SHEFFIELD, England. ALEXANDER Mills was the most successful swimmer on the second day of the British ASA National Masters 25m Championship as more records continued to tumble at the Ponds Forge Pool.
The 53-year-old Hadrian Masters aqua ace set two European and three British records in Sheffield, continuing the fine form shown by swimmers from the English club so far.
Mills set his first European and British record with a starring performance in the 50m Breaststroke, clocking an impressive 32.23 in the 50-54 age group. His time eclipsed the previous best of 33.06.
And it got even better as the day went on, with Mills re-writing the record books again with an excellent swim in the 100m Freestyle, also in the 50-54 age section. Mills touched home in 55.45 to set a new European and British standard, bettering the previous record of 57.31.
A doctor by day, Mills then recorded a new British record in the 50m Freestyle, one of his favorite disciplines. His time of 25.67 knocked .59 off the old record, which understandably delighted the former Scottish international.
"The secret is to have a good diet, train hard in and out of the pool and be technically correct," said Mills, who celebrates his 54th birthday in December. "I've been swimming for 50 years, but I'm swimming quicker now than I was ten years ago. I've been training at race speed, which has definitely helped. I'm still extremely ambitious, so it's always nice to set new records. I've been breaking records all my life, but I honestly believe you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and work hard."
Mills, who made his international debut for Scotland in 1971, before three years later captaining the team at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, already has his sights on breaking a World record next year.
"That's my goal. It would be nice wouldn't it? I've never broken a World record before," added Mills, who learned to swim in Singapore and who also represented Great Britain in 1975.
European records continued to fall and the next went to Judy Hattle, yet another Hadrian Masters swimmer. Hattle, who set a new European and British record on the first day of competition with a splendid swim in the 50m Butterfly, was once again in top form in her 45-49 age group.
The 45-year-old grabbed her second European and British record with a time of 5:39.53 in the 400m individual medley. Her time was just .01 hundredths of a second off beating the old record by five seconds.
Three more European records had fallen by the end of proceedings on Day Two, with Jo Corben (Fareham Nomads), Derek Parr (Otter) and Hattle, again, having tasted sweet success. Hattle's third European honors came in the 200m Butterfly, which she completed in 2:34.15, also a British record.
Corben, 35, with a swim of 2:20.67 in the 35-39 200m Backstroke, and Parr, 61, with a time of 2:37.79 in the 60-64 200m Butterfly, were also deservedly pleased with their record-breaking day.
The other British record-setters were Simon Veale (Totness, 1500m Freestyle, 45-49), Alan Thomson (Forres, 50m Breaststroke, 45-49), Aimee Ramm (Loughborough University, 50m and 100m Freestyle, 19-24), Neville Barton (Rochdale Aquabears, 50m Breaststroke, 50-54), Mark Reynolds (Barnet Copthall, 50m and 100m Freestyle, 40-44), Guy Davis (Wandsworth, 100m Freestyle, 45-49), Sue Haigh (Tiverton, 200m Butterfly, 45-49), Francis Penwarden (Kings Cormorants, 100m Breaststroke, 50-54), Alistair Crawford (Rotherham Metro, 50m Freestyle, 19-24), Tom Greenwood (Bracknell, 50m Freestyle, 45-49), Bill Letch (Wincantan, 50m Freestyle, 65-69) and Anthony O'Driscoll (Kenilworth Masters, 100m Breaststroke, 45-49).
In total 21 British and six European records were broken on the second day, taking the combined totals for the first two days to 34 British and eight European records. As yet no world records have been achieved.
However, there was a New Zealand record set by countryman Fred Clatworthy. The 35-year-old turned on the style in the 400m Freestyle at 35-39, making his own slice of history with a time of 4:17.34.