Berko swimmers on the up

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WITH stellar performances all round, Berkhamsted Sport Centre Swimming Club completed their 2012 Herts League campaign with promotion back to Division One at the first time of asking.

Having won both previous rounds by clear margins, the pressure was on the side to live up their earlier performances.

Berkhamsted Sports Centre Swimming Club

Berkhamsted Sports Centre Swimming Club

And they did just that, bagging nine individual wins, seven seconds and six third places out of 32 races.

But it was in the relays where once again the club’s team ethic shone through as they won 14 of their 17 races.

Despite being without the services of a couple of key swimmers, Berkhamsted posted four new individual club bests and another nine club relay records on the night.

Berkhamsted coach Geoff Wood said: “Those called up stepped right up and delivered as the coaching team knew they would, with some stunning performances.

“The whole club – swimmers, officials, helpers, supporters and coaches – work superbly well as a team and it shines through in the team’s results on so few hours of training.

“The athletes showed it is not just about the star performers but more having the resolve to compete as a team for the team and giving 100 per cent every time and leaving no effort unused in the pool for every race.”

As always, the first set of individual results were very close and, after 16 races, there were only four points separating the top three teams.

But, eight relays later, the margin had widened to 17 points in Berko’s favour and from there on the side surged clear to eventually take the victory by 63 points.

Amongst a host of stand-out performances on the night, two swimmers were awarded the coaching team’s Swimmer of the Night awards - Hannah Coulson and Ollie Hurst.

There were wins on the night for Coulson, Katie Brown, Jess Potts, Christian Nel, Rebekah Holden, Tommy Sheldrick, Sophie Durbridge and Jamie Hoyes.

Meanwhile, Tom Weston, Emily Kiernan, Carly Dolman, Tim Warr, Abi Hurst, Jo Holder, Tom Strakosch and Ellen Northwood all took second places.

Then there were third places for Holder, Andy Chambers, Jordan Northwood, Mason Brand, Jenny Atwill and Ben Rochford.

In the relays, the open girls’ squad were unbeaten on the night – a feat replicated by the open men’s team.

In the freestyle relay, the men went inside the magical 50 second barrier for the first time.

The U14 girls and U12 boys both picked wins to maintain their unbeaten season records, while the U12 girls were also dominant on the night.

The U14 boys recorded a win and a second, and the U16 girls secured a win double – taking the freestyle relay in a new club best.

Not to be outdone, the U16 boys pulled together to set club records in both of their relays on the night.

Once more, it was down to the 8 x 1 length squadron relay to finish the meet, and Berko made sure they went out on a high by storming to victory.

Berko coach Wood said: “They know that next year is a big step up but, if they put the work in during training, they will continue to improve and can look forward to being a competitive force in the new heights of Division One.”

After their superb season, BSCSC are now looking for new swimmers to bolster their squad and invite anyone interested in joining to visit the club website,

All ages are welcome, however, the club has an immediate need for boys aged 8/9.

Next up for the Berkhamsted swimmers is the County Championships which get under way next week.

The club has entered 25 swimmers in 134 races and will be looking to come home with a hatful of medals.