Over the Bank Holiday weekend Harpenden Swimming Club had 8 swimmers in action at the ASA East Region 15 & Over Swimming Championships in Norwich. The 7 individual qualifiers between them had 23 races and swam incredibly well to achieve 18 personal bests in their heat swims and reach 10 finals, where they achieved another 6 personal bests.
Abby Smith and Claire Burrell were the stars of the show, with 7 medals between them. Claire started her weekend with a bronze in the 15 year olds 200m backstroke in a club age group record time, and swiftly backed it up with another bronze in the 50m event, breaking the club record in the process. On the final day Claire soared up the rankings in the 100m backstroke to place as the top seed going into the final, and swam a brilliant race to claim the gold in the final session of the Championships in a club age group record.
Abby, who returned from university to compete in the event, claimed golds in the 17 & Over 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, setting club records in the 200m and 400m events. She also broke the minute barrier for the first time over 100m freestyle to take bronze, and another club record.
John Telensky was the other medal winner, claiming a bronze in the 15 year olds 50m freestyle. He also made the final in the 200m butterfly where he finished 5th.
Michael Ripper made the finals of the 15 year olds 200m backstroke and 200m freestyle, finishing 6th in both, and Joe Richardson made the 15 year olds 50m breaststroke where he finished 7th.
Aggie Burns, who was competing in her first Regional Championships, achieved personal bests in both the 50m and 200m backstroke, and Juliet Merelie swam to 11th and 13th in the 200m breaststroke and 400m IM.
The club also debuted 2 relay teams, with Michael Ripper, John Telensky, Joe Richardson and Angus Harrow coming together to place 11th in the 4 x 100m medley relay and 9th in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
With 4 gold and 4 bronze medals the club finished 9th on the medal table overall, and the 4th best Hertfordshire club at the competition.
Head Coach Amy Thompson said "We have had a fantastic weekend in Norwich with our older swimmers. Myself and Annie are so proud to see the swimmers that we have been nurturing through the age groups take the next step and really start to show what they can do at a higher level meet. We have known these kind of performances were in them, but to have so many great swims all at once is fantastic. I am incredibly proud of how the swimmers raced, and I'm looking forward to the Age Group Championships at the end of the month to see how the younger swimmers respond to the example set here by the older age groups. To place 9th overall is amazing; when you look at the size of the clubs around us in the table we are punching well above our weight and we are very proud of the swimmers."