award2018 was a great year for Masters swimming at Flitwick Dolphins with more masters competing, numerous medals won and many records broken.

The year started with a bang when Liz Woolner broke the British short-course records in her age group for 50m and 100m fly at the Sudbury Valentine Masters Meet in February. She was also confirmed as the winner of both the Bedfordshire and East Region Ladies Masters Decathlon competitions.

In June Ian Murray and Liz made the long trip down to Plymouth to compete in the British Masters Long Course Championships. Ian won three silver medals in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle as well as setting two East Region records and four Bedfordshire masters records. Liz dominated in her age group with gold medals in the 50m & 100m fly, 50m &100m freestyle and 50 back.

Switching outdoors, there were medals for two Dolphin masters at the East Region Open Water Championships in Norwich in July: a gold for Thomas Allen in the men’s 20-24 age group 2km swim and a silver for Georgina Halford in the women’s 20-24 3km.

At the end of September seven swimmers went to the East Region Masters Championships at Newmarket: Alistair Shaw, Chris Murphy, Lauren Murphy, Mike Outtram, Rachael Stevenson, Ian and Liz. They came back with a fantastic haul of 11 gold medals, 11 silver medals, 2 bronze medals and 6county masters records. In his first competition in 18 years Mike Outtram was the star performer with 4 individual golds and 4 county records. He also won a team gold in the mixed 120-159 years 4x50m medley relay along with Alistair, Liz and Lauren.

At the end of October four Dolphin masters (Ian, Mike, Rachael& Liz) competed in the Swim England National Masters Championships in Sheffield. Liz won 2 individual gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze and broke East Region records in the 50 free and 100 back. Mike gained a bronze in the 100 backstroke and broke the county record in both this and the 200 IM. Ian got a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle. In addition, Liz was a member of the Team Anglia ladies 200+ years relay team which broke the European record for the 4x100 medley relay and the British record for the 4x50 medley relay.

Finally, in November eight Dolphins were selected to represent Bedfordshire at the East Region heat of the Inter-County Masters Competition at Basildon: Alistair, Chris, Lauren, Mike, Rachael, Ian, Liz and Melissa Dolby. This was highest ever number of Dolphins selected and 25% of the Bedfordshire team. All swam well in a rapid succession of individual and relayevents. There were individual wins for Liz, Chris and Melissa and county masters records for Mike (50 back & fly) and Melissa (50 free). Bedfordshire finished in a creditable 3rd place behind the much larger counties Essex and Norfolk.

In addition to their swimming achievements, many of the Flitwick masters swimmers contributed to the success of the club as a whole in 2018 in other roles. For example, they are coaches, team managers, committee members, technical officials and/or parents of junior swimmers.

Here’s looking forward to another year of successes for the Flitwick Dolphins masters swimmers in 2019.