This year there have been 8 members of the Masters Team competing. In the 35 to 39 years age group there were three members competing, Philip Croxall, Bob Whittaker and Karen Driver. Stephen Smith had moved up to the 40 to 44 years age group. In the 60 to 64 years age group was Tony Catterall and in the 70 to 74 years age group was John Penswick was also had moved up. There was also a new member swimming this year in the 50 to 54 years age group and that was Steve Craig, who after donkeys’ years decided to have another go at competition.
And making a comeback was Janet Kirk who also competes in the 50 to 54 years age group.
The other members haven’t been competing for various reasons, Rachel Ingham is still at university, and Chris Wood is still concentrating on his triathlons.
The big competition this year was held in Perth, Western Australia which was the World Masters Championships, but more on that later.
The first competition of this year was the Rotherham Open Masters Meet which was held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield on Sunday, 10th February. This year five members of the team took part.
Philip finished 2nd in 200m Individual Medley, 3rd in 50m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle, and 4th in 50m Backstroke, 100m Freestyle and 100m Breaststroke.
Bob finished 2nd in 400m Freestyle, 3rd in 200m Freestyle, and 6th in 50m Backstroke and 50m Butterfly.
Janet finished 5th in 50m Breaststroke and 7th in 50m Freestyle.
Tony finished 1st in 50m Breaststroke, 400m Individual Medley, 100m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle, was 2nd in 400m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke, 200m Individual Medley and 100m Backstroke, was 4th in 50m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle, and was 5th in 100m Freestyle.
John finished 4th in 50m Backstroke, 50m Breaststroke and 100m Breaststroke.
On Sunday, 30th March, four members of the Colne ASC Masters Team travelled up to Darlington to take part in the Darlington Dolphin Masters Gala.
Stephen who has just moved up to the 40 to 44 years age group this year finished 1st in the 50m and 100m Freestyle events.
Karen finished 1st in the 200m Freestyle in what was a preparation race for the forth coming World Masters Championships.
Philip finished 2nd in 100m Breaststroke. He also swam 100m Breaststroke in the 100m Freestyle event and 200m Breaststroke in the 200m Freestyle event as he prepared for the World Masters Championships.
Bob finished 3rd in 200m Freestyle, 4th in 50m Breaststroke, 5th in 100m Freestyle and 5th in 100m Backstroke.
Two members of the Colne ASC Masters Team travelled all the way to Perth, Australia to take part in the XII FINA Masters Championships 2008. This is the biggest competition that FINA undertakes with in excess of 5000 people competing in the various disciplines of Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Open Water Swimming.
The event ran from 15th April until 25th April at the Challenge Stadium in Perth, which had no less than five pools in the complex, a 10 lane outdoor 50m pool (competition pool), an 8 lane outdoor 50m pool (warm up pool), an 8 lane indoor 50m pool (competition pool), a 10 lane outdoor 25m pool (water polo) and an indoor diving pool (diving and synchronised swimming).
Karen Driver and Philip Croxall both in the 35 to 39 years age group took part.
On Friday, 18th April, Karen took part in the 800m Freestyle in the outdoor pool and she was in the 32nd of 35 heats, with older age groups swimming first (90 years +). By the time Karen was ready to swim the sun had set and the stadium lights were on, but then the competition in the outdoor pool was suspended due to a thunderstorm. After much debate amongst the officials, some of the remaining 6 heats were switched to the indoor pool, once the men had finished their 800m Freestyle and last few on the following Tuesday. Karen swam her 800m in a time of 10 min 17.89 seconds which was a new personal best, but due to the thunderstorm she had to wait until Tuesday, 22nd April when all the women had finished their swims. Karen was delighted as she had finished 6th.
On Saturday, 19th April it was the turn of Philip in the 100m Breaststroke in the outdoor pool, where he finished 13th in a personal best time of 1 min 19.42 seconds.
On Wednesday, 23rd April Philip was swimming again, this time in the 200m Breaststroke, again in the outdoor pool. He finished 10th in a personal best time of 2 min 53.40 seconds.
On Thursday, 24th April it was Karen’s turn again. She finished 8th in the 400m Freestyle in the outdoor pool with a time of 5:04.21.
On Friday, 25th April, Karen did her final swim in the Swan River as she took part in the 3 km Open Water Swim. She finished 19th in her first ever open water swim, and she vowed never ever to do one of those swims again due to the mucky choppy waters which also contained jellyfish!
Meanwhile several thousand miles away in Glasgow, Scotland, another member of the team was taking part in the Scottish National Masters Championships at the Tollcross Leisure Centre on the 25th and 26th April.
Steve Craig (50-54) was taking part in his first ever masters competition. He finished 3rd in 200m Freestyle and 400m Freestyle events and 7th in the 50m Freestyle.
On Saturday, 10th May, four members of the Colne ASC Masters Team travelled over to sunny Scarborough to take part in the Yorkshire S.A. Open Masters & 18-24 Age Group Championships 2008. This year’s competition was harder than previous years as the number of people competing had increased.
Stephen won both the 50m and 100m Freestyle events in his age group.
Steve Craig was competing in only his 2nd masters’ competition having only finished 3rd in 200m and 400m Freestyle and 7th in 50m Freestyle 2 weeks earlier at the Scottish National Masters Championships.
This time he was 5th in 50m Freestyle, 6th in 100m Freestyle and 4th in 100m Individual Medley, with 50m Freestyle and 100m IM being swum in personal best times.
Philip finished 2nd in 100m Butterfly, 3rd in 50m Breaststroke and 100m Backstroke, 4th in 200m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke and 100m Individual Medley, 5th in 100m Breaststroke, 6th in 50m Freestyle and 100m Freestyle and 7th in 50m Butterfly, with the 100m Backstroke being swum in a new personal best time.
Bob finished 4th in 100m Backstroke, 5th in 200m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke, 8th in 100m Individual Medley and 9th in 50m Freestyle.
On Saturday, 31st May, five members of the Masters Team travelled up to the Felling Pool in Gateshead to take part in the Gateshead & Whickham Masters Meet 2008.
It proved to be a golden trip as no less than 20 wins were recorded in the 28 events participated in.
Steve Smith proved to be fastest swimmer in the pool as he powered his way to victory in the 50m and 100m Freestyle events.
Tony recorded 8 wins and 2 second places, with victory in the 200m Backstroke, 200m Freestyle, 100m Individual Medley, 200m Butterfly, 400m Individual Medley, 200m Breaststroke, 400m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley. He was second in the 100m Breaststroke and 100m Freestyle events.
Philip won 5 of the 6 events he entered with victory in 100m and 200m Breaststroke events and the 100m, 200m and 400m Individual Medley events, with a second place in the 50m Breaststroke.
Karen won 4 of her 5 events, with victory in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m Freestyle events and a second place in the 50m Breaststroke. She also surpassed herself by recording a new personal best time in the 100m Freestyle.
Steve Craig finished 1st in the 50m Breaststroke recording a new personal best time in the process. He also had 2nd place finishes in the 100m and 400m Freestyle, and 3rd places in 50m and 200m Freestyle events.
From Friday, 20th June till Sunday, 22nd June some 600 competitors travelled to Manchester's Aquatic Centre to take part in the British Masters and Senior Age Group Championships (50m) 2008. Five members of the Colne ASC Masters Team joined them.
Karen managed three first places as she won the 400m, 800m and 1500m Freestyle events. She was also third in the 200m Freestyle event.
Stephen Smith won the 50m Freestyle event and was second in the 100m Freestyle losing by 2 hundredths of a second! He also did the 200m Freestyle but could only manage 5th place. The time he managed in the 50m Freestyle was also the fastest time has ever managed as a master’s swimmer.
Tony won the 200m Individual Medley, was second in the 200m Breaststroke and 4th in the 1500m Freestyle.
Philip finished 3rd in the 200m Breaststroke, was 4th in the 50m Breaststroke and 5th in the 100m Breaststroke. He also did the 50m and 100m Freestyle events in which he finished 8th place in both races. The time he managed in the 50m Breaststroke was also a lifetime personal best.
Bob could only manage 4th place in the 1500m Freestyle, his one and only event.
On Saturday, 6th September, two members of the Colne ASC Masters Team travelled to Widnes to take part in the Halton Masters 1st Masters Open Sprint Meet held at the Kingsway Leisure Centre. This meet was created to celebrate the ten year history of Halton Masters and as such there were teams invited from the twin towns of Halton - Marzahn-Hellersdorf (Germany), Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic) and Leira (Portugal).
Philip finished 2nd in 100m Butterfly and 200m Freestyle, and 3rd in 100m Individual Medley and 100m Breaststroke.
Steve Craig finished 3rd in 50m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle, 4th in 100m Individual Medley in a new Personal Best time and 5th in 50m Freestyle.
On Saturday, 20th September three members of the Masters Team who took part in the ASANER Open Masters 2008, held at the Neptune Centre, Middlesbrough.
Karen was in fantastic form as she set new personal bests in the 50m and 100m Freestyle, in which she was 2nd in the 50m and 1st in the 100m. She was also 1st in the 200m Freestyle.
Stephen Smith won the 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle events.
Philip won the 200m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke was 3rd in 200m Individual Medley and finished 5th in 100m Freestyle and 6th in 100m Breaststroke.
First up was last years ASA National Masters and Senior Age Group Championships which was held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, in Sheffield, and five members of the team competed.
The star performers were Karen Driver and Stephen Smith, who between them won 3 national titles. Karen dominated the 1500m Freestyle event winning in a time of 19 minutes 11.97 seconds which knocked off an incredible 16 seconds off her personal best. She also finished 2nd in the 800m Freestyle in 10 minutes 5.63 seconds which was also a new personal best, and was 4th in the 200m Freestyle in a time of 2 minutes 22.62 seconds.
Stephen showed that he is the fastest 40 year old on the country by winning the 50m Freestyle in 24.74 seconds, which was a lifetime personal best. He also won the 100m Freestyle in a time of 54.90 seconds and was 2nd in the 200m Freestyle with a time of 2 minutes 7.10 seconds.
John Penswick finished 3rd in the 1500m Freestyle with a time of 31 minutes 24.76 seconds which was a personal best.
Bob Whittaker finished 6th in the 1500m Freestyle with a time of 22 minutes 4.16 seconds.
Philip Croxall finished 4th in the 200m Breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes 47.49 seconds, was also 4th in the 400m Freestyle with a time of 4 minutes 45.22 seconds which was a new personal best by 4 seconds.
He also finished 6th in the 200m Individual Medley with a time of 2 minutes 33.98 seconds, which again was a new personal best, and was 8th in the 100m Breaststroke with a time of 1 minute 16.96 seconds.
The final competition of 2008 that involved our swimmers was the Inter-County event held at Macclesfield on Saturday, 15th November. This meet was between Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Northumberland & Durham. Philip Croxall and John Penswick represented the Lancashire Team. John finished 3rd in the 65+ 50m Breaststroke, he also swam Breaststroke in Mixed 240+ 4x50 Medley Team and Mixed 260+ 4x50 Medley Team. Philip swam Breaststroke in the Mens 160+ 4x50 Medley Team and swam the Frontcrawl leg in the Mens 200+ 4x50 Medley Team. Lancashire finished 3rd on the night behind Cheshire.
Next year the big competition is the 12th European Masters Championships which are to be held in Cadiz, Spain. Philip and Stephen will be taking part. Karen will be travelling to Sidney, Australia to take part in the World Masters Games.
There is hope that some of the older age group swimmers will make the transition to the Senior Age Group.