A team of 38 Berkhamsted swimmers went to Dacorum Sportspace on Saturday and performed way beyond expectations in their 147 races at the Hemel Hempstead Spring Open.
The meet provided the club with 98 PBs from 147 swims, as well as 71 top-three finishes which yielded 24 gold medals, 19 silvers and 18 bronzes along with 13 speeding tickets – showing just how much progress the youngsters are making.
Evidence of their endurance showed in the final races of a long day as the Berko young guns clocked 14 PBs from 18 swim in the 100 IM.
Meme Hancock set the tone with her first sub-two minute swim, then Evie Watson stunned everybody with her underwater work off the start, coming up at 12.5m en route to a nine-second PB and the silver medal.
Izzy Sansom was on fire all day and took gold in her IM with PB, while Maddie Kiernan also took her age group gold.
For the boys, Jamie Powell took silver in his first open meet, and there were speeding tickets for Tom Holmes-Higgin, Kieran Mallory and George Thorne, with golds for Marley Maidment and Harrison Bullock, silver for Euan Donald, and further PBs for Jack Bowers, Owen Strakosch and Ben Holmes-HigginThe meet began with an eight-second PB for Victoria Ayles, and she improved in her other three races as well, clocking new bests in the 100 breast, 50 free and 50 breast.
Grace Payne was another to demonstrate great skills off start and turn, winning her 100 back gold because of these skills, and picking up a bronze in the 100 free with a PB in 50 fly as well.
Ellie Matthews sliced off nearly five seconds from her 100 back for fourth place.
Lauren Collingwood has more ability than she believes and knocked off a huge chunk in her 100 back, setting new figures for her 100 free as well.
Watson was probably one of the busiest swimmers on the day, setting five other bests beginning with her own speeding ticket in the 100 back, PB in the 50 free, an eight-second PB and bronze in the 100 free, and silver and PB in the 50 back before her excellent IM.
Izzy Sansom started her tremendous day with a heat win and speeding ticket for her 100 breast (PB). She clocked another small PB when finishing second in her 100 free heat for silver as well. Her 50 breast saw another gun-to-touch heat win (bronze medal) before finishing with her IM victory.
Louise Holden took another gold in her 100 back, alongside gold in the 50 free and silver in the 100 Breast.
Amy Stoker has returned to competition with renewed fire and claimed her own speeding tickets in the 100 Back (pb) and 50 Free (pb) along with gold & 4 second improvement in the 10 breast.
Owen Strakosch won bronze in the 100 back (PB), 50 fly and 100 fly (PB), while he also went PB in his 100 breast and 100 free.
Malory is a potential star of the future, clinching speeding tickets in his 100 back and 100 breast, and winning his heats for silver medals in the 100 free and 50 fly.
Adam Hawkswood won bronze in the 100 back, 50 fly (PB) and gold in the 50 free.
Harry Thorne is starting to believe and improved two seconds in his 100 back (silver), speeding ticket in the 50 back (PB), gold (six-second PB) in 100 fly, along with gold and PB in the 50 breast.
Peter Lever has reached the point where he is disappointed if he is not improving and claimed another gold in the 100 back (PB), 50 fly (PB) and 50 breast, alongside silvers in each of the 100 breast and 100 free (PB).
Sam Newman stunned everybody with a win in the 100 back, 50 back and 50 breast, with silver in the 100 breast.
One of the newer swimmers, Lara Coster showed enormous talent to take a speeding ticket in her 50 fly in her first open swim.
Lydia Wisely was second in her heat of the 50 fly (sixth overall) and replicated that feat in the 50 free as well.
Sophie Eastham, another newcomer, enjoyed her 50 free and 50 fly, while Roisin Clarke showed what she is capable of when improving her 50 fly time and blitzing her 100 free as well.
Helena Martin is another improving swimmer who needs to find a racing ‘gear’. She took silver in the 50 fly.
Kiran Gray, returning to competition after injury, took bronze in the 50 fly after storming to a heat win before triumphing in the 50 free as he works hard on his technique too.
Miles Martin improved in his 50 fly and 50 free, while Tom Stoker looked solid in his 50 fly before setting a new PB in his 100 breast.
Marley Maidment won bronze in his 50 fly and silver in his 100 breast (PB), slicing 10 seconds from his 100 free for a speeding ticket and took silver in the 100 breast.
Maddie Kiernan used to see herself as a one-stroke swimmer but has got better beyond all recognition across all strokes as shown in her IM gold, but she also claimed gold in her favourite 100 breast and silver in the 50 free.
Alec Clarke was delighted to take sixth in the 50 back and set a PB in his 50 breast.
George Thorne won his speeding tickets in the 100 breast (third-fastest overall) in an eight-second PB and 100 free (PB by almost three seconds and second-fastest overall) before winning gold in the 100 fly and 50 breast, both in big PBs.
Another in speeding ticket territory was Callum Bullock, 100 Breast (PB). He also improved nine seconds in his 100 free and grabbed silver in the 50 breast (PB).
Conall Clarke competed in the 50 breast and 50 free for his first open meet, while Ben Filer had one race - winning his heat in a four-second PB in the 50 free in his first open meet as well.
Harrison Bullock began with bronze in the 50 free, followed it up with silver (five-second PB) in the 100 free and smashed his PB in the 100 flt by 15 seconds for his speeding ticket and fastest overall.
Jack Bowers has very limited open meet experience and began his meet by knocking his 100 free down by over five seconds. He then improved his 50 back to claim bronze and also went quicker in his 50 breast.
Ben Holmes-Higgin picked up the gold (PB) for his 100 free, as well as setting PBs in his 50 back and 50 breast (sixth).
Euan Donald is more of a distance swimmer but began by slicing 11 seconds off his 100 free (ninth). He then won gold in the 50 back, winning his heat comfortably in a PB, as well as picking up silver in the 100 fly (12-second pb) and another PB in his 50 breast before his IM swim.
Izzie MacDonald is a mere beginner in terms of open meets but showed promise with bronze in her 50 back (PB) and a 22-second PB in her 100 fly (bronze again).
Matilda Verney-Kershaw never stops smiling and, despite a d/q in her 100 fly, went PB in her 50 back.
Marcus Donald began his open meet career with the 50 back and 50 Breast, while Powell was delighted with his IM medal and also improved in his 50 back and 50 breast (bronze) for a productive first meet.