There was another successful weekend for Berkhamsted Swimming Club as 22 swimmers competed at Hoddesdon Swimming Club’s County Qualifying meet.
One hundred swims produced nine golds, nine silvers and 13 bronze medals as some of the less experienced swimmers revelled in the competitive environment.
Euan Donald topped the club’s personal medal haul with a brace of each colourfrom his six events across the three sessions.
Possibly his best result came in the 200 Breast where, seeded in the fastest heat, the 13 year old hung on grimly to record a one and a half second improvement and log his first Regional QT in this event with a time of 2:54.91 which also set a new club 13 year old record for the event and claimed silver.
Evidence of how good his swim was came in that he also set a 100m pb en route to the finish. Euan’s wins came in the 100m & 200m (pb) Freestyle races with second in the 50 Free and bronze in the 50 fly & 100 IM.
Tamsin Moren, 11, also competed in six events, taking three golds, a silver and two bronzes. Her piece de resistance came in the 50 Breast at the end of the weekend where she stormed to a heat win against older opposition in a pb of 41.87, her first sub 42 swim. She also set a pb in the 50 Back for gold and won her 100m back age group as well.
Peter Lever had by far his best meet for a long time showing he has developed into a good all round swimmer. His biggest improvements came in the fly events where he showed much better rhythm than lately, clocking almost 4 seconds faster in his 100m and 2 seconds in the 50m race. This stroke improvement also shone through in the Medley events where he set pbs in both the 200m & 100m IMs. His silver medal came in the 200 IM.
Lydia Wisely was the busiest female swimmer for the club with seven swims, setting pbs in six of them including an enormous 11 second improvement in the 100 Fly where she took second overall with 1:44.14. Her other pbs came in the 100 Free (nearly 3 seconds), 50 Free & 50 Back, 50 Fly which she won in 38.63 and the 100 IM and 50 Breast as well.
Also competing in seven events was Harry Thorne who finished with two bronze medals from the 100 & 200 Breast events which seem to be his signature races at the moment. In the 100m event he also set his fastest ever 50m breast time with 36.15, whilst in the 100m free he closed in on the 60 second barrier with 1:00.45 and exactly equalled his best of 27.93 in the 50 free as well.
Tom Stoker is starting to learn to race and came good with four pbs from four swims at the meet including a best placing of fourth in the 100m Back. His biggest improvement was in the 100 Free where he sliced his time down by over three seconds, also improving in the 200 IM and 50 Breast. Cam MacDonald should be delighted with his four best times from four races including an impressively aggressive 200m Free where he dropped over four seconds and a took massive two second plus off his 50 back time as well.
Abbie Hurst showed she has four good strokes, comfortably winning her age group in the 200 IM, smoothly knocking three seconds from her pb in a County Qualifying time of 2:37.00 during which she also improved her 50 Fly time to 36.16 and stole away with the silver in the 100 back as well. Her IM heat was one of the most exciting races of the second day as she held off a fast finishing second place swimmer to win by just 1/1000th of a second.
Christina Soulsby may only have competed in two events but the 10 year old stroked her way to pbs in both, chopping over three seconds from her 100 IM and more than a second off her 50 back as well. Sam Newman had begun the meet for the club on Saturday with a typically strong 200m Fly for fourth place.
He dipped inside the minute again in his 100 Free with 59.93 and, swimming tough, took on all five events in the first session. Like his brother, George Thorne was busy with seven races. He collected bronze in the 200 free as he clocked a time more than 3 seconds faster than before with a storming last 50m. He also improved his best times in the 50m and 100m freestyle events.
Amy Stoker, after a barren 18 months with injury problems finally started to come good with swims close to her old pbs and cracked it in the 50m back where she set an all time best for her with 36.65 and lit up the pool with the smile that realised she is coming back to her best.
Abbie Briers set her meet off by dropping more than 6 seconds from her 100m free time and when she realises what potential she has, could be a big player in her age group at County level. Marcus Donald’s best swims came with pbs in the 50m Free and back and the final event of a six race programme for him, the 100 IM.
Caitlin Kelley was another seven event swimmer, improving in her 100m & 200m (6 seconds) free and 50m back and picked up her bronze in the final event for her, the 50m Breast. Louise Holden dropped time on her 100m Back as did Maddie Kiernan in her 50m Free. Alex Kalverboer picked up silver in the 200 Breast & Tommy Maidment a bronze in the 50m Fly despite both being slightly off their best at the meet, whilst Issy Soulsby took bronze in her 200m Free as well.
Ish Rahim wrapped up the meet for the club in the final event as he stormed to an exciting win in the final heat of the 100 IM posting a 1:08.25 for victory by just half a second at the final touch having earlier also picked up the gold in the 50m fly. The final swimmer from the club, Grace Payne had her meet stopped by illness after a gutsy 100m Free.
The club continues to swim strongly at all levels and with it’s own Distance Champs coming shortly and the final round of the National Arena League, mid–December and Abbie Hurst being the club’s first swimmer at a Senior national meet (National Winter Champs 15th December at Ponds Forge) approach 2017 with high expectations of more superb performances.