Two teams in action for Berkhamsted Swimming Club at the Arena League


Berkhamsted Swimming Club’s young showed guts and determination in abundance as the club sent out two teams for the second round of the Arena League.

With the A team travelling to Eltham and the B team in action in Luton, both squads needed good performances to maintain first round placings in London Divisions 1 and 2.

The A team delivered another strong display as they came away with second place on the night and secured an overall seeding of third for the final round of the competition.

The B team – seriously depleted by withdrawals through injury, illness and unavailability – managed seventh in their gala but Amy Pemberton, 12, and 15-year-old Hamish MacCaig put in the performances of the night from a host of exceptional efforts.

Pemberton set a new 100m butterfly PB in the open event and broke her record just 15 minutes later in her own age group.

MacCaig was on fire and set four PBs on the night, starting with his backstroke leg in the medley relay, followed up by his 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle and ending with his lead off in the freestyle relay.

Other standout displays came from Natalia Moren who improved six seconds in her 50m butterfly, Ellie Matthews who took three seconds off her 50m backstroke, and Annabel Nangle who sliced her 50m breaststroke en route to her 100m PB as well as setting a new 100m freestyle best.

Ten-year-old debutante Evie Watson stepped up to cover in the U16 medley relay, while other PBs went to Jenny Atwill, Tom Strakosch, Owen Strakosch, Peter Lever, Hazza Horwood-Jones, Sam Gray, Adam Hawkswood and Jack Bowers.

For the A team, Louis Armitage and Tom Weston set lead off PBs with Armitage also setting new figures in his individual freestyle.

Ish Rahim, Mason Brand, Amelie Baker, Kieran Elliff, Roisin Clarke, Jess Potts, Ben Holmes-Higgin and Charlotte Watson set further lead-off PBs, while Harriet Collinge and Elliff set 50m PBs on their way through 100m races.

There were wins for Jack Filer, Alice Hewson, Jack Rees and the U12 Relay squad of Holmes-Higgin, Rahim, Armitage and Rees.

Club records went to Baker, Charlotte Watson, Potts, Hewson, Armitage, Brand, Nel and Filer for the A team, along with Gray, Atwill and Tom Strakosch for the Bs.

The all-conquering A team U12 boys’ squad also posted a club best in their freestyle relay.

The other swimmers who completed for the two squads were Charlotte Bailey, Abbie Brown, Hannah Coulson, Corie James, Emily Kiernan, Ellen Northwood, Ellie MacDonald, Charlotte Simmons, Emily Simmons, Izzie Soulsby, Jamie Hoyes, Jordan Northwood, Harry Ormerod, JonLuke Summerfield, Jason Wells, Niamh Clarke, Carly Dolman, Emily Hannaby, Holly Hannaby, Molly Philpot, Jack Bowers, Tom Lyons, Cameron MacDonald, Sam Newman, Zac Patel, Jack Pemberton, Danny Ritchie, Tom Stoker and Toby Sands.

With a heavy competition schedule coming up, the club – which swims at Berkhamsted Sportspace and at Berkhamsted School’s Knox Johnston Centre – is looking in excellent shape to tackle the rest of the season.