Swimming Reports and Press

Watford Dominates Hertfordshire County Swimming Championships.

When the final Championship event finished on Sunday, Watford swimmers came away with a record number of medals, Best in County’s, personal best times, and regional qualifying times.
Head coach Terry Davies said “All our swimmers did the Club proud. The results speak for themselves, and bode well for the season to come. Although we are necessarily focused on medals at this event, we should not overlook the younger swimmers in Watford’s development squad. They are coached by Josie Hoare, and their achievements are often overshadowed by those of their older team mates. Their times are tumbling fast, and It will be good to see them get more recognition as they become more visible in the clubs success's.”
Held over 3 weekends the championships consists of approximately 250 events plus heats, divided between three age categories each, for boys and girls. 61 Watford swimmers came away with 13 County championships, 141 medals, of which 61 were Gold, 300 personal best times, and 96 regional qualifying times. This outstanding achievement represents a doubling of the best ever medal tally in the clubs 109 year history.
Our County champions are; Carolyn Astbury senior open championships in 400 individual medley and 800 freestyle. David Godridge, senior open 50 Freestyle for the third consecutive year. Jack Spence, junior champion 100 back stroke, 200 back stroke and 400 individual medley, and Alison Binns, 100 fly junior champion.
Particular congratulations go to Louis Mayhew who won 13 Gold's, one for every event he entered! and Carolyn Astbury, also winning 13 Gold's, for their record Hauls.
To illustrate how hard these young athletes work to achieve success, apart from daily pool sessions in Watford, in February 30 swimmers flew to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands to take part in a grueling week long 50 metre pool training session. The purpose of which was to work on technique and improve endurance in preparation for the championship season. In the process, each swimmer covered approximately 70 Kilometers! Looks like time well spent.


Hertfordshire Swimming League Finals. Saturday Feb 28th.

Over the last two months, two teams from Watford Swimming Club have swum brilliantly, earning places in the finals of both the first and second divisions of the A.S.A. Hertfordshire league championships, taking place on Saturday evening.
Division 1.
Great swimming from all the team, against strong competition from Hemel Hempstead, Bishops Stortford, Hoddesden, Hatfield and Harpenden. Watford took 9 wins, finishing second on the evening, and second overall in the top division.
The 49 event swim off took place at Hitchin pool, and was very hotly contested. The event opened with two excellent Watford swims in the girls and boys 100metre open races, and finished with a 2nd in a thrilling 8 x 50m Squadron relay which was not decided until the last 15 metres!
Individual congratulations for outright wins go to- David Godridge 100m freestyle, Alison Binns U16Girls 100m butterfly, Meg Hutchinson U12Girls 50mBreast, Jack Spence U16Boys 100m Free, Ashley Holness – Wright U14Boys 100m Butterfly, Jack Spence U16Boys 100m back, and to the relay teams which won the U14Boys 4 x 50m Free, and the U14Boys 4 x 50m medley
Division 2.
The team punched above their weight on the evening to deliver 6 individual wins, and 2 team relay wins in the 50 event programme. Additionally swimmers achieved 15 personal bests!
The competition came from Hemel Hempstead, who hosted the event, Letchworth, Tring, Broxbourne, and Buntingford. The final result was 2nd on the night, and 2nd overall in the championship.
Individual congratulations go to Sam Dallimore 100m free, Beth Jamieson U14breast, Shanice Chapman open 100m back, Niamh Burns U12 25mback, Tom Hall open 100mbreast, Harry Beaumont U16 100mback, Aaron Collins U14 100mfree, Jess Sullivan open 100mfly, Robyn Brett U16 100mbreast, and to the girls relay team for their win in the open 4 x 25m medley.
Coach Terry Davies said “The squad members have all worked hard in training and I was delighted to see both teams rewarded with well deserved success.”


County Qualifier Meet 16/17 Jan 2010

Last Saturday and Sunday saw Woodside pool overflowing with swimmers, supporters, parents, and coaches from all over the home counties who came to try and meet the qualification times necessary to compete in County Championships.
This important meeting, was organised by Watford Swimming club, was attended by 700. individual swimmers from 20 clubs, coming from as far afield as Southwold in Suffolk, Aylesbury in Bucks,, and Maidenhead in Surrey. A packed schedule of thirty events provided opportunities for sprinters ( 25 to 200 metres ) and middle distance ( 400 metres ) to race against the clock on both days. There was a very high standard of swimming with around three quarters of entrants meeting their goals, and who can now look forward to competing in their respective County Championships in a two months time.
The County championships, focus's around the 9 to 17 year old age group, and are the first step on the national competition ladder, they are therefore a very important goal for most young club swimmers..
In general County Championships are held over three weekends in March, with entries closing in early February. Entries for the Herts. Championship close on Feb 5th, so the meeting represented one of the few chances left, for those not already entered, to qualify.
Watford is looking forward to a good showing at this years Championship, with over 60 swimmers now qualified, for all levels of the competition.
The following Watford swimmers deserve mention for their performance at the weekend.
County Qualifiers;- Ashleigh Prior
Harrison Lees ( only just turned 9 )
Ceri Heard
Sophie Burns
Nicole Trup
Outstanding swims were by Chloe Arnold on the 400 Freestyle, who knocked a massive 27 sec off her previous best to be 23 sec inside County times. Daniel Bellamy knocked 16 sec off his personal best 200 meter freestyle time, and India Lawrence knocked 5 sec off her 200 backstroke to be within 1 sec of Regional qualifying time.
Other great swims from Watford Development squad came from Molly Harland, Niamh Burns and Emily Jolliffe.

Watford swimming club – Herts major league report from Saturday.

Watford swimmers won 21 out of 49 events at the 2nd Round of the 1st div. Herts Major League gala at the weekend, despite the team’s top swimmers being unable to take part because they were in competition at the national pool in Sheffield.
Swimmers either swan in the next age group up, or swam additional races to compensate for their missing team mates, and their efforts were rewarded by winning against teams from, Berkhamstead, Bishops Stortford, Cheshunt, Hemel Hempstead, and Hertford.
Coach Terry Davies said “I felt very proud of the team who all performed well and showed excellent team spirit by working hard to compensate for our other missing swimmers”
Individual recognition should go to Jack Spence, who took wins in the U16 100 back, 100 back open, and U16 freestyle, and Carolyn Astbury took firsts in the 100M back and Fly. Ben Dollard took 1st in the open 100 fly and 2nd in the open 100 free. Devon prior took 1st in the U14 100 breast then 2nd in the U16 breast.