Press Reports 1998
Club_Logo.gif (24676 bytes)


Third place ends year on a high

Watford swimmers competed in their final gala for 1998 on Saturday in round three of the Speedo London League, held at Lewisham Baths.  Despite missing several key swimmers, Watford gained a highly satisfactory close third behind Enfield and Barracuda swimming clubs.  This was even more pleasing as several swimmers were swimming "out of age", that is, competing against older competitors.
Watford gained ten first places out of the 50 events, with Peter Gooding continuing his excellent recent form by taking the Boys Under 16 three lengths butterfly, and coming close in his other races.
Also for the boys, Mark Cuthbert and John Beardsworth produced fine winning displays in the Under 12 one length back and Under 14 three lengths breaststroke respectively.
In the girls events, both Clare Willer and Kim Cox had a busy evening, swimming in many events and recording a win each in the three lengths freestyle events.  Clare in the Under 16 age group and Kim in the Open race.
Overall 1998 has been a good year for the club, and chief coach Lee Portingale is looking forward to 1999, and the continued improvement and success the hard-working swimmers deserve.


1. Enfield 238pts;  2. Barracuda 207pts;  3. Watford 195pts;  4. Woodside 180pts;  5. Wandsworth 143pts.
Watford winners:  Boys u/12 one length back, M Cuthbert, 28.28;  Boys u/14 three length breast, J Beardsworth, 1.28 12; Boys u/16 three length fly, P Gooding, 1.16.28;   Boys open three length back, L Portingale, 1.06.40;  Girls u/16 three length free, C Willer, 1.11.93;  Girls open three length free, K Cox 1.13.78.
Boys u/12 4x1 free team, L Rogers, N Ginty, M Cuthbert, B Dollard, 1.33.21;
Boys u/14 4x1 free team and medley team, J Beardsworth, D Patel, M Ginty, M Gooding, free 1.24.09, medley: 1.35.46
Girls u/16 4x1 medley team, J Petchey, C Rogers, C Willer, H Beardsworth, 1.39.09.


Mixed Bag for Watford

Watford swimmers have had mixed fortunes in the recent galas that they have been competing in. Last Saturday week they comprehensively won the Bushey "fast water" meet which was held at Borehamwood.
It was a great performance that saw them win seven out of the ten age group teams.   Last Saturday however, in the second round of the Speedo London League which was held at Lewisham, Watford's swimmers came up against some really tough opposition and finished the night in sixth position.
They has qualified for this event on the back of a fine first round result and were sixth best on paper, so it was not a great surprise.
In spite of Lee Portingale providing the only Watford win on the night, the swimmers were as usual the most enthusiastic bunch down on poolside, and were by no way disgraced in any of the races.
On Sunday Watford hosted a novice gala the Bill Everett Centre, and were back in winning ways.  Team captains for the night Rachel Matthews and Marc Gooding both had fine individual wins and inspired their swimmers to a nine-point win over Bushey and Ruislip/Northwood.

Speedo London League Round Two

1st, Sutton and Cheam, 225; 2nd, Teddington, 190.5; 3rd, Epping, 183; 4th, Potters Bar 169; 5th, Cheshunt, 164.5; 6th, Watford, 110:
Watford winner
L Portingale, Open 100m Back, 66.37.

Novice Gala, Watford
(25 meter Pool)

1st, Watford, 71;  2nd, Bushey, 80; 3rd, Ruislip/Northwood, 81:

Watford winners:
L Shujah,  U12, 50m back, 47.2;
R Matthews, U14, 50m breast, 47.57;
A Harris,  U10, 25m back, 22.35.
Under-10 team
  A Harris, C Brandon, M Forester, J Patel.
4x25m freestyle, 1.25.21; 4x25m medley, 1.39.27.
Under-12 team:
  Shujah, F Bezoari, K O'Reilly, L Smith.
4x25m medley, 1.33.72.
    M Gooding,  U14, 50m free, 32.35;
A Collins, U12, 25m fly, 19.47;
  S Gowing, U14, 50m back, 40.97;
E Elvie, U10, 25m free, 22.39;
  T Judge,  U12, 50m free,40.10;
  Under-10 team: 
B Fidler, E Elvie, M Pondsford, P Gooding.
4x25m free, 1.26.29; 4x25m medley, 1.40.75.
Under-12 team:
  M Cuthbert, R O'Connor, A Collins, T Judge.
4x25m medley, 1.26.30; 4x25m free, 1.15.83.
Mixed Squadron 6x25m free,
1.49.74.  Team: J Patel, K O'Reilly, A Weller, P Gooding, T Judge, M Gooding.


Encouraging start

At the first round of the Speedo London League Watford Swimmers finished a creditable fourth place - a significant improvement on last year.  Coach Lee Portingale is building a squad capable of county - and in the future national - success and the 167 points won at Ladywell Baths, Lewisham was a start.   The coach was in inspiring form on the night, winning the men's open 100 metres backstroke in 67.94 and was a member of the successful men's medley team relay. 
Other winners were John Beardsworth in the boys under 13s 100 metres breastroke in 89.54 and Hayley Duncan in the girls under 13s 100 metres butterfly in 84.47. 
At the latest round of the club championships there were some extremely close races such as the boys 1987/88 and girls 1981 and earlier.  Both of these events were won on the touch, with the top two swimmers recording identical times. 
In the boys 1987/8 race Ben Dollard was judged to have just pipped Adam Collins with both recording 20.32 seconds and in the girls 1981 and earlier Kim Cox beat Lorraine Bell as both recorded 18.34. 

Speedo London League First Round
Watford winners
Under 13s Boys 100 metres Breaststroke: John Beardsworth 1.29.54
Under 13s Girls 100 metres Butterfly: Hayley Duncan 1.24.54
Open Men's 100 metres Backstroke: Lee Portingale 1.07.94
Open Men's 4 x 1 Medley Team: L Portingale, S Forester, A Allum, A Bowden 1.20.66


Gooding hit top form

Watford's Marc Gooding is swimming better than ever at the moment, and really hit form recently.  Marc 12, started the day by swimming at the Maxwell open meet at Aylesbury, where he posted an excellent 75.73 for the 100m freestyle which was the fastest in his age group and also a personal best time.  In the evening he joined the rest of Watford's younger swimmers to compete in the final round of the junior swimming league which was held at Luton.    There, he swam yet another personal best in the boys 12 years 66m free, winning the race in 47.15 which helped Watford to gain second place on the night and finish a very creditable ninth in the league overall.
He was not the only swimmer to impress however, and the future looks in good hands, judging by the performances of the youngest swimmers, the nine-year-olds.  Too young to compete in the individual events, they were restricted to relay events, and of the six they contested gained a superb five first places and one second place, often winning by a wide margin.  The victorious youngsters concerned were Ashley Harris, Jenna Patel, Claire Brandon and Kerry Cuthbert for the girls, and Tom Rose, Paul Gooding, Glen White and Ben Fidler for the boys.
Other notable performances on the night came from Nick Ginty, Mark Cuthbert and Adam Collins who produced winning swims for the boys, and the ever reliable trio of Anisa Jamal, Erin Fitzgerald and Hayley Duncan who were victorious for the girls.
Overall it was a fine performance from all of the swimmers, with several producing personal bests, and with many new young swimmers coming through the club look forward to next year's league which they aim to win.
Eighteen-year-old Watford swimmer Sarah Willer had an outstanding meet at the Maxwell open, where she won no less than five titles.  Her successful events were 50, 100 and 200m free, 100m back and 200m IM.

Junior league at Luton

1st, Milton Keynes 207 pts;  2nd, Watford 198 pts;  3rd, Luton 155 pts;  4th, Aylesbury 145 pts;  5th, Oxford 124 pts.

Watford winners: Boys 10 years 66m free, N Ginty 53.54;  girls 10 years 66m breast, A Jamal 68.00;  girls 12 years 66m fly, H Duncan 52.08;  boys 11 years 66m back, A Collins 58.32;  girls 12 years 66m breast, E Fitzgerald 60.58;  boys 12 years 66m free, M Gooding, 47.15;  boys 10 years back, M Cuthbert, 62.92.

Girls 9 years freestyle and medley team:   A Harris, J Patel, C Brandon, K Cuthbert;  Boys 9 years freestyle team:   G White, P Gooding, T Rose, B Fidler:  Mixed 9 years medley team:  G White, A Harris, J Patel, B Fidler;  Mixed 9 years free team:  K Cuthbert, P Gooding, T Rose, C Brandon.

Boys 12 years free team and medley team:   M Gooding, A Collins, S Gowing, M Ginty;  Girls 12 years medley team:  L Collins, E Fitzgerald, H Duncan, T Rogers;  Squadron relay: K Cuthbert, P Gooding, A Jamal, B Dollard, M Gooding, T Rogers, L Rogers.

Maxwell Open Meet, Aylesbury

Adam Collins,11 200m free, 5th, 2.54.60;   Louise Collins, 12, 200m free, 12th, 3.01.05;  Katie Kent, 14, 200m free, 8th, 2.42.47;  Claire Willer, 15 200m free, 1st, 2.30.54;  Sarah Willer, 18, 200m free, 1st 2.29.67.

Louise Collins, 12, 100m back, 12th, 1.34.77;  Katie Kent, 14, 100m back, 3rd, 1.21.64;  Julia Petchey, 15, 100m back, 5th, 1.25.65;  Sarah Willer, 18, 100m breast, 1st, 1.32.33;  Lorraine Bell, 17, 100m back, 3rd, 1.26.13.

Marc Gooding, 12, 50m free, 4th 34.30;   Adam Collins, 11, 50m free, 9th, 37.21;  Louise Collins, 12, 50m free, 25th, 38.86;  Claire Willer, 15, 50m free, 6th, 32.95;  Sarah Willer, 18, 50m free, 1st, 31.46;  Lorraine Bell, 17, 50m free, 3rd, 33.46;  Sarah Willer, 18, 200m IM, 1st, 2.48.06;  Marc Gooding, 12, 100m free, 2nd, 1.15.73;  Katie Kent, 14, 100m free, 8th, 1.14.23;  Sarah Willer, 18, 100m free, 1st, 1.08.62.


"C" Gala Watford 12.09.98

1st, Bushey 94; 2nd, Ruislip and Northwood 115; 3rd, Watford 128; 4th, Bicester 138; 5th, Hertsmere 142; 6th, Harrow and Wealdstone 174.

Watford winners Boys
U/12 33y fly, A Collins, 24.21.  U/14 66y free D Patel, 40.06.  U/16 66y breast, S Forester, 46.67.  U/12 free team, B Dollard, B Wright, A Wright, A Collins.   U/14 medley team, M Ginty, M Kronides, M Gooding, D Patel.
Watford winners Girls
U/16 66y breast, J Petchey, 50.06.  U/16 66y fly, C Willer, 47.70.  U/16 Medley team, J Petchey, E Fitzgerald, C Willer, H Sadler.

"A" Gala Ware 13.09.98

1, Tring 129;  1 Cheshut 129; 3, Watford 130; 4, Hertford 138; 5, Ware 221.
Watford winners Boys
U/11 25m back, L Rogers, 20.66; U/11 25m breast, L Rogers, 21.82; Open 100m back, A Allum, 72.81; Open 100m free, L Portingale, 59.25;  Open 100m fly, A Allum, 65.87;   U/11 medley team, P Gooding, L Rogers, N Ginty, M Cuthbert;  Open medley team, L Portingale, P Gooding, A Allum, A Bowden;  U/15 free team and medley team, D Patel, M Leonard, J Beardsworth, P Gooding
Watford winners Girls
U/11 25m back, A Jamal, 19.82;  U/15 100m free, K Kent, 71.72;  U/13 50m back H Duncan 39.00;  U/13 medley team, L Collins, T Rogers, H Duncan, A Jamal;
Mixed Squadron
A Jamal, L Rogers, H Duncan, M Ginty, K Kent, P Gooding, S Willer, A Allum.  


Personal bests in the pool earns fifth place for young swimming stars

Watford's youngsters competed in the second round of the Milton Keynes and District Junior League, which took place at the Stantonbury Campus Baths, Milton Keynes, on Saturday.  The gala was an extremely close affair, with Watford eventually finishing fifth out of the six teams competing, with 143 points.  However, they were only 17 points behind the winning team, Harrow and Wealdstone, who ended on 170.
Of the 43 events, Watford gained four first places and nine second places and with the competition so good, many swimmers produced personal best times, which was very pleasing.

Anisa Jamal and Luke Rogers were our only individual winners, both recording successes in the ten years 50m breaststroke events, Anisa wining in 48-72 and Luke in 49-04.  The other winning events were both produced by the youngest age group, the nine year olds, in the mixed medley team and the boys freestyle team.  The successful swimmers involved were Ashley Harris, Jenna Patel, Tom Rose, Glen White, Ben Fiddler and Paul Gooding.  All in all, it was a highly enjoyable evening the swimmers performed with great credit, and are looking forward to the final round of the league which will be held in September.

Final places:
  1st, Harrow and Wealdstone 160;  2nd,  Newport Pagnell 158;  3rd, City of Oxford 155, 4th, City of Milton Keynes 148; 5th, Watford 143; 6th,  Daventry 101:
Watford winners:
Girls10 years, 50m breast, A Jamal 48.72
Boys 10 years, 50m breast, L Rogers 49.04


Hayley flies to double victory

Watford hosted a gala at the Central Baths on Saturday, and at the end of the 43 events ended up sharing first place with a strong Potters Bar team.   The format of the gala was for  Under-13, Under-15, and open-age swimmers, and the relay events were contested by a mixed four - some from each team, two boys and two girls from the same age group.  Several Watford swimmers performed well on the night, none more so than butterfly specialist Hayley Duncan, who won the girls Under-13 two lengths (66 yards) event in a fast 45.00 sec's, well ahead of her nearest rival, and then doubled up in the Under-13 4x1 individual medley, winning in 1.45.02.  Katie Kent was also in excellent form, winning both the girls Under-15 two lengths freestyle and backstroke, in 40.75 and 48.37 respectively .  Both girls were also successful in their respective relays, Hayley in the Under-13 butterfly team and Katie in both the Under-15 medley team and also the final squad event.  The other Watford individual winners were Erin Fitzgerald Under-13 girls 2L breast, Andrew Allum boys open 2L back and Peter Gooding boys Under-15 4x1 individual medley. 
Overall Watford won 14 of the 43 events, but would not have tied for overall first place with Potters Bar, had the Potters Bar team not been disqualified for an incorrect take-over in the final squad event, which Watford won.

1st, Watford 99pts and Potters Bar 99pts;  3rd, Broxbourne 147pts;  4th, Feltham 184pts;  5th,Hertsmere 191pts;  6th, Broomfield Park 197pts.
Watford winners
U/13 girls 2L fly, H Duncan 49.00
U/13 girls 4X1 IM, H Duncan, 1.45.02 
U/13 girls 2L breast, E Fitzgerald,55.68
U/15 girls 2L back, K Kent,48.37
U/15 boys 4X1 IM, P Gooding, 1.31.80
Open boys 2L back, A Allum, 39.54
U/13 mixed 4X1 fly team; H Duncan, L Collins, L Rogers, M Gooding, 1.40.00:
U/13 mixed 4X1 medley team; L Collins, E Fitzgerald, M Ginty, B Dollard, 1.33.84:
U/13 mixed 4X1 Breast team; T Rogers, E Fitzgerald, L Rogers, M Ginty, 1.47.81:
U/15 mixed 4X1 medley team; K Kent, H Beardsworth, P Gooding, M Leonard, 1.23.28:
Open mixed 4X1 fly team; M Bartley, C Willer, A Bowden, A Allum, 1.15.50:
Open mixed 4X1 free team; L Bell, C Willer, A Bowden, A Allum, 1.09.47:
Mixed 6X1 free squad; T Rogers, K Kent, M Bartley, M Gooding, D Patel, A Allum, !.53.90.


Youngsters Taste Success

It Has been a busy week for the young swimmers at Watford Swimming Club.  Many of them competed in two galas at the weekend, as well as the latest round of the club championships on Wednesday.  On Saturday it was the first round of the Milton Keynes and District Junior League, which was held at Leighton Buzzard.
Watford's opponents were the hosts Leighton Buzzard, Daventry, Newport Pagnell and Wellingborough.
The format of the junior league caters for swimmers of ages 9, 10, 11 and 12.  The Watford youngsters performed well, eventually coming a close third to Newport Pagnell and Wellingborough.  Of the 43 events, Watford gained nine first places, with Watford's girls accounting for eight of these.
The nine years girls team of Ashley Harris, Jenna Patel, Kerry Cuthbert and Clare Brandon, produced excellent swims to win both relays, their only swims of the night.  They all look forward to exceptional swimming performances in the future.  The boys win was produced by the ever reliable 10-years relay team of Alex Wright, Mark Cuthbert, Nick Ginty and Chris Kinley.  Although Watford came third, the night produced nine personal bests for our swimmers, which bodes well for the next round which will be held on July 11.

Watford winners
12-years: Hayley Duncan,50m fly 37.17;
11-years: Emily Harris, 50m back 37.17 and 50m free 33.44;
10-years: Anisa Jamal, 25m fly 21.70.

flags.gif (2042 bytes)

On Sunday Watford hosted a novice gala at the Bill Everett Centre.  Again this competition was for our younger swimmers and the teams competing against us were Ruislip and Northwood and Verulam. Watford's swimmers produced another excellent performance.   They won 19 of the 37 events, and therefore winning the gala by a large margin.   It was particularly nice to see some of Watford's really young swimmers compete for the first time.

flags.gif (2042 bytes)

The latest round of club championships was held at Watford Central Baths on Wednesday. The night produced some excellent times and some very close finishes, none more so than the men's open 100 yards breaststroke, which was won on the touch by Peter Gooding, with D Kingston and A Bowden just behind.

The boys' 1987/88 100 yard freestyle was another extremely close race, with the verdict just going to Adam Collins, with Luke Rogers gaining silver with an identical time and Alex Wright in third.

Hayley Duncan produced another fine exhibition of butterfly, winning the girls 1985/86 100 yard event, and Paul Gooding continued his dominance of the boys 1989 age group by winning the 33 yard breaststroke, with the White brothers, Glen and Dean, filling the minor honours.