Woking Masters Smash European & British Records at SC Nationals

Woking SC Webmaster

A squad of 24 Woking Masters swimmers descended on Sheffield’s Ponds Forge for the 2023 Swim England Masters National Championships, claiming 3 European records, 12 British records and a haul of 44 medals on their way to finishing as the fifth-ranked club.


Patrick Allen and Simon Scully kicked off the weekend's racing in the 1500m freestyle, with Allen finishing in the top five of his age group and Scully claiming Woking’s first medal (Bronze) of the meet.

The duo were quickly followed into the pool by Julie Howe, who dominated the event, claiming gold in the women's 30-34 year old age group.

Later in the day, Jamie Cunningham, Connor Brunt, Ben Smith, James Norman, Mike Hodgson, Alice Reeves-Turner and Michelle Ware competed in the 50m fly, with Hodgson and Ware claiming gold medals and records (Ware British, Hodgson European) in the event.

Further medals were added to Woking’s collection throughout Friday afternoon with Henry Goodlud (Silver), David Bryant (Gold) and Lynda Coggins (Silver) all finishing in the top three in the 100m breaststroke. 

Relay success started early in the weekend for Woking Masters, with the men’s 100+ (Brunt, Cunningham, Mark Tuddenham, Goodlud), the men's 160+ (Hodgson, Norman, Dean Blackman, Seb Leather) and the women's 160+ team (Ware, Cassie Allen, Jennie Clarke, Howe) claiming silver. 

Individual success quickly followed relay success, with Alex Smith (Gold), Hodgson (Gold and European record) and Ware (Gold and British record) all claiming victory in the 50m freestyle, with Cunningham, Goodlud, Norman and Coggins all finishing in the top 10 in their age groups. 

Ware’s record breaking 50m freestyle was viewed by some as a stand-out swim of the competition. 

On his podcast ‘Freestyle Media’ Joe Malone said:

‘Michelle Ware winning the 50 m freestyle - what a heat that was!’

‘There were swimming legends in that heat.’

‘Michelle Ware’s turn - I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better turn in my life!’

‘I was in awe. It was a privilege to see her swim.’

Crystal Brownett and Coggins followed into the pool in the 100m backstroke, with both claiming top 10 finishes in their age categories.

Woking added to their collection of relay medals as the weekend progressed; Bryant, Ware, Clarke and Hodgson dominated their heat to achieve both a British record and a gold medal in the 200+ age category in the mixed 4x200m freestyle, while Clarke, Howe, Goodlud and Alex Smith secured gold in the mixed 4x100m freestyle.


Day two of individual racing at Ponds Forge was kicked off with the 50m backstroke, with Ware claiming gold in the event and Coggins bronze.

Next into the pool in the 200m IM was Scully, Goodlud, Hodgson, Howe and Amy Hodgson, who all swam impressive swims, while Goodlud (silver) and Hodgson (gold and British record) winning medals.

Record breaking relay success continued into day two in the mixed 4x50m individual medley; the 200+ team consisting of Ware, Bryant, Hodgson and Clarke received gold in the event, along with a team European record and an individual British record for Ware in the 50m backstroke. 

The 100+ team claimed further medals for Woking in the 4x50m individual medley, with Alex Smith, Goodlud, Reeves-Turner and Howe bringing home bronze for the team.

Further silverware was claimed across Saturday; a strong swim in the 200 backstroke saw Clarke receive a 9 second PB and a bronze medal; Cunningham, Alex Smith, Hodgson, and Clarke added medals in the 100m freestyle, with Ware going one step further by bagging the British Record and Gold in her age group; and Bryant (gold) and Coggins (silver) medalled in the 200m breaststroke.

Saturday’s racing was wrapped up with a gold medal for Ware, Bryant, Hodgson and Clarke in the 200+ 4x100m mixed medley relay, along with medals from Bryant (gold), Goodlud (bronze) and Coggins (bronze) in the 50m breaststroke, with Bryant bagging a British record in the event. 


A tired, but determined, squad dived into the final day of racing at Ponds Forge, and it wasn’t long before Woking Masters were once again dominating the pool; Cassie Allen, Reeves-Turner, Ben Smith and Alex Smith took the first medal of the day in the Mixed 4x50m freestyle, quickly followed by Howe (silver) and Clarke (bronze) in the 200m freestyle.

Ware had more forms to fill in after claiming another British and European Record double in the 100m Butterfly.

More medals were collected by both the 120+ (silver), 160+ (silver) men's team, and the 160+ women's team (bronze) in the 4x50m Medley. The 200+ men's team further added to the medal total in 4x50m free with a bronze medal.

Arguably the highlight of the weekend came in the form of the final relay of the weekend, which saw Brunt, Goodlud, Cunningham and Alex Smith team together to claim a British record in the 4x50 free in the 100+ age category.

Reflecting on the British record, Goodlud said: ‘I’m so proud of the boys with what we achieved, breaking our first British Record as a team. 

It wasn’t just about beating the record as we also had to beat our opposition who were also capable of breaking the record. 

Getting our hand on the wall first was euphoric and a feeling I will never forget.’

Woking's vast collection of medals was further added to in the 100m IM; Hodge (gold) and Howe (bronze) both added to their already impressive haul.

Woking’s distance swimmers, including Stuart Swaffer, P. Allen and Clarke, stepped up to the blocks for the final event of the weekend; with Clarke (silver) adding to Woking's already immense collection of medals

Congratulations to all swimmers who took part and huge thanks to all of the coaching team for their support this past year.

A fantastic weekend of racing all around.