State Masters Championships 2014

A sizzling day on the sand started with the long distance races. Rona ‘where’s my cap’ McNiven (30-34) brought home gold to add to her bronze medal from the open event. She was cheered on by proud parents who came all the way from Scotland to see her run. Conor Croke (30-34) overcame facebook jibes from Rod Illidge to secure bronze before backing up for water safety duties on behalf of the club in the IRB (thanks Conor).


Bec Waugh made it back-to-back golds in the 40-44 age group with big cheers from her sons. Husband Warwick, thinking he secured a rock star park at Avoca Surf Club only just made it to watch the race after discovering the start was at Ocean Beach Surf Club. Liz Cummings finished a strong eighth in a classy field and her first outing at State Titles, showing that all that training with Daylight is paying off.


In the 44-49 Roger ‘Golden Boy’ Moresi put the Mardi Gras ‘Lifesavers with Pride’ float training to good use and literally danced over the sand to claim his first gold medal. Paul Buggy finished strongly in fourth, just a bee’s bottom behind the third medal place. Heather ‘I’m not a runner’ Hawkins showed that turning up to Doug’s session at 6am every Tuesday and Thursday can pay dividends. She finished strongly in the silver medal spot. She was pleased as punch and Doug couldn’t have been prouder – you couldn’t take the smiles off both of them all day.


The move to the shorter track didn’t stop the medals coming for Coogee. Amy Teale (30-34) clocked up silver in the final after a strong showing in the heat. Mihalis Papadoplous (30-34) ran comfortably in the heat but abandoned his finals berth to try his luck in the swim. Nicola Logan (35-39) ran strongly but missed a medal, coming in fourth. Bec Waugh made through to the semi finals and ran just as fast to try and make the surf race. In the 45-49 Helen Deas, after her comeback from surgery ran strongly to finish in the silver medal spot. Heather Hawkins ran into fourth place in the final. The surprise of the day came when Gerry ‘Not too much warm up’ Karras (60-64) streaked out of the blocks and didn’t look back at the ol’ boys following him to pick up silver in the sprint.


The ladies relay teams saw more medals to Coogee. The 140 team (Nicola, Rona, Bec and Heather) had been smashing their baton change practice after the disappointment of a DQ at Branch. They looked cool as cucumbers as they collected their bronze medal. The 170 team, proudly sponsored by Elastoplast, were not sure if they were even going to make it to the line. Sharon Deans and Helen Deas with dodgy hamstrings and Allison Roberts  suffering an injury while warming up made the fact that they made it to the line a feat worthy of a medal in itself. Liz Cummings stepped into the team after Linda Walsh headed off to sunny Ireland. The team came in take the silver on the podium.


The flags were the next event on the program. The numbers were down across the board in this discipline. Coogee were all over the 45-49 ladies. With an almighty dive, Allison Roberts squeezed Heather Hawkins into fourth. Allison came up with third – still fearing repercussion from Doug. Helen took silver in a close contest with the medal winner from the sprint. Gerry Karras was sharing his secrets about flags. It sure didn’t look pretty in action but put him into the bronze medal spot.


Doug Hawkins, as official SLSC media, certainly showed a bias towards the Coogee team. Thank god he doesn’t have to pay to have the 3 million photos of Heather (and the rest of the team) developed!!! Thanks for all the photos and a big thank you for your support. A special mention and thank you to our cheer squad – Carol Karras, and Vivienne and Duncan McNiven.

Good luck everyone heading to Aussies in two weeks.


~ Helen Deas, Allison Roberts and Sharon Deans




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