Berkhamsted SC’s youngsters took part in the two-day Luton Autumn Short-Course meet over the weekend.
The first day alone saw 33 swims, 25 personal best (PB) times, along with 14 swims inside County Consideration Time (CCT).
The first day began with the girls’ 100m breaststroke and personal best (PB) times for Lucy Franklin and Sophie Davies swimming alongside each other in their own private battle, followed by Lara Connell and the first CCT of the meet in a PB of 1:33.53.
In the boys’ 100m backstroke Will Franklin took gold in 1:50.97 (PB).
Ezi Svichla-Fekete stormed home to win his heat in a PB of 1:27.98 and Alex Kalverboer claimed a CCT for fifth place in 1:12.61.
Lara Connell’s 400m freestyle produced a time of 6:00.77, Lydia Wisely hit 5:37.15 and Eva Lawson, back from her studies at Millfield, smashed her way under five minutes with a time of 4:56.64, dropping 14 seconds for gold and rewriting her own club record.
Zac Patel clocked a CCT of 1:02.28 in the 100m fly for sixth, before Davies reversed places with Franklin in the 50m breaststroke from earlier, both in PBs, while Connell won her heat from an outside lane in a PB of 45.08.
Will Franklin took a second medal from his two swims with silver in the 50m backstroke in 51.41 (PB), Svichla-Fekete won his 50m backstroke heat again, dropping five seconds for a new PB of 39.62 and Kalverboer pocketed another CCT with 33.57 (PB) for fifth.
Connell mistook the false-start rope for the five-metre flags in the 200m IM and turned ten metres early, causing a disqualification, but should be pleased with a swim that was four seconds quicker than before.
Lawson lowered her best by nine seconds in claiming another gold and slashed the club record down to 2:38.35, winning her heat comfortably.
Connell, in a busy programme, and Mia Maslen-Wollington, took the rare opportunity to compete in the 1500m freestyle, picking up fourth and third, respectively, both inside their previous bests. Mia took the heat win by over 50 metres. Connell posted 23:07.16 and Maslen-Wollington 22:14.02.
Ciara McKenna swam the 200m freestyle along with Kate Hopper, Emma Hockney and Moren. Hopper lowered her best to 2:45.49 with an even-paced swim, Hockney dropped five seconds to 2:40.38 and Moren clocked a CCT in 2:29.38.
In the 100m freestyle Svichla-Fekete improved four seconds to 1:17.52 and Kalverboer hit 1:04.47 (PB) for yet another CCT.
Patel was the final swimmer and surprised himself with a bleep-to-pads heat win, destroying the rest of the heat with his underwater skills, posting 55.06 to improve by more than 1.5 seconds.
Kalverboer’s run of CCTs continued in the 50m fly in 34.31 and Patel showed what a force he is with the fastest swim of the day in a PB 26.32 for a County Qualification Time (CQT), again winning the race with his skills around the start and turn.
The day finished with the 50m freestyle for McKenna, Hopper, Hockney and Moren. Hopper’s face was a picture of amazement when she looked at the scoreboard to see a heat win in a 1.3-second PB of 31.94. Hockney repeated the heat win with her own best of 31.37 and Moren made it three PBs for the girls in 29.92.
Day two started with the 400m IM and Connell swam in the same heat as Caitie Walters. They had a battle throughout, separated by just 0.2 seconds at the end, on opposite sides of the pool. Both swam PBs with Walters just coming home on top in 6:36.76 to 6:36.98.
Moren and Lawson were together in the next heat. Lawson’s 5:53.90 was her first time inside six minutes and another club-best, while Moren swam to her strengths to come through the field from eighth after the fly to win the heat, take gold and claim another CCT in 5:41.55. She took the win in the last five metres with perfect execution of her finish.
Kalverboer returned to lop off 2.5 seconds from his 100m breaststroke best and yet another CCT of 1:24.55.
McKenna took sixth in the 100m backstroke, Hopper trimmed another five seconds from her best in 1:23.02 and they were joined by Issy Soulsby. She is returning to form and set a new PB of 1:09.69 for her own CCT.
Kalverboer was straight back in to post his first sub 5 minute 400 Free as he matures in respect of pacing events. His 4:58.07 was good for 4th place and Svichla-Fekete improved his 50m Breast to 48.51.
In the 50m backstroke McKenna hit a PB of 1:00.54 and there were also PBs for Moren (35.31 – CCT), Lawson (34.91) and Soulsby (32.62 – CCT).
Hopper is improving so quickly she has yet to find what she is capable of and in the 200m backstroke lowered her week-old PB by six seconds to 3:06.74.
Soulsby was pleased to come away with her a bronze medal in 2:30.40 and another CCT. Soulsby stepped up again to place third in a CCT of 2:30.40.
Lawson’s huge programme of events finished with the 800m freestyle and another victory in 10:13.00, knocking a remarkable 56 seconds from her best.
Moren was fourth in her age group with her own 10-second improvement to clock 10:40.38.
Kalverboer got his umpteenth fourth-place finish in an impressive 200m freestyle PB (2:20.18 – CCT), dropping seven seconds.
In the 100m freestyle Walters lowered her time to 1:16.59, while Hockney and Moren both finished with CCTs fractionally slower than their bests.
Kalverboer’s appetite to swim faster resulted in a PB, CQT and a further fourth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke in 3:01.27,
Moren’s rack of CCTs increased with a 35.43 time for the 50m fly and Kalverboer finished the meet with a flourish as he clocked his first sub-30-second 50m freestyle time in another fourth place finish (29.95).
Elsewhere, new member Fergus Reid competed in the Cheshunt Open and posted four PBs from five swims: 50m backstroke 31.19 (2nd); 50m freestyle 28.97 (3rd); 100m IM 1:15.21 (2nd) and 100m freestyle 1:04.32 (3rd) to round off an excellent weekend of competition.