Dynamic Hemel Hempstead duo on top form for Hertfordshire

First for sports news
First for sports news

Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club duo Charlie Rayner and Max Jelfs were selected to take part in the National Inter-County Gala at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

The boys, both 13, put in sensational performances to set new PBs and club records, while Rayner improved his national best time for the 100m breaststroke set only last week.

The prestigious annual event, which features 39 counties, is swum short course with two simultaneous heats – making it an exciting and highly competitive gala.

The event brings together some the best young talent in Britain, and with around 2,500 swimmers and spectators it is also a good test of the swimmers’ nerves.

Having recorded the fastest 100m breaststroke time (1:11:16) in his age group the previous week at National Arena, Rayner rose to the challenge again with a sensational swim of 1:09:93 to finish third.

With the first and second placed swimmers in the age group above him for nationals, this still leaves Charlie the fastest in his age group in the country this season in short course events.

Charlie also competed in the 100m butterfly and again recorded a PB quicker than his time the previous week of 1:05:44 to finish 11th.

He also participated in the medley relay helping the team secure sixth place.

Jelfs, meanwhile, competed in the 100m backstroke and also put in an excellent swim to improve on his PB of the previous week, touching home in 1:07:93 to take 13th place.

All three swims were improvements on the boys’ own club records set last week which had previously stood for eight years.

Hertfordshire measured up very well at the event overall against teams from as far afield as Devon and Scotland to finish a very credible 12th from the 39 counties, illustrating the high level of swimming in the county.