The winner was over 165 years old, but star Sam is just 18

Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club masters squad at the county championships, June 2013
Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club masters squad at the county championships, June 2013

A squad of 20 seniors from Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club took the runners-up spot, their highest placing for many years, at the Herts ASA Masters championships.

The Hemel Hempstead squad ranged in age from 18 to 57, with 18-year-old Sam Pigott taking home five gold medals after winning all the individual events he entered and being part of the mens 4 x 25 freestyle team with a combined age of more than 165.

Sam’s dad Mike was also a member of the winning relay team.

Kira Doyle, also 18, won three golds, including victory in the ladies 4 x 50 freestyle relay and ladies 4 x 50 medley relay for a total age of 72 years and over, where she was supported by Melissa Brandon, Sophie Ayres and Rachel Barber.

Rachel, 25, also secured a total of three golds, winning her individual 50m backstroke event as well.

Dedicated coach Dave Pirrie, 57, showed that he knows how to put theory into practice with three golds – he was first in the 50m breaststroke and 100m individual medley as well as being a member of the winning freestyle relay squad.

Valuable points to the overall team score were added by Bev McKenna, Bill Woodhouse, James McFarlane, Kevin McKenna, Mark Ayres and Sophie Ayres.

The Borehamwood gala ended in a string of thrilling relays with Hemel Hempstead fielding a total of 13 relay teams.

In the mixed medley relay for total age 165+ (two men and two women) there were four separate Hemel Hempstead teams involved.

Also competing on the night were Sophie Moore, Tracey Ayres, Philip Isles, Matthew Rafiq-Craske, Margot Wood, Liz Sherriff, Ralph Sherriff and Claudia Cruttwell.

Club officials Carryl Baughan, Vickie Brandon, Vic Coombs and Ian Sewell provided valuable support to the team’s efforts.