Speedy young guns on fire at East of England Championships

Charlie Rayner and Ashley Coombs impressed for Hemel Hempstead SC at the East of England Regional Championships
Charlie Rayner and Ashley Coombs impressed for Hemel Hempstead SC at the East of England Regional Championships

Two of Hemel Hempstead’s top young swimmers did their club proud in Norwich at the East of England Championships.

Charlie Rayner qualified as the youngest competitor in the boys’ 13-year-old category and entered five events, while 12-year-old Ashley Coombs qualified for the boys’ 100m freestyle.

Charlie finished 11th in the 400IM in a long course PB of 5:29.74 and came 12th in the 200IM in 2:33.50.

He narrowly missed the finals of the 100m breaststroke by six hundredths of a second, finishing ninth in a time of 1:18.39, and also just missed the 200m breaststroke finals by two tenths - finishing ninth in 2:51.19.

In addition, he secured 20th position in the boys’ 13-year-old 100m freestyle in a time of 1:03.25.

Ashley, meanwhile, swam a long course PB in the 100m freestyle in the 12-year-old boys’ competition, finishing 15th overall. Having gone out fast over the first 50m of the race, he kept his form well and finished strongly.

Both boys set long course PBs in every event and swam brilliantly in their first ever Regional Championships.

Hemel Hempstead SC head Coach Alan Doyle said: “Both boys have achieved great times at these championships which are a big step up from counties.

“I see big things for them next year with continued commitment and hard work in training.”