A group of 25 lucky swimmers from Berkhamsted Swimming Club travelled to the Olympic Pool in London on Sunday to take part in the inaugural long course open meet, run by Waltham Forest Gators.
Badged as a Level 1 meet, the competition included some of the fastest swimmers from across the country and the Berkhamsted youngsters showed themselves in a good light, particularly as for many it was their first venture in a 50m pool.
Their final haul from 75 swims was 20 long course PBs, 43 first time swims, seven club records, three gold medals, three silvers and four bronzes, and also included three all course PBs – where the time was quicker than their existing 25m pool PB.
A stand-out swim came from Ellen Northwood in the 100m fly where she chopped more than two seconds from her long course PB, posting 1:13.52, ranking her third in the region and securing her the gold medal.
There was also gold for Abbie Hurst in the 100m breast in a time that converts to a PB if swum short course, as well as bronze in the 200m breast to complement her brother Ollie’s bronze in the 200m breast in a 2:46.91 long course PB.
Amy Pemberton came away with two silvers from her first 50m pool swims, in the 50m and 100m free, while Charlotte Watson – in her first competition back from injury – walked away with a gold (50m free) in a PB time, silver (100m back) and two bronzes (200 IM and 200m back).
Showing the benefit of training hard over the Christmas period, George Thorne set two all-course PBs (50m free and 100m back) and a converted PB from his 200m free.
Other converted PBs came from Amelie Baker (50m free), Ellen Northwood (100m free), Jordan Northwood (100m fly) and Izzie Soulsby (200m free).
Long course bests went to Yazii Brand, returning to the club after five years (100m free); Roisin Clarke (200m back); Jamie Hoyes (50m and 200m free, 100m back and 100m fly); Jordan Northwood (200m free, 200 IM and 100m free); Tom Strakosch (100m free), Tom Weston (50m free, 100m back and 100m free).
Others swimming for the first time were Abi Hewson, Hamish MacCaig, Tamsin Moren, Charley Stevens, Amy Stoker and Harry Thorne.
Completing the Berkhamsted squad were Mason Brand, Alice Hewson, Eli MacDonald, and JonLuke Summerfield