Two of the Club’s 13 year old swimmers, Charlie Rayner and Max Jelfs, were absent from last weekend’s Birthday Open having been selected to take part in the National Inter- County gala at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on Sunday. Both boys put in sensational performances to set new PBs and Club records whilst Charlie improved his national best time for the 100 breaststroke set only last week.
The prestigious annual event which features 39 Counties is swum short course with two simultaneous heats in two 10 lane 25 metre pools making it an exciting and highly competitive gala. The event brings together some the best up and coming talent in Britain in a noisy atmospheric event. With around 2,500 swimmers and spectators it is also a good test of a swimmer’s nerves!
Having recorded the fastest 100 Breaststroke in his age group the previous week at National Arena of 1.11.60 Charlie Rayner rose to the challenge again with a sensational swim of 1.09.93 to finish 3rd. With the first and second placed swimmers in the age group above for Nationals this still leaves Charlie the fastest in his age group in the country this season in Short Course events. Selection for British Nationals in 2015 under the revamped British Swimming competition structure is based on the top 24 ranked swimmers in Long Course events during a qualification window next spring, but the time was a notable benchmark as it was inside the 2014 short course National Qualifying time even at this early stage of the season.
Charlie also competed in the 100 Butterfly and again recorded a Personal Best quicker than his time the previous week of 1.05.44 to finish 11th. He also participated in the Medlay relay helping the team secure 6th place
Max Jelfs meanwhile competed in the 100 Backstroke and also put in an excellent swim to improve on his PB of the previous week touching home in 1.07.93 to take 13th place.
All three swims were improvements on the boys own club records set last week which had previously stood for 8 years. With both boys still young 13 year olds and coming away from the event with increased confidence, it looks likely that some very challenging club records will be set this season for aspiring swimmers at the club in the future in the 13 year old boys age group.
Hertfordshire measured up very well at the event overall against teams from as far afield as Devon and Scotland to finish a very credible twelfth from the 39 counties illustrating the level of swimming in the County.