15 January 2018
The first round of the annual Herts Major League produced some excellent results for the two Berkhamsted SC teams. The Stevenage team finished 3rd in their gala at Stevenage, which the club hosted, and the Borehamwood team won the gala at Borehamwood by a clear margin.
A big thanks to all volunteers and officials at both locations who helped make this a very enjoyable night at both locations and without whom we couldn't support our swimmers.
Thanks also to the Stevenage team who hosted the event, a lot of us very new to hosting this type of event. Feedback from the other Clubs was extremely positive, so we have set the bar, well done to all of you, not forgetting Zoe Watson who lead the team.
Finally thanks to Mike Pain (who so the story goes was very animated at Borehamwood, good on you Mike ) and Sian MacDonald, for stepping in last minute to lead the team at Borehamwood.
It was also very pleasing to see that as we decided last year to put two teams up, we had the opportunity for a lot of new swimmers, thanks to the parents for supporting this.
Amy Stoker and Peter Lever started the Borehamwood team on route to their win with a 2nd place for Amy and a win for Peter in the Open 100 Free. Peter closing in on his first sub 60 for the 100m posted a pb by over half a second to record 1:00.13.
This was followed by a win for Jemima Cadge in the 10/11 back stroke and a huge 5 second pb for Hugh Burnell-Smith in his first swim at a team meet.
Laura Geere then blitzed her 50 fly pb by over 7 seconds in the 14/15 girls event with Euan Donald posting a 2nd place in his version of the event recording a pb of 30.47.
Yazeed Swarray-Deen lowered his 50 Breast best to 47.40 & Molly Baker dropped her 100m back by over 7 seconds to 1:22.63 while Cameron MacDonald claimed victory for the boys Open back with 1:10.32 (a pb by almost a second). The wins continued with Lara Connell taking the 10/11 breast, Dan Chennells claiming the 14/15 Free and Alex Farnham her first club team win in the 12/13 fly lowering her best by over 2 seconds to clock 37.32. In between Daisy Laing (14/15 Free, swimming up an age) and Sam Baker (12/13 Fly) both set pb times.
The first set of relays saw unparalleled success with wins for the Open Boys Medley (Cameron MacDonald, Harry Thorne, Jack Filer & Peter Lever); Girls 10/11 Free (Seren Duehl, Lara Connell, Tilly Anderton & Eva Lawson); Boys 14/15 Medley (Owen Strakosch, Donald, George Thorne & Daniel Chennells); and both the 12/13 Free relay teams (Alex Farnham, Elliss MacNab, Emmy Barnes & Izzy MacDonald and Rafael Armstrong, Jack Eyles, Swarray Deen & Baker).
Wins continued to pile up in the second round of individuals with Jack Filer smashing out 1:11.07 for the Open 100m Breast and Eva Lawson (another first timer) taking the 10/11 fly in a pb of 19.38. Harry Thorne took the Open 50m Fly in pb (30.20) and Tilly Anderton claimed the win in the 10/11 Free with 17.43 and another pb. The final win came from Lara Coster who won the 12/13 50m back not bothering with a 40 second swim but crashing through the 40 second barrier with a 39.57.
In between again there were pbs for Elliss MacNab & Rafael Armstrong (12/13 Free 36.47 & 34.94 respectively – both finishing 2nd), Tracy Van Deventer, also 2nd in the Open 50m Fly – 35.45; William Barnes in the 10/11 Free; Callum Bullock (2nd 14/15 Breast 38.25) and Ben Filer (2nd 12/13 Back 43.19 – pb by over 3 seconds).
The second round of relays saw 2nd place for the Open Girls Free (Jess Potts, Molly Baker, Tracy Van Deventer & Amy Stoker), wins for the Boys Open free and Girls 10/11 Medley (Lara Connell, Gemma Cadge, Eva Lawson & Seren Diehl); 2nd places for both 14/15 Free squads (Laura Geere, Alex Farnham, Elliss MacNab & Caitlin Kelley and Euan Donald, Owen Strakosch, Callum Bullock & Daniel Chennells) and in the 12/13 Medley relays Emmy Barnes, Daisy Laing, Alex Farnham & Izzy MacDonald romped to victory and the boys (Ben Filer, Yazeed Swarray-Deen, Jack Eyles & Rafael Armstrong) took 2nd.
The other members of the successful squad were Sam Griffiths, Joe Harrison & Jack Rutherfurd alongside Louise Holden and they all cheered home the Squadron relay at the end to cap a victorious night for the Borehamwood team.
At teh Stevenage pool the Stevenage team had a tough fight with their position varying from 1st after the first 2 races to 5th but ending with a well merited 3rd place overall.
The night began with 100m Open Free wins for Amy Pemberton and James Chennells followed by a pb in the 10/11 back for both Amelia Dewar 42.64 and Dan Traynor who chopped off a massive 7 seconds.
After a 2nd place for a rejuvenated Issy Soulsby in the 14/15 backstroke, Ish Rahim returned to winning ways with victory in his 14/15 100m fly.
Tamsin Moren improved her 100m breast time to 1:25.92 for 2nd as she also returns to form ahead of the County Champs at the end of the month.
Chris Nel was close to his 100m back best with 1:05.47 for 3rd place and first time Herts league swimmer, Mia Hickman, dropped her 50m breast time in the 10/11 age group by almost a second and a half to clock 46.86 alongside Cole Moore in the same boy’s event also setting a pb.
For the older girls, in the 14/15 100m Free, Victoria Ayles lopped off another 2 seconds to go 1:12.06 and for the boys James Corner also closed on an elusive first sub 60 with 1:00.54 and the final pb of the first half came from Tom Holmes-Higgin in the 12/13 100m fly with 1:35.25.
There were 3rd places for both Open Medley relays (Charlotte watson, Maddie Kiernan, Ellen Northwood & Amy Pemberton and Chris Nel, Zac Patel, Sam Newman & James Chennells and the Boys 12/13 Free squad (Michael Joyce, David Graham, Tom Holmes-Higgin & Adi Cooper) while the Boys 14/15 Medley squad (Luke Nijkamp, Louis Armitage, Ish Rahim & James Corner) triumphed in their race in 2:01.03.
Alex Kalverboer continues to impress and took the win in the 10/11 50 Fly dropping over 3 seconds to win in 38.59 and in the 14/15 Boys 100m Back, Luke Nijkamp improved to 1:09.09.
He was swiftly followed by a gutsy, almost 3 second pb from Abbie Briers with 1:11.96 for her 100m free. Michael Joyce (12/13 Free) and Ellen Northwood (Open Fly) both picked up 3rd spots before Emma Hockney & Andrew Corner improved to 35.46 & 41.28 for their 10/11 50m Free, respectively.
Louis Armitage set a new club best in the 100 Breast (14/15 age group) with 1:14.35, Ella Nijkamp nicked 2nd place in the 12/13 back and then the biggest improvement of the night went to David Graham in the 12/13 100m Back as he sliced a massive 11.45 seconds from his best in 1:24.24.
The second set of relays saw 3rd again for the open Girls relay squad in the free while the boys improved one position to 2nd, the Boys 14/15 Free relay team made it a clean sweep for them winning in 1:48.33 and there were further 3rd places for both 12/13 medley squads (Ella Nijkamp, Tamsin Moren, Lydia Wisely & Abigail Briers and David Graham, Adi Cooper, Tom Holmes-Higgin & Michael Joyce) before the squadron came home in an exhilarating 2nd spot to climax a terrific night of swimming.
The other members of the Stevenage team comprised Christina Soulsby and Izzy Sansom.
An excellent swim by all our swimmers, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, well done to both teams.