Golden double for Hemel Hempstead SC at Herts Distance Championships

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Seven swimmers opened Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club’s 2015 Herts County Championships campaign in style on Saturday at the distance session of the 800m and 1,500m freestyle in Borehamwood.

Two swimmers became county champions and four regional qualifying times were also achieved – including a first ever RQT for 14-year-old Alice Fender.

Max Jelfs and Tom Sherriff won gold for Hemel Hempstead SC at the Herts County Distance Championships

Max Jelfs and Tom Sherriff won gold for Hemel Hempstead SC at the Herts County Distance Championships

All seven swimmers achieved new PBs and there were also three new club records set.

First up were the girls in the 800m, where Georgia Purkis, Eleanor Bevan, Leanne Abrey and Alice were competing.

In the 12-year-old age group, Georgia took the silver medal, narrowly missing out on the gold.

Her swim was also a 27-second PB, 19 seconds inside her regional time, and a new club record.

In the 13-year-old age group, Leanne and Eleanor finished fifth and 10th respectively, with Eleanor’s swim being an RQT.

Finally for the girls, in the 14-year-old age group, Alice had a tremendous swim to record her first ever RQT.

Alice narrowly missed out on the medals, coming a close fourth, but her 16-second PB was good enough to give her a new club record.

Inspired by the girls, the boys were next up in the 1,500m freestyle which is arguably the toughest event in swimming.

First up was Harrison Newbury-Kemp, who continued his rapid recent progression with a gritty swim in the 14-year-old age group to record a 29-second PB and take ninth place in a very tough age group.

In the 13-year-old age group, Max Jelfs had the fastest seed time, and went on to win gold with a 30-second PB – a new club record and a staggering 71 seconds inside his regional qualifying time.

In the final heat, Tom Sherriff had an excellent swim to break the 17-minute barrier for the first time which was good enough to give him the gold in the 18 and over age group.

Tom narrowly missed out on an extremely challenging regional time for the open age group.