A team of 31 swimmers from 9 Bedfordshire clubs, which included 12 swimmers making their debut for the County team, travelled to Newmarket for the East Region round. Unfortunately both Hertfordshire and Essex could not get a team together, so it only left four Counties competing for the trophy.
Norfolk had the strongest team, and won by 33 points, but for the remaining places it was very tight with the positions changing all through the event, with Cambridgeshire eventually getting the runners up spot, with Bedfordshire just three points behind, and Suffolk another three points adrift in fourth place.
Bedfordshire had 8 individual first places, with another 3 firsts coming in relay events.
The first places came from Marcel Scholten (Modernians) in the 45 and older 50 Breaststroke, in a new County record for the 50 to 54 age group with a time of 33.70. Also in this age group, Howard Gell (Linslade Crusaders) won the 50 Backstroke, while in the Ladies event of the same age group, Liz Woolner (Flitwick Dolphins) also won. Liz also won the 50 Fly in this age group
In the 55 and over age group for Men, Bedfordshire won all four individual events, with Dave Cartledge (Modernians) winning the 50 Breaststroke and Freestyle events, and Graham Powell (Team Luton) with the 50 Backstroke and Butterfly events.
The three relay wins came in the Mens 180 plus Freestyle team of Marcel Scholten (Modernians) Robert Adsley (South Beds Masters) Howard Gell (Linslade Crusaders) and Mark Wareham (Team Luton).The other two wins came in Mixed Medley relays, with the 220 years plus team of Liz Woolner (Flitwick Dolphins) Dave Cartledge (Modernians) Graham Powell (Team Luton) and Christine Ayers (South Beds Masters),and the 260 years plus team of Janet Masters (South Beds Masters) Dave Cartledge (Modernians) Graham Powell (Team Luton) and Andrea Minor (South Beds Masters).
When leading off the Ladies 180 years plus Freestyle relay team, Liz Woolner (Flitwick Dolphins) broke her own County and East Region record, the 48 year old set new records with a time of 29.21.
County records were set by:-
Lucy Gregory (South Beds Masters) 18-24 50 Backstroke 31. 73
Lauren Simpkins (Putteridge) 18-24 50 Freestyle 28.12
Judy Thomson (Flitwick Dolphins) 40-44 50 Breaststroke 42.35
Marcel Scholten (Modernians) 50-54 50 Breaststroke 33.70
Marcel Scholten (Modernians) 50-54 50 Freestyle 26.47
When all of the regions results had been fed into the computer programme, Bedfordshire finished in 18th place out of the 28 Counties that competed, the same position as in 2015.
Liz Woolner was the only home swimmer to finish in first place, this came in the 50 Fly event, Liz also finished 5th in the 50 Backstroke.
Other swimmers who managed a top six placing were, Dave Cartledge 3rd in the 50 Breaststroke and 5th in the 50 freestyle. Graham Powell 3rd in the 50 Backstroke and 6th in the 50 Fly, Sarah Pearse (South Beds Masters) 5th in the 50 Breaststroke, and there were 6th places for Janet Masters 50 backstroke, Marcel Scholten 50 Breaststroke, and to Lauren Simpkins in the 50 freestyle.
In the relays, there were 4th Places for both the 220 years plus team and the 260 years plus team, both in the Medley relay events.
Written by John Bellis