10 December 2017
Ultimately, the final round of the National Arena League saw Berkhamsted SC relegated from the 2nd tier of the London Division of the National league but every swimmer gave 100% on the night and there were some standout performances.
The only win of the night came from Abi Hewson whose 1:06.17 was just enough to hang on in the last few metres. Showing grit and determination she held off a surging 2nd place swimmer to touch almost two and a half seconds ahead of her previous best.
Biggest pb of the night went to late stand in, Owen Strakosch. Arriving at the pool to help the team management he found himself thrust into the action due to unavailability and after borrowing trunks, hat and a pair goggles in the Open 100m Backstroke appeared unfazed and came home 16 seconds ahead of his best with 1:09.40.
James Chennells started the gala with a battling 2nd place in the Open 200 IM and there were other individual 2nd place finishes for Ella Nijkamp (12/13 Girls Backstroke – 1:13.26 an improved County Qualifying time) who led until the last 5m and Alex Kalverboer who gained his County Qualification in the Boys 10/11 50m Breaststroke with 43.86.
In addition, the Girls 12/13 Medley Relay squad of Nijkamp, Tamsin Moren, Lydia Wisely & Hewson, claimed a battling 2nd in 2:18.91.
Chris Nel has become a pure sprinter in the last year or so and broke the club record for 50m Backstroke in leading off the Men’s Open Medley team with 29.34, followed in by Euan Donald – swimming up, James Chennells & Peter Lever, another late replacement. Chris Nel’s speed also shone when he led off the 6 x 50m Open Free relay in the final event with his first sub 25 second swim in 24.70.
Alex Kalverboer nipped in with another best time for 3rd in the 10/11 Backstroke, recording 37.53 and in the same age group Jack Eyles lowered his best to 45.26.
Michael Joyce showed how much he has improved by lowering his 50m Breaststroke time on route to a final 100m time of 1:33.07 which was an overall pb of 4 seconds and Victoria Ayles did the same in her 100m Fly. Never having swum the 100m event before she was still after than her 50m pb at halfway.
Ish Rahim was a stalwart as the 15 year old swam three 100m races inside 12 minutes as he stood in for an absent swimmer in the Open 100m Fly plus his own Fly and 100m free showing the team ethic that the club is all about.
Christina Soulsby (50m Breast – 45.16), David Graham (100m Fly – 1:31.46) & Izzy Sansom (100m Breast – 1:34.13) all set personal best times and first time Arena swimmer Dylan Kiddle dropped his 50m Back best as he led off the Boys’ 9/11 year Medley relay followed by 2 other first timers Cole Moore & Fionn Clare plus Jack Eyles.
The rest of the squad was made up of Ellen Northwood, Emma Hockney, Amelia Dewar, Abigail Briers, Sam Baker, Tom Holmes-Higgin, Caitlin Kelley, Issy Soulsby, Dan Chennells, Luke Nijkamp, Charlotte Watson & Jess Potts.
Although relegated the club will look to bounce back even stronger in the 2018 season.
A big thank you to the following volunteers & coaches without whom we could not support our swimmers. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and help support our/your swimmers and the Club.
Officials - Jo Sansom & Mark Strakosch
Volunteers - Kath Donald, Natalia Moren & Tracey Moren
Also special thanks to Owen Strakosch who would have helped but back filled Zac's position in the team and did exceptionally well.
Coaches - Zoe Watson and Geoff Wood
Thanks also to Charles who paid a flying visit to support the team too.