Watford Middle Distance


Hemel swimmers put in some fantastic early season performances at the Watford Middle Distance Open on Saturday 28th November.  There were a total of eight club records broken and four Regional qualifications achieved.

One of the oldest records to fall was in the 13 year girls’ 400m IM.  Rebecca Bowden set the record back in 2003 in a time of 6.04.36.  Kelsey Doyle smashed this at Watford in an electrifying time of 5.45.28.  Kelsey picked up the silver medal for this and posted a further PB in her 400m freestyle.

Another record from 2003 fell to Frederick Woodcock in the boys’ 13 years 400m IM.  He bettered Lucas Irving’s time of  5.33.40 with a 5.25.75, only ten days after turning thirteen, and earned his first Regional Qualifying Time of the season in the process.  Freddie won gold in this event and the 200m backstroke, in which he posted his second PB of the night.

Three other swimmers took on the challenge of the 400m IM.  Megan Pirrie at only 9 posted her first ever Regional Qualifying Time, clearing it by three seconds, with a mature swim in a time of 6.41.39.  She took gold in this event as well as the 200m breaststroke.

Meanwhile Hannah Bagley came through strongly in the breaststroke leg to finish in third place in the 12 years’ 400m IM.  She too came in under the previous 13 years’ record, in a time of 5.57.60 and as the first 12 year-old girl to compete in the event in the club she takes the club record in her own age group and sets a high standard for others to follow.  Hannah came 5th and 10th in the 200m breaststroke and freestyle respectively.

Arthur Woodcock scored a big PB in his 400m IM, only two seconds off the previous 13 years’ boys record.  He took bronze in this event and in the 200m backstroke, in which he PB’d once more.

Lois Moore broke two records with two clear PBs.  The first was in the 200m freestyle, bettering Katie McLaren’s time of 2.21.98 with a decisive 2.16.93.  Lois went on to win the final heat of the 400m freestyle, finishing strongly in a time of 4.49.41 to claim Alexandra McLaren’s record of 5.09.79.  Both swims earned Lois Regional Qualification.

Kyle Holmes continues his domination in the breaststroke.  He took Louis Mayhew’s record of 3.31.21 in the 200m event in a time of 3.27.80.  Kyle, who took the gold medal, now holds the 10 years’ record in all three distances: 50m, 100m and 200m.

Vickie Fisher managed to break Lois Moore’s  13 years’ record in the 200m IM, bettering Lois’ time of 2.44.32 with a 2.41.60 to take the silver.  Vickie claimed gold in the 200m backstroke and 6th with a PB in the 200m breaststroke.

Emily Jelfs went to Watford with one goal in mind:  qualifying for County Championships, by which time she will have moved up an age group, in the 200m freestyle event.  Jelfs came away with a PB under her belt and the qualifying job done.

Tom Osborn was another bronze medallist, in the 200m freestyle.  He posted fourth and fifth spot in the 200m IM and 400m freestyle respectively.

Lucy Hutchins PB’d in the 10 years’ 200m backstroke and 200m IM to come sixth in each event with an eighth spot in the 200m freestyle.

Paige Wilding came sixth in the 400m freestyle and 11th in the 200m event with two PBs.


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We are a competitive sport club - with our swimmers competing at all levels from local team galas to National and European events.