Press Reports 2000


Final flurry

WATFORD'S swimmers produced an excellent team performance, when they competed in the final round of the Speedo London League last Saturday.
After the disappointment of the previous round, a good points total in this final gala was imperative if they were to better last year's league position of 14th. Despite the late withdrawal of key swimmers due to illness, the team delivered, scoring 247 points on the night - only five points behind the gala winners Wandsworth. The absence of those swimmers meant the team had to be reorganized on pool side, with some having to swim in events against older competitors, but all concerned rose to the occasion, with many posting personal best times.
Only two of the Under-16 boys team - Marc Gooding and Matt Ginty - were present on the night. They shared the individual races, with Marc winning both of his - 100m fly 74.02, 100m free 61.40 - in superb style, and Matt winning the 100m back in 75.21, and taking second place in the 100m breast, and then teaming up with 13-year-old Adam Collins, and 12-year-olds Mark Cuthbert and Nick Ginty to win both the relay events. Adam was in double winning form in his own Under-14 age group individual races, winning both the 100m back in 81.42 and storming down the last length to win the 100m fly in 84.56 in an exciting race.
The Under-14 girls was a similar story, with only Joanna Burrows and Sarah Kirk in attendance. Joanna swam both the 100m back, which she won in an impressive 85.59, and the 100m fly. Sarah took third place in the 100m breast, as did 11-year-old Kerry Cuthbert, who typified the Watford spirit by recording a personal best in the 100m free against much older girls.  The trio then teamed up with Nicola Dormer, 11, and Claire Dobson, ten, to gain valuable points in the relay events.
Amanda Weller continued her superb run of form, with a winning individual double in the Under-16 100m back, 80.28, and 100m breast, 87.65. In a busy night for her, she took a creditable third in the open 100m back. Tiffany Rogers was victorious in the girls Under-16 100m free, 70.74, and last week's Swimmer of the Year winner, Paul Gooding, took maximum points in the boys Under-12 50m free, 32.01.
But the top performers on the night had to be the senior members of the squad, who shared six individual wins. Top athlete Adam Bowden showed he can still produce the goods in the pool, by taking the Open 100m free in 58.96. Lee Portingale and Andrew Allum were in winning form, and, for the girls, Sarah Blackwell, open 100m breast, Sarah Weller, open 100m free, and her sister, Claire, open 100m fly, all gained excellent victories.
Overall, Watford won 20 of the 50 events, and this was a fine way to finish the league program for the year 2000.


Duncan and Gooding cap fantastic seasons

Hayley Duncan and Paul Gooding were named Swimmers of the Year in what has been a great 12 months for Watford Swimming Club.
The winners of the Duncan Goodhew trophy were Mark Cuthbert and Tom Rose, and Tiffany Rogers and Jo Burrows shared the Jean East award.
Hayley, 14, who attends Rickmansworth School has had a good year competing at club, county, and southern county level, the highlight being her win in the Under-17 400m IM county championship when only 13. She also achieved a further nine county top-six placings.
Nascot Wood School's Paul, 11, one of the youngest ever winners of the boys trophy, has been in excellent form throughout the year, especially at open meets where he has been flying the flag for Watford SC winning many titles. He also won the 50m breast when he represented Hertfordshire schools in an inter-county competition.
Watford Swimming Club is one of the oldest clubs in the country, and next year, 2001, promises to be a special one, for the club will be celebrating its centenary.


Swimmers sunk at Hemel

WATFORD'S swimmers were in action at the weekend as they competed in the second round of the Speedo London League, which was held at Hemel Hempstead.
The team was looking to consolidate their high position in the league, after their good start made in the first round. But with several key swimmers missing, and being drawn against tougher opposition they finished the gala in a disappointing sixth place with 131 points, compared with 246 that they had earned in the previous round.
Nevertheless, there were some encouraging performances on the night, with the Under-12 team of Glen White, Mark Ponsford, Tom Rose and Paul Gooding the most successful, as they were in the first round, and the boys won both their relay events in tremendous style. Paul also had a good swim in the individual 50m freestyle which he won in a very fast 31.63, and Glen was just beaten on the  touch in his individual event, the 50m backstroke, his time of 42.89 earned him the runners-up spot.
Amanda Weller who continues to impress, had a very busy night, swimming in no less than seven events. Her best race came in the Under-16 100m breastroke, which she won in 86.45, and she also took 3rd place in the Under-16 100m back in 79.72. Sarah Blackwell in the Ladies Open 100m breastroke (85.97), and Marc Gooding in the boys Under-16 100m free (61.06), also swam well, and they both came second in their  individual races. The clubs only other individual win came in the Men's Open 100m back, from coach Lee Portingale who won in 65.09.


Thomas makes a big splash

Watford swimming club's Glyn Thomas won two winners medals in his open meet debut in Colchester, Essex at the weekend.
Considering Thomas only joined the Watford club in May, it is a fine achievement to be so successful so soon. Swimming in the open age category, he won the 50 metres  backstroke in a personal best time of 49.35, and then teamed up to win the 4 x 50 metres freestyle relay. Thomas achieved another personal best time in the 50 metres freestyle in a time of 34.81, finishing third in an exciting race, and was just beaten into second place in the 100 metres  freestyle in a time of 1.22.42


Watford make bright start with second place in first round of league

WATFORD' Swimming Club travelled to Hitchin last Saturday to compete in the first round of the Speedo League, and made a pleasing start in this year's competition, eventually finishing the gala in second place out of the five teams, just behind Hemel Hempstead.
There were several good performances on the night in a good team effort, and coach Lee Portingale was encouraged by the fact of winning 20 out of the 50 events. The points gained in this first round will be valuable in future rounds which will undoubtedly be tougher.
Swimmer of the night for Watford had to be Amanda Weller, who is swimming very well at present. She produced two individual wins in the Under-16 100 metres breast, and open 100 metres back as well as being part of three successful relay teams.
Hayley Duncan almost matched this, she won the Under-16 100 meter back, and was just touched off in the Under-16 100 meter fly, and she too was part of the same relay teams as Amanda.
Paul Gooding also had a first and second place in his individual races, his win came in the Under-12 50 meter freestyle, and his second in the 50 meter fly.
The boys Under-12 team is particularly strong for the club, Glen White recorded a win in the age group's 50 meter breast, and the three boys teamed up with Dean White to take both their relays in great style.
Other individual winners were Claire Willer (open 100 meter fly), Tiffany Rogers (Under-16 100 meter free).  Sarah Blackwell (open 100 meter breast) for the girls and Ben Dollard (Under-14 100 meter fly), Andrew Allum (open 100 meter fly), Lee Portingale (open 100 meter back), Adam Bowden (open 100 meter free), for the boys.
The next round is on 11th November.


Pick of the swimmers Gooding sets three new bests in Canterbury

Canterbury was the recent destination for some of the Watford swimming club members, to take part in their annual open meet.
Joanna Burrows, 11, Amanda Weller, 15, Hayley Duncan, 14, Peter Gooding, 16, Marc Gooding, 13, and ten year old Paul Gooding all enjoyed a successful day in Watford's colours. Paul was the pick of the Watford swimmers - he continued to swim really well and improved several of this times.  A  very exciting swim in the 100metres breaststroke was him finish first and knock two seconds off his previous best time of 1.32.35, and later an amazing five seconds off his 100 metres butterfly to finish in sixth place in 1.31.30. He also had a good swim in the 100metre freestyle, finishing fourth in 1.11.09 and clocked another personal best time of 1.34.20 in the 100metres backstroke.


Watford make splash at Ware

WATFORD'S swimmers were back in action after the summer break, when they travelled to Ware to compete in the President's Trophy Gala last Sunday.
The team produced another excellent display, and by winning 30 out of the 49 events, won the trophy in some style.
The top performers on the night were the boy's under-13 and under-15 teams, who managed a clean sweep by winning all events they contested.
Boys winners:
under-13's Mark Cuthbert (50m Breast and 50m back), Luke Rogers (50m Fly) and Nick Ginty (50m Free), and for the under-15's Ben Dollard (50m Fly), Matthew Thomas (100m Free), Adam Collins (100m Back) and Matthew Ginty (100m Breast).  Matthew also had a successful swim in the under 17's100m Free which he won in a good time of 65.52.
Girls winners:
Rachel Williams under-11's (25m Back), Sally Arthur under-11's (25m Breast), Anisa Jamal under-13's (50m Fly), Jo Burrows under 13's (50m Back), Louise Collins under 15's (100m Back), Tiffany Rogers under 15's (100m Free) and Caroline Rogers under-17's (100m Breast).
Overall result:
1 Watford 80 pts;  2 Ware 101 pts;  3 Letchworth 116 pts.

On Wednesday the club held its latest round of this year's championships at the central baths.
It has been a case of quality not quantity in the Under-10's races this year with all events having been decided in straight finals due to the lack of numbers.  This is a shame because it does not give our youngest swimmers the chance to experience the heats-to-final situation that they will encounter when they compete in county and open meet competitions.  Nevertheless the winners of the events, Dean White for the boys, and Charlotte O'Reilly for the girls both showed excellent technique and look stars of the future.
The under-12's age group however is looking very healthy for the club with again a very good turn out.  The girls final produced the closest race of the nigh with Kerry Cuthbert only winning an exciting finish in the last five yards of the four lengths to take the title in 1.56.61 with Claire Dobson just .48 of a second behind in second place, Yasmin Dollard took the bronze in 2.09.95
The boy's event was more clear-cut, Paul Gooding adding another title in a fast time of 1.50.16.  With Tom Rose and Mark Ponsford taking the minor honours.  In the under-14 events Rebecca Dunsmore won the girls' race in 1.48.98, with Joanne Burrows, who has improved through the  year, winning a fine silver in 1.50.20 and Kate O'Reilly winning the bronze in 1.51.50.
Ben Dollard, who has just been selected to swim for Hertfordshire in a competition at Sheffield next month, won the boys' equivalent in a good time of 1.41.63, with Adam Collins and Mark Cuthbert second and third respectively.
Hayley Duncan took the under-17's race in 1.36.79 from Amanda Weller and Tiffany Rogers.  The final three races, all straight finals were won by Peter Gooding, Sarah Willer and Andrew Allum. 


Goodings garner pool trophy haul

WATFORD swimmers did not let the fuel crisis stop them travelling 300 miles to compete in two different open meets last weekend. Hayley Duncan, 14, and the Gooding brothers of Peter, 16, Marc, 13, and Paul, ten, travelled to Grantham to compete in the Lincoln open meet on Saturday.
Then the Gooding brothers set off for Birmingham to compete in the Sutton Coldfield Open meet on Sunday. The weekend's treks were well worth it when the four swimmers returned to Watford with no fewer than 24 trophies, being placed in nearly every event they entered, and gaining some personal best times.
Hayley had a very successful day at Lincoln and had a brilliant swim in the 100 metres butterfly to finish first in a new personal best time of 1.14.87. Her other swims were equally impressive when she finished third in both the 100 metres backstroke (1.15.79) and the 200 metres individual medley (2.46.75) and fourth in the 100 metres freestyle in 1.08.10.
Marc swam to a new personal best time of 1.01.54 to win an exciting 100 metres freestyle, and finished fourth in the 100 metres butterfly in 1.18.00. Younger brother Paul also had a successful day, and provided spectators with a lot of excitement with some closely fought races. He finished in second place in four of his races - 50 metres fly 38.25; 100 metres IM 1.25.10; 50 metres free 32.66; 50 metres breaststroke 43.19 and ninth place in the 50 metres backstroke in 45.41.
Paul had another extremely successful day at Sutton Coldfield and this time fought off the opposition in a number of brilliant swims to win gold in three of his races - 50 metres free 31.55, 50 metres fly 36.13, 50 metres breaststroke 42.92 - and fifth in the 50 metres backstroke. He was also very successful in the next age group, finishing third in the 100 metres freestyle in 1.10.51, sixth in the 100 metres butterfly in 1.34.10 and fifth in both the 100 metres individual medley 1.23.46 and 100 metres breaststroke in 1.36.66.
Paul's efforts were duly rewarded, when he finished runner-up in the top male swimmer award, just one point behind the winner. Marc was also on top of the rostrum having had a great race and winning the 100 metres freestyle, beating the previous day's personal best time, by three hundredths of a second and he also came fourth in the 100 metres butterfly in 1.16.39.
Peter, who was swimming in the open age group, finished second in the 100 metres breaststroke in 1.15.84 and fourth in both the 100 metres butterfly and the 100 metres IM. For Watford to finish as high as eighth out of 26 clubs competing for the overall team award - despite there only being three swimmers in the side - was quite some achievement.


Five Watford swimmers capture trophy haul

Five members of Watford Swimming Club returned with several trophies from the Great Eastern Open Meet at Lowestoft, Suffolk, at the Weekend. The Team consisted of 14-year-old Hayley Duncan, coach Lee Portingale and the Gooding brothers - Peter,16 Marc, 13, and ten-year-old Paul.
The boys joined forces to enter the men's open relay event, calling themselves 'Mummy's Little Soldiers', and they finished a respectable fifth place.
Lee had some great swims and won the 100 metres open backstroke in a time of 1.03.02 and a third in the 100 metres freestyle in a time of 57.22.
Hayley had an excellent swim in the 100 metres backstroke, finishing second in 1.14.85, and in the 100 metres fly she finished third in 1.17.44.  The 200 metres individual medley proved to be a very exciting race, with Hayley just being beaten into fourth place in a time of 2.49.63.  She was reserve finalist in two events - the 14-year-olds' 100 metres freestyle (1.10.77) and the 100 metres open butterfly (1.16.39) - just missing out on the medals by hundredths of a second. Other events were the 50 metres open free (32.54) and in the 4x50 metres open individual medley, finishing eighth in 2.51.65.
Paul Gooding managed to achieve personal best times in all his age group events.  He had an excellent swim in the 50 metres freestyle, finishing first in a new meet record of 31.62.  Paul also won the 50 metres breaststroke in 41.37 and, in a close finish to the 50 metres butterfly, he finished third in 37.82 with the race decided by the place steward since both second and third places recorded the same time. Paul just missed out on the medals in the backstroke, being reserve finalist in a time of 42.91.  The individual medley was also an exciting race, with Paul missing out on first place by a hundredth of a second to take second place.  Paul also entered the open events and finished ninth in the 4x50 individual medley in 3.10.32.
Brother Marc also had a great swim and finished in second place in the 13-year-olds' freestyle (1.02.74) and, after a close final, he also took a medal in the 100 metres butterfly of his age group.  But Marc injured his shoulder in the final and dropped into fifth place in a time of 1.20.63.
The other Gooding brother, Peter, who had to swim in the open age group, came fifth in the 50 metres freestyle in 27.14.  He also had to be content with reserve finalist in two of his events, the 100 metres butterfly (1.08.43) and the 100 metres breastroke in (1.16.68). In the open freestyle he finished in twelfth place in a time of 1.00.36.


Paul bags five medals

Watford Swimming club member , ten-year-old  Paul Gooding,  did the club proud when he returned from the Bishop’s Stortford Junior Open meet, having won medals in all of his five events. This was a good finish to what has been a very hard but successful season for Paul.
He won silver medals in two events, just being beaten on the touch, in very exciting finals, the freestyle finishing in 32.52 and the breaststroke in 43.19.  Paul's other results were: butterfly fourth in 38.78, the individual medley fifth in 1.27.38 and the backstroke sixth in 42.44. 
The swimmers will now have a few weeks rest, before the next major event when Paul will join his brothers Peter and Marc and fellow swimmer Hayley Duncan to attend the Great Eastern meet in Lowestoft at the end of August . 


 Super seven storm to Southern success

SEVEN Watford Swimmers took part in the Southern Counties Swimming Championships at Crystal Palace - Hayley Duncan, 14, Amanda Weller, 15, Gooding brothers Peter, 16, Marc, 13 and Paul, 10, Tom Rose, 11 and Ben Dollard, 13.
Duncan had a very tiring weekend competing in four events.  Her first event was the 400 individual medley, finishing 20th in a time of 5.56.41. Her next event was the gruelling 200m fly, finishing 16th in a time of 2.49.70.  In the 100m backstroke, she finished in a time of 1.16.64 and in the 200m back 2.45.37. Amanda Weller competed in the 200m breast and finished in a time of 3.10.57 and in the 100m backstroke she finished in 1.19.57.
Paul Gooding was the reserve finalist, having had an excellent swim in the 50m freestyle, missing out on the final by hundredths of a second in a time of 32.57 to give him tenth position overall. In his breaststroke, he finished in 20th place in a time of 44.14. Tom Rose had a good swim in the 50m free and finished in a time of 34.46.
Marc Gooding had two good swims in the 100m free and fly - his times were1.04.93 for the free and 1.17.58 in the fly. Peter competed in three swims - 100m breast in 1.20.62, and 100m fly in 1.12.70 and 50m free in 27.54.  Ben Dollard also had three swims in the 100m backstroke finishing in 1.18.11, 100m free 1.07.20 and 100m fly in 1.20.16.

Three Watford swimmers attended the Brighton junior sprint open meet. Duncan had a very exciting race in the 50m backstroke - just being beaten into fifth place by a split second, in a time of 35.18. Her other swims were equally as exciting and, once again in very close finishes, she finished in 35.03 in eighth place in the 50m flay and in the 50m free she got a new personal best time of 31.50. Marc Gooding, 13, was also a medal winner - again fighting for the finish he came third in the 50m free in a time of 28.83 and in the fly he came fifth in a time of 32.82. His brother Paul also had some very good swims.  He came first in the 50m freein32.85, third in the 50m flay in 38.83, fourth in the 50m breaststroke in 42.19 and finished in a personal best time in the 50m backstroke in 43.47.

The last Watford club championships before the summer break were held last Wednesday.
The race of the night was in the final of the boys' under-12 100y backstroke.  Tom Rose and Glen White had a great battle with Tom just getting the better of his rival to win on the touch in 81.65, only just ahead of Glen on 81.87, with Paul Gooding taking the bronze Andrew Allum had another excellent night, winning three more titles in the men's open 200y fly(2.30.19), 100y back (57.62), and the 66yfly (35.90).
In the ladies events, Claire Willer took the 400y free in 4.48.21, Kim Cox beat her sister Lydia in the 66y breast, and Hayley Duncan retained the 100y fly title in 68.81.
In the age group events, Emily Ginty (36.28), and Dean White (29.06) both won again in theunder-10 33y fly, as did Kerry Cuthbert in the girls under-12 66y free. The under-14 races were won by Rebecca Dunsmore for the girls in the 100y back (72.53), from Anisa Jamal and Kate O'Reilly, and Ben Dollard for the boys in the 66y free (38.34), from Adam Collins and Luke Rogers. Finally, in the under-17 events, Amanda Weller took the girls 100y breast (77.20) and Peter Gooding the boys 200y free in 2.07.90.


 Juniors surge to promotion at first attempt

WATFORD'S junior team celebrated promotion to Division Two of the Peanuts League after the final round last weekend. From the excellent results of the previous rounds which the team had both won, hopes were high that the swimmers would win promotion at their first attempt. Team managers John Williams and Brenda Carter knew that it would be difficult as the youngsters were up against the five other best teams in the division. Although Watford only came third behind Verulam and Harpenden Swimming Clubs, when the final points were tallied over all three rounds it was announced that the top two teams were Verulam and Watford. Therefore, the club had indeed done enough to take one of the two promotion places. With the competition of a higher standard, which was understandable, the squad had much tougher races than of late, but all performed with great credit.
Joanna Burrows, in the girls Under-13 back, and Chris James, in the boys Under-11 freestyle, were the only individual winners, But Sally Arthur, who displayed an excellent breastroke technique, Yasmin Dollard, Mathew Toothill, Mark Cuthbert, Tom Rose and Luke Rogers all took the runners up spots in their events to earn the team valuable points.
The strength of the club was most evident in the boys relay events where the swimmers finished either first or second, a trend that has been set from the opening round. The year 2000 is fast becoming one of the most successful of recent times for the club, with this result adding to the Herts League Division Two title won earlier in March.

Two members of Watford Swimming Club were in action at the Primary school National Swimming championships held at the Ponds Forge pool in Sheffield. Joanna Burrows and Naomi Hosker, both 11, were swimming in a medley relay event for Haberdashers Aske's with two other team-mates. They faced stiff opposition from 27 other school from all over the country, with the likes of Millfield School in attendance, but their time in the heat of 68.61 earned them a place in the final. The girls geared themselves up for an all out effort in the final and swam the 100m event in 69.30 - good enough for the bronze medal which they received along with watches and sports bags, as well as a trophy from the sponsors Bazuka.


 Watford's Weller storms to breastroke best

WATFORD Swimming Club took a strong squad to the Potters Bar Open Meet last Saturday and returned with several trophies.
Amanda Weller, 15, produced an excellent swim in the 100m breastroke in 87.26, which earned her first place. She also swam in the 100m back in 79.11, finishing forth and the 100m IM, coming fifth in 78.13. Hayley Duncan continued her fine run of results, with a couple of good swims in the 13/14 years 100m backstroke (second, 74.06) and the 100m IM (forth, 78.18). Caroline Rogers won trophies in the 15/16 year 100m fly and the 100m breastroke, and young Kerry Cuthbert swam a personal best to take fifth place in the ten years 50m fly.
Paul Gooding and Ben Dollard both ended the day as double champions. Gooding won both the ten years 50m breastroke (42.32) and 50m free (31.88) in great style and he also took second place in both the 50m fly and 100m IM. Dollard's double came in the 11/12 years 50m free (29.59) and 50m Fly (32.58) and he also took a second place in the 50m back. Marc Gooding took two seconds in the boys 100m fly and freestyle.

At the Herts County Masters Championships held at Borehamwood, Watford collected 12 gold's, two silvers and four bronze medals. Paula Roberts won all five titles in her age group category and Delia Martin-Dye won two events and set a new county record in the 50m backstroke of 40.08. Andrew Allum also set a new county 50m back record in 29.07.


 Gooding brothers sprint to mighty medal haul

WATFORD swimmers had an excellent weekend at the Colchester sprint meet. Paul Gooding, ten, managed a gold , silver and bronze in three of his events. He took the gold in the 50m breastroke in a time of 43.28, and just missed out on another gold in the 50m freestyle, being beaten by one hundredth of a second into second place, in a time of 32.72. His bronze place came in the 100m individual medley in a time of 1.26.92. His other swims were the 50m butterfly, finishing in seventh place in a time of 40.11, and the 50m backstroke, finishing in a time of 43.69.
Paul's brother Marc, 13, also had a great swim, winning two silver medals  - the first one in the 50m freestyle in a time of 28.77, and the other one in the 50m butterfly, finishing in a time of 32.69. His other times were the 50m backstroke 39.11, 50m breast 48.56, and 100m individual medley 1.24.78.
Elder brother Peter, 16, not to be out-swam by his younger brothers, also took medals home in three of his events. He finished fifth in both the men's open breastroke in a time of 34.53 and the individual medley in a time of 1.07.91. Peter came forth in the 50m freestyle in a new personal best time of 26.79.
The other gold medal winner was Watford's coach Lee Portingale, showing his swimmers how it should be done and having a great swim in the 50m backstroke in a time of 29.64.
Hayley Duncan, 14, was in really good form. She finished second in the 50m butterfly in a time of 35.69, third place in the 50 backstroke in 35.67, and forth place in the 100m individual medley and the 50m freestyle. Tom Rose,11, had three very good swims. He finished forth in the 50m backstroke in a time of 41.88, sixth in the 50m freestyle in a time of 43.85 and ninth in the butterfly in 42.74. Joanna Burrows, 12, improved all her previous times - 50m backstroke 40.54, 100m individual medley 1.31.14, 50m butterfly 42.85, and 50m freestyle 37.18.
Amanda Weller, 15, swimming in the open age group, swan in the 50m breastroke 40.47, 50m Backstroke 37.03 and individual medley 1.20.62. Brother and sister Ben, 12, and Yasmin Dollard brought home a selection of medals between them. Ben finished second in the 50m butterfly in 32.85, forth in the 50m freestyle in 29.96, sixth in the 50m backstroke in 35.98, and finished in a time of 1.18.66 in the 100m individual medley. Yasmin had a very good swim and finished forth in the 50m freestyle in 38.12. She also swam in the 50m backstroke in 45.70, and the 50m butterfly 52.64.

Watford Swimming Club's Joanna Burrows and Naomi Hosker, both 11, were part of the Haberdasher's Aske's School for Girls team, taking part in the Bazuka National Primary School's Championship Gala at Barnet Copthall. Their medley relay time of 1.13.41 gained them second place after a nail-biting contest where the first two teams posted the identical times, although the Habs girls had been fastest in the heats. Their success qualifies them for the national finals to be held in Sheffield's Pond's Forge Stadium on Saturday June 17.
Paul Gooding, who attends Nascot Wood School, recently represented the Hertfordshire junior schools in a inter-county gala, against Berks, Bucks, Oxton and Herts, held at Borehamwood. The ten year old won the year five boys breastroke in a time of 42.24.


 Young stars storm to their second success

WATFORD'S junior team travelled to Hitchin for the second round of the Herts Peanuts League on Saturday, looking to build on the excellent start they made in the previous round, which they won in great style. This time things were slightly harder but when the results were tallied at the end of the evening, the team were again victorious, although they had to share the honours with Potters Bar who finished with exactly the same number of points. Unfortunately, due to the unavailability, the team had to field over age swimmers in the four nine-year-old relay events, and this cost the team 28 points, which would otherwise have resulted in an easy Watford victory.
The top team on the night were the under-13 boys, with Luke Rogers, Mark Cuthbert and Alex Wright all winning individual races and teaming up with Nick Ginty to win both relays. The under-12 boys were not far behind - Glen White and Tom Rose both won again, Ben Fidler and Mark Ponsford also swam well and this team won both relays too.
To cap a fine night for the boys, the under-11 tem of Chris James, Thomas Ginger, Matthew Toothill and Guy Rogers made it a clean sweep of wins in the relay events, with Chris and Matthew also winning their individual races.
A couple of swimmers stood out for the girls, Jo Burrows, who is improving with every week, took the under-13 backstroke event and Anisa Jamal won the under-13 butterfly and took the runners up spot in the breastroke.

On Wednesday, another set of club championships were held at the central baths.
Danish swimmer Britt Christensen started the night in style with a fine exhibition of breaststroke swimming to take the ladies open 200y event from last year's winner Amanda Weller, with Caroline Rogers taking the bronze.  Britt doubled up later on when she took the 200y freestyle title, which she won in 2.13.47. Andrew Allum was also in double winning form- he took both the 200y backstroke as well as the 100yfly, and the two lengths handicap races were won by Kim Cox in the ladies and Nigel McMorrin in the men's.
In the age group events, Dean White won another title in the under-10 category in the 66y free, and Charlotte O'Reilly gained the first of her career by winning the under-10 girls 33y breast in 32.28. Kerry Cuthbert and Paul Gooding were victors again in the uner-12 33y butterfly races - Kerry just edging out Yasmin Dollard to win in 24.94, and Paul beating Tom Rose in another good race.
Two of Watford's star swimmers, Ben Dollard and Hayley Duncan, warmed up for the forthcoming Southern Counties Championships at Crystal Palace with easy victories in their 100y butterfly races.  Ben stormed down the pool to win in 70.56 in the under-14 event and Hayley winning the under 17 category in a fast 70.50. Rebecca Dunsmore continues to improve, and she won the under-14 girls 100y free in 64.74 with Kate O'Reilly just winning the battle for silver from Anisa Jamal. Peter Gooding took the boys under-17 100y free in 54.22 with his younger brother Marc just behind in 57.09.


 Future looks bright as winning streak continues

WATFORD'S junior team travelled to Hitchin on Saturday to compete in the first round of the Peanuts League, and came away with another superb victory that continues the club's amazing winning run. The format for this league caters for swimmers between nine and twelve years with all individual races swam over one length. The future of the club looks in safe hands as the youngsters won the gala by a massive 58 points, winning nearly half of the 41 events in the process.
The girls nine-year-old team of Charlotte O'Reilly, Katrina Clark, Hannah Lewis and Emily Ginty looked particularly impressive. They were restricted to two relay events which they won very easily. Also on top form were the under-11 team, with Rachel Williams, free, Yasmin Dollard, fly and Nicola Carter, back, winning their individual races and teaming up with Sally Arthur to take both their relays.  Kerry Cuthbert had a busy night.  Her best swim came in the under-12fly, which she won in 19.47, and her team mate Melanie Forester took the breaststroke event in 24.93.
For the boys, there were wins for Ben Wright, under-13breast, 21.35, Glen White, under-12 free, 17.34, Tom Rose, under-12 fly, 19.46, and Luke Rogers, under-13 fly, 19.20. The evening was summed up in the final event - the squadron relay where one boy and girl from each age group take part. Watford led from the gun and continued to build on the lead throughout the race, and eventually won by nearly tree quarters of a length.

On Wednesday, the club held its third championships of 2000 at the central pool.
The evening got off to a great start for 14-year-old Hayley Duncan in the ladies 200y fly, winning in 2.29.38, and setting a new club record in the process. The old mark of 2.29.82 was set by Paula Roberts in 1984, and it was Paula herself who took the runners-up spot in 2.44.10.
The next race was the men's open 400y free which Lee Portingale won in 4.14.27, only just ahead of Andrew Allum in 4.14.88. In the age group events, Emily Ginty and Dean White won another title - Emily taking the under-10 33y back from Charlotte O'Reilly and Nicola James, and Dean the uner-10 33y breast from Nicholas Hardman and Peter Beardsworth. In the under-12 age group, there were two clear cut winners in the 100y free races - Kerry Cuthbert taking the girls event in 72.33 and Paul Gooding the boys in 69.49. Kerry's brother Mark also celebrated a victory.  His win came in the under-14 100y breast which he won in 88.78, with Nick Ginty and Luke Rogers filling the minor honours. Paul's brother Peter had two wins on the night - in the under-17 100y back and the open 100y breast and Hayley Duncan also matched this achievement by taking the under-17 200y free in 2.18.23. Rebecca Dunsmore produced a fine piece of butterfly swimming to take the under-14 100y event in a speedy 77.27, with Anisa Jamal taking the silver and Kate O'Reilly the bronze. The other open events were won by Adam Bowden, men's 66y free, 33.70 and Britt Christensen, ladies 100y breast, 73.75 and 33y fly, 19.88.

Watford swimming club swimmers visited Maidenhead last weekend to compete in the Windsor open meet which featured more than 20 swimming clubs. Watford swimmers participating were Peter, Marc and Paul Gooding, Lee Portingale, Hayley Duncan, Amanda Weller, Mathew and Nicholas Ginty and Joanna Burrows.
Chief Coach, Lee Portingale only choosing to enter the backstroke event, had to battle to the end in the 100m event, and then just missed out on first place by a faction of a second, but took second place in a time of 1.04.06. Mathew Ginty, 14, had a very good swim, finishing in fifth place in the 100m back in a personal best time of 1.16.70. In the 100m freestyle, he finished in tenth in a time of 1.05.57 and in the 100m breaststroke, he had another good swim finishing in seventh place in a very exciting race in a time of 1.27.43.  Younger brother Nicholas, 12, chose the 100m breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle, and came across some stiff competition.   Although not quite in the medal positions, he managed some good swims in breaststroke (1.37.60), butterfly (1.38.79) and freestyle (1.16.69).
Joanna Burrows, 12, only managed one swim before rushing off to Hitchin for the Peanuts league gala, but made her first competitive swim in 100m butterfly. Amanda Weller, 15, was just outside her personal best time in the 100m freestyle in a time of 1.11.64 and finished her 100m backstroke in a time of 1.20.23. Hayley Duncan was in the medals again, finishing fourth in both her 100m butterfly in a time of 1.17.58 and in her 100m backstroke in a time of 1.15.59.  Both races were very tight with all four leading swimmers changing leads throughout the race. Hayley also swam in the breaststroke, finishing in a time of 1.34.13 and in the 100m freestyle in a time of 1.10.88.
The Gooding brothers brought home some medals again. Peter, 16, who is supported by Watford Council, had a very exciting 100m breaststroke race, just being beaten by the touch, but finished second in a time of 1.14.73. He also swam in the 100m butterfly, having another good race, and finished fourth, just outside his personal best in a time of 1.09.71. His other swim was the 100m freestyle, where he finished sixth in a time of 1.00.55. Marc was placed in both his races, ;having had very good swims again.  In the 100m butterfly he finished fifth in 1.18.06 and in the 100m freestyle he finished fourth in 1.03.87. Younger brother Paul, ten, was swimming out of age with the 12 year olds, but once again had a good swim in the 100m breaststroke, finishing in ninth place in a time of 1.36.25. In his freestyle, he finished in 1.11.94, and in the 100m butterfly he finished in a time of 1.39.93.


 Goodings lead the way with best times

Watford swimmers travelled to Barkingside last weekend to attend the Killerwhale designated open meet.
Paul Gooding, although only ten, had to swim in the 13 years and under category in all his races and did exceptionally well against swimmers three years older than him to win third place in the 50m freestyle in 32.57, just outside his personal best time. In the 100m breaststroke, he came seventh in a new personal best time of 1.35.80. He also managed a new personal best time in the 200m individual medley in 2.44.54, finishing in eighth place. In the 100m freestyle, he finished in a time of 1.12.94 to give him seventh place and in the 200m freestyle he finished eighth in 2.44.54.
Marc Gooding, who also had to swim out of age in the 15 and under age group, had a great swim in the 50m freestyle, finishing fifth in a very close and exciting race. In his 100m butterfly, he was just outside his personal best time and finished seventh in 1.16.51, and again in a very close race finished sixth in the 100m freestyle in 1.02.99.
Peter Gooding, swimming in the 16 and over age group, had a remarkable swim in the 100m breaststroke, achieving a new personal best time of 1.13.80 giving him second place. In the 50m freestyle, in the 16 and over age group, he finished eighth, in a new personal best time of 26.51. Peter swam into eighth place in the 100, butterfly in 1.09.41.
Hayley Duncan, again swimming out of age in the 15 and under age group, had a very good weekend with some brilliant swims. She came third in the 200m butterfly in a time of 2.48.40, just outside her previous best time. However, her best swims were her 100m and 200m backstroke in which she achieved personal best times. In the 100m , she finished fifth in 1.13.95 and in the 200m she finished forth in 2.39.82. In the gruelling 400m individually medley, Hayley knocked three seconds off her previous best time to finish fifth in 5.52.14, and her final swim was in the 100mbutterfly, in which she finished tenth in a time of 1.17.74.
Amanda Weller chose the longer distances, swimming in both the 200m breastroke and the 200m backstroke. In the backstroke, Amanda finished fifth, battling out to end in a time of 2.47.54 and in the breastroke she finished forth in a time of 3.07.25. Lee Portingale finished third in 1.04.40 in the 100m back.

Watford Swimming Club hosted the festival gala last Saturday at the central baths, and continued their recent excellent form with a very convincing win.
The top performers on the night were the girls Under-11 team , with Yasmin Dollard, Sally Arthur and Nicola Carter all scoring fine individual victories, and the teaming up with Jasmin Hodgson to win both their relay events. Ten-year-old Kerry Cuthbert continues to improve, and she took the Under-13 girls two lengths free in style, as did Tiffany Rogers in the girls Under-15 three length breast.
For the boys, Nick Murkin (Under-11 one length freestyle) and Mike Thomas (Under-11 three length breast) both won, as did the ever reliable trio of Matt Ginty, and Peter and Marc Gooding. The Under-13 team is one of the strongest in the club, and Alex Wright, Mark Cuthbert and Nick Ginty were also again in winning form.


 Southern swims set Graham's sights on Sydney Olympic spot

The bid for an Olympic place is on track for Graham Martin-Dye after a successful Southern Counties Championships over the weekend at Crystal Palace. The Watford Swimming Club member stormed to victory in the 50 metres freestyle in the 50 metres freestyle in a time of 24.28, beating Great Britain international Matthew Kidd. In the 100 metres freestyle he was up against former British record holder Mike Fibbens, but narrowly failed to overtake him in the final metres. Martin-Dye finished in a time of 52.80 to Fibbens time of 52.35. The Watford swimmer was narrowly beaten by Kidd in the 200 metres after he went too fast on the third length, allowing Kidd to come from behind to win in 1.56.18 to Martin-Dye's 1.56.29. He earned a comfortable win in the 400m, however, after he took the lead at the 250 mark and held on to win in 4.10.26.
There was also some encouraging performances from Martin-Dye at the Reading Open Meet. In the 400m, he came from seven metres behind to defeat Great Britain international Mark Stevens in a time of 4.03.26, and he repeated the feat in the 200m individual medley in a time of 2.10.46. He finished second in the 200m freestyle in 1.51.88, third in the 50m freestyle in 24.19 and forth in the 100m freestyle in 51.93.

Watford swimming club made their annual trip to Reading over the Easter weekend.
Hayley Duncan continued to show her strength, only two weeks after becoming Herts County Champion in the under 17 age group 400m Individual Medley. She came third in both the 100m backstroke in 1.14.17 and the 200m fly in 2.45.86.  Hayley, who had a very busy weekend, also finished eighth in the 800m freestyle in a time of 10.42.59, 100m butterfly and the 100m freestyle.
Watford's Chief coach Lee Portingale made the final in his 100m backstroke, finishing fifth in 1.04.03 and seventh in the 200m backstroke in a time of 2.26.15.
Marc Gooding  had a very pleasing weekend and continued to show great promise, producing personal best times in all his races.  Marc finished eighth in the 100m freestyle in a time of 1.01.91, he just missed out on the final in the50m free in a time of 28.72 and was eighth in the 100m fly in 1.15.41.
Older brother Peter, swimming in the open age group got a personal best in his 100m free in a time of 59.07. He also swam 50 free in 27.31, 100m breast in 1.16.64 and 100m fly in 1.08.65.
Ben Dollard swam well in the 50m free, finishing forth in 29.62, and fifth in the 100m back in 1.16.35, just missing out on the finals in 100m fly in a time of 1.16.19 and 100m free in 1.05.59.
Amanda Weller had a tiring weekend, swimming in seven events, and producing some new personal best times, Her times were: 50m freestyle 32.81, 100m freestyle in 1.11.53, 100m breast 1.26.87 finishing in eighth place, 200m Individual medley 2.51.60, 200m breast again finishing in eighth place in 3.10.01, 100m back in 1.17.88 and 200m freestyle 2.32.04.
Claire Willer swam a good time in the 100m freestyle open age group in a time of 1.08.33.
Watford swimmers will be travelling to the Killerwhale open meet and Windsor Open meet in the next few weeks, before embarking on their annual trip to Exeter.


 Broken records get to spin three times

Three Watford Swimming Club records were broken at the Hertfordshire Championships in Hitchin recently. The first of these went to Ben Dollard, who has had an excellent set of swims this year, in the boys 13-year 100m free, with a time of 65.46, which also earned him the bronze medal. The next record to go was the boys Under-17 50m breaststroke, when Peter Gooding recorded a fast 33.81, to win the silver medal in that category. The final club record was in the open 200m back when Lee Portingale set a new standard of 2.18.89; Lee was just out of the medals in fourth place.
The star of the last two sessions, however, was Watford's Hayley Duncan.  Hayley had a superb swim in the gruelling 400m IM, her time of 5.53.72 was a new personal best and won her the Under-17 championship.  She also won a bronze in her own 14-year-old group 100m back and took seventh place in the 100m fly. Hayley also teamed up with Amanda Weller and the Willer sisters, Claire and Sarah, to win a fine bronze in the ladies 400m medley relay.
Other Watford swimmers who performed well and made finals in their events were Marc Gooding 14-year 100m free, Mark Cuthbert 13-year 100m back, Matt Ginty 14-year 100m breast, Caroline Rogers 16-year 100m fly and Peter Gooding 16-year 100m fly.

On Wednesday, Watford held their second club championships of 2000.  In the youngest category, the under-Tens there were fewer numbers competing than in recent years.  But the club has found a couple of potential stars in Emily Ginty and Dean White, who both won their events convincingly. Emily, who has two successful older brothers in the club won the two lengths free in 56.52, and Dean took the one length back in 26.91.
In the next age group, the Under-12's, there was a much closer race in the girls 100m breast, with the gold medal going to Sally Arthur, with Rachel Williams and Nicola Carter just behind to take the minor honours.  Paul Gooding won the Under-12 boys 100m breast easily in 91.47 as did Kate O'Reilly in the Under-14 girls' equivalent race, which she won in 93.47. Ben Dollard took another title in the boys Under - 14 100m free in a good time of 60.25, the race here was for second place as the next four boys were separated by just over a second, with the silver going to Nick Ginty on 67.43 and the bronze to Mark Cuthbert on 67.88. The Under-17 titles went to Peter Gooding in the boys 100m fly 63.65, with his brother Marc taking the runners -up spot and Hayley Duncan in the 100m hack 69.88 from Amanda Weller and Katie Kent. 


 Gooding surges to record

Watford's swimmers have been in action at the recent county championships and most have produced personal best performances.
Peter Gooding posted a fast 74.48 in the 16 years old 100m breastroke - a new club record which earned him forth spot. His younger brother, Paul, also swam well again, he took fifth place in the 11 year 100m breast and sixth in the 200m IM.
Ben Dollard continues to impress, He swam into fifth spot in the 13 year 100m back in 76.22 and gained a new club record for this effort, and Amanda Weller produced a fine swim in the 15 year girls 200m IM event, which also earned her the fifth place trophy.
Hayley Duncan has been in action in many events, and was rewarded with two bronze medals in the girls under-17 100m fly and 100m back championships. Her backstroke time of 73.86 was good enough to give her another club record. She also competed in her own 14 year age group 100m freestyle, where she came fifth in 68.00.
Andrew Allum took a bronze medal in the men's 50m fly championship, and then teamed up with Peter Gooding, Adam Bowden and Lee Portingale in the men's 4 X 100m free relay, where their time of 3.52.64 smashed the old club record of 4.01.00. which has stood since 1977, and gave them third place.
Other swimmer to make the top ten in their events were Nick Ginty, Tom Rose, Chris James, Luke Rogers, Caroline Rogers, Mark Cuthbert and John Beardsworth.


 Team inspired by coach Lee

Watford's swimmers have been in action at the recent Hertfordshire County Age Groups and Championships and there were some very commendable performances after three out of the eight sessions swum so far.
Chief coach Lee Portingale proved to be an inspiration, as in the first session he won the Open 50m backstroke - the title he holds from last year - in a time of 29.38, which is a new club record.
Ben Dollard produced two superb swims in the 13 year age group - his times of 75.98 for the 100m flay and 2.50.69 for the 200 IM were good enough to win him two silver medals, as well as both being new club records.
Paul Gooding also won a medal, a bronze, in the 11 year 100m free in an excellent time of 70.77 and Hayley Duncan gained fourth place in the 14 year girls 200m IM in 2.46.03.
In the Championship events, Peter Gooding took the bronze in the boys 100m fly in a new personal best of 78.06. Other good performances have come from Alex Wright, Amanda Weller, Katie Kent, Andrew Allum and Marc Gooding, who, although not in the medals, have all gained a top ten county listing.  


 Celebrations as Watford surge to promotion

Watford Swimming Club had a night to remember on Saturday when they competed in the final round of the Herts League Division Two at Borehamwood. Swimming against the six best teams in the division, it was known that promotion would be attained if they came first or second in the gala.
However, things got off to a bad start, when after eight events the team was only lying in fourth place because of a couple of disqualifications, with the lead being held by Watford's main rivals City of St Albans. However, at the halfway stage, after some superb swims, the team had clawed itself into second place, only three points behind St Albans, with Stevenage just eight points adrift. The tension then began to mount as the gala progressed.  The lead changed hands several times between Watford and St Albans as Stevenage dropped out of contention and, with just eight races to go, which were all relays, the scores were level at 109 points each. It was at this point that Watford showed their strength, and in those last events they posted two third places, one second place, and won the remaining five, including the final event - the squadron. By the time this was swam, the atmosphere had reached a crescendo, and when the final results were tallied, it was the jubilant Watford team that were celebrating as it was announced that they were the winners and new champions by just nine points.
It was a truly great performance with the team spirit exceptional. It would be unfair to single out a particular swimmer- there were just too many fine performances on the night, but a special mention  goes to Rebecca Dunsmore, Katie Kent, Amanda Weller and Hayley Duncan for the girls. For the boys, Matt Ginty, Ben Dollard, John Beardsworth and Peter and Paul Gooding were among those who contributed the Watford's success with an individual win.

On Wednesday, the club held its first championships for the year at the Central Baths.
The swimmers of the year for 1999, Hayley Duncan and Andrew Allum, continued their good form, with Hayley taking three titles in the ladies 400y IM in 5.22.12, 100y back in 68.91 and the Under-17 100y free in 62.08.  Andrew won both the men's 200y free in 2.00.41 and 66y back in 38.12. Peter Gooding also notched up a double - his victories coming in the men's 200y breast in 2.34.34 and the Under-17 100y breast in 70.84. His younger brother Paul is swimming superbly at the moment and he won the Under-12 66y free in a very fast 41.37. Two new names to look out for in the future are Emily Ginty and Dean White.  They won the one length free in the youngest age group, the Under-10's, in 24.0 and 24.12 respectively. Rebecca Dunsmore has recently joined the club, and she took her first title in the girls Under-14 66y free in 42.23, with Date O'Reilly just behind in 43.22 and Joanne Burrows taking the bronze. The other winners on the night were Kerry Cuthbert in the Under-12 100y back in 85.75, Ben Dollard in the Under-14 100y back in 71.94 and Claire Willer in the ladies 66y free in 40.09.


 Burrows in best-ever form

Watford swimmers travelled to Fleet last weekend for the Hart Open Meet.
Joanna Burrows, 11, made her debut swim in open events and did it in great style - she managed to knock seconds off her previous best times in her two swims to achieve new personal best times in the 50m Free(35.77) and 50m Back (41.65).
Paul Gooding, ten, had a very successful day, swimming very well to win gold medals in both his events _ 50m Free (32.70) and 50m Breast (44.34).
Peter Gooding, 15, was just pipped into second place in the 50m Fly in a very good time of 29.44. He also had good swims in the 50m Breast, finishing sixth in 35.81, and seventh in the 50m Free in 27.47.
Marc Gooding, 13, finished forth in the 50m Free after a very close race with a time of 29.48. His 50m Fly was also very close, but he just missed out on the medals in eight place.
Katie Kent, 15, was back in action having been injured for some time and came back in great form with two personal best times in the 50m Back (37.16) and 50m Free (32.64).
Hayley Duncan, 13, was again in the medals and broke another club record - the 50m Back (34.98) finishing a very close sixth,  50m Fly (35.86) also finishing sixth place and 50m Free (31.66).
Mark Ponsford, ten, achieved a new personal  best time having a very good swim in his 50m Free (38.20). His other swim was 50m Breast in 49.50.
Club coach Lee Portingale was in the medals in the 50m Back, finishing second after a hard fight to the finish. He also swam in the 50m Free, finishing in 27.69.


 Allum’s golden treble

Watford’s masters swimmers were in action recently when they competed at the Amersham 2000 meet. Andrew Allum won three gold medals in the 25-29 age group, winning the 50m fly and back and also the 100m individual medley.  He also gained two silver medals in his other events the 50m free and breast. Felicity Kinley also swam well at this meet and gained two bronzes in the 100m IM and 200m free.

Some of the younger swimmers from Watford Swimming Club started the year off by going to Beacontree Swimming club in Dagenham.
Paul Gooding ten, had a great start to the year, collecting a third in the 100m free in 1.14.61 and a fifth in the 100m breast in 1.40.00.  He also swam very well in the 200m free in a personal best time of 2.47.54, finishing ninth and was 11th in the individual medley in 2.08.52. Ryan O’Conner swam in his first open meet in the individual medley and finished in a time of 2.38.55. Mark Ponsford, ten improved his personal best times in the 100m free (1.27.12) and 100m breast (1.49.66).
The girls were represented by ten-year old Kerry Cuthbert, who had a good start to the year in the 200m free (2.59.78), individual medley (2.21.81, 400m free (6.20.49 and 100m free (1.23.03).


 Dollard shines with six winning swims

Watford Swimming Club gained another impressive win on Saturday when they competed in the second round of the Herts League which was held at Borehamwood.
The youngest team, the under 12's were the best performers on the night, with Glen White (backstroke), Paul Gooding (breast) and Mark Ponsford (free) all gaining comfortable victories in their individual events, with Tom Rose just being touched out for first place in the fly.
The under-12 girls also produced some good swims, with Georgia Braham (fly) and Kerry Cuthbert (free) both winning their individual races, and then teaming up with Nicola Carter and Sally Arthur to win the medley team event.
Other winners were Hayley Duncan in the under-16 girls fly and back, Katie Kent (open back) and Sarah Blackwell (open breast), and for the boys Adam Collins (under-14 back) and John Beardsworth (under-16 free).
The swimmer of the night, however, had to be Ben Dollard who had six swims and was victorious in all - the highlight of which was his effortless win in the under-14 50m fly which he won in 34.85 

Five Members of Watford swimming club were up against tough opposition last weekend, when they visited Ipswich for their open designated meet. 
Hayley Duncan  had a marvellous swim in the 200m backstroke, coming third in a new club record time of 2.38.36. She was also third in the 200m butterfly in a time of 2.50.23. Hayley also recorded personal best times in the 200m freestyle in a time of 2.26.76 coming fifth and in the 200m IM where she picked up eighth place. Her other events were 100m backstroke in 1.14 32 finishing forth, and the 100m butterfly finishing eighth in 1.19.59.
Peter Gooding finished eighth in the 100m butterfly in a personal best time of 1.08.38. His other personal best was in the 200m IM, finishing seventh in 2.33.47, 50m Free, forth in 27.20, 100m Breast 1.15, finishing sixth, and 100m free, in 1.00.64 finishing ninth.
Brother Marc managed four personal best times out of his five swims - 50m Free forth in 29.03, 200m IM 2.53.93 finishing 11th, 200m free 2.24.57, 100m Free in 1.05.36 and 100m fly in 1.17.24.
The youngest Gooding brother, Paul, ten, who was swimming in the 12 and under category finished second in the 50m Free in a personal best time of 32.06, 100m breast fifth in 1.40.65 and 100m free in a new personal best of 1.14.42.


 Winter wonder win

Watford Swimming Club started the new year in fine style when they won their first round gala of the Herts League Division Two by a wide margin of 42 points at Potters Bar.
It was a convincing win with 24 first positions by Watford swimmers out of the 49 events, and bodes well for the future rounds as the club tries to reclaim its Division One status.
There were several fine swims on the night, although, understandably, few personal bests were recorded as the swimmers are in the middle of winter training, preparing for future meets later in the season. Nevertheless, it was pleasing to see swimmers such as Katie Kent (Girls Open 100m Back) and Adam Collins (Boys Under-14 100m Back) in winning form again, and Hayley Duncan (Girls Under-16 100m Fly and Back) and Ben Dollard (Boys Under-14 50m Fly) continuing from where they left off last year with easy victories. The Gooding brothers, Peter, Mark and Paul also played their part with good wins, as did Sarah and Claire Willer for the girls.
But coach Lee Portingale was not getting carried away, and knows there will be a lot of tougher events to come.