age group and making his Masters debut for Newcastle Swim Team, took a silver medal in the 800m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle.

 

A big well done also to Arthur Aplin and Andrew Elwick won both swam very well in a competitive field of swimmers and who both said they were very happy with their individual performances.

 

In the final race of the weekend Newcastle Swim Team won one final medal, when a team consisting of Tom, Will, Kevin and Julian won the Men’s 4x50m freestyle relay in the 160-199 years age group. This was then followed up that evening at the Ceilidh where Julian and Kevin both won trophies for being the top swimmers in their respective age groups! Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s Scottish Masters and for making it such a success! 

2019 Carlisle Aquatics Masters Open Meet 1 Feb (Short Course) and 2019 Billingham Masters Open Meet 24 Mar (Short Course)

Newcastle Swim Team were well-represented in both of the local Masters open meets. All seven swimmers were hoping to open their 2019 campaign with a positive start.

 

In February, the first competition got underway at Carlisle with some early success going the way of Julian Plumley, who won gold medals in the 50m and 200m freestyle and silver in the 100m freestyle in the 50-54 years age group. Verity Dobbie also won a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke in addition to two silvers in the 200m and 800m freestyle and two bronze medals in the 50m backstroke and 100m individual medley in the 60-64 years category.

 

Verity is having an outstanding start to 2019. Having already won gold medals at Carlisle and at the Welsh Masters, she then swam at the Billingham Masters Open Meet where she topped her age group in the 50m and 200m breaststroke, 100m and 200m individual medley and 100m backstroke and was second in the 200m freestyle.

 

Although there were no medals available for a top three finish in individual age groups at Billingham, the motivation for success was high amongst the swimmers who competed in late March. One of the highlights of the Billingham Masters Open Meet came when Kevin Smith broke the Scottish Masters record in the 100m butterfly in the 55-59 year age group and added it to the Scottish record he currently holds in the 50-54 years category. He also topped his age group in the 100m breaststroke and 200m freestyle and came second in the 400m freestyle.

 

Jennifer Tatters took on a very challenging schedule of seven events in one day! She came first in the 18-24 year category in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m backstroke and 100m individual medley. After so many events in one day it was little wonder that she said her body was sore afterwards! Rachel Clinkard meanwhile also finished the day with a 100 percent record of first place finishes by topping the 45-49 years age group in the 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley.

 

Michael McDermott, swimming his first Masters event for Newcastle Swim Team, won the 100m breaststroke in the 35-39 years age group, came second in the 100m freestyle and third in the 50m breaststroke and 100m backstroke. Hopefully there will be many more good performances like this to come!

 

Finally, the 2018 Swimmer of the Year, Andrew Elwick had a solid start to 2019 by claiming three second place finishes in the 200m and 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly and a third place in the 50m butterfly in the 30-34 years category.

 

Well done to all our swimmers across both open meets! The opening three months of the year has seen a lot of very good swimming, may the rest of 2019 continue in this fashion!          

2019 Welsh Masters (Long Course), Swansea 2-3 Mar

Two Newcastle Swim Team swimmers opened their 2019 accounts in style at the Welsh Masters in Swansea. The standard of swimming was very high despite the very long journey to South Wales and the difficulty of long course swimming this early in the year.

 

Verity Dobbie won treble gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 400m freestyle. She also won three silvers in the 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 1500m freestyle. The 1500 also doubled up as a British Masters event this year, meaning that she won the first British medal of the year for Newcastle Swim Team! The whole weekend made for an impressive first venture into the 60-64 years age group for Verity in a year where she is targeting the World Masters Championships in South Korea.

 

Meanwhile Will Jolly kept a 100 percent golden record for the weekend by winning the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group. He caused a few raised eyebrows amongst spectators and commentators alike with some late-on counter-attacking swimming, particularly in the 400 where he turned a one second deficit at 350m, into a two second victory by the finish!

 

Both swimmers now have the chance to chase down a potential 2019 Masters Triple Crown of English, Scottish and Welsh Masters titles. Well done swimmers!

2018 Swim England Masters Nationals (Short Course), Sheffield 26-28 Oct

Newcastle Swim Team sent 8 swimmers to Ponds Forge, Sheffield, for the most prestigious and competitive domestic event on the Masters calendar. After months of tough training, the swimmers were ready to do battle for national titles.

 

The highlight of the weekend came when Nick Valentine made history by winning the “hard man’s” clean sweep of gold medals in the 35-39 years age group. He won a staggering 6 golds in all, triumphing in the 200m butterfly, 400m individual medley, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 1500m freestyle and was also part of the gold medal winning 4x200m freestyle team! The men’s 120-159 years 4x200m freestyle relay featured Nick, Will Jolly, Chris Heaps and Julian Plumley. Julian held on brilliantly at the end, whilst swimming the anchor leg, to prevent a charging Bicester team from stealing the win in a thrilling contest and to keep the clean sweep alive! Julian also went on to claim a bronze medal in the 50-54 years 200m freestyle.

 

Will Jolly had his best ever set of results at a Masters National Championships by winning double gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle and a silver in the 200m freestyle in the 25-29 years category in addition to the relay triumph.

 

Verity Dobbie continued her fantastic year of results by winning double silver in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and bronze in the 200m freestyle in the 55-59 years age group. And rounding off the medal action was Tony Greener, who won a brilliant bronze medal in the 60-64 years 1500m freestyle, two years after last swimming this event.

 

Well done also to Chris Heaps, Arthur Aplin and Peter French for swimming so well in their individual events! A huge congratulations to all the swimmers representing Newcastle Swim Team for a fantastic 3 days of competition!

2018 North East Regional Masters (Short Course), Harrogate 23 Sep

Three Newcastle swimmers journeyed to Harrogate for the final preparations ahead of the Swim England Masters Nationals. No medals were awarded for individual age groups, but there was plenty of success for all three swimmers.

 

Verity Dobbie, fresh from the European Masters, claimed four first places in the 55-59 years age group in the 50m and 200m breastroke and the 100m and 400m freestyle, in addition to a second place finish in the 100m individual medley.

 

Will Jolly repeated his successes from the previous year by winning the 200m and 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly in the 25-29 years category. Whilst Andrew Elwick had a very busy schedule and claimed a first place in the 100m individual medley, a second place in the 50m butterfly and three third places in the 100m butterfly, 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle in the 30-34 years age group.

 

All focus now turns towards the end of October, where swimmers will be competing for national honours!

2018 European Masters (Long Course), Kranj 2-7 Aug

The 2018 European Masters were held in Slovenia and Newcastle Swim Team only had one swimmer present on this occasion. But Verity Dobbie, who was representing Newcastle at an international event for the first time, had an excellent European Championships. She swam very consistently across all her events in the 55-59 years age group, claiming two fifth place finishes in the 50m breastroke and 400m freestyle, two sixth place finishes in the 100m and 200m breastroke and a seventh place finish in the 800m freestyle. Well done to Verity and welcome to the Newcastle Swim Team Hall of Fame!

2018 Northumberland & Durham County Masters (Short Course), South Shields 1st Jul

Following on from their successes at the British and Scottish Masters, the Newcastle swimmers were keen to stamp their authority on the local Northumberland and Durham County Masters at South Shields. The club was well represented with seven swimmers competing.

 

The standout performers of the day were Verity Dobbie and Kevin Smith who both dominated their respective age groups. Verity won an impressive six gold medals in the 55-59 years category, winning the 50m, 100m, 400m and 800m freestyle and the 50m and 100m breastroke. Kevin won five golds in the 50-54 years age group, with victories in the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 50m breastroke, 100m individual medley and 200m freestyle. This was all the more impressive considering this was Kevin’s first competition in more than a year after a long period coming back from injury.

 

Will Jolly, Rachel Clinkard and Mary Ferrier also kept a 100 percent winning record for the day. Will won treble gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group, whilst Rachel won golds in the 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 50m butterfly in the 45-49 years category. Mary produced an excellent second half in her 800m freestyle swim to win a gold medal in the 30-34 years category.

 

Continuing on from their excellent Scottish Masters performances, Jennifer Tatters and Julian Plumley were once again bringing home the medals. Jennifer won gold medals in the 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 100m individual medley and won a silver in the 100m freestyle in the 18-24 years age group. Meanwhile Julian won two gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle and two silvers in the 50m and 800m freestyle in the 50-54 years category.

 

Newcastle Swim Team also won the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay and the mixed 4x50m medley relay, putting out two strong performances despite no medals being on offer. This rounded off an excellent day for the club with swimmers bringing home 23 golds and three silvers! Congratulations to all the Newcastle swimmers, it was great to see so many fantastic performances in our own back yard!

2018 British Masters (Long Course), Plymouth 8-10 Jun

The decision to hold the British Masters Championships in Plymouth may have put some swimmers off from competing, but three hardy Newcastle swimmers did make the long trek to the South West of England. Despite a small presence, there was great success for Newcastle Swim Team, with all three swimmers claiming at least one national title.

 

Will Jolly had the greatest success of the weekend by winning the 400m and 800m freestyle double in the 25-29 years age group, despite a horribly timed stomach illness a few days before the start of the competition.

 

Nick Valentine, meanwhile, had a very consistent weekend, winning the 400m individual medley and claiming three silver medals in the 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 200m breastroke in the 35-39 years category.

 

And Verity Dobbie made it a clean sweep of medals by winning a gold medal in the 50m breastroke, two silvers in the 100m breastroke and 1500m freestyle and a bronze in the 200m breastroke in the 55-59 years age group.

 

Well done to all those who made the long trip to Plymouth!

2018 Scottish Masters (Short Course), Glasgow 20-21 Apr

Newcastle Swim Team had an unprecedented level of success at the Scottish Masters Nationals in Glasgow. Six Newcastle swimmers travelled north to Scotland and brought back a staggering 25 medals; 20 golds and 5 silvers, which is a record-breaking medal haul for the club at the Scottish Masters.

The standout performer was Nick Valentine, who utterly dominated the men’s 35-39 years category by winning the 200m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and the overall trophy for the top swimmer in his age group to top it all off.

There were two fantastic Masters debuts for Tom Primavesi and Jennifer Tatters in the 18-24 years category. Tom set some scorching sprint times by cleaning up with three gold medals in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly, whilst Jennifer won two golds in the 100m individual medley and 400m freestyle and two silvers in the 50m and 200m freestyle.

Chris Heaps made his first appearance in the 30-34 years category and made a great success of it by winning two golds in the 200m and 400m freestyle and a silver medal in the 50m freestyle. Julian Plumley had another successful Scottish Masters by winning gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and silver medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle in the 50-54 years category, showing that he can sprint just as well as he can swim the distance events!

Finally, Will Jolly added the 200m butterfly to his usual 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events this year and was successful in winning gold medals in all four events in the 25-29 years category. Several of the Newcastle swimmers then enjoyed a well-earned night at the ceilidh after such a great weekend for the club. Here’s to many more successful swimming weekends like this one in the future!

2017 Swim England Masters Nationals (Short Course), Sheffield 27-29 Oct

 

Newcastle Swim Team sent a compact but strong Masters team to Ponds Forge for the annual Swim England (formerly ASA) Masters National Championships. The highlight of the weekend came in the men’s 160-199 years 4x200m freestyle team, where Newcastle faced Brighton in a rematch from a few months earlier at the British Masters. Unlike in June, Newcastle were this time victorious after another fantastically close battle, where the team (Nick Valentine, Will Jolly, Julian Plumley and Neil Bowers) claimed not only the gold medal, but broke the British Record as well!

 

Nick was also very successful in his individual events and won triple gold in the 35-39 years age group with wins in the 200m butterfly, 400m individual medley and 800m freestyle as well as a silver in the 400m freestyle and a bronze in the 200m individual medley.

 

Will won double gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years category and well as a bronze in the 200m freestyle. Neil also won a gold medal in the 50m backstroke in the 45-49 years age group in addition to two bronze medals in the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle.

 

Rounding off the individual action was Julian, who won a silver in the 800m freestyle and double bronze in the 200m and 400m freestyle in the 50-54 years category.

 

Well done also to Chris Heaps, Peter French and Rachael Clinkard for some great performances and congratulations to Newcastle Swim Team on another fantastic year of Masters swimming!!

2017 North East Regional Masters (Short Course), Harrogate 24 Sep

Five Newcastle swimmers journeyed to Harrogate for the North East Masters, which marked the last competition in the build-up to the Swim England Masters Nationals in October. Although no medals were handed out for individual age groups there was plenty of success for Newcastle Swim Team.

 

Sarah Heaps, competing in her first competition for the club in some year, topped the 30-34 years age group in the 50m, 100m and 200m breastroke, making it a very successful return to competition for her! Will Jolly also claimed three first places in the 25-29 years category with wins in the 200m and 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly.

 

Andrew Elwick continued his excellent 2017 by coming first in the 100m freestyle and third in the 200m freestyle in the 30-34 years age group. Meanwhile, Chris Heaps attempted a difficult schedule of events in one day, but still came second in the 50m freestyle and 100m breastroke and third in the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly and 100m individual medley in the 25-29 years category. Finally Peter French gained a third place finish in the 55-59 years 50m butterfly.

 

Well done Newcastle Swim Team, we are all set for October’s National Championships!

2017 World Masters (Long Course), Budapest 14-20 Aug

In Budapest the Newcastle swimmers returned to international action at the FINA World Masters Championships and hoped to replicate the successes seen at the European Masters in London 2016. Unlike London, these Championships were run highly efficiently with the added bonus of an onsite bar for a well-earned pint in the sun after competing! Although only three swimmers made the journey this time, it was a highly successful week for Newcastle Swim Team.

 

Following on from his 400m freestyle European bronze medal in 2016, Will Jolly added to the medal collection by winning World Masters silver in the same event in the 25-29 years age group. He also came home 4th in the 800m freestyle and 7th in the 200m freestyle.

 

After a very successful British Masters, Emily Nardini continued her excellent form by placing 6th in the 100m freestyle and 9th in the 200m freestyle in the 30-34 years category. Whilst Nick Valentine continued his amazing run of international top 10 placings by finishing 9th in the 200m butterfly in the 35-39 years age group.

 

Well done to all three swimmers for representing Newcastle Swim Team and GB so well and for making the Hall of Fame!

2017 Northumberland and Durham County Masters (Short Course), South Shields 2nd Jul

It was another successful weekend for Newcastle Swim Team at the local Masters competition in South Shields with all nine swimmers winning medals! Kevin Smith had a very good day and won five gold medals in the 50-54 years age group with wins in the 50m breastroke, 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m individual medley. Kate Nicholson somehow managed to balance running the competition with competing and won an incredible four golds in the 50m backstroke, 50m breastroke, 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly in the 35-39 years category!

 

Also with 100 percent golden records for the day were Emily Nardini, Will Jolly and Nick Valentine as they all finished last preparations ahead of the Masters World Championships in August. Emily won gold medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 50m and 100m butterfly in the 30-34 years age group. Whilst Will won golds in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years category and Nick won gold in the 800m freestyle in the 35-39 years age group.

 

Andrew Elwick is having an excellent year and this continued at South Shields as he landed triple gold in the 30-34 years age group with wins in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle and also won a silver medal in the 50m freestyle. Peter French won a gold medal in the 50m backstroke, silver in the 50m butterfly and double bronze in the 50m and 800m freestyle in the 55-59 years category. Whilst Rachael Clinkard won gold in the 50m butterfly and silver in the 50m freestyle in the 45-49 years age group. Finally Ian Robertson won a silver medal in the 50m backstroke and bronze medals in the 100m individual medley and 200m freestyle in the 45-49 years category.

 

Well done to the Newcastle swimmers for all bringing home medals and thanks to Kate for once again organising a great Masters competition!

2017 British Masters (Long course), Aberdeen 16-18 Jun

Despite the long journey to reach Aberdeen, seven Newcastle swimmers journeyed to Scotland to compete for national honours at the 2017 British Masters Championships.

 

The standout individual performers were Nick Valentine and Kevin Smith, both of whom won double gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly in the 35-39 years and 50-54 years age groups respectively. Nick also won two silvers in the 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle, while Kevin won a bronze in the 400m individual medley.

 

Emily Nardini produced an outstanding swim to win the 100m freestyle, in addition to two silvers in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly and two bronzes in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley in the 30-34 years age group. Will Jolly also won a gold medal in the 800m freestyle to go alongside two silvers in the 200m and 400m freestyle in the 25-29 years category. Whilst Julian Plumley won double bronze in the 200m and 800m freestyle in the 50-54 years age group.

 

Newcastle Swim Team also had a fantastic battle with Brighton in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay in the 160-199 years category. Ultimately the team of Nick, Julian, Kevin and Will came up just short in pursuit of both the gold medal and the British record.

 

Well done also to Chris Heaps and Arthur Aplin for achieving top ten performances in the 25-29 years and 50-54 years age groups respectively.

2017 World Masters Games (Long Course), Auckland 21-30 Apr

John Papadopoulos made a sensational international and club debut when he travelled out to Auckland for the World Masters Games. Not fazed by the jet lag induced by travelling around the globe to New Zealand, John threw himself straight into competition with a tough schedule of events. He went on to claim two silver medals in the 200m breastroke and 400m individual medley 25-29 years age group. John also finished 4th in the 200m individual medley and 800m freestyle. Well done John and welcome to the Newcastle Swim Team Hall of Fame!

2017 Scottish Masters (Short Course), Inverness 21-22 Apr

A trio of Newcastle Swim Team travelled to the far north of Scotland, through the stunning Cairngorms, to Inverness for the 2017 Scottish Masters. This was the first competition of the year for the three usual suspects on their annual trip north of the border.

 

Nick Valentine had an outstanding two days of swimming by winning an incredible seven gold medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley and 200m backstroke in the 35-39 years age group. His dominant performances also earned him the best swimmer award in his age group.

 

Will Jolly also started the year well by winning treble gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years category, repeating the exact results he achieved the previous year in Aberdeen. Finally Julian Plumley had a solid weekend, against tough international opposition, by claiming a set of silver medals in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle in the 50-54 years age group.

 

Well done to all three swimmers, enjoy the ceilidh!

2016 ASA Masters Nationals (Short Course), Sheffield 28-30 Oct

Newcastle Swim Team had another successful weekend at the ASA masters championships in Sheffield (28-30 October). 10 swimmers participated, ranging from the 25+ category up to 55+. In total, 14 medals were won, including gold in both the ladies 4x50 and 4x200 freestyle relays, with a strong team of Becki Newman, Kate Nicholson, Mary Ferrier and Emily 
Charlton. The stand-out individual performances were from Will Jolly, with two golds in 400 and 800 freestyle; Lindsay Turnbull, with gold and silver in the 1500  and 400 freestyle; and Kevin Smith, with gold, silver and bronze in 200 butterfly, 400 medley and 100 butterfly. The team's strength at the distance freestyle events was underlined by further medals for Becki Newman, with gold in the 1500; Kate Nicholson, with bronze in the 400; and Julian Plumley, with bronzes in the 200 and 800.This caps off a very successful year for the team, which saw 24 medals in total and our first world record in the 4x200 relay at the British masters; ten individual medals at the open water championships, and eleven top-10 placings at the European masters in the Olympic pool in London. Well done to coach Geoff Peart! Now it's back to winter training to prepare for another successful season in 2017.

2016 North East Regional Masters (Short Course), Harrogate 25 Sep

 

Four Newcastle swimmers competed at the North East Regional Masters Championships at Harrogate marking the final preparation for the ASA Masters nationals in October. Although no medals were awarded to individual age groups, there were plenty of top three finishes for Newcastle Swim Team.

 

Neil Bowers attempted to swim an incredible 11 events within the space of a single day and dominated the 45-49 years age group with 10 first places in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m and 100m backstroke and 100m and 200m individual medley in addition to one second place in the 50m breastroke.

 

Nick Valentine also produced a series of dominant performances in the 35-39 years age group with five first places in the 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 200m breastroke and 200m individual medley. He also won the overall trophy for the best 200m butterfly swimmer of the day.

 

Kevin Smith had an equally good day in the 50-54 years category with three first places in the 50m and 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke and three second places in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

 

Meanwhile Will Jolly produced two second places in the 200m and 400m freestyle and a third place in the 50m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group. Rounding off the action for the day, Neil, Nick, Kevin and Will combined forces to win a silver medal in the men’s 4x50m freestyle relay in the 120-159 years age group.

 

Well done to all four swimmers who are all set for October’s ASA Masters Nationals!

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2016 Northumberland and Durham County Masters (Short Course), South Shields 3rd Jul

 

The N and D Masters made a return to the swimming calendar after an absence of two years thanks to the tireless efforts of Kate Nicholson to organise it. Keen to show support for their local Masters championship, Newcastle Swim Team turned out in force with all 12 swimmers producing excellent results.

 

Nick Valentine produced a series of great swims in the 35-39 years age group with gold medals in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 100m individual medley and 50m breastroke and a silver in the 100m backstroke. Likewise, Emily Charlton had success in the 25-29 years category by winning golds in the 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke, a silver in the 100m individual medley and a bronze in the 50m breastroke. Whilst Kevin Smith won gold medals in the 50m breastroke, 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle, and silver medals in the 50m and 800m freestyle in the 50-54 years age group.

 

Emily Firth had a 100 percent gold medal streak for the day by winning treble gold in the 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 100m individual medley in the 40-44 years age group. Likewise Lindsay Turnbull and Kate Nicholson kept a perfect record for the day by both winning the 800m freestyle in the 45-49 years and 30-34 years age categories respectively.

 

Will Jolly and Peter Germain both took home two gold medals each. Will won golds in the 400m and 800m freestyle and silver in the 200m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group, whilst Peter won golds in the 100m individual medley and 100m breastroke and silvers in the 50m breastroke and 100m freestyle in the 30-34 years age group.

 

Andrew Elwick, Arthur Aplin and Rachel Clinkard all brought home one gold medal each to round off the action. Andrew won gold 200m freestyle, silver in the 400m freestyle and two bronzes in the 50m and 100m freestyle in the 30-34 years age group, Arthur won gold in the 100m backstroke and silver in the 100m freestyle in the 50-54 years category and Rachel won gold in the 200m freestyle and two silvers in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly in the 45-49 years age group.

 

Well done to all the swimmers for bringing home so many medals from our local competition and a special thanks to Kate for organising the event!

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2016 European Masters (Long Course), London 25-29 May

The announcement that the European Masters would take place in London caused much excitement amongst the Newcastle swimmers. The entirety of the 2015-16 season was built up towards representing Great Britain at a home European Championships. The build-up to the Europeans had been excellent with great swims at the British and Scottish Masters in April. However none of the swimmers could have predicted the chaos that would be created when the organisers decided to reopen the entry process after the pre-agreed limit of swimmers had already been filled. The event was so over-subscribed that both the Olympic and warm up pools were needed for competition, warm ups were severely restricted and the swimmers were competing at practically all hours of the day and night!

 

Undeterred by the adverse circumstances, a record 17 Newcastle swimmers travelled to London to compete, several making their international debuts. The highlight of the week was a medal brought home for Newcastle Swim Team when Will Jolly won bronze in the 400m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group. He also added to this with a sixth place finish in the 800m freestyle.

 

Kate Nicholson, Nick Valentine and Julian Plumley all continued their very impressive recent international streaks. Kate, the 2010 World Masters gold medallist, came 5th in the 200m freestyle and 8th in the 100m freestyle in the 30-34 years category. Nick placed 6th in the 200m butterfly and 8th in the 800m freestyle in the 35-39 years age group, whilst Julian came home 7th in the 400m freestyle and 9th in the 800m freestyle in the 50-54 years age group.

 

Rounding off the top 10 places, Kevin Smith came 6th in the 100 butterfly in the 50-54 years category and Becki Newman placed 9th in both the 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group to take their places in the Newcastle Swim Team Hall of Fame alongside all the other top 10 finishers.

 

A huge well done to Steven Proud, Richard Dann, Arthur Aplin, Peter Germain, Alan Weddell, Jim Carr, Emily Firth, Mary Ferrier, Lindsay Turnbull, Rachael Clinkard and Claire Gilchrist for excellent swims in their respective age groups at a highly competitive European Championships! A special mention must also go to the mixed 4x50m freestyle relay of Julian Plumley, Kate Nicholson, Lindsay Turnbull and Peter Germain, who swam their event at quarter to midnight!

 

Congratulations to everyone who competed at London 2016, you did your club and country proud!

2016 Scottish Masters (Short Course), Aberdeen 22-23 Apr

After a very successful British Masters, Newcastle Swim Team sent three swimmers far north of the border to Aberdeen for the Scottish Masters. This really was a competition of four seasons marked with snow, rain and sunshine within the space of just two days!

 

Julian Plumley replicated his incredible British Masters form by winning gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and a silver in the 50m freestyle in the 50-54 years age group. Nick Valentine was equally dominant in the 35-39 years category, winning gold medals in the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m breastroke and 200m breastroke and a silver medal in the 200m backstroke. Meanwhile Will Jolly, in his first year as a true Masters swimmer, won a clean sweep of gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle in the 25-29 years age group.

 

It was an excellent way to complete the final preparations for the European Masters in May. Newcastle Swim Team is all set for London!

2016 British Masters (Long Course), Sheffield 1 - 3 Apr

Newcastle Swim Team's mixed 4x200 freestyle relay broke a world record at the British Masters on Sunday. The team, comprising Will Jolly, Becki Newman, Emily Charlton and Nick Valentine, lowered the record for the 100-119 age category by two seconds, recording a new mark of 8:54.27. It was a tough race, coming at the end of a long weekend's competing, but was by no means the team's only success. 
Newcastle won 7 medals in relay events, including a new British record for the ladies' 4x100 freestyle relay in the 100-119 category. The team of Becki Newman, Emily Charlton, Claire Gilchrist and Kate Nicholson took a massive 14 seconds off the old record, setting a new time of 4:20.59. In the individual events, the team was also piling up the medals: 17 in total, including 7 golds.
Top performer was Julian Plumley, who nearly managed a clean sweep of the freestyle distances in the 50-54 category, winning 4 golds and a silver. Kevin Smith, also in the 50-54 category, won two golds and a bronze in the medley and butterfly events. The other medal winners were: Nick Valentine, Lindsay Turnbull, Will Jolly, Becki Newman and Steve Proud.
In total, Newcastle took 16 swimmers to the championships, our largest ever participation - making us the 5th biggest team at the swim meet. Apart from the medals, there were best times and good performances aplenty. We now look forward to the European masters in London next month.

2015 ASA Masters Nationals (Short Course), Sheffield 23-25 Oct

Newcastle sent its largest-ever team to the ASA masters nationals in Sheffield. 15 swimmers competed in 52 individual events and 7 relays achieving our best-ever medals total: 10 gold, 5 silver and 9 bronze.

The stars of the team were Nick Valentine, who took 3 golds and a silver in the 30-34 age category, and Kevin Smith with gold, silver and bronze - and a new British record in the 50-54 age category 200 fly.

Six other swimmers won individual medals: Julian Plumley (gold + 2 silvers), Lindsey Turnbull (gold + bronze), Becki Newman (gold), Will Jolly (silver + bronze), Charlotte Duff (2 bronze) and Rob Whittle (bronze).

The squad's impressive strength in depth at distance freestyle resulted in an amazing 4 medals in the 4x200 relays: gold for the mixed 72+, mixed 100-119 and women's 72+ teams and bronze for the men's 160-199 team. Even more surprisingly, the men contributed two bronzes in the highly competitive 4x50 free and 4x100 medley relays.

The meet was also a great opportunity for the team to bond together and cheer for one another! Several swimmers were returning from long breaks from the sport, or were transferring their skills from open water and triathlon. Quite apart from the medals, there were great performances across the board. Now it's time to get back to training and prepare for the next big event. The European Masters will be held in London in May - this will be the biggest-ever masters swimming event in the UK - and we

will be ready for it.

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2014 ASA Masters Nationals (Short Course), Sheffield, 24-26 Oct

 

Newcastle Swim Team took a large team to the nationals and came home triumphant with a number of medals between the swimmers. Louise Jones took a bronze in 35/39 year age group 200m fly, whilst team mates showed the clubs specialism in the freestyle events. Kate Nicholson took the set away with Gold in 200m free, silver in 800m free and bronze in 400m free. Tony Greener took a bronze in the 800m free 55/59 year age group, Julian Plumley won two silvers for his efforts in 200m & 800m free, adding a bronze in 400m free in the last year before moving up age bands. The Mixed 160years 800m freestyle relay achieved Gold in a GBR and European record time (unfortunately only the GBR record stood due to timing issues), the team consisted of Julian Plumley, Louise Jones, Kate Nicholson & Neil Bowers.

© 2015 by Newcastle Swim Team