EIGHT Stowmarket Swimming Club masters did Suffolk proud at the British National Masters Championships held at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, winning nine medals.

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Sue Holdich led the way, winning two silvers and two bronzes in the ladies’ 65-69 years category. Her silver medals were in the 100 metres breaststroke in 1m56s and 100m individual medley in 1m49s.

The bronze medals came in the 50m breaststroke in 50:97s and 100m front crawl; 1m35s. Holdich set her best 50m front crawl time for two years but was just edged out into fourth place.

David Harrison had several superb swims in the 25-29 years group, his top performance coming in the 50m breaststroke, where he set a new East Region record of 29.99 and won silver. He was only beaten by Brian Stealtham of GB Police, who set a new British record. Harrison earned two fifth places in the 50m and 100m front crawl, a seventh in the 50m fly and eighth in the 100m fly.

Andy Wright had a clean sweep of bronze medals in the 55-59 years backstroke events, posting times of 2m59s in the 200m, 1m22s in the 100m and 38.78s in the 50m. Wright came fourth in the 400m front crawl, fifth in the 200m breaststroke, seventh 200m front crawl and eighth in the 800m front crawl.

Dale Barker won a deserved bronze medal in his final event the 50-54 years 800m front crawl. His time of 10m11s is a new East region record. Barker earned fifth in the 400m front crawl, sixth 200m front crawl and eighth in both the 50m and 100m back.

Len Phoenix battled hard in the 60-64 years age with seven top-ten finishes. He came fourth in the 200m back and 800m front crawl, sixth in the 100m back and 400m IM, seventh in the 100m and 200m IM and eighth in the 50m back.

Shaun Harrison set his best time in a masters competition for five years in the 50m front crawl. His 24.91 seconds’ sprint was just outside the medals in fourth place.

Harrison was sixth in both the 50m breast and 50m fly in the 30-34 years group. Jessica Beatty impressed in the 19-24 years category with 14th, 17th and 30th placings in her 50m back, 100m back and 100m front crawl swims.

Ollie Bumstead put in several polished displays finishing 17th, 27th, 31st, 34th and 37th in the 25-29 years 50m breast, 100m fly, 50m fly, 100m and 50m front crawl respectively.

Stowmarket’s men are currently ranked 16th nationally out of 421 swimming clubs in the Masters Decathlon competition.

The club’s top four swimmers points from masters events are all added together.

Dale Barker is Stowmarket’s top swimmer earning 4831 points followed by Andy Wright 3390, Len Phoenix 2918 and David Harrison 2880.

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