Hemel Hempstead swimmers reach new heights at the County Championships

Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club enjoyed a record-breaking campaign in the Herts County Championships
Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club enjoyed a record-breaking campaign in the Herts County Championships

With the 2015 Herts County Championships drawing to a close, Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club is celebrating its most successful championships in memory.

With a record 71 swimmers having qualified for nearly 400 swims, the club had a real presence at this year’s counties.

Over the course of the championships, the Hemel team amassed a staggering 76 medals including 30 golds, 21 silvers and 25 bronzes.

Many clubs rely on a small number of swimmers for their medal haul, but this was not the case for Hemel with 13 different swimmers becoming county champions in their age groups.

Overall there were 22 different medallists from the club during the championships.

Other highlights included two county age group records for Charlie Rayner in the 13-year-old category – for 50m and 100m breaststroke – as well as 29 top-eight finishes in the extremely tough open category, which included an amazing 13 medals.

There were 24 new and 10 improved regional qualifying times for Hemel swimmers as the season builds towards the East Region Championships in early summer.

These included three new first time qualifiers in Alice Fender, Eleanor Bevan and Jonny Farrow, as well as a first qualifying time this season for Matt Sherriff.

There were also near misses within a fraction of a second for Keelin McKenna and Ashley Coombs.

A magnificent 160 PBs were set over the course of the championships and there were significant improvements made by Leanne Abrey, Milly Anderton, Reuben Balch, Ashley Coombs, Billie Grant, Shona McKenna, Harrison Newbury-Kemp and Shaminah Sherwani-Keeling.

No fewer than 19 new club records were set, spread across boys and girls in all age groups - with some of the records broken having been set over 10 years ago.

Gold medallists & county champions: Holly Robinson - 50 Back, 50 Free, 50 & 200 Breast, 100 IM (9 years); Georgia Purkis - 100 & 200 Breast (12 years); Charlie Rayner - 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 50, 100 & 200 Breast, 50,100 & 400 Free, 200 IM (13 years); Max Jelfs - 1500 Free (13 years);Emily Jelfs - 50 Free 100 Free (16 years); Grace Rayner - 200 Breast (16 years); Aimee Abrey - 100 & 200 Back (16 years); Joshua Gains - 200 Back & 200IM (16 years); Jacob Hutchings - 400 IM (16 years); Jack Christie - 50 & 100 Breast (16 years); Matt Sherriff - 200 Free (17 years); Robert Jennings - 400 IM (17 years); Freddie Woodcock - 50 Fly (open).

Silver medallists: Elizabeth Kelly – 200 Breast (9 years); Millie Anderton – 50 Back (10 years); Luke Pestaille – 50 Fly (11 years); Georgia Purkis – 800 Free, 50 Breast (12 years); Max Jelfs – 200 & 400 Free (13 years); Aimee Abrey – 50 Back & 200 IM (16 years); Grace Rayner – 50 & 100 Breast (16 years) & 200 Breast (open); Joshua Gains – 50 & 100 Back (16 years); Jack Christie -200 Breast (16 years); Matt Sheriff – 50 &100 Free, 50 Fly (17 years); Robert Jennings – 100 Fly (17 years); Tom Sheriff – 200 & 1500 Free (open).

Bronze medallists: Libby Grant – 50 Back & 200 Free (9 Years); Georgia Purkis – 200 & 400 Free (12 Years); Max Jelfs - 200 IM, 200 Back & 200 Fly (13 years); Charlie Rayner – 100 & 200 Breast (Junior Championship); Aimee Abrey – 100 Free & 200 Free (16 years) & 100 Back (Open); Joshua Gains – 200 Back; Grace Rayner – 50 & 100 Breast (Open); Paige Wilding – 50 & 100 Breast, 200 & 400 IM (17 years); Matt Sheriff – 50 Free (Open); Lois Moore – 50 Back & 100 Free (Open); Tom Sheriff – 100 Fly, 400 Free &400IM (Open); Millie Anderton - 50 Fly (10 years).