Berkhamsted swimmers push it to the Max at the December Open


The youngsters from Berkhamsted Swimming Club set close to 100 new personal best times at the Maxwell December Open.

After two days of hard competition and 185 swims, the club came away with 99 pbs, 27 club records, 16 new county qualifying times, 29 improved county qualifying times, 23 gold medals, 26 silvers and 21 bronzes.

Izzie Painter and Jack Pemberton came away with their first ever county qualifying times – Painter’s coming in the 200m breaststroke and 200m IM, and Pemberton bagging his in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle .

The two-day meet began with a 17-second PB by Adam Hawkswood in the 200 IM, and Ollie Hurst also improved by nearly five seconds.

Amy Pemberton and Amy Stoker both had a terrific meet and claimed county qualifying times in their respective 200m freestyle heats.

Other county qualifying times were achieved by Ollie Hurst, Ellen Northwood, Jenny Atwill, Katie Brown, Amelie Baker and Eli MacDonald.

PBs went to Tom Weston, Joshua Phelps, Charlotte Shaw, Abbie Hurst, Owen Payne, Abbie Brown, Aoife Hanling, Ellie Matthews, Tom Strakosch, Jack Filer, Lottie Priestley, Niamh Clarke, Roisin Clarke, Izzie Soulsby, Christian Nel, Cameron MacDonald, Owen Strakosch, Maddie Kiernan, Jess Potts, Kathryn Page, Jessica Page, Jordan Northwood, Emily Kiernan, Lauren Collingwood, Ben Holmes-Higgin, Holly Hannaby, Tom Lyons, Peter Lever, and Elliott Reynolds.

Possibly the best race between club-mates was the 100 freestyle on day two when Tom Strakosch and Christian Nel went head to head.

The pair challenged each other from the off and Strakosch chased Nel for 95m before his greater reach at the end of the race saw him claim victory by just 0.14 of a second.