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

Berkhamsted swimmers at Watford

Berkhamsted swimmers were scattered this weekend with Tracy Van Deventer and Mark Strakosch leading the way for our group of masters swimmers at the Swim Wales Masters competition in Swansea and Bracknell Masters respectively. Meanwhile, a group of 17 juniors made the short trip to Watford’s Woodside Stadium for the regional qualifier.

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

Strakosch swam 6 races in 2 sessions on Saturday, winning gold in the 100m breaststroke (1:35.55), 50m freestyle (32.58), 200m backstroke (2:53.90) and 100m freestyle ( 1:10.53) with silver medals in the 200m freestyle (2:29.28) & 200m breaststroke (3:28.25). The 6 medley was his fastest since returning to competition following Covid restrictions that had been in place for 2 years. The 200m backstroke and 100m chest were within 3 seconds of his lifetime bps set in 2015 and 2013 respectively.

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At Woodside, with coach Evie Watson taking control of the reins for the first time in open competition, Tamsin Moren got the ball rolling with 2:38.60 (5th) for the 200m individual medley, but the first medal of the club came in the 100m freestyle with Kate. Hopper continues his upward trend, losing nearly 2 seconds to record 1:03.56 for a heat win and a 15-year gold medal. There was also a pb for Mia Maslen-Wollington who similarly lost almost 2 seconds, to go 1:40.96 in the same age group. Tamsin Moren and Poppy Awdry, in his first meeting for the club, clocked 1:04.72 and 1:14.70.

The girls continued their success in the 50 backstroke with Awdry taking bronze at her age, 39.72 bp. Riley McDonnell cut a whopping 3.64 seconds off his best time in 43.95 while Nell Coster shaved almost as much in 36.15 and a heat win. There were other bps for Jemma McEwen (45.03) and Maslen-Wollington (36.20) while Hopper finished 7th in 35.16.

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

In the evening session, Moren completed her competitive swim in the 400 IM by cutting nearly 5 seconds off her best as she learned to pace the event, 5:34.18 for 4th place overall.


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

In the 100 backstroke, Maslen-Wollington clocked 1:21.23, then it was the girls’ 50 breaststroke. Valeria Antonini started things off with a Heat win in a 46.10 pb for 5th followed by Lucy Franklin, also pb, 47.07 (9th). Maslen-Wollington finished 15th in 43.65 and once again Hopper and Moren faced off in the 50m Breast, the throw-in just going to the slightly older Moren, in 38.04 to Hopper’s 38.14 but Hopper took the consolation with 5th in age and his second regional qualification time.

Day one ended with the boys 50m freestyle and pbs for the 3s of Jack Moss (34.60 – 8th), Will Franklin (35.23 – 12th) and a massive 6 second improvement over just 50 m for Felix Armond who finished with 33.01.

Sunday dawned bright and early with the reverse events.


For the boys 100m freestyle, Pearce Clare clocked 1:14.49, Will Franklin 1:25.32 and Eric Bass continued to knock on the under-60 door with 1:02.53.

The girls’ 100 breaststroke brought another bp for Lucy Franklin, 8th in 1:45.84, hitting nearly 2 seconds off her best as she gains confidence. Moren finished 8th in 1:21.29

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

In the women’s 50 butterfly, Nell Coster tore up the form book, moving from the 5th seed to the silver medal, improving by ¾ of a second to 33.47. Hopper did 32.93 and Moren 33.62 before Josie Reid confirmed the little one’s strength in the Fly events, particularly their traditionally strong 50m races, taking gold in 31.71 to finish the penultimate session.

Mark with his Bracknell Masters medals

Reid followed that with silver in the 100 butterfly after the break, losing 0.55 seconds at 1:12.63.

Batt took 6th place in the boys’ 100m backstroke, setting her first bp of the meet with 1:11.36, then in the girls’ 200m backstroke, Lara Coster confirmed her training pool form with 2:48 .28 as she broke through the 2:50 barrier.

Will Franklin finished his swim with 49.72 in the 100m breaststroke and the last event, the women’s 50m freestyle, saw 7 swimmers from the club.

He produced bp for Penny Reid, 36.58; Jemma McEwen, 38.10; Sophie Zdesar, in her first Open encounter, by more than 4 seconds, 39.61; Poppy Awdry, 32.99, which was pretty good for the silver in the 12-year-old and Antonini, 36.51, again losing more than ¾ of a second. Lara Coster clocked 32.07 before Josie Reid finished the competition in 6th place in 29.88.

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

Tracy’s Medals