Three weekends of Hertfordshire County Championships saw Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club’s 44 qualifying swimmers in outstanding form, picking up a grand total of 39 medals with nine individuals being presented with an award for coming in the top eight in their respective overall ‘BAGCAT’ (British Age Group Category) championships.
For some swimmers, such as Megan Pirrie, competing in her first counties at 9 years’ old, the achievements have been outstanding. She has proved unbeatable in no less than 6 events, claiming gold medals in the 200m freestyle, 200m breaststroke, 200m IM, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, as well as the 200m butterfly.
Pirrie was the only 9 year-old girl to take on the 200 fly in which she posted a club record breaking time of 3.55.82. With silver medals in the 200m backstroke and 100m IM and bronzes in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle, she succeeded in claiming a medal in every single one of the ten events in which she swam.
Not surprisingly, Megan came top in her age group, claiming first position in the overall BAGCAT awards.
The next highest overall placings went to Kyle Holmes, 9, Paige Wilding, 10, and Lois Moore, 13, who each earned fifth spot in their respective age groups.
Swimming his first Counties, Kyle Holmes proved his talent for breaststroke scoring a gold medal in the 50m event and a bronze in the 200m. He also claimed bronze with a strong swim in the 50m butterfly.
Paige Wilding proved her versatility, scoring highly in a number of events. She won the 50m breaststroke, breaking the club record in a time of 43.09. She claimed three silvers in the 50m and 200m backstroke and the 100m IM, in which she demolished the existing club record. She broke another club record in the 50m freestyle whilst claiming a bronze medal, with a further bronze in the 200m breaststroke.
Lois Moore enjoyed unprecedented success this year. She picked up silver medals in the 200m freestyle and 100m freestyle, smashing her own club records in both these events in staggering times of 2.17.80 and 1.03.36 respectively. She also bagged Regional qualifying times in these events, as well as in her 400m freestyle, and added a bronze to her medal tally in the 200m butterfly.
Frederick Woodcock finished sixth in the 12 year boys’ BAGCATs. He was silver medallist in the 200m backstroke, picking up bronze medals in the 1500m freestyle and the 100m backstroke with a club record breaking time of 1.13.79. He also broke the club record in the 200m IM and claimed Regional qualifying times in a number of events.
Seventh overall in the 10 year girls’ BAGCATs was Freya Mayhew, with consistently strong swims across the board which saw her featuring in many finals.
Tom Sherriff also scored seventh spot in the 13 year boys’ BAGCATs, picking up bronze in the 200m butterfly along the way and making a number of finals appearances.
Peter Kennet made eighth spot overall in the 10 year boys’ competition, picking up the silver medal in the 50m backstroke.
Victoria Fisher, in the 13 year girls’ age group, also made eighth, claiming Regional times and club records in her 200m backstroke and 100m backstroke, edging tantalisingly close to a national qualifying time in the 100m event.
Other notable performances included a number of swims by Kelsey Doyle, 12, who has shown rapid improvement this Counties. She claimed a bronze in the 50m breaststroke, breaking the club record in an impressive time of 38.99. She broke two further club records in her 100m and 200m breaststroke races, securing her first appearance at Regionals with qualifying times in these events, as well as her 200m IM. Overall, Kelsey finished tenth in her age group.
Curtis Barnett, butterfly specialist, claimed bronze in the 100m and 200m fly in the 12-year boys’ races.
Hannah Bagley celebrated posting her first Regional qualifying time in the 11-year girls’ 200m IM, breaking the 3 minute barrier with a time of 2.57.67.
In addition to the Age Group swimmers’ results, 15 year-old Tom Osborn also saw phenomenal success. He came away with no less than nine medals, including gold in the 1500m freestyle and silvers in the 200m and 400m freestyle and the 200m IM. He also managed to record five Regional qualifying times and to secure a number of new club records along the way.
Many non-medallists achieved Personal Best times as well, with HHSC justifying its claim to be one of the best development clubs in the County.
For some great shots of our swimmers in action at the Hertfordshire County Champs, go to the photos section of the website