A squad of 48 swimmers from Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club travelled to Borehamwood to compete in the Hertfordshire ASA County Championships over three weekends in March. The Club achieved some outstanding results, winning a total of 54 medals, 15 1st places, 16 second and 23 third places plus 35 Regional Qualification Championship Times and 161 Personal Best swims.
Leading the way for the girls was young Georgia Purkis in the 9 year old category who gained a first place in the 200m Breaststroke and third in the 50m Breaststroke and 100m IM. In the 12 year old girls category Megan Pirrie had a very successful Counties winning four golds in the 800m Freestyle, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly and 400m IM, two silvers in the 200m Freestyle and 200m IM and four bronze medals in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke, 100m IM and 200m Backstroke. In an extremely competitive age group, 13 year old Aimee Abrey gained two bronze medals in the 200m and 50m Backstroke events. Devon Prior won silver and gold in the 15 year old girls 800m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke events and Darcy Holmes gained her first County gold in the Girls 1500m Freestyle, coming second overall in the women’s section. Kira Doyle gained a third place in the girls 17 years 100m Breaststroke. Finally the Women’s under 16 years 4 x 50m Medley Relay team of Aimee Abrey, Hannah Bagley, Emily Jelfs and Devon Prior won a bronze in a very exciting finish.
In the boys events 9 year old Harrison Mills gained three medals in his first Counties: a second place in the 50m Backstroke and third in the 100m and 200m IM. Max Jelfs had a very successful Counties, gaining five golds in the 400m Freestyle, 200m Backstroke, 200m IM, 200m Freestyle and 50m Freestyle and four silvers in the 100m and 400m IM, 50m Butterfly and 50m Backstroke in his 10 year old age category. In the 11 year old age group two Hemel boys who swam well were Ben Garratt, gaining first place in his 400m IM event, three silvers in the 50m Butterfly & 200m IM and 200m Freestyle and three bronze medals in the 100m IM, 200m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle and Thushi Kumarage who gained a silver in the 200m Backstroke and two bronzes in the 400m IM and 400m Freestyle. In the 13 year old boys Peter Kennett gained a well deserved third place in the 100m IM. Winning in the 16 year old boys category was Tom Sherriff, who won first place in the 50m and 100m Butterfly and four third places in the 200m IM, 400m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle and 50m Freestyle. Finally Sam Piggot in the boys 17 year old age group won two silvers in the 200m IM and 200m Butterfly and came third in the 50m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke.
Head Coach Alan Doyle said “We have had a superb Championships this year with medals galore but most pleasing is the high number of personal best times which shows the tough training the swimmers have done prior to the County Champs has paid dividends, the icing on the cake is we finished 4th Place Club Overall which is our highest finish for a number of years.”
At a Presentation Evening in Welwyn on March 28th to award the Herts ASA British Age Group Category (BAGCAT) Awards given for the best all-round swimmer in each age group up to age 13, 9 year olds Georgia Purkis and Harrison Mills finished 5th and 6th, 10 year old Max Jelfs finished 1st, 11 year olds Ben Garratt and Thushi Kumarage finished 2nd and 4th, 12 year old Megan Pirrie finished 4th and 13 year olds Aimee Abrey and Peter Kennett finished both finished 7th.