Team UQ Reflections 2019
The University of Queensland Masters Swim Club formed in 2013, and have completed their seventh year in MSQ. With a membership in the mid-40s, they have had teams swimming at 11 club meets throughout 2019:
- Miami Masters Long Course Meet
- Albany Creek Short Course Meet
- Yeronga Park Short Course Meet
- Brisbane Southside Short Course
- Genesis Masters Swim Meet
- Brisbane Northside Short Course
- Noosa Long Course Meet
- Maryborough Masters Games Short Course
- UQ Masters Short Course Sprint & Relay Meet
- Sunshine Coast Masters Long Course
- Aqualicious Long Course Meet
6 Swimming Queensland & Brisbane Swimming events:
- UQ Prep Meet
- Brisbane Sprint Championships
- Queensland Sprint Championships
- Qld Swimming Short Course Preparation Meet
- Brisbane Short Course Championships
- Qld Short Course Championships
And plenty more:
- MSQ State Long Course Championships
- Great Barrier Reef Masters Games
- MSQ Relay Event at World Trials
- MSNSW LC Championships
- MSNSW SC Championships
- 2019 MSA National Championships
- 2019 FINA Masters World Championships
A team of 12 swimmers with Coach Sean Williams travelled to Adelaide for the Nationals in March, all having a great time, and finishing with some impressive results – 28 gold, 16 silver, 10 bronze, three Australian records, and 17 Queensland records. Record breakers were Caroline Saxby (3 x AR and 5 x QR), Nola Macaulay (4 x QR), Suzanne Hollis (2 x QR), Martin Banks (2 x QR), Emma Maxwell (2 x QR), Christina Scolaro (2 x QR).
A large team of 32 competed at the MSQ State Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in April, scoring 1793 points and narrowly coming second to Brisbane Southside Masters. Team UQ won a total of 150 medals – 66 gold, 49 silver and 35 bronze. Brett Woods won the Male Swimmer of the Meet, and Best Swimmer 50-69 awards. Christina Scolaro won the Jenny Mack Breaststroke award. Qld records were broken by: Ross Holden x 2, Suzanne Hollis, Martin Banks, Christina Scolaro, Nola Macaulay, and Brett Woods.
Four swimmers also competed at the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games in Cairns, enjoying racing in the beautiful Tobruk Pool and being tourists around Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.
Three UQ swimmers flew to Gwangju, South Korea in August, to compete at the Fina World Masters. Jamie Wright, Michael Cooper and Corrine Fry thoroughly enjoyed their time away, posting some great times and even scoring a couple of medals. Corrine summarised:
“In addition to the highlights we were able to achieve in the pool, we created memories out of it too. Making spectacles of ourselves at local Korean restaurants, experiencing a Korean Baseball Organisation game, high-speed cab rides through the CBD, hiking through Mudeungsan National Park and exploring what we could of Gwangju and Seoul, we laughed until we cried and have a catalogue of stories to recall and reminisce over for years to come”.
Some other impressive swims throughout the year produced individual Australian records from Caroline Saxby, Brett Woods, and Stefano Zerbini. A number of relay teams also broke Australian records.
Team UQ trains at the UQ Sport Aquatic Centre, led by head coach David Heyden. Masters Coach and MSQ Director of Coaching, Sean Williams is on pool deck every morning, with a choice of 4:30am, 5:30am or 6:30am sessions Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 5:30am sessions Tuesday and Thursday. Sean also takes a Finfit session several times each week. In addition to this, coaches Mark and Reilly also take midday, evening and Saturday morning sessions. Sessions are not only made up of masters’ swimmers, but also include triathletes, University students and other adult swimmers.
Coach Sean Williams held a swim clinic in March for all MSQ swimmers. This was well attended with over 40 swimmers enjoying the coaching tips, sausage sizzle and camaraderie of the morning. The plan is to hold more clinics in future, with a focus on fitness, friendship, fun and technique development.
In October, the third UQ Masters SC Sprint & Relay Meet was held at the UQ Sport Aquatic Centre, with an attendance of over 130 swimmers. Thanks to the UQ Masters and the fantastic support of members of UQ Swim Club for assisting on the day. New initiatives for this meet included:
- Meet entry via the new Quick Entry system
- No NT (No Time) on entry
- Default to PB time on entry
- Reverse Order Heats
- Exhibition of events outside of the usual Masters swimming events including a finswim race, and an exhibition conducted by four of Australia’s best young swimmers.
Feedback was positive and visitors enjoyed receiving awards that included bottles of wine and freshly designed UQ medals.
The year has now come to an end, apart from the annual Christmas swim set and breakup party. Then on to plans for 2020, which will include sending big teams to Sydney for the Nationals in April, the State Championships in Cairns in May, and then the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast in November. Onwards and upwards, and see you all on pool deck next year!