Across the weekends of 19/20 Jan, 26/27 Jan & 2/3 Feb 2019, 47 BSSC swimmers aged 10 to 19 competed in the Swim England Hertfordshire County Championships (“Counties”!) in Borehamwood. Only the top swimmers across the County had been selected for each age event, so it promised to be an exciting event and it did not disappoint! Places in finals and battles for medals came down to hundredths of a second and lengths of fingernails!
There are so many great stories to share with you about Counties that we are splitting them across a series of articles on the website and in our March newsletter. In this first one, we want to share the facts and figures of medals and positions, with a few team photos. Future articles will share more of the stories through words and photos. Please feel free to approach us with contributions!
Forty five swimmers recorded 227 swims in individual events over the three weekends. Even though some amazing PBs had been set during 2018 to gain selection, 50% of the individual swims resulted in even more fabulous PBs, whilst 42% of the swims resulted in finals places and 11 amazing swimmers netted a whopping 55 individual age group medals!! There were outstanding performances across every age group (full details are in the tables with the number showing position and red indicating a PB), but the individual medallists were:
Special mention must go to our four 10-11 year olds competing in their first County Championships. With all events being streamed live on You Tube and individual finalists brought one by one onto poolside, it was a nerve-racking affair, but they stepped up magnificently showing great promise for the future. Leo Suo-Saunders gained five PBs in six events, and raced in two finals, coming 7th (50m Free) and 8th (100m IM); Eliza Andrews gained six PBs in seven events, raced in two finals and had four top 8 finishes (5th 200m Back, 7th 50m Back, 8th 100m Back & 200m Free); Catherine Clune got PBs in both her events and came 7th in the 50m Breast final; whilst Oliver Gisborne got PBs in both his events.
The final day of Counties saw huge excitement and rivalry in the Freestyle and Medley relays (13/under
Yrs, 15/under Yrs (Junior) and Open age group with BSSC winning a Silver medal with the Mixed Open Free Team (Dan, Callum D, Sarah Carroll, Millie) and 5 Bronze medals with the Womens 15/under Yrs (Junior) 200m Medley & Free Team (Kaia, Lilian Opiyo, Millie, Evie Smallbone), Mens 15/under Yrs (Junior) 200m Medley Team (Mehdi, Adam Hazlewood, Tom, James), Mens Open age group 200m Medley Team (Alex Catton, Bryn Couser, Callum D, Dan) and Mens Open age group 200m Free Team (Dan, Alex, Tom, Callum D).
With many of our swimmers also winning the Boys/Girls Junior Championship (15/under Yrs) and Mens/Womens Championship (Open) medals, BSSC ended up third on the Overall Medal table, behind Hatfield and City of St Albans, which for a club of our size was a fantastic achievement.
Huge thanks should also go to our Coaches (Benoit, Laure & Matt), everyone who provided help across all the weekends (Officials, Pam & Graham, Volunteers etc) and to our number one club cheerleader, who’s voice can be heard on many a live feed, Zoe Opiyo!
Full list of individual and relay swimmers:
10/11 years: Catherine Clune, Eliza Andrews, Leo Suo-Saunders, Oliver Gisborne, Robert Gor
12 years: Alice Longman, Ellen Millar-Bond, George Grimwood, George Taylor, Imogen Tang, Jacob Hayes, Kirsty Neill
13 years: Amy Chada, David Badcock, Fergal Barry, Grace Mason, Jago Derrington, Jaymee Wardell, Jessica Fields, Kaia Phillips, Lauren Gore, Lilian Opiyo, Samuel Carter
14 years: Evie Smallbone, Freya Reilly, Isabella Good, James Gisborne, Laura Hull, Markus Webb, Victor Vascan
15 years: Adam Hazlewood, Aoife James, Freyja Somers, Mehdi El Mansar, Millie Fields, Thomas Ogden
16/Over: Alexander Catton, Amy Wright, Anya Fletcher, Bryn Couser, Callum Davis, Callum Harold, Daniel Chada, Eleanor Mason, Hannah Morgan, James Gor, Jessica Penkul, Nellie Eastland, Niamh James, Nicholas Botha, Sarah Carroll
February half term training schedule which will run from Monday 18th – Sunday 24th February
Normal training schedule resumes on Monday 25th February.
Bishop’s Stortford Swimming Club member and Bishop’s Stortford College student, Mehdi El Mansar, was in winning form recently at the Moroccan National Winter Championships held in the city of Meknes. Having won two Bronze medals at first weekend of the Swim England Hertfordshire County Championships, he flew to Morocco to defend multiple National titles in the 15-year age group.
It was a fabulous weekend for Mehdi who took Gold in all six events he entered, clearly outclassing the others in his age group in many events. While he clearly had best PBs in 4 of the 6 races he entered, he had to fight hard to win the fastest Free Swimmer of the Country title in the 400 free, with an incredible time of 4.11.90, and chased down the same opponent in the last 25m of a nail biting 200m Free to touch for joint first place! The full results were: 200m Back – Gold (2:13.88), 200m IM – Gold (2:17.82), 400m Free – Gold (4:11.90 PB), 200m Free – Joint Gold (1:59.18 PB), 200m Breast – Gold (2:31.49), 100m Back – Gold (1:01.47 PB).
Mehdi then returned to Bishop’s Stortford in fine form and this weekend was in action again at the County Championships, taking an individual Silver in the 400m Free (15 Yrs.) and a Bronze as part of the 10/15 Yrs. 200m Medley Relay Team. Congratulations on three amazing weekends!