Success for Berkhamsted Swimming Club at Welsh Masters, Bracknell Masters and Watford Regional Qualifier

By coach Geoff Wood

By Zoe Ashton
Monday, 7th March 2022, 8:45 pm
Updated Monday, 7th March 2022, 8:48 pm
Berkhamsted swimmers at Watford
Berkhamsted swimmers at Watford

Berkhamsted’s swimmers were spread far and wide this weekend with Tracy Van Deventer & Mark Strakosch showing the way for our Masters swimming group at the Swim Wales Masters competiton in Swansea and Bracknell Masters respectively. Meanwhile a group of 17 juniors made the short trip to the Woodside stadium in Watford for the Regional Qualifier meet.

Pride of place has to go to Tracy who competed in the 200m Fly, 400m IM and 200m Free in the Swansea National 50m pool. She came away with 3 Gold medals in the 45-49 Age Group and Age Group East Region records in both the 200m Fly & 400m IM posting 3:02.85 (her second fastest ever LC swim) and 6:14.44 respectively. She went 2:35.44 for her 200m free as well. The 400m IM time means she now holds the records for both the 40-44 age group which she set in 2017 and her current age group as well.

Strakosch swam 6 races in 2 sessions on Saturday picking up Gold in the 100m Breast (1:35.55), 50m Free (32.58), 200m Back (2:53.90) & 100m Free (1:10.53) with silvers in the 200m Free (2:29.28) & 200m Breast (3:28.25). All 6 swims were his fastest since returning to competition post the Covid restrictions which were in place for the last 2 years. Both the 200m Back & 100m Breast were within 3 seconds of his lifetime pbs set in 2015 & 2013 respectively.

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At Woodside, with Coach Evie Watson taking control of the reins for the first time at an Open Meet, Tamsin Moren set the ball rolling with 2:38.60 (5th) for the 200m IM but the club’s first medal came in the 100m Free with Kate Hopper continuing her upward trend, dropping nearly 2 seconds to record 1:03.56 for a heat win and Gold 15 years. There was also a pb for Mia Maslen-Wollington who, likewise, dropped almost 2 seconds, to go 1:40.96 in the same age group. Tamsin Moren and Poppy Awdry, in her first meet for the club, set 1:04.72 and 1:14.70.

The girls continued the success in the 50m Back with Awdry claiming bronze in her age, 39.72 pb. Riley McDonnell chopped a huge 3.64 seconds from her best clocking 43.95 while Nell Coster shaved almost as much off in 36.15 and a heat win. There were further pbs for Jemma McEwen (45.03) and Maslen-Wollington (36.20) while Hopper was 7th in 35.16.

Final swimmer in the first session was Will Franklin in the 50m Fly 46.83.

Onto the evening session and Moren produced her swim of the meet in the 400m IM slicing nearly 5 seconds off her best as she learns to pace the event, 5:34.18 for 4th overall.


Just 2 events later she was back in the pool for the 200m Breast in direct competiton with Hopper and just came out on top stopping the clock at 2:58.40 with Hopper dipping inside 3 minutes for the first time with 2:58.87.

In the 100m Back Maslen-Wollington touched home in 1:21.23 and then it was the girls’ 50m Breast. Valeria Antonini started things off with a heat win in a pb of 46.10 for 5th followed by Lucy Franklin, also pb, 47.07 (9th). Maslen-Wollington was 15th in 43.65 and once again Hopper and Moren went head to head in the 50m Breast, the touch just going to the slightly older Moren, in 38.04 against Hopper’s 38.14 but Hopper took consolation with 5th in Age and her second Regional Qualifying time.

The first day ended with the Boys’ 50m Free and pbs for all 3 of Jack Moss (34.60 – 8th), Will Franklin (35.23 – 12th) and a massive 6 second improvement over just 50m for Felix Armond who finished with 33.01.

Sunday dawned bright and early with the reverse events.


For the boys 100m Free Pearce Clare posted 1:14.49, Will Franklin 1:25.32 and Eric Bass continued to knock on the sub 60 door with 1:02.53.

The girls’ 100m Breast brought yet another pb for Lucy Franklin, 8th in 1:45.84 knocking almost 2 seconds from her best as she grows in confidence. Moren finished 8th in 1:21.29

For the Boys, next event was the 50m Back and Clare set another best time for 8th in 42.55, Franklin and Batt going 46.15 and 32.39, good enough for 5th for Eric.

In the 50m Fly for girls, Nell Coster ripped up the form book, moving from 5th seed to the silver medal improving by ¾ of a second to 33.47. Hopper went 32.93 and Moren 33.62 before Josie Reid confirmed the cub’s strength in the Fly events, especially their traditionally strong 50m races, taking Gold in 31.71 to finish the penultimate session.

Mark with his medals from the Bracknell Masters

Reid followed this with silver in the 100m fly after the break dropping 0.55 seconds to 1:12.63.

Batt claimed 6th in the boys’ 100m back setting his first pb of the meet with 1:11.36 and then in the Girls’ 200m Back, Lara Coster confirmed her training pool form with 2:48.28 as she eased through the 2:50 barrier.

Will Franklin completed his swims with 49.72 in the 100m Breast and the final event, the Girls’ 50 Free saw 7 swimmers from the club.

It produced pbs for Penny Reid, 36.58; Jemma McEwen, 38.10; Sophie Zdesar, in her first Open meet, by over 4 seconds, 39.61; Poppy Awdry, 32.99 which was good enough for silver 12 year old and Antonini, 36.51 dropping over ¾ of a second again. Lara Coster clocked 32.07 before Josie Reid ended the competition with 6th place in 29.88.

It was a splendid weekend for the club as they return to competition after some reinvigorated training post Covid restrictions and showed the benefit of the work they are doing.

Tracy's medals