A golden day at the County Championships for Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club

Hemel Hempstead Swimming club won 20 gold medals at the final weekend of the Herts County Championships
Hemel Hempstead Swimming club won 20 gold medals at the final weekend of the Herts County Championships

The final weekend of the Herts County Championship saw Hemel swimmers bringing home another 20 gold medals.

Charlie Rayner led the way with five wins from five races, closely followed by Holly Robinson with four wins out of four.

Lois Moore won three, Freddie Woodcock two and Josh Gaines, Jacob Hutchings, Emily Jelfs, Rob Jennings, Georgia Purkis and Tom Sherriff took one apiece.

There were 34 other top-three placings and numerous new Regional Championship qualifying times, including first ever qualification for Jonny Farrow and a season-first qualifying time for Matt Sherriff.

Charlie Rayner (13) continued his fantastic form at the championships, adding golds in the 50 free in a new regional qualifying time; the 100 free; the 400 free; the 200 breast and the 100 fly to his successes last weekend.

Holly Robinson (9) rounded off her outstanding first appearance at counties with golds in the 50 breast, 50 back, 50 free and 100 IM, setting significant personal best times in each event.

Lois Moore (19) won her age-group competitions in the 50 free, 200 free and the 50 back. She also came third in the 50 back open final and third in her age-group in the 50 fly.

Freddie Woodcock (18) took first place in the 50 and 200 back, was second in the 100 free and third in the 50 free.

Georgia Purkis (12) took gold in the 100 breast, silver in the 50 breast and bronze in the 400 free, as well as achieving three regional qualifying times.

Josh Gaines (16) took gold in the 200 back in his age-group, coming third in the open competition, and took silver in the 100 back, while Emily Jelfs (16) won gold in the 50 free.

The challenging 400 IM competition proved a happy hunting ground for Hemel swimmers, with Tom Sherriff (19) winning his age group with an impressive 10-second PB to register another regional qualifying time.

Tom also finished third in the open 400 IM, while Rob Jennings (17) and Jacob Hutchings (16) both won golds in their respective age groups.

In addition to the 400 IM, Tom Sherriff took second place in the 50 free, 50 back and 100 fly. A powerful swim in the 400 free, setting an eight-second PB, also saw him take second with in a new regional qualifying time.

Tom also secured a second in his age group in the 100 free and a third in the open 100 free.

Grace Rayner (16) and Paige Wilding (16) took silver and bronze respectively in both their 50 and 100 breaststroke competitions.

Both girls progressed to the open final of the 50 breast where Grace won bronze. Paige’s 100 breast time was a new regional qualifying time and she also took bronze in the 200 IM.

Matt Sherriff (17) won silver in his age group in the 50 free, breaking the 25 second barrier for the first time, and – in an injury hit season – he also achieved his first regional qualifying time of the year.

Matt also won bronze in the 50 free open final where he was joined in a strong Hemel representation by Freddie Woodcock and Tom Sherriff who finished fourth and fifth respectively.

There were silvers for Aimee Abrey (16) in the 200 IM and the 50 back as well as a bronze in the 200 free.

Millie Anderton (10) took silver in the 50 back as well as bronze in the 50 fly with a 2.5 second PB.

There were also silvers for Jack Christie (16) in the 200 breast, Tom Frewin (18) in the 200 breast and Rob Jennings (17) in the 100 fly.

As well as this, there were bronzes for Libby Grant (9) in the 50 back and the 200 free, with an impressive six-second PB, and for Max Jelfs (13) in the 200 fly with a new regional qualifying time, and in the 400 free with a five-second PB.

Away from the medals there were any number of excellent performances.

Jonny Farrow (13), in his first counties, recorded a 2.5-second PB in the 100 back and a nine-second PB in the 200 back, qualifying for the regional championships in both events – only missing a third regional qualification in the 50 back by the narrowest of margins.

Eleanor Bevan (13), with a 5.5-second PB in the 400 IM, also achieved a new regional qualifying time.

Joe Coldwell (12) improved his times in both the 50 and 100 back; Sam Gaines (13) took 2.5-seconds off his 100 back time, Sam Ward (11) took eight seconds off his 200 back time, while Luke Pestaille (11) improved his 200 back time by nine seconds and his 200 breast time by an impressive 19 seconds.

Ashley Coombs enjoyed a successful weekend, setting a 10-second PB in the 400m free and two-second PBs in both the 100 and 50 back – the latter agonizingly close to a regional qualifying time. H

arrison Newbury-Kemp (14) continued his sequence of excellent performances at the championships with a 2.5-second PB in the 100 IM and a nine-second PB in the 400 free.

There were also excellent improvements posted by Izzie Anderton (12), with a 2.5-second PB in the 50 fly, Tilly Beckwith (11) with an eight-second PB in the 400 IM, Cameron Clark (13) with a four-second PB in the 400 free and Libby Grant (9) with a four-second PB in the 100 IM.

Billy Grant (12) recorded a four-second PB in the 200 free but arguably her best swim of the weekend came in the 400 free with a 19-second PB.

Shona McKenna (13) narrowly missed her 200 free regional qualifying time despite setting an impressive four-second PB – an improvement she also made in the 200 IM.

Keelin McKenna was even closer to her 50 back regional qualifying time, while Lois Goad (11) set a five-second PB in the 50 back and Shaminah Sherwani-Keeling (14) improved her 50 back time by four seconds.

Finally, in the 200 breast, Elliott Davies (10) set a 10-second PB and Neil Brevern (11) a four-second PB.