Berkhamsted youngsters show that they can go the distance

It was all smiles for Berkhamsted SC at the Herts County Distance Championships
It was all smiles for Berkhamsted SC at the Herts County Distance Championships

An exhilarating night of swimming in Borehamwood saw Berkhamsted Swimming Club prove that they can compete with the county’s best athletes in the distance freestyle events.

The night started with 12-year-old Izzie Soulsby cruising to victory in her 800m freestyle heat.

In only her second race at this event, she set a PB at 400m en route to a 40-second PB at the finish and her first ever regional qualifying time.

Next up was Charlotte Watson who had nearly three months out of action due to injury at the end of 2014.

Despite this, she updated her PB in the 800m by clocking a time just outside 10 minutes. Charlotte’s finishing time was also a club record both for her age group and overall.

With the girls having set the bar with two massive PBs, Zac Patel, James Chennells and Jordan Northwood were under pressure to do the boys proud.

Zac was first in the pool and moved through to fourth place in his heat, slicing off 41 seconds from his January best. He also set a PB at 100m, 200m 400m & 800m on his way to the finish.

Jordan Northwood has been the fastest male in the club over 1,500m for a while and he dug deep to touch the pads in second place. He improved by more than 40 seconds for the club record and also took bronze in the 15 years age group.

However, James Chennells produced what was possibly the swim of the night for the club in the heat before Northwood.

Seeded third for the race, he moved from third in his heat after 100m to lead at 200m where he was already nine seconds ahead of his PB pace, and set a 200m PB as well.

From there on he swept away from the others in his heat, eventually winning by over 25m and lapping some of those in his heat.

He set a PB at both 400m and 800m before touching home in a shade outside 18 minutes – not only a 57-second PB but also a club age group best and over a minute inside the RQT. This earned him the silver medal, his first ever at county level.