On Friday 13 June, a small team of Masters and Seniors from Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club made their way to Swansea to compete in the Welsh National pool for the British Gas Masters and Senior Age Group Championships (LC) 2014.
After checking in at various different hotels (of various different standards!) the team congregated and started warming up for the evenings events.
First off, setting the bar high was Dave Pirrie in the 200IM with a brilliant time of 2:59.85. Determined to beat him, Rachel Barber managed to bring home a PB of 2:54.65. The day concluded with the 100m Free where Heidi Gibbens and Rachel put in good performances, both getting PBs but the star of the day was Annette Thatcher winning the gold medal for the 100m Free with an amazing time of 1:17.21, giving her a new short course PB.
Day 2 was kicked off by Heidi in the 400m Free which she had never raced before. She put in a good performance with a 5:36.46. Next up was the 50m Breaststroke where Annette picked up another medal, this time settling for bronze with a 44.21. Rounding up the morning session was Dave in the 50m Breaststroke where he narrowly missed out on a Bronze with a 36.83.
By the afternoon session the heat on poolside had taken its toll on Rachel who had high hopes for the 50m Free but did not manage to PB. Annette on the other hand had a great race with a 33.14 and took the gold. For her last event of the day, Heidi put in a brilliant time of 3:15.58 for her 200m breaststroke as did Annette who smashed her PB with a 3:37.71 but she was pipped to the bronze by long term rival Christine Ayres. Dave had a great race and a PB for his 200m breaststroke with a 3:10.13. Fortunately he saved enough energy to make it through his last event of the day….the 400 IM. Testing out a new technique, he made it through with a time of 6:43.59, took the silver and got the East Region Record!
The 3rd and final day was again led by Heidi, this time in the 200m free, one of her strongest events, finishing with a time of 2:38.14. Next up was Rachel who took over a second off her PB for the 50m Fly with a 34.13. Heidi’s next race saw her highest finish of the weekend taking 4th in the 100m Breaststroke where she stormed her heat, which she shared with Annette, with a time of 1:33.43. Annette put in a great time and a new PB of 1:40.83 taking the bronze and narrowly missing the silver which was taken by Christine.
The last event of the weekend for Rachel saw a PB in the 50m Backstroke, missing out on a bronze medal by only half a second. This was also Annette’s last race and she also had a strong finish with a 40.43 getting her another silver medal! The final race for team Hemel was the 800m Free for Heidi. After an exhausting weekend and a total of 7 other races, she managed a great PB of 11:40.90, just half a second from her Short course PB.
Overall, Team Hemel had a very successful weekend and a lot of fun supporting each other.