01 June 2018
Following the multiple swims at Hemel Hempstead’s Spring Development meet, the number of swimmers from Berkhamsted SC competing at Regional Champs in Luton was much lower with just 3, Tamsin Moren, Abi Hewson and Ella Nijkamp, taking part against the best swimmers from the East of England.
Tamsin, recently recovered from a major knee operation, was back in the competition pool properly for the first time in nearly 4 months. She competed in the 100m & 200m Breaststroke and did enough to show she will be a force once back to full range of movement in her knee and full fitness.
Using the 100m event as a trial, being the first race up, she swam smoothly to a 1:273.94 just a second outside her best set immediately before her operation. She was happy enough with her recovery that she then swam the 200m and posted a massive long course pb by more than 8 seconds, recording 3:08.09.
Abi Hewson was just pleased to be at the meet and in her 50m backstroke heat she touched the pads in another LC pb of 33.67.
Final swimmer up was Ella Nijkamp and in her first 2 events, the 50m fly and 50m free she chopped more than 2 seconds from her fly best with 32.44 for 16th overall then ducked inside 30 seconds lc for the first time, clocking 29.90 and just missing the finals (top 8) in 9th position, showing some welcome aggression.
In the final heat, she took on the 50m Back and went below 34 for the first time as well when she finished in 33.78. This placed her 8th equal and the prospect of a swim off to decide the final qualifier for the final.
After a discussion with the coach poolside for the session (Michelle Hewson) she was far more aggressive in the swim off and won the race from the dive, holding on grimly to take the win going sub 33.
This placed her in the final in the slowest seeded lane 8 but, crucially, out of sight of the other main protagonists. A further discussion with Geoff Wood (poolside for the finals session) provided a race plan of taking the bull by the horns again and risk blowing up and finishing 8th anyway.
In the race itself, her start was electric on the bleep and she ripped her underwater phase to come up a metre ahead of everybody at 15m with arms turning over exceptionally quickly.
At 25m she was probably a metre and a half clear of the two ‘golden lanes’ where the race was expected to be decided. Still ahead into the last 15m the gap shrank rapidly but the race plan proved its worth as she held on to win by just 3/100ths of a second in 32.06. Her time in the final is enough to put her in line for a first ever English Champs swim (currently 7th fastest in England) in August at the Ponds Forge Venue in Sheffield.
Ella waits anxiously for the final invites to be sent alongside the club’s other potential National swimmers, James Chennells, Zac Patel & Ish Rahim for English and Euan Donald for Welsh Champs. They will know the outcome in a week’s time.
A big thank you to both Michelle Hewson and Geoff Wood for supporting our swimmers and the Club at the event.