Following on from a strong Round 1 performance in the National Arena League, Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club were drawn in Round 2 in Basildon with teams from Epping Forest, Potters Bar, Basildon, Anaconda, Sudbury, Hitchin and Saxon Crown. Despite many of the squad having been back for less than a week from an intensive training camp in Tunisia over the half term week there were some superb performances.
In the 50 race gala the squad of 34 swimmers managed 26 top three finishes on the night including 11 first places and also broke a number of club records. Individual wins were recorded by Charlie Rayner in the boys 12/13 years 100m Breaststroke and 100m Butterfly as well as by Max Jelfs in the 100m Backstroke, while Max was also touched out in 100 Freestyle to take second. Charlie and Max were then joined by Ashley Coombs and Sam Gaines in the Medley and Freestyle relays dominating both to take first place.
In the Ladies Open Age Group Hemel Hempstead were again in exceptional form with Aimee Abrey taking first in the 100 Backstroke, Grace Rayner in the 100 Breaststroke, Lois Moore the 100 Butterfly and Emily Jelfs in the 100 Freestyle. Notably Emily’s and Aimee’s swims were both Open club records. Paige Wilding also took third place in the Ladies Open 200 Individual Medley. The girls with the addition of Molly McLoughlin then combined to take comfortable first place in both the Medley and Freestyle relays.
The Men’s Open age group were also in good form with Jack Spence, Freddie Woodcock and Tom Sherriff taking second in 100 Backstroke, 100 Butterfly and 100 Freestyle respectively. Tom also took third in the 100 Breaststroke and the boys combined with Josh Gaines, Justin Langford and Jack Christie to take second in both the Medley and Freestyle relays.
There were further individual second places on the night achieved by Seyi Bankole in the boys under 12 years 50 Breaststroke as well as by Eleanor Bevan in the under 15 100 Breaststroke. Eleanor’s swim was particularly notable as she was swimming up an age group.
Third places were also achieved by Clare Stancombe and Luke Pestaille in the Under 12 girls and boys 50 Backstroke. In the 13 under girls age group Leanne Abrey came third in the 100 Breaststroke and then combined with Eleanor Bevan, Megan Prince and Alice Fender to take third in both the Medley and Freestyle relays.
Other squad members contributing valuable points to a strong team result Lauren Windsor, Helen Jennings, Rebecca Sewell, Shaminah Sherwani-Keeling, Harrison Newbury Kemp, Fred Davis, Fynn Archibald, Kyle Holmes, Millie Anderton, Jessica Walters, Lois Goad, and Reuben Balch.
With Hemel winning the shout off poolside while the results were checked the club finished the evening in third place only 4 points behind second placed Saxon Crown of Lewisham and deserved winners Basildon. After strong performances in the first two rounds this season, Hemel Hempstead now go forward to the Promotion gala in the final round on the 13 December.
Full results from the evening can accessed here.