Young Berkhamsted swimmers flock to the Watford Open

Berkhamsted swimmers turned out in force for the Watford Open County Qualifier
Berkhamsted swimmers turned out in force for the Watford Open County Qualifier

A squad of 59 Berkhamsted SC swimmers competed at the Watford Open at the weekend.

This represented the biggest Berko contingent ever and the young swimmers produced times and swims undreamt of before 2015.

More than 250 swims resulted in excess of 150 PB times, with a 20 per cent hit rate of new county qualifying times from throughout the club.

Tom Strakosch went inside the 60-second barrier for the 100m free, while Adam Hawkswood dropped eight seconds from his 200m free.

Tamsin Moren improved in every one of her five races and discovered to her amazement that each one was a CQT; Peter Lever scored his first ever CQT in the 200m free and followed it with another in the 50m free; and Callum and Harrison Bullock notched 100m back CQTs in the same heat.

Ish Rahim managed the same feat in the 100m back as he managed four PBs from four races after his 200m fly.

Izzie Sansom qualified in the 400m – one of five PBs from six starts for her – in the same heat as Amelie Baker and Roisin Clarke also blitzed the QT.

Evie Watson dropped a combined total of 30 seconds in the 200m back and breast, while Tom Weston’s speed at the breakout in his 50m back ended in a first regional qualification for him.

Hazza Horwood-Jones qualified in her 200m free and 50m back, and Sam Newman attacked his 100m free to add to his county haul for the year after first time qualification in 2014.

Maddie Kiernan recorded two PBs, and Ollie and Abbie Hurst both took QTs in the 100m back in huge PBs.

However, the swim of the meet for Berko came from Zak Patel who is suddenly finding confidence to attack and ended 25m ahead of his field when slicing an incredible 23 seconds from his 200 IM.

Kieran Mallory has been at the club for just four months but clocked his first CQT in the 50m back in one of his first open meet outings.

Emma Walker is now showing what talent she has after producing two CQTs over the two days, and another first time qualifier was Ollie Martin who took a CQT in the 50m fly.

Multiple PBs went to Louis Armitage, Baker, the Bullock brothers, James Corner, Amy Harrison, Hawkswood, Louise Holden, Jack Filer, Tom Lyons, Cam MacDonald, Helena Martin, Ellie Matthews, Chris Nel, Ellen Northwood, Jordan Northwood, Grace Payne, Josh Phelps, Lottie Priestley, Amy Stoker, Owen Strakosch and Harry Thorne.

The others swimmers who competed with distinction were: Jenny Atwill, Mason Brand, Yazii Brand, Abbie Brown, Niamh Clarke, Essie Harrison, Danny Hoyes, Jamie Hoyes, Emily Kiernan, Hamish MacCaig, Eli MacDonald, Miles Martin, Sam Murcott, Harry Ormerod, Jess Potts, Elly Sansom, Charley Stevens, George Thorne and Charlotte Watson.

A total of 15 club records were smashed over the two days, and the medal haul was 22 golds, 21 silvers and 20 bronzes.