On the road to recovery – well done Gary

Gary in official modeMolonglo Water Dragons treasurer, Gary Stutsel, looks to be on the way to recovery following an horrendous 12 months.

In the 2014 calendar year Gary recorded the fastest time in Australia in his age group in 38 different events. This dropped to a mere three in 2015 before he was hit by family tragedy in April and then a total knee replacement in his right leg in May.

Now 12 months after the operation he has started to bounce back. Competing for Tuggeranong Vikings at the Ettalong Meet on Saturday 21 May, Gary swam the fastest 25m Freestyle for 2016 (15.89 seconds) and the fastest 50m Freestyle (34.88 seconds) in his age group. He completed his maximum allowable four individual swims with 2016’s second fastest 200m Freestyle (3 minutes 18.40 seconds) and 2016’s third fastest 100m Freestyle (1 minute 24.66 seconds).

Swimming with Carolyn Makin and Katrina Burgess, Gary said he was surprised at how popular the competition was. 230 swimmers competed in over 150 heats. Starting at 10.30am they finished right on time at 4.30pm. To achieve this there was no lunch break so all the hungry swimmers retired to the sausage sizzle after the last event.

As well as swimming in his four events Gary officiated for five of the other 12 events. He said that all three swimmers are looking forward to swimming with their team mates and officiating at the ACT Interclub meet to be held on Saturday 18 June at the Tuggeranong Leisure Centre. At this meet Gary will be swimming for Molonglo Water Dragons.

Ode to Johnny Collis – Water dragon legend!

draginheadNow our Johnny Collis was champing at the bit

To try out his luck at the State Championships

So off to SOPAC our Johnny did go

Hoping his opposite numbers were slow

His best stroke was breaststroke and boy was he keen

He flew down the pool like a thrashing machine

His 50 was fine and his 100 came home

But the 200 metres saw him come undone

His goggles filled up and his race plan was gone

So he stopped at halfway saying this ain’t no fun

His double arm backstroke it troubled him none

And the 50 butterfly, well he finished that one

At the end of the day he’d four medals to show

All of them bronze, but he won’t let them go

Now some say that bronze is the colour of poo

But Hey, what the heck, any medal will do.

So all of you swimmers, come on try your luck

You might win a medal, but if not, WTF!


Molonglo Megasaurs do their bit for MS

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Some of the team, ready to take the dive. Go Megasaurs!

The Molonglo Megasaurs excelled at the MS 24 hour swimathon recently – doing their bit to raise funds for MS. The team exceeded the pledged amount of $2,000 and had lots of fun on the journey!

We had someone in the water the whole 24 hours. Stay tuned to find out our total distance swum.

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The Australian Institute of Sport is a great place to swim – even in the middle of the night! Go Megasaurs!


John Collis celebrating a big swim


41st Masters Swimming Australia National Championships huge success

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Jenny Bruce, Peter Coggins, Mary Liz Partridge and John Collis

Four swimmers from the Molonglo Water Dragons: Mary Liz Partridge, Jenny Bruce, John Collis and Peter Coggins, tested themselves at the Masters Swimming Association (MSA) Nationals in Melbourne. Jenny was the only one of the four to win a prize, Jenny won a raffle prize, but all 728 swimmers at the superb Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre were winners just by being part of this magnificent, well organised event.

In addition to winning a raffle prize, Jenny got a PB in the 50m backstroke.

All four of us swam for our second claim club, the Tuggeranong Vikings, as did one swimmer from the Ginninderra Club. By being part of the 26-strong Vikings contingent we were able to swim in relays and enjoy being part of a big group.

The points we earned contributed to the Vikings total of 569 points which placed us 5th overall out of 102 participating clubs and second to the Claremont Gropers from WA in the Visitors Trophy – a fantastic performance!

The MSA Victoria Branch staged a memorable opening ceremony with some forty, mostly female, dancers. This was a big departure from the normally staid series of speeches which characterise opening ceremonies and it set the bar high for Queensland which will host the 42nd Nationals a year from now on the Gold Coast.

The social activities associated with swim meets are always an important part of a meet experience and the Vikings were well represented at the Welcome to Melbourne drinks the evening before competition commenced.

The 41st Nationals were characterised by a high level of comraderie and there were numerous relay events which engendered a strong team spirit. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and I urge you to give thought to being part of the 42nd Nationals on the Gold Coast in 2017.

Peter Coggins