Berkhamsted - Round One 2014

The National League campaign began with a bang for Berkhamsted Swimming Club at the Inspire Luton, Sports Village on Saturday. Missing several of their normal ‘big hitters’ the club showed that their strength in depth is building as, those who came in as replacements, stepped up and performed heroically.

The coaches had a difficult task in choosing the ‘swimmers of the night’ awards and finally decided to award the Girls’ 12/13 squad of Ellen Northwood, Amy Pemberton, Abbie Hurst, Amy Stoker and Niamh Clarke the title for their sterling performances up, down and around the age groups all night, whilst the Boys award went to first timer for the club, James Chennells.

First winner on the night, for the club was Hurst with a pb and club best in her own age group 100m Breast cruising home nearly 3 seconds clear. She then backed this up with 2nd in the 14/15 age group as well, still quicker than her previous pb.

Pemberton is fast becoming a force in local swimming and stormed clear of her field in the first 50 of her 12/13 100m Free, staying clear by over 2.5 seconds for a comfortable victory in yet another pb.

Other wins came for the relay squads of Tom Weston, Ollie Hurst, Tom Lyons and Jordan Northwood in the 14/15 Medley race where Northwood set a final split of 26.07 to gamely hang on by the proverbial fingertip for a club best. Earlier, Northwood, Weston and Lyons had teamed with Chris Nel to set new club figures in the Free relay as they finished second.

The 12/13 boys team of Chennells, Zac Patel, Ish Rahim and Mason Brand were very comfortable in closing out their Freestyle Relay pipping local rivals Hemel to the finishing touch. The same quartet managed second in the corresponding Medley relay just losing out to Hemel on that occasion.
Chennells got his award having set pbs in his 100 back, 100 Free and his lead off 50 Free leg showing obvious class in all 3.
13 year old, Ellen Northwood had begun the gala by taking almost 3 seconds off her 200 IM time swimming up in the Open race and then also smashed her 100 Fly pb twice, both in the 14/15 age group (3rd) and then 10 minutes later in her own age group (2nd).

It was a family double in the IM when brother, Jordan, was next up and took over a second off his pb for a new club age group and open record of 2.20.91.
New Club bests performances were set by Izzie Soulsby in the 50 Fly (pb), Eli MacDonald in the 100 Breast (pb), Charley Stevens in the 100 Free (pb) and Brand in the 100 Breast (pb) while there were further pb times for:
Zac Patel – lead off 50 back leg of the 12/13 Medley relay;
Jordan Northwood – lead off 50 Free leg of the 14/15 Free relay;
Hamish MacCaig – lead off 50 Back leg in the Open Medley relay & individual 100 Fly;
Stoker and Weston – individual 100m Back, Stoker carving her pb apart by over 5 seconds;
Pemberton – lead off free leg in the 12/13 Free relay.

James Corner, Marley Maidment, Jack Bowers and George Thorne teamed up to set a club record in the 9-11 200m Free relay shattering the old best by over 4 seconds for 3rd place on the night. The final club best came from Amelie Baker, Elly Matthews, Evie Watson and Souslby in the 9-11 years 200m Free relay.

Making up the squad which finished 6th on the night were: Abbie Brown, Harriet Horwood-Jones, Elly Sansom, Jenny Atwill, Jack Filer & Sam Gray.

The squad were a delight to coach and can look forward with confidence to the final 2 rounds.