Berkhamsted swimmers finish it on a high

It was a good finish to the Herts County Swimming Championships

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 11:25 am
There was success for the Berkhamsted SC 400m swimmers and head coach Michelle Hewson (right). From left: Tamsin Moren, Kate Hopper, Amy Pemberton
There was success for the Berkhamsted SC 400m swimmers and head coach Michelle Hewson (right). From left: Tamsin Moren, Kate Hopper, Amy Pemberton

The final two sessions of the 2022 Herts County Swimming Championships allowed Berkhamsted Swimming Club to finish on a high.

Saturday evening saw the Female 50m Backstroke and Male 50m Fly events with the 400m Freestyle and 400m Individual Medley taking place on the Sunday morning.

Fergus Reid got things off to a flying start when he was a clear winner of his 50m Fly heat, ducking under the 30-second barrier for the first time. His perfectly spotted finish saw him come home in 29.92 for a nice PB.

Sign up to our daily Hemel Today newsletter

In the 50m Backstroke, Issy Whitaker and Penny Reid went head-to-head in the first heat with Whiatker just coming out on top as they finished second and third respectively.

Whitaker led at 25m and just eased slightly, coming into the finish dropping her best to 37.26 but Reid should be delighted as she knocked five seconds off her PB to to post 39.78 and win her first County Age Group medal, taking the 10/11 years category by almost a whole second.

In the 14 years group, Seren Diehl posted 38.40, slightly off her best.

Mia Maslen-Wollington then kept the PB roll going by storming home to win her heat and slicing over 1.2 seconds from her best in 35.77 before Tamsin Moren claimed bronze in the 17 years age group with her own PB of 34.86.

Josie Reid took on Kate Hopper and Lydia Wisely in three adjacent lanes in the next heat and took another win for the club in 34.47.

A tight finish to the race saw just 0.4 seconds covering the first five, with Hopper in fourth with 34.82 and Wisely sixth in 35.16 to complete the session for BSC.

Sunday morning saw Amy Pemberton and Tamsin Moren swimming the 400m Freestyle with Moren doubling up and joining Hopper in the 400m IM.

It was to be a golden finish to the County series for the club, starting with Moren producing a five-second PB in the Freestyle race, finishing in a time of 5:01.32 despite coming off the gas in the middle 200m.

In only her second ever 400m IM, Hopper went out hard on the fly leg, turning at 100m in what was a four-second best for 100m fly (1:20.72).

She paid for her efforts on the backstroke and breaststroke legs before regaining her composure for a flying finish on the free, touching the pads in 5:52.53, drawing rapidly away from the swimmer on her outside in the final 50m.

Moren, just minutes after her Freestyle, was up for the IM and did not hold back.

She clocked 5:36.17 and another three-second PB to take age group gold by over six seconds to complete a very successful championship for the 16 year old.

The crowning glory for the club had come a little earlier in the final heat of the 400m Freestyle where Pemberton had the added pressure of being installed as the fastest qualifier.

In the event, the swimmer one lane to her right took the first 50m out hard in an effort to unsettle Pemberton and led by almost a second.

As Pemberton got into her stride, the difference had been cut to 0.16 seconds at halfway as her strength came to the fore.

At 250m, she attacked hard herself and looked to have sewn things up with 50m to go, leading by 1.2 seconds but, in one of the best race finishes of the whole meet, her Hatfield rival was not done and came back hard in the final 50m.

Pemberton’s guts shone through as she managed to hold on for the win by under 0.2 seconds to become County champion after two silvers earlier in the series with 4:35.14 and completing a really successful competition for the club as a whole.