Sixty-three swimmers from Hemel competed at the Watford Open meet at Woodside Leisure Centre last weekend entering over 300 events and achieving personal best times in nearly 50% of their swims; an impressive performance at a time when there are so many competitions in the schedule. Nearly a third of our swims produced medal-winning performances with 35 first places and 66 second and thirds. Holly Robinson set new age group records in the 50 free (breaking a record last set in 2009), the 100 back and the 200 IM (breaking a record last set in 2006). Alice Fender set new age group records in the 400 free and the 100, 200 and 400 IM and Jack Spence set new open records in the 100 and 200 IM. There were fifteen new or improved summer regional times, with special mention of Seyi Bankole who achieved his first ever regional qualifying time in the 50 breast. No fewer than 75 new or improved county championship qualifying times were set, with special mention of Natasha Acres and Henry Newbury-Kemp who both achieved their first qualifying times for that event, Natasha in the 100 breast and Henry in the 50 free and 100 breast.
Gold medals were won by Aimee Abrey (50 & 200 back), Leanne Abrey (100 breast), Izzy Anderton (50 back), Tilly Beckwith (200 back), Eleanor Bevan (50 breast), Grace Cawley (50, 100 & 200 free), Jack Christie (400 IM), Lewis Clark (400 free), Joe Coldwell (200 breast), Kira Doyle (50 breast), Jonny Farrow (400 free), Alice Fender (200 & 400 free, 100 & 200 IM), Josh Gaines (50, 100 & 200 back), Max Jelfs (200 back), Shona McKenna (50 free), Georgia Purkis (200 & 400 free), Becca Sewell (50, 100 & 200 back), Tom Sherriff (50, 100 & 200 free) and Jack Spence (100 & 200 IM).
In addition second and third places were achieved by Millie Anderton, Seyi Bankole, Kizzie Beckwith, Freya Beresford, Ollie Burrrough, Ashley Coombs, Chris Cox, Ellen Fender, Sam Gaines, Millie Herbert, Emily Jelfs, Keelin McKenna, Harrison Newbury-Kemp, Chloe Purkis, Holly Robinson, Shaminah Sherwani-Keeling and Tilly Stratford.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, and as always our thanks to Alan and his team of poolside volunteers.