25 February 2019
At the middle Round of the Herts Major League, Round 2 of 3, held at Everyone Active, Hemel Hempstead, the team was hit by holidays and belated injury and illness. As always those who stepped in performed incredibly well although the final result of 6th on the night does not necessarily reflect those efforts.
The night began with victory for Amy Pemberton as she returned from Plymouth college to represent the club, she is so proud to wear the hat for, clocking 58.93 in the Open Free. She was followed by a still suffering from illness, James Chennells. He stepped up as always to claim a merited 2nd with his second ever 53 second 100m Free, posting 53.56, just 0.05 shy of his all time club record.
Ruby Liddle and Luca Warr, both first time League performers, swam pbs in the 9-11 50m back, clocking 41.88 & 56.50 respectively for a sum of over 6 seconds improvement.
For the Under 16s Issy MacDonald (1:24.81) and Dan Chennells (1:08.52) went pb in the 100m fly. Dan Chennells grows in confidence every swim and as a late replacement for the race will be delighted that he also set a 50m pb at half way (30.20).
Vicky Ayles was another to set a pb in the Open 100m Back in 1:22.91 with Cam MacDonald just 1/2 a second off his own best in 4th for the boys with 1:09.19.
Again for the 9-11 years both Lara Connell and Hugh Burnell-Smith (another first timer) set best times of 47.01 & 1:02.81 in the 50m Breast followed by huge best times by over 6 & 7 seconds respectively for Elliss McNab (1:20.50) & Tom Stoker (1:11.31) in the 14-15 years age group.
Into the first set of relays the club, as always gain better placings with their ‘It’s all about the team’ mantra, than the sum of their individual swims.
Beginning with 4th for the girls Open Medley (Molly Baker on back, pb 38.76); Issy Soulsby, Ellen Northwood & Pemberton) and the men (MacDonald, Euan Donald, Owen Strakosch &, swimming up George Thorne) coming 5th.
Ruby Liddle’s Free led off the leg for the 9-11 Girls Free relay was faster than she has ever swum before in 34.92, handing to Tilly Anderton (again home from Millfield and called in at the last minute, showing how much the team ethic suits the club), Lara Connell & Eva Lawson) and for the boys, Hugh Burnell-Smith, Luca Warr & Ollie Brandwood were all first timers in the league alongside relative old hand William Barnes.
Daisy Laing, Evie Watson, Isabella MacDonald & Ellis MacNab teamed as did David Graham, Dan Chennells, George Thorne & Tom Stoker, in the under 16 medley relays.
In the U14 Free events it was Tamsin Moren, Chrissie Soulsby (another last few days inclusion), Lara Coster & Lydia Wisely for the girls together with Kalverboer, Eze Svichla-Fekete, Pierce Philbin & Tom Holmes-Higgin for the boys.
Eva Lawson picked up win number 2 for the club on the night taking the 9-11 years 50m fly comfortably in 35.19. Daisy Laing is an all rounder and happy to swim the 100m Back in the under 16s posting a first-time swim pb of 1:29.22.
Tamsin Moren, more normally seen in the breaststroke, took on the 100m Free and clicked home in 2nd place, smashing out an 8 second best time of 1:07.69 with Pierce Philbin also taking his time down by nearly 7 seconds to 1:18.38.
There were 4th & 5th places for Ellen Northwood and returnee Euan Donald in the Open 100m Fly and then Tilly Anderton showed her improvement posting 37.50 for the 50m free with Ollie Brandwood not phased by his first effort in the league setting his own best with 44.00.
The last winner for the club was Kalverboer in the Under 14 100m Back cruising home in 1:15.44.
The second round of relays saw lead off pbs for Tom Stoker (Free, 30.70) & Ruby Liddle (Back, 43.57) in their respective Free & Medley relays.
The final event is always the 8 x 50m squadron and amidst rising noise levels, Eva Lawson 31.26, Willima Barnes 38.60, Tamsin Moren 30.26, Alex Kalverboer 31.60, Evie Watson 31.79, Dan Chennells 26.11, Amy Pemberton 27.55 & James Chennells 23.63 brought the squad home 3rd in 4:00.80 to send everybody home with smiles on their faces.
With many more meets in coming weeks it is a busy time for everybody involved and these swims set them up nicely.