Both Hemel teams were victorious again in last nights Herts Major League to make it a perfect four wins out of four in the competition so far. There were stunning individual performances, dominating wins, incredibly tight races and really gutsy swims from everyone. After two rounds Hemel sit in second place in both Division 1 and Division 2, both teams on equal points with teams from last year’s winners Costa. The third and final round in early March will see an exciting finish for the Herts Major season, with Hemel looking set for their highest finishes in a number of years.
In Division 1 the Hemel A team carried on where they left off in round 1, with another win in the second round of Herts Major League. The team lead from the start to the end up of the gala against teams from Hoddesdon, Potters Bar, Harpenden, Hatfield and Stevenage. There was great consistency on the night with 14 first,15 second and 7 third places meaning that team were in the top three places for three quarters of the events on the night.
In the Men’s Open Hemel were dominant with individual wins for Tom Sherriff in the 100 Freestyle, Jack Spence in the 100 Backstroke and Freddie Woodcock in the 100 Butterfly. Tom Frewin took second in the 100 Breaststroke and they then combined to take win both the Medley and Freestyle relays.
In the Ladies Open there were more strong performances with Emily Jelfs, Aimee Abrey, Lois Moore and Grace Rayner all taking second places in the 100 Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly and Breaststroke respectively. They went one better to win the Medley Relay, before taking a close second in the Freestyle relay.
In the under 14 boys events Hemel were again dominant with commanding individual wins from Charlie Rayner in the 100 Breaststroke and Butterfly, while Max Jelfs took comfortable wins in the 100 Backstroke and Freestyle events. They then combined with Ashley Coombes and Harrison Mills in the 4 x50 Medley and Freestyle relays to secure further first places. Charlie Rayner also swam up an age group to take the under 16 100 Breaststroke, while Max Jelfs and Ashley Coombes also covered for illness in the under 16 age group where they combined with Harrison Newbury-Kemp, Kyle Holmes and Chris Cox to take second in both the Freestyle and Medley relays.
The under 14 girl’s age group were also in good form with Eleanor Bevan taking first place in the 100 Breaststroke with a strong finish in a close race. There was a second place for Shona Mckenna in the 100 Freestyle and third in the 100 Backstroke. Leanne Abrey meanwhile took third place in the 100 Butterfly in her age group, as well as a third place when swimming up an age group in the under 16 100 Breaststroke. The girls then combined with Megi Prince to take second in both the Medley and Freestyle relays.
In the under 16 girls age group Alice Fender, Shaminah Sherwani-Keeling, Rebecca Sewell and Keelin Mckenna put in some good performances to take second in the Medley and third in the Freestyle relays. Keelin McKenna added a solid third in the 100 Backstroke.
In the youngest age group the under 12 boys team of Luke Pestaille, Seyi Bankole, Mattias Morse and Mason Mills took first place in the 4 x 50 Freestyle relay and there were also second places for Pestaille in the 50 Backstroke and Bankole in the 50 Breaststroke, while Morse took third in the 50 Freestyle.
The Division 2 team had another fairly comfortable win, finishing 33 points clear of the second placed team. The story of the night was consistency; 17 first places was slightly fewer than the first round, but the result was achieved with 39 top three finishes out of 49 events, an average placing of second or third, and 21 personal best times recorded in the 32 individual races. A true all-round team effort.
The open boys’ squad of Jack Christie, Josh Frewin, Josh Gaines, Rob Jennings and Matt Sherriff had a perfect evening, winning both their relays and all four of their individual races, Jack fighting off a strong challenge in the 100 breaststroke to win by a fingertip, and Matt putting in a storming final leg in the squadron to almost grab first.
The U14 boys’ quartet of Jamie Ayres, Joe Coldwell, Ben Davies and Jonny Farrow also won both their relay events with Jonny adding wins in the individual 50 fly and the 100 back with another fingertip finish.
The open girls’ quartet of Kira Doyle, Molly McLoughlin, Paige Wilding and Lauren Windsor won their medley relay and came second in their freestyle with Lauren continuing her good form in the individual 100 fly – in which she recently achieved a regional qualifying time – with a strong first place.
The U14 girls’ quartet of Izzy Anderton, Billie Grant, Georgia Purkis and Becci Rumble finished first and second in their free and medley relays respectively. Georgia added a win in the individual 100 breast whilst Izzy came second in the 100 back and third at the same distance competing against the older girls in the U16 event.
The U12 boys’ team of Reuben Balch, Neil Brevern, Michael Broner, and Niall Marsden won their relay medley with Reuben adding victory in the individual 25 fly.
But this was a team effort with everyone striving for that extra point in their race which can make so much difference to the overall score whether that was to secure a win or to finish fifth. So it’s fitting that mention is made of Emily Holland’s fourth place in the 100 fly with a personal best time despite illness preventing her from training properly for some weeks and of Lois Goad whose strong final leg in the U12 freestyle relay secured an excellent second place.
The rest of the squad all of whom contributed so much to the final result were Millie Anderton, Fynn Archibald, Nell Baughan, Freya Beresford, Luke Carl, Fred Davies, Samuel Hutchings, Helen Jennings, Chloe Purkis and Emily Young.