British Masters Long Course (LC) Championships - Jun 18

In the British Masters, Mark Strakosch began the meet with a super lifetime best and bronze medal in the 800m Freestyle which also lowered his Regional Age Group record by over two and a half seconds as he continues to improve with age. He picked up another bronze in the 1500m as well as placing 6th in the 200m Backstroke just 1 second outside his pb, 5th in the 400 Free (5:12.18) in his second fastest ever time. His 50 Fly, 36.64 was slightly down on his best.

In his 200 Free a slow third quarter left him 2 seconds shy of his best in 2:29.28 for 5th and he was left with just the 1500m Free to come.

Tracy Van Deventer has returned to competitive swimming with a vengeance over the last couple of years and is showing what can be achieved with dedication and determination. She began by smashing her 50 fly pb by the huge amount of 2 seconds to clock 35.65 then, just minutes later took another big chunk from her 200 IM in 2:53.10 to improve 5 seconds.

The pbs just continued to flow as she knocked off 6 seconds in the 100m Free posting 1:10.87 for 9th overall in a very competitive field

In the 400 IM her strength across all 4 strokes showed through as, after a deliberately conservative fly leg when she was in 6th place she moved through the field to place 3rd (having been seeded 6th in the heat) to record 6:07.30 and superb bronze medal. In the 200m Free she sliced 6 seconds from her best posting 2:34.90 for 5th place.

With the final event of the meet for both swimmers being the 1500m Freestyle they were both starting to get a bit weary. Last year the 1500 was the first event of the meet and this year it was the reveres so those with multiple events could be slightly disadvantaged.

Tracy was up first and after a race long struggle to hold the swimmer inside her eventually touched home just outside her best in 21:04.39 to claim an ecstatic silver medal.

The following heat saw Mark up and he managed to swim the second half faster than the first (known as a negative split) to post 20:19.89 to also claim the bronze medal although he may well be wondering what if he had gone out just a fraction harder at the start?

​Geoff Wood