The third and final round of the 2015 Herts Major League saw the Division Two team finishing second on the night and second overall in this year’s league to secure promotion to the first division. With the Division One team securing a very creditable third place overall, Hemel will have two teams in the top division in next year’s competition.
The team went into the last round of the competition knowing they faced a squad from CoSTA who had swept all before them in the first two rounds. The Hemel team couldn’t be faulted for their effort, posting 22 personal best times out of 32 individual events – remarkably more improvements than in either of the two previous rounds – and achieving 15 wins and 29 top three finishes, but in the end CoSTA were just too strong. Second place on the night following up wins in the previous two rounds meant the team finished second in the league overall, securing promotion to the top division for 2016; a really impressive performance
Wins for Matt Sherriff in the individual open 100m freestyle events, Georgia Purkis in the U14 100 breaststroke and Jack Christie in the open 100 breaststroke meant that they were unbeaten in their events over all three rounds of the competition. Also unbeaten in both their medley and freestyle relays over all three rounds were the open boys squad (Jack Christie, Josh Frewin, Josh Gaines, Rob Jennings, Matt Sherriff) and the U14 boys squad (Jamie Ayres, Joe Coldwell, Ben Davies, and Jonny Farrow).
Paige Wilding got the evening off to a fantastic start with a win in the open 100 freestyle, following it up with another win in the open 100 fly, both in new personal best times. Josh Gaines also set a PB in winning the open 100 backstroke as did Kira Doyle in winning the open 100 breaststroke. There were also individual wins for Sam Gaines in the U14 50 fly and Jonny Farrow in the U14 100 back with the open girl’s quartet of Kira Doyle, Molly McLoughlin, Paige Wilding and Lauren Windsor also winning both their relay events on the night.
Other swimmers who showed their total commitment to the team by posting significant personal best times were Luke Carl with a 12 second PB in the 100 fly, Ciaran Kilbane with a 4 second PB in the 25m fly, Nathan Lodge with a 4 second PB in the 100 free and Amber Stratford with a 6 second PB in the 50 fly. Millie Anderton, Nell Baughan, Emily Holland, Samuel Hutchings, Helen Jennings, Niall Marsden, Becci Rumble, Sam Ward, and Emily Young also PB’d. Izzy Anderton, Freya Beresford, Michael Broner, Lois Goad, Niall Marsden and Chloe Purkis completed the team.
The team was ably steered through all three rounds by Team Manager Mark Ayres and his band of poolside helpers, cheered on raucously from the gallery!