Press Reports 2004

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Watford dish out medals

Watford swimming club held their annual trophy presentations on Monday at Rickmansworth School after what has been a successful year for the club.
The Club reached the final of the Herts League for the first time in 15 years where they were placed sixth, and also the final of the Speedo London League Division Two which will be held next month at Enfield.
The B team were also successful in gaining promotion from Division Three in the Herts League. The tally of five gold's, 14 silver and 15 bronze at the county championships was also a credible achievement.
The club also embarked on two training camps. In February a group travelled to Majorca for a week of intensive training.  Crystal Palace was the venue for the junior development squad swimmers. Three lanes have already been booked for February next year in the GB Olympic Swimming teams training camp facilities in Cyprus. The club meets every Wednesday at the central baths, Hempstead Road, and training is available every day in a variety of local pools.  All new members are welcome, call Olive Roberts 01923 245692 for details.
Boys swimmer of the year:  Matt King.  Girls swimmer of the year:  Stacy Rafferty.  Effort of the year boys:  Jack Woodley.  Effort of the year girls:  Olivia Scott.


Youngsters recover from slow start to dive into the medals

Watford's Swimming Club competed in the second round of the Speedo London League at Enfield on Saturday and finished in a respectable third position after a terrible start. Following a good showing inn the first round where they amassed enough points to be lying in fourth place in the league, the team were looking to consolidate their good position. However, the squad got off to the worst possible start with two disqualifications for false-starts in the first seven events and from then on it was an uphill battle against the seven other teams. Watford responded well though as the gala progressed with several excellent swims, and eventually finished only behind Hemel Hempstead and Runneymede.
Ben Dollard weighed in with a couple of victories in the open 100m freestroke (57.78) and 100m flystroke (63.28), both wins coming with a superb last length sprint. Matt King swam well again, taking second in the under-14 breaststroke (87.64), and third in the freestroke (65.48), and he teamed up with Adam Raw, Dean White and Toby Hosker to win the under-14 medley relay. Matt Toothill was also on form and took second in the under-16 flystroke in a time of 70.48.
For the girls there were no individual wins, but Yaz Allard, Lauren Simmons, Hannah Lewis and Amy Callanan all took the runners up spot in their races.
A large Watford squad also took part in the Hemel Open, winning seven gold's, 11 silvers and 12 bronzes, to take the Top Club trophy. Most swimmer's gained new personal bests and Watford's gold's were won by Lewis, Willer, Alland, Toothill, Astbury and Rafferty.


Capital showing from Watford earns second place

Watford Swimming Club began this seasonís Speedo London League with an excellent result in their First Round gala at Hitchin on Saturday.
Stacy Rafferty, 14, set the tone for the evening with a gritty performance in the opening event, the ladies open 200 individual medley, where she had a tremendous battle with the swimmer from Greenwich in the adjacent lane, and eventually had to settle for second place with a new personal best of 2.41.22.
A few events later she teamed up with Nicky Dormer, Rachel Williams and Kerry Cuthbert to gain Watfordís first victory in the Under-16 5x50m freestyle team.  By this stage it was already apparent that of the eight teams competing, the winners of the gala would come from either Greenwich or Watford, with Chelsea and Stevenage just behind.
Hazel Pickford continues to improve; she took the Uner-12 girls 50m backstroke in a impressive time of 39.70, and was runner-up in the 50m freestyle, while breastroke specialist Lauren Simmons had a busy night, winning the Under-16 100m event in 1.24.04 and gaining second in the ladies open in 1.24.67.
For the boys, Adam Collins gained another personal best when taking the menís open 100m backstroke, stopping the clock in 1.05.61, while Matt King,13, produced two superb swims in the Under-14 100m breaststroke (1.26.53) and 100m freestyle (1.04.84), which were both good enough for the runners-up spot.
Other swimmers who impressed on the night were Hannah Lewis (Uner-14 100m backstroke), Yasmin Alland (Under-16 100m butterfly), Carolyn Astbury (Under -14 100m butterfly), Adam Raw (Under-14 100m backstroke), Andrew Sewell (Under-12 50m breaststroke) and Callum Griffin (Under-12 50m butterfly), who all took second places in their respective individual events.

Results:  1, Greenwich, 291; 2 Watford, 286; 3, Stevenage, 253; 4 Chelsea and Kensington, 225; 5 Potters Bar, 223; 6 Sutton, 218; 7, Verulam, 177; 8 Brent, 117.


Side sinks to second

Watford's junior team were in action on Saturday, competing in the Second Round of the Herts Peanuts League.
Having won the First Round gala, the squad was looking to build on this and consolidate their position at the top of the table, but they had to settle for second place, going down by 30 points to a strong Stables team. Despite this disappointment, there were plenty of positive signs on the night, and the final on July 3 looks like being a very close affair.
The club's top swimmer on the night was Carolyn Astbury in the Under-13 age group.  She won her individual events in fine style (50m freestyle, 34.25; 50m backstroke, 39.07), and teamed up with Jessica Sullivan, Lizzie Barry and Rebecca Andrews to win to Uner-13 freestyle relay.
Andrew Sewell, in the boys Under-12 age group, also had two wins in his individual races; he claimed the 25m breastroke and freestyle by a convincing margin and is improving all the time.  Sewell's breastroke looks to be his speciality, and he used this to good effect in the relay events where the tem of Ben Godercharle, Callum Griffin and Paul Longman won both the medley and freestyle events.
Other individual Watford wins came from Ben Davies in the Under13 50m breastroke and Hazel Pickford in the Under-12 25m freestyle. A really encouraging sight for the squad were the victories for the youngest swimmers, the boys Under-10 team of Kit Burdon, Mark Insley, Lewis Bingley and William Hardcastle-Foster.  The quartet teamed up to win both their relays in great fashion, and already look like having a good swimming career ahead of them.


Water start for Watford youngsters

Watford Juniors got their Hertfordshire Peanuts Division Two campaign off to the best possible start after victory in the opening gala of the season at Stevenage.
Bend Davies chalked up Watford's first victory of the night in the Under-13 breaststroke, coming home in 45.83. Hazel Pickford and Andrew Sewell made it a double victory in the Under-12 25m breaststroke, Sewell also teamed up with Ben Goldercharle, Callum Griffin and Paul Longman to take the Under-12 medley.
Melissa Park impressed in the Under-12 25m butterfly, before Lizzie Varry took the Under-13 50m flystroke in a time of 39.70.  The other individual win came from Miles McLeod in the Under-13 50m freestyle, who won with a time of 34.25.
In the Under-10 section, the girls team of Rebecca Foley, Hollie Cains, Emily Kliewer and Krystyna Waterhouse took third and fourth in the free and medley events while Kit Burden, Oliver Quint, Lewis Bingley and William Hardcastle-Foster won the freestyle relay, before finishing runners-up in the medley.
Watford took the victory by a five-point margin, just ahead of Hemel.


Fine County finishes for Watford

WATFORD'S swimmers finished this year's Herts League competition on a positive note, with both teams performing well in their final galas.
The A team, swimming at Potters Bar, had done exceptionally well to reach the final of the top division for the first time in 18 years, and were facing the leading teams in the county.  The squad performed well in what was always going to be a tough event, and eventually claimed sixth position in the League.
The Under-14 boys quartet of Adam Raw, Matt King, Dean White and Toby Hosker were the top Watford performers on the night; the boys claimed second and third in their respective relays, and all took third places in their individual events.  Ben Dollard took the runners-up spot in the men's open 100m butterfly (1.02.32), and followed this up with a third in the open 100m freestyle (55.89).
For the girls young Hazel Pickford stood out.  She continues to improve and was placed third in both her individual events, the Under-12 50m backstroke (40.90) and 50m breastroke (47.73), as well as swimming two excellent relay legs.  Other performers of note were Stacy Rafferty (1.15.85) and Hannah Lewis (1.23.78), who both recorded new personal best times in their 100m backstroke events to come third.
Meanwhile, the B team were involved in an exciting gala at Haileybury, which was to determine the winners of Division Three.
The squad had done superbly in winning both the previous round, and were top seeded going into the final.  Unfortunately, they could not manage to win this time, eventually finishing runners-up to Stevenage, but still had the big consolation of promotion to Division Two.
The squad managed to win 12 out of the 49 events, and were runners-up in a further 13; enough to give Watford 128 points, only 22 behind Stevenage, with the other teams well beaten. Individual winners for the squad were Rachel Williams (Under-16 50m butterfly), Katrina Clark (Under-14 50m freestyle), Emily Ginty (Under-14 50m backstroke), Matt Ginty (open 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke), Chris Longman (Under-14 50m breastroke) and Luke Rogers (open 50m butterfly).


Final flourish

THE final sessions of this year's County Championships were held at Borehamwood at the weekend, and Watford's swimmers added another 11 medals to their impressive haul.
Hazel Pickford, ten, got the meet off to a great start with an excellent silver medal in the 200m backstroke and bronze in the 400m freestyle. Breastroke specialist Lauren Simmons, 14, returned to form, taking a medal in both the 100m and 200m events.  Her time of 1.22.95 was a new Under-15 club record in the 100m, and won her the silver, and she took bronze in the 200m with a time of 3.04.05.
Hayley Duncan also won tow medals in the 17-year freestyle events, taking gold in the 100m (1.05.27), and silver in the 50m (30.52). Ben Dollard claimed silver in the 16-year 100m backstroke with a time of 1.05.13; team-mate Adam Collins took bronze in the same event (1.07.78), and he also won a silver in the 200m back (2.27.74). The final medals won were both bronzes, and went to Lance Owide in the 13-year 200m backstroke (2.47.10), and Mark Cuthbert in the 16-year 200m individual medley (2.33.19).


Watford dive into the medals

WATFORD SWIMMING CLUB took their total of medals won at this year's County Championships to 23, with another good set of results at the two sessions held last weekend.
Twelve-year-old Matthew King claimed an excellent silver at the Friday evening session held at Hemel Hempstead in the 50m breastroke.  He swam a fast 40.02 to win his first county medal, in his very first year at the club.
In the longest event in swimming, the 1,500m freestyle, Watford only had three competitors entered in what is a speciality event, but all performed well.  Adam Raw took fifth place in the 12-year race, Lance Owide claimed fourth in the 13 years and Mark Cuthbert won a silver medal in the 16 years. Cuthbert also won another silver in the other distance freestyle event on the Saturday, stopping the clock at 4.36.98 in the 400m race.
The final medals won on Saturday were both bronzes.  Yasmin Alland, 13 took hers with a gritty swim in the gruelling 200m butterfly (2.51.71), and 14-year-old Kerry Cuthbert continued her fine set of results, winning her fourth medal at this year's Championships in the 200m freestyle (2.22.89) for a new Under-15 club record.
The standard at this year's Championships has been exceptional and this was highlighted in the boys 13-year 100m freestyle, where Watford's Matt Toothill swam a three-second personal best of 1.03.97, but could only manage a sixth place.


In the medals

WATFORD'S swimmers continued their good showing at this year's County Championships with a further six medals - two gold's and four bronzes - at the latest session, held at Borehamwood on Saturday.
Ben Dollard was involved in a tremendous race in the Boys 16-year 200m freestyle, powering down the last 50m to take joint first place with an excellent time of 1.59.99, a new club record.  Team-mate Mark Cuthbert took bronze in the same event, recording 2.08.76.
Hayley Duncan added another gold in the 17-year 100m butterfly in a time of 1.13.47.  Matt Toothill, 13, also swam the same event, and he recorded a three-second personal best of 1.11.06 to take a fine bronze. Kerry Cuthbert added another medal to her collection, a bronze, in the 14-year Girls 400m freestyle, and the final medal won on the night went to 11-year-old Carolyn Astbury, claiming her first ever County medal, a bronze in the 200m freestyle (2.40.36).  Astbury also swam in the 100m backstroke where she finished fifth.
Andrew Sewell has been swimming really well at the Championships in his first year at the club, and he was agonisingly just outside the medals in the ten-year boys 200m breastroke.  His time of 3.24.06 was just six-hundredths behind the bronze medal.


Herts medal haul

WATFORD'S  swimmers have been picking up the medals at the Herts Age Group Championships at the University of Herts in Hatfield.
Adam Raw got Watford Swimming Club off to a flying start with a controlled swim in the Boys Under-12's 400m free, touching home in 5.2106 to take bronze. Mark Cuthbert added another bronze in the Boys Under-16's 200m breastroke with a time of 2.50.57 before Hayley Duncan won Watford's first gold of the competition in the Girls Under-17's 200m flystroke (2.45.47). Team-mate Kerry Cuthbert took silver in the same event with a time of 2.48.95.
Ben Dollard also took gold in the Boys Under-16's 100m Free with a fast 54.93 while newcomer Elizabeth Barry swam a personal best of 74.96 to take bronze in the Girls Under-11's 100m free. Luren Owide earned her first ever county medal in the Girls Under-11's 800m free, clocking 12.09.94 to take silver, while 14-year-old Kerry Cuthbert also won silver, in the Girl's Under-14's 800m with a time of 10.20.76. Dollard added another medal to his collection in the Boys Under-16's 50m free after his time of 26.03 while Adam Raw also grabbed silver following his performance in the Boys Under-12's flystroke after clocking 3.08.30. Watford's final medal came in the Girls Under-14's individual medley where Stacey Rafferty's time of 2.44.27 was good enough for third.  Spare a thought for Lauren Simmons in the same event though; she swam 2.44.84 in her heat but only finished sixth.


Watford left high and dry after disqualification

WATFORD'S swimmers were in action in the Second Round of the Herts League on Saturday and both teams enjoyed a successful evening.
The A team, swimming at Biggleswade, were involved in a very exciting gala.  The lead changed hands several times between Watford, Potters Bar and Cheshunt A, and going into the final event, the squadron relay, only four points separated the three teams.  However, an unfortunate disqualification for a faulty start by the Watford team meant that Cheshunt won the gala, with Watford and Potters Bar sharing second place, only six points behind.
Adam Raw, for the boys, and Hayley Duncan, for the girls, led the way for the team with two individual wins apiece.  Raw took both the Under-14 100m butterfly and breastroke, with Duncan taking both the open 100m butterfly and backstroke.  Raw also teamed up with Dean White, Nick Hardman and Toby Hosker to win both Under-14 relay events in tremendous style. Other Watford winners were Matt Toothill in the Under-16 100m butterfly, Ben Dollard in the open 100m butterfly, and the open 200m medley team of Dollard, Mark Cuthbert, Adam Collins and Adam Bowden.  This quartet also posted a new club record in the open 200m freestyle team, with a time of 1.47.58.
Over at Haileybury, the B team had another superb result, winning their gala by more than 40 points to consolidate their position at the top of Division Three. The squad won an impressive 22 out of the 49 events, there were several new personal bests, and things look good for promotion in the final gala in April.
Rachel Williams and Luke Rogers both stood out, winning two individuals each.  Rogers smashed the minute barrier in the open 100m freestyle, and also took the 50m butterfly, while Williams won both Under-16 50m butterfly and freestyle.
The other individual winners were Kim Cox (open 100m freestyle), Louise Collins (open 100m backstroke), Elizabeth Berry (Under-14 50m butterfly), Charlotte Webber-Rosewall (Under-16 50m backstroke), Ben Davies (Under-14 50m backstroke), Matt Ginty (open 100m backstroke, Chris Longman (Under-14 50m breastroke) and Eiry Elvie (Under-16 50m butterfly)


Dollard cashes in for Watford at Biggleswade gala

WATFORD'S swimmers were in action at the weekend, competing in the First Round of this year's Herts League.
The A team, swimming at Biggleswade, were in a tough gala in Division One, and eventually finished in in fifth place.  There were several encouraging performances on the night, although coming straight after the Christmas break, the majority of the squad did not achieve personal best times.
Ben Dollard, 16, led the way for the team, winning both his individual events - the open 100m butterfly and freestyle - in convincing fashion.  There were also victories for Dean White and Adam Raw in the Under-14 100m breastroke and backstroke respectively, and these two teamed up with Toby Hosker and Nick Hardman to take the Under-14 medley relay team event. Watford's only other winner on the night was Jessica Sullivan who was swimming in her first A team gala.  She showed good technique to take the Under -12 50m breastroke in  a fast 48.38, and her team-mate Hazel Pickford also swam well, gaining second and third in her two individual events, the Under-12 50m freestyle and backstroke.
Meanwhile at Hitchin, the B team had an excellent result in their Division Three gals, winning an astonishing 18 races, and finishing runners-up in a further 16 out of the 49 events. It was difficult to choose a best swimmer on the night, as the whole squad performed so well, with many swimming up in age groups.
The following achieved and individual win: Kim Cox (open 100m breastroke), Julia Petchey (open 100m backstroke), Michaela White (Under-12 breastroke), Amy Callanan (Under-14 50m butterfly), Katrina Clark (Under-14 50m freestyle), Rachel Williams (Under-16 50m breastroke), Luke Rogers (open 100m freestyle), Billy O'Neill (Uner-14 50m freestyle) and Ben Davies (Under-14 50m backstroke).
After winning this gala, the B team now sit in top position in Division Three, and, at this early stage, are looking promising for promotion.