Hemel swimmers sprint for gold at championships

Sprint Club Championships
Sprint Club Championships

HEMEL Hempstead Swimming Club members took to the pool this month for the Swim Club Championships.

Swimmers from all sections of the club took part – from six-year-olds to Masters.

The level of competition was high, with a competitive spirit running throughout the three weeks of action.

Sophie Lennon-Fakes won each event in the seven-and-under girls’ category, while Sam Garratt won three out of four medals in the boys’ equivalent.

Reuben Balch scooped the other gold.

In the eight-year-old boys’ events, Harrison Mills recorded a clean sweep, while Amber Stratford and Sian Pirrie shared the spoils for the girls.

The nine-year-old medal winners were Jasmine Coe (3), Jessica Hubbard (2), Holly Carter (2), Holly Talland, Sam Gaines (5), Ashley Coombs (3) and Tyler O’Brien.

Max Jelfs was the star in the 10-year-old category, winning eight golds.

Other winners in his age group were Alice Fender (5), Shaminah Sherwani-Keeling (4), Olivia Christodoulou and Edward Shaw

Megan Pirrie dominated the 11-year-old girls’ races, winning every gold medal on offer, while Ben Garratt (5) and Thusira Kumarage (4) shared the boys’ titles.

Aimee Abrey, meanwhile, won six of the 12-year-old girls’ races, and Emily Jelfs (2) and Lauren Windsor also picked up wins.

Kyle Holmes excelled in the 12-year-old boys’ events, winning seven golds, with Josh Gaines claiming the other.

The 13-year-olds’ races were won by Paige Wilding (6), Molly McLoughlin, Becky Farrow, Peter Kennett (3), Lewis Beardsworth (2), Louis Dunham (2), Carl Prince and Joshua Coulson.

Devon Prior was a force to be reckoned with in the 14-15 girls’ age group, winning the knock-out IM Skins event as well as taking five individual golds.

Charlotte Ballard (2) and Darcy Holmes claimed the other golds.

Tom Sherriff was on form in the 14-15 boys’ races, claiming six wins, with brother Matt and Robert Sizeland (2) picking up the other wins.

It was a clean sweep for Kira Doyle in the 16-24 girls’ events as she went home with all nine gold medals.

Sam Pigott came close to matching Doyle’s achievement in the boys’ 16-24 races, thwarted only by breaststroke specialist Adam Daniell who bagged two golds.

Pigott was also the victor in the boys’ IM Skins.

Elsewhere, the 25-and-over category saw Adrienne Monger take three golds, with Pam Ware winning two.

Finally, Bill Woodhouse’s return to competitive swimming in the Masters age group saw him re-write the record books.

He broke eight records out of eight events – the oldest being the 100m backstroke which had stood since 1991.

Not surprisingly, Woodhouse won every event, apart from the 100m butterfly which he did not compete in – leaving the door open for Kevin McKenna to claim victory.