Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club put in a strong effort to complete the third and final round of this year’s National Arena League. With some absentees in the team, those competing had to pull out all the stops.
Three individual wins were claimed by Ben Garratt in the 11/u butterfly, Thushira Kumarage in the 11/u breaststroke and Joe Prior in the 11/under freestyle. The three boys were joined by their younger team mate, Max Jelfs, in the relays to successfully defend their unbeaten run throughout the league. Jelfs also scored a second place in his individual backstroke. The four boys were awarded male Swimmer of the Gala jointly for their outstanding team performances.
The highest PB scorer was Tom Sherriff who seemed to improve with every race. Sherriff kicked off the evening with a PB in the freestyle leg of the Open medley relay only to beat that time at the end of the evening with a PB in the freestyle squadron. In between, Sherriff scored PBs in his individual 100m freestyle and butterfly races.
Aimee Abrey made two PBs, the first in the 13/u medley relay, the second in the individual 15/u backstroke, swimming up an age group. Her time of 1.12.58 put her comfortably inside her Regional Qualifying Time. Abrey won the female Swimmer of the Gala award for her inspired efforts.
Other two-time PB scorers were Louis Dunham, Emily Jelfs, Matthew Sherriff and Oliver Ayres.
The team finished 5th overall on the night, only ten points adrift of 4th, placing them a very respectable 4th overall in Division Two.