Berkhamsted Blues leave it late to secure second spot in dramatic climax

The Berkhamsted Swimming Club Blue team took second place at Southbury Road.
The Berkhamsted Swimming Club Blue team took second place at Southbury Road.

There were some excellent individual and personal performances from the Berkhamsted Swimming Club youngsters in round two of the Herts League Division One galas at the weekend.

The Blue team were in action at Southbury Road and were made to wait until the final squadron relay to secure second place on the night.

The Red team, meanwhile, finished in sixth in their gala at Potters Bar.

Louis Armitage took the first win for the Blues with a PB in the 10/11-year-olds’ 50m breaststroke. He then stepped up to swim in the 12/13 boys’ medley relay – helping Mason Brand, Jamie Hoyes and Tom Weston to claim victory.

Weston and Charlotte Watson dominated the 12/13-year-olds’ 100m backstroke races, winning both by a combined total of 11 seconds.

Watson was also involved with a 12/13 girls’ double relay win alongside Jess Potts, Abi Hurst, Amy Pemberton and Ellen Northwood.

The final win came from the 10/11-year-old boys’ medley squad as Armitage, Ben Holmes-Higgin, Ish Rahim and Jack Bowers teamed up for an unexpected victory.

Possibly the biggest cheer from the Berko supporters came for Jordan Northwood who finally cracked the 60-second barrier for his 100m freestyle – coming third in 59.74s.

Other PBs were set by Roisin Clarke, Holmes-Higgin, Eli MacDonald, Sam Newman, Abi Hurst, Pemberton, Owen Payne, Bowers, Abbie Brown and Potts.

Berkhamsted sat in second place from the first race until event 34 when Potters Bar suddenly leapt ahead – but Berko dug deep to wrestle back runners-up spot in an exciting finish.

For the Reds, Jenny Atwill began the day with a PB in the open freestyle.

Olivia Boylan sliced nearly four seconds from her 50m backstroke time, followed by Charlie Woodmansee setting a new 50m backstroke PB.

Emily Hannaby dropped her 100m butterfly time before Adam Hawkswood improved 10 seconds on his 100m breaststroke.

Returning to team competition following a major shoulder injury, Tommy Sheldrick was a big gain for the Reds as he hit 62 seconds for his 100m butterfly. Tom Lyons claimed a legal 100m butterfly time as he clocked 72s.

Most improved senior girl from 2013, Annabel Nangle, continued her improvement in the 100m freestyle as did Luke Woodmansee.

Holly Hannaby copied her sister by lowering her butterfly PB, followed by Zach Patel.

Other PBs came from Ben Rochford, Hawkswood, and Charley Stevens.

The two squads were completed by Carly Dolman, Harriet Collinge, Tom Strakosch, Jason Wells, Ellie Matthews, Hannah Davis, Owen Strakosch, Tobey Spriggs, Euan Donald, Niamh Clarke, Charlotte Shaw, Peter Lever, Tom Rees, Maya Frost, Hazza Horwood-Jones, Cam MacDonald, Alice Hewson, JonLuke Summerfield, Corinne James, Harry Ormerod, Jack Filer, Hamish MacCaig, Amelie Baker, Charlotte Bailey, Izzie Soulsby, Emily Kiernan and Ollie Hurst.

Club records were set by Watson, Hewson, Armitage, Jordan Northwood and Ormerod.