Guernsey Press

Grierson and Lowndes take top awards – Cate GB mark

THERE were many new faces and close races at the 28th International Masters Meet – but a record-setting opening performance from Cate Jackson was a particular highlight.

Best overall woman was Guernsey Swimming Club's Izzie Grierson. (Picture By Peter Frankland, 24424740)

Jackson, a former Commonwealth Games swimmer for Guernsey, set a new British 400m freestyle record in the 55-59 age bracket.

A familiar presence at Beau Sejour from her run of long-standing pool records in the 1980s, she produced a gutsy swim on the first night to set a magical new mark of 4min. 57.64sec.

‘I was really pleased to be able to set this new record here on my home turf,’ the Barnet Copthall representative said afterwards.

Meanwhile, the strength of the current Guernsey representation was enough to keep many major prizes on local soil.

A demanding set of excellent swims with close finishes enabled Ben Lowndes and Izzie Grierson, both of GSC, to amass the FINA points necessary for the best male and best female awards respectively.

Another GSC member in Katie Norris earned a cup donated by King’s Cormorants Club for the most outstanding swims over the weekend.

Over 138 swimmers from 25 clubs competed in the event, including many who hold national, European and even world records.

The flavour of the Guernsey event is distinctive with four pool sessions from Friday night to Sunday lunchtime and enough time for all the visitors to be able to enjoy some leisure time and recovery between races.

Among Jackson’s fellow record-breakers, Cornwall’s Helen Kula Przezwanski set a new British record in the women’s 60-64 200m backstroke of 2min. 49.91sec. and added a European record for 100m backstroke with 1-18.33.

Keith Rothwell, Arfon, set a new Welsh record for 200m butterfly of 4-20.36 in the 70-74 age group.

Shrewsbury Masters club were first-time visitors and brought a strong team of 17 swimmers aged 27-80, earning the top club trophy once event medals were tallied.

In surpassing regulars King’s Cormorants of Wimbledon, they received the trophy from John Eyre, who had the vision for this weekend event 28 years ago and was for so many years its driving force.

‘We thoroughly enjoyed competing at the 2019 Guernsey Masters meet,’ said Daniel Malcolm of the Shrewsbury club.

‘It was excellently organised, run and celebrated, with some fast racing in a competitive yet friendly environment. Guernsey Masters were very helpful with information before the meet and accommodating with a welcome and quality hotel meal post-competition.’