Last weekend a team of five swimmers from Stroud Masters SC travelled to South Wales to swim in the annual Welsh Capital Masters Swim Meet held at the International Pool in Cardiff.
As usual the team departed from their home turf in Stroud with what they thought was plenty of time to travel the relatively short distance to the Welsh capital. However poor preparation by the appointed map reader meant they took in an unexpected forty-five minute detour which enabled them to see large parts of this wonderful city which they would not otherwise have had the fortune to see.
Greg, the local boy from Barry, who had spent the previous week surfing the waves in St. Ives rather than tapering down in the pool, was the first of the team to enter the pool and put in a strong swim in the 400m freestyle to finish slightly outside of his target time but in a creditable fourth place. With only a very short rest, Greg then headed back into the pool to win the 100m butterfly in his age-group.
Kerrie won gold medals in fine style in both of her backstroke events finishing well ahead of competition and as the fastest swimmer in both events. However she was most pleased with her performance in the 50m butterfly event though she only achieved a bronze medal in the event.
Lorraine, taking part in only her second competition in a 50m pool, put in three really good performances taking away one bronze and two gold medals, accompanied by three personal best times.
Jessica swam well in all three of her events to record personal best times in each. She looked particularly strong in the 100m butterfly where she won gold. She also achieved silver medals in her two breaststroke events, which is her least favoured stroke.
Mark started the day off with a second place in the 400m freestyle and then went on to win gold in three of his more favoured 50m sprint races.
Overall this was another good performance from the club, one of the smallest taking part, winning fourteen medals, nine of which were gold. The team rounded the day off celebrating their successes with a chocolate coca-cola cake, home-made by Jessica, which went down really well all round.
At the end of April, Jessica and Mark competed in the South West Middle Distance championships at Weston Super Mare and took away four gold medals between them from four events. Jessica set two impressive personal best times in the 200m individual medley and 200m butterfly, one of the three classic swimming events, whilst Mark set a new personal best time in the 200m breaststroke ducking under the three minute barrier for the first time.