Personal bests aplenty for the busy Berkhamsted swimmers

Berkhamsted Swimming Club had another very succesful weekend
Berkhamsted Swimming Club had another very succesful weekend

It was a busy weekend for Berkhamsted Swimming Club, with 38 members competing at Hemel Hempstead’s Birthday Open, Mason Brand swimming for Hertfordshire in the National Inter-County Gala and Louis Armitage taking part in a meet in Dubai.

Although only swimming a relay leg for Herts, Brand made the most of it with a 29.60s 50m butterfly swim; almost a second quicker than he has ever been before.

In Dubai, Armitage came away with six PBs from seven swims, earning him two golds, two silvers and a bronze – all in county qualifying times.

Meanwhile, at Dacorum Sports Centre the bulk of the swimmers were tearing up the pool, especially in the butterfly events.

From 170 swims they came away with 93 PBs, 12 club records and 27 new county qualifying times to accompany their 21 golds, 21 silver and seven bronze medals.

In the 200m butterfly Sam Newman, Adam Hawkswood and Zac Patel took gold, with Owen Strakosch and Amy Stoker picking up silvers.

The 100m butterfly saw even more success; Jamie Hoyes and Chris Nel took first and second in their age group, with Newman picking up another gold and Stoker a bronze alongside Sam Gray’s bronze in the open.

Abbie Hurst swam to yet another PB in her 100m breaststroke with a swim inside the regional qualifying time, while nine-year-old Tamsin Moren claimed six PBs from her seven swims including a new CQT in her 50m breaststroke.

George Thorne claimed four county times in his five swims, while his brother Harry was close to his best in four races and improved his 100m breaststroke time.

Maddie Kiernan claimed her first CQT in the 50m breaststroke and also attacked the 200m with new vigour, improving almost 28 seconds for arguably the swim of the weekend.

Another first time county qualifier was nine-year-old Tom Holmes-Higgin who picked up qualifications in both his 200m freestyle and 200 IM.

Ellie MacDonald continues to find improvement at 16 years old, with sterling efforts in both her 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle to go quicker in both events.

Ben Holmes-Higgin set six bests from his six races and went sub-three minutes in his 200m freestyle for the first time.

For the Strakosch family, 12-year-old Owen set three PBs, while Tom saved his best for last with a PB in the 50m freestyle and dad, Mark, set his second-fastest ever 200m freestyle.

Patel was in impressive form, smashing PBs all round and taking four golds and two silvers from his six races.

PBs were set by Tom Stoker, Charley Stevens, Izzy Sansom (3), Lottie Priestley, Jess Potts, Harry Ormerod, Nel, Ellie Matthews, Miles Martin, Helena Martin, Cam MacDonald, Peter Lever, Ollie Hurst, Danny Hoyes, Aoife Hanling, Sam Gray, Arthur Giles, Jack Filer and Jenny Atwill.

Club records went to Ellie MacDonald, Jamie Hoyes, Ormerod (3), Filer, Abbie Hurst, Stevens (3), and Nel, while also in action for the club were Abbie Brown, Elly Sansom and Emily Hannaby.