Swimming Press Reports


Astbury makes waves for Watford

Watford swimming club began their Speedo London league campaign with a promising second place at Stevenage on Sunday.
Despite missing several swimmers the squad amassed 188 points with Epping Forest winning the gala on 214. There were 13 wins out of the 50 events for Watford and the strong group of under-14 and under-16 girls accounted for half of these. Lauren Simmonds doubled up with victories in the under-16 100m fly and breast and teamed up with Hannah Lewis, Jessica Sullivan, Paige Dore-boize and Hazel Pickford to easily win both the freestyle and medley relays.  Dore-Boize, 12, won her individual 100m back, while Pickford, also 12 years-old, just missed out on the touch in her under-16 100m back event, although she recorded a superb personal best of 76.28. Carolyn Astbury, 13, had a busy night.  She easily won the under-14 100m fly and took second places in both the open 100m fly and 200m intermediate.  Astbury, Pickford, Dore-Boize, Sullivan and Elizabeth Barry also teamed up to take both under-14 relay events. The last individual win for the girls came from club captain Sarah Willer with a great swim in the open 100, breast.
Billy O’Neil was the star for the boys with a gutsy win in the under-16 100m back as well as teaming up with Matt Dixie, Adam Raw and Matt Toothill for a win in the medley relay.  The final win came from Oli Combridge in the boys under-14 100m free.

Watford took a small squad to the recent Cheshunt open meet and came back with four gold's, six silvers and 11 bronzes.
Thirteen-year-old Carolyn Astbury led the way with three gold's in the100m free, fly and backstroke events and she also took silver in the 100m intermediate.  The other gold was won by Hazel Pickford in the 12-year-old 100m back.
Silvers were won by Jack Spence (10-year-old 50m back and free), Page Dore-Boize (12-year-old 100m free), Ben Dollard (15-plus 100m free) and Adam Raw (14-year-old 100m intermediate).
Bronze winners were Jack Spence (10-year-old 100m intermediate), Sky Draper (9-year-old 50m free), Elizabeth Barry (13-year-old 100m fly), Matt King (14-year-old 100m free, breast and intermediate), Billy O’Neill (13-year-old 100m back and intermediate), Adam Raw (14-year-old 100m back) and Paige Doe-Boize (12-year-old 100m back).


Watford reach final

Watford’s young swimmers qualified for the final of the Herts Peanuts League after a strong showing in the second round at Hitchin last week.
After winning the first round on a technicality, the squad consolidated their good position by finishing the gala in second place out of the six teams competing.
Jack Spence was in good form for the boys registering two individual wins in the Under-12 25m backstroke & freestyle, as did Callum Griffin in the Under-13 50m free & butterfly.
Other boys’ winners were Andrew Sewell in the Under-13 50m breastroke, Mark Insley in the Under-11 15m fly and Kit Burden in the Uner-11 25m back.
The boys Under-13 team of Sewell, Griffin, Paul Longman and Matthew Waterhouse also won both the medley and free relays by a wide margin.
For the girls ther4e were three individual wins: Olivia Scott in the Under-12 25m free, Hazel Pickford in the Under-13 50m back and Krystyna Waterhouse in the Under-11 25m back. The final takes place on July 2.


Herts league final round

Watford Swimming Club’s two teams ended their respective Herts League campaign with two satisfactory performances.
At Borehamwood, the A team performed better than expected at their gala to claim third place, which comfortably consolidated their position in the top division.
The Under-14 Girls team of Elizabeth Barry, Carolyn Astbury, Jessica Sullivan and Hazel Pickford were the stars of the night, claiming three individual and two relay wins between them. The girls also swam against older swimmers in other races and more than held their own.  Alex Combridge got the only other individual win in the Boys Under-16 100m fly with a terrific swim, and he teamed up with Matt Toothill, Matt King and Matt Dixie to take the Under-16 free team prize.
Other notable swims came from Stacey Rafferty (Under-16 100m free and back) and Lauren Simmons (Under-16 100m fly), who both took the runner up spot in their races, and also young Olivia Scott, who weighed in with two third places in the Under-12 50m free and back.
Over at Stevenage, the B team were involved in a very close gala in Division Two.
Despite three disqualifications for faulty starts and a number of top swimmers unavailable on the night, the squad ended the gala with enough points to preserve their status in this division for 2006, which is a tremendous achievement in their first season after promotion. Highlights came from Katrina Clark (Under-16 100m fly), Amy Callanan (Under-16 100m back), Paige Dore-Boize (Under-14 100m free), and Chris Longman (Under-16 100m breast) who all won their individual events, while Dean White (Under-16 100m back), Lauren Owide (Under-16 50m fly) and Hannah Lewis (Under-16 100m free) who were all placed second to their respective events.


Watford sign off in style

Watford Swimming Club added another 11 medals to their bulging County Championship tally in Borehamwood at the weekend.
Carolyn Astbury continued her fine form by scooping another three, which included gold in the 400m free and silver in the 100m and 200m fly events.  Astbury’s excellent performance at this years meet also earned her fourth place overall in the 12-year BAGCAT award. The other gold’s were won in the 17-year boys category by Mark Cuthbert and Ben Dollard in the 400m free & 100m fly respectively, while Lauren Simmons swam really well in the 15-year 200m breastroke event, touching home in 3.02.70 for a silver medal.
The final three medals of the day were all bronzes and were won by Hannah Lewis (13-year girls 100m fly), Adam Raw (13-year 400m IM) and Laura Trew (17-year 50m free).
Watford’s performance at the championship was a reward for all the hard work in preparation for the event and chief coach Terry Davies was delighted with the 35-medal haul that not only eclipsed last year’s but also saw them ranked fifth in the county.


Astbury in Herts glory

Carolyn Astbury capped an excellent start to this year’s County Championships by lifting her first ever county title in Hitchin on Saturday. The 12-year-old won gold at her first attempt at the 800m freestyle after producing a controlled performance during the 32 lengths to storm home by a margin of 20 seconds.
Hazel Pickford, also attempting the longest girls event for the first time, took an excellent silver medal in the 11-year-old event, while Kerry Cuthbert won a fine bronze in the 15-year-old race.
In the long distance freestyle for boys, Lance Owide smashed his personal best to take another bronze in the 14-year-old 1,500 (60 lengths) race, and Matt King shook off a leg injury to win bronze in the 13-year-old 50m breast.
Other notable swims came from Paige Dore-Boize (12y girls 50m free), Adam Raw (13y 100m back), Hannah Lewis (13y 50m free), Amy Callanan (13y girls 50m back), and Matt Toothill (14y 50m fly) who all gained a top-ten placing.
In the evening session, the club swelled its medal tally by three, thanks to the 17-year-old trio of Adam Collins, Mark Cuthbert and Ben Dollard.  Collins took gold in the 200m back, Cuthbert grabbed another silver in the 200m individual medley, but the highlight of the whole day was saved until last when Dollard touched home in first place with a time of 55.29 in the blue ribbon event – the men’s open 100m freestyle, winning Watford’s first championship title of 2005.


Watford make splash at opening Herts meet

WATFORD Swimming Club are already on course to eclipse last year’s Herts County Championship medal tally after an impressive performance at the first four sessions in Borehamwood at the weekend.
Carolyn Astbury and Hazel Pickford got the meet off to the best possible start in the first event, winning silver and bronze respectively in the girls 100m back.  Astbury, who is swimming really well at the moment went on to take a further two silvers, in both 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley, while also netting a top-eight placing in the 200m fly.
Watford’s first gold came in the Boys Unde-17 200m free, where Ben Dollard stormed home in 2.04.06, while team-mate Mark Cuthbert claimed the bronze.  Both Dollard and Cuthbert then went on to take individual gold's; Dollard adding the 100m free title to the 200m, while Cuthbert was first home in the 200m breaststroke event.
To cap a fine weekend for the duo, Dollard took silver in the 50m freestyle and Cuthbert another bronze in the 100m breaststroke.
Fifteen-year-old girls Stacey Rafferty and Kerry Cuthbert took the gold tally to five, equalling last year’s total in the process, with victories in the 200m backstroke and 200m fly respectively.
The other medal, all bronzes, were won by Adam Collins (17y 100m fee), Yasmin Alland (14y 200m fly), Matt Toothill (14y 200m fly), Jessica Sullivan (12y 50m fly,) Hazel Pickford (11y 200m individual medley), and Kerry Cuthbert (15y 400m free).


Watford hopes sunk after spate of disqualifications

Watford Swimming Club looked to be heading for a top-three finish in the second round of the Herts Swimming League at Borehamwood before inexplicably being disqualified in five of the last nine races.
There were, however, some fine individual performances on the night.  Twelve-year-old Carolyn Astbury led the way with victory in the under-14 100m butterfly with a personal best of 1.17.37 before teaming up with Hazel Pickford, Jessica Sullivan and Elizabeth Barry to win both the under- free and medley relays. Pickford and Barry also swam well in their individuals, both recording new personal bests when taking the runners-up spot in their events.
In the boys events, Ben Dollard took the runners-up spot in both the open 100m free (56.75) and fly (61.95) and Alex Combridge was also placed second n the under-16 100m fly with a time of 70.64.
At Biggleswade, the Watford B team competed in their Division Tow gala and finished fifth.
The fared a little better in terms of wins with seven first places.  Adam Raw won both the under-16 100m flay (74.09), and 100m back (74.22) and also teamed up with Chris Longman, Dean White and Lance Owide to win both relays.  Longman went on to win the under-16 100m breaststroke, with Watford’s final win of the night coming from the improving Amy Callanan in the girls under-16 100m backstroke (1.19.47).