Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club took part in the second round of the Arena National League on Saturday at Watford. Once again we were pitched against some top level clubs and went in with the aim of finishing above eighth spot to defend our first division standing.
The swimmers showed tremendous team spirit and courage, putting in some strong personal performances to maximise points. Louis Dunham was one of the stars of the night with no less than five fabulous personal best records to his name. Swimming in the u14 age group, he slashed his previous best on the 100m backstroke by almost three seconds. He also bettered his 50m backstroke time in the u14 age group medley relay and then went onto to better it again swimming up an age group in the u16 medley relay. Dunham also scored PBs in his individual 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle relay.
Another swimmer on blistering form was Kyle Holmes who scored the sole victory of the night for Hemel with a superb swim in the u12 50m breaststroke, breaking his own club record. He also took third spot with a PB in the 50m butterfly, with a further PB in the 50m freestyle relay.
Tom Sherriff scored PBs in the u16 individual 100m freestyle, as well as the 50m free relay and the 50m butterfly leg of the medley relay.
Top three spots were hard to come by, but Lauren Windsor was rewarded for her determined efforts throughout the night with a third in the u12 50m backstroke and a fourth in the 50m butterfly.
A number of swimmers were asked to work doubly hard, competing in higher age groups than their own and in strokes other than their favourites. Amongst these was Emily Jelfs who, at the age of only 11, swam in two Open relays as well as the u14 100m butterfly.
Swimmer of the Gala went to Club Captain Lois Moore for her outstanding commitment, competing in two 100m individual butterfly races, as well as the 100m freestyle, not to mention three relays.
In the end the team’s dedication paid off as we met our target of finishing in seventh place and will now look forward with relish to the final round of the league in December.