Barker’s bonanza leads way with incredible medal haul

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NINE senior members of Stowmarket Swimming Club came away with an incredible 91 medals at the Sudbury Masters Valentine Meet, held at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre on Sunday.

As well as being an open meet for swimmers throughout the Anglia region, it doubled up as being the Suffolk Masters Championships. Each swimmer had the chance of winning 20 medals from the 10 available races.

Stowmarket’s Dale Barker was rewarded for competing in all 10 events by winning six double gold medals in the 50-54 years 200m front crawl in 2 minutes 20.47 seconds; 50m backstroke 32.80; 100m breaststroke 1.23.77; 50m butterfly 31.56; 100m front crawl 1.05.29 and 100m fly 1.13.27.

Barker swept to a further four Suffolk Championship golds. In the open category these swims secured two silvers in the 100m IM 1.13.86 and 100m back 1.15.91 and two bronze in his 50m frontcrawl 29.91 and 50m breast 37.74.

Barker’s huge 54 point tally earned him Top Male Swimmer Award.

Andy Wright, swimming in the 55-59 years age, won five double gold medals in the 50m back 38.13; 100m breast 1.30.45; 100m IM 1.20.58; 50m breast 41.56 and 100m back 1.21.30.

He received two further Suffolk Championship gold medals in the 200m frontcrawl 2.41.40 and 50m frontcrawl 32.02.

In the last event, the 100m back, he set his best time since 2001. His 39 points earned Wright third overall male swimmer of the meet.

Brothers, Tom and David Harrison, had clean sweeps of double gold medals in their four events.

Tom, swimming in the 30-34 years group, sprinted to victory in the 50m back 34.47; 50m fly 31.81; 50m frontcrawl 27.22 and 50m breast 34.92.

David’s class showed by easing to gold in the 25-29yrs 50m fly 27.06; 100m frontcrawl 56.67; 50m frontcrawl 24.22 and 50m breast 30.73.

Clive Mitson was allowed to compete in the second session of the gala where he clinched four Suffolk Championship golds in the 40-44 years group. In the open category, these swims secured Mitson two silvers in the 50m frontcrawl 31.39 and 100m back 1.20.17,; a bronze in his 50m breast 39.37 and 4th in the 100m IM 1.19.17, all close to his recent best times.

Seasoned campaigner, Len Phoenix, won double gold in the 60-64 years 50m back 41.06; double silver in the 50m frontcrawl and 100m back, a Suffolk silver in the 100m IM and double bronze in the 200m and 100m frontcrawl.

Ollie Bumstead put in five quality swims, winning the 25-29 years double gold 200m frontcrawl 2.11.29, double silver in the 100m frontcrawl, 50m frontcrawl and 100m fly and a double bronze in the 50m fly.

Stowmarket’s two ladies, Leesa Woollard and Sue Penman, put in several polished displays.

Woollard surged to double gold in the 40-44yrs 50m fly 46.55; won Suffolk Championship gold in the 200m frontcrawl 3.04.58 and 100m frontcrawl, improve setting three personal best times in her seven races and is Suffolk Masters Champion in the 45-49 years 200m front crawl.

Her time of 3.29.14 earned her seventh place in the open category.

Penman also won Suffolk silvers in her 50m back (pb), 50m fly (pb) and 100m back, Suffolk bronze in the 100m frontcrawl and 100m IM.

She was outside the medals in the 50m frontcrawl.

The Top Female Swimmer Award went to Nicola Carey of the City of Cambridge club with 54 points.