Swimmers from Hemel Hempstead Swimming Club kicked off the season with an Open Meet in Aylesbury last weekend. It was a chance for some swimmers to get early County Qualifying Times in the bag and for others to start honing those racing skills.
A number of County QTs and Personal Bests were achieved, along with 21 medals and four club records.
Max Jelfs came top of the charts for the 9 year-old boys. Even whilst swimming at the lower end of the 9-10 age category he was too fast for the 50m freestyle, picking up a speeding ticket and breaking a Club Record which had stood for no less than 14 years. In the 200m freestyle, 50m and 200m backstroke he finished second, with a bronze in the 200m butterfly. In all four events he was the fastest nine year-old, claiming a second Club Record in the 50m backstroke.
Max’ sister Emily was meanwhile busy igniting the competition in the 11-12 year girls. Emily came second in the 50m backstroke (fastest 11 year-old) and third in the 50m freestyle, in which she too broke the Club Record.
The other Club Record fell to Thushira Kumarage who proved too fast for the speed limits of the competition in the boys’ 10-years 400m IM. He picked up a further speeding ticket in the 50m breaststroke, winning gold medals in the 200m butterfly and 50m breaststroke.
Megan Pirrie, aged 10, scored top spot in the 200m butterfly, backed up by a silver in the 200m freestyle.
Ben Garratt, also 10, came first and third in the 50m and 200m freestyle respectively.
Paige Wilding was on form, showing her versatility with silver medals in the girls’ 11-12 year 200m IM and 100m breaststroke, alongside bronzes in the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle.
12 year-old Lewis Beardsworth came second in the 50m butterfly with team-mate Carl Prince claiming third in the 100m breaststroke.
Kyle Holmes scored a bronze medal in the 11-12 year boys’ 200m butterfly.
Club Captain Tom Sherriff showed tremendous turn of speed in his two sprint races – the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly – in which he finished second and third.
With many more Open meets to come as swimmers chase those all-important Qualifying Times, this promising start from Hemel bodes well for the rest of the season.