Team Luton Autumn Short Course

A select band of 9 swimmers from Berkhamsted SC made their way to the Inspire complex at Luton this weekend to look to improve their times and it proved to be a wise choice.

Dan Chennells began the meet by dropping over half a second from his Open 100m Backstroke time to claim the first County consideration time of the meet for the club, placing him 9th. He followed this up with another 9th, just off his pb in the 50 back, clocking 31.63.

Ellen Northwood gets very little water time these days but plugged away in the 200m fly to record 2:46.55 and pick up the first medal of the meet with silver in the open category. She followed this up with her fastest 50m Fly time since 2015 in 31.60 and her first sub 30 second 50m free time for over 2 years with 29.77. Both the 50m sprints were inside the County Consideration times for January.

Vicky Ayles is starting to come good in her racing and began the meet by slicing nearly 15 seconds from her 200m IM time, lowering it to 2:54.95, having set a 50m best after the fly leg of 39.06 on route and followed it with a 2:31.41 200m free swim. After a 33.55 for her 50m Free she swam a 200m backstroke for the first time, posting 2:50.23 and then stood up for the 800m freestyle event. Starting possibly too conservatively she notched up consistent 4 second 50m splits but was able to raise her game in the final 50m of just over 35 seconds. Her final time of 10:43.87 obliterated her previous best by over half a minute and saw her set a 400m pb at half way as well in 5:22.64.

Emma Hockney has been working hard on her technique in recent months and it is starting to show as she bumped her 200m free time down to 2:50.76 and followed up with a 50m free time of 32.99.

Tamsin Moren continues her return to something like her old form and started her meet on the Sunday with the 400m Individual medley just a fortnight after setting her most recent pb. Showing strength borne from the knowledge of how to swim it she dropped another 6 seconds finishing agonisingly close to breaking the 6 minutes barrier in 6:01.66, improving her CCT to claim the silver medal in the 13 year old age group. Evidence of her confidence is that she set a new 100m butterfly pb at the end of the first 100m in 1:15.81 bettering her previous, stand alone best by exactly 2 seconds. She followed this up by taking over 2.5 seconds from her 50m backstroke, placing 4th in 36.21 (CCT) and then dropped over 11 seconds in her 200m backstroke for 7th in 2:48.70 and another CCT. Like Ayles she went for the 800m free and improved nearly 7 seconds. Her early speed was such that she also set bests at both 100m (1:15.81) and 400m (5:33.88) on her way through, finishing with her 2nd fastest 50m of the race in the final 50m with 35.97.

Issy Soulsby and Chrissie Soulsby were involved on the Sunday morning. Issy went faster than at any time since County Champs this year in her 100m Back with 1:10.97 (CCT)  and pocketed the bronze in the Open 50m back with 33.16, Meanwhile, Chrissie unfortunately suffered 2 disqualifications, going early in her 100m Fly but with the knowledge that it was faster than she has ever swum the race before.

Abbie Briers improved both her 100m free and 50m fly best times to 1:09.27 & 36.01, both faster by over a second and both CCTs as well.

Biggest smiles of the weekend came from Eva Lawson who goes from strength to strength across all strokes and distances. In 6 races she set 6 personal bests, claimed 5 golds and a silver and rewrote 5 club records. She began by slicing well over 3 seconds from her 50m Breast for gold and club best in 43.98 breaking Tamsin Moren’s 2 year old record and her first County Qualifying time of the meet. This was followed by a huge 15 second bettering of her 200m IM time, another gold in 2:54.49 and taking Issy Soulsby’s 2014 club best with the first sub 3 minute swim by a BSC swimmer. In the 200m breast she was almost 30 seconds faster than ever before. This time her 3:27.83 included a pb at 100m (1:41.50) and another CQT into the bargain. Next up was another gold in the 100m backstroke where she went 14 seconds faster than ever before in 1:19.63, another club record by 7 seconds breaking the club best on the books from 2013 (CQT). On Sunday morning she began with what was now a norm with a 9 second club best (1:28.85) in the 100m Fly which took gold and another CQT and finished the meet with 2:50.59 shattering the oldest club best on the books from June 2013 by a massive 13 seconds (CQT) for a 5th Gold medal as well.

Geoff Wood

Head Coach