Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club continued their promising early season form under the new Head Coach Justin Langford with a very strong showing in the first round of the National Arena League finishing third on the night with 15 new Club records and 25 top 3 finishes. A squad of 34 swimmers aged from 10 to adult were at the Luton Inspire swimming pool taking on strong competition from across the London Region.
The 50 event gala sees separate Male and Female events for swimmers in four age categories (10/11,12/13 & 14/15 and Open) across all four strokes (Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke and Butterfly), there are also a Men’s and Ladies 200m Individual Medley and Freestyle and Medley relays for all age categories.
Among a scintillating performance from across the squad, the club recorded 25 top three finishes on the night.Individual wins went to Seyi Bankole in the Boys 10/11 years 50m Breaststroke, Charlie Rayner in the 12/13 years 100m Breaststroke and 100m Butterfly, Max Jelfs in the 12/13 years 100m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle and Grace Rayner in the Ladies Open 100m Breaststroke.
Second place individual swims were recorded by Lois Moore in the Ladies Open 100m Butterfly, Justin Langford Men’s Open 100m Butterfly, Aimee Abrey Ladies Open100m Backstroke, Jack Spence Men’s Open 100m Backstroke, Tom Sherriff Men’s Open 100m Breaststroke and Emily Jelfs in the Ladies Open 100m Freestyle.
Third place individual swims on the night went to Freddie Woodcock in the Men’s Open 200 IM and 100m Freestyle, Eleanor Bevan Girls 12/13 years 100m Breaststroke and Lauren Windsor Girls 14/15 years 100m Backstroke.
There were also some very strong relay performances with the Girls 12/13 age group of Alice Fender, Leanne Abrey, Eleanor Bevan and Megan Prince taking 2nd place in the Medley Relay and 3rd in the Freestyle relay. Similarly in the 12/13 years Boy’s category Max Jelfs, Charlie Rayner, Sam Gaines and Harrison Mills were dominant in the Medley Relay taking 1st place and narrowly edged out in the Freestyle relay taking 2nd place.
In the Ladies Open Relays Paige Wilding, Molly McLoughlin, Aimee Abrey, Grace Rayner, Lois Moore and Emily Jelfs dominated the category to take 1st place in both the Medley and Freestyle relays.
With Hemel Hempstead sitting one point behind 3rd placed Harlow before the final event of the evening of the Men’s 6×50 Open Relay Jack Christie, Justin Langford, Matt Sherriff, Freddie Woodcock, Jack Spence and Tom Sherriff had an exceptional swim leading from the start. The watching team mates and supporters in the gallery went wild when they claimed 1st place in a close finish edging out Harlow. With the points levelled on the night Hemel secured 3rd place in front of Harlow on the tie breaker rule of having recorded more first places during the evening
With 15 club records achieved on the night by the team , a 37 swimmer squad now head off for a warm weather training camp in Tunisia over the half term week and will look to put in another strong performance in Round 2 of National Arena in early November.