The team of 38 swimmers arrived in high spirits, alongside swimmers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and the host county, Bedfordshire. It was a vibrant and bustling poolside, with hundreds of swimmers all turned out in their respective county colours and a balcony full
of spectators in good voice. With the poolside teams ready, the meet soon began with an exciting round of frantic relay activity.
After a steady start, it was the 11-year-old boys team that first got Hertfordshire celebrating, with an excellent 2ndplace finish in the 200m Medley. With momentum starting to build, Joel Pietersen then achieved the team’s first win of the day in the 11 Yrs 50m Freestyle, winning the race by over a second in a time of 29.46.
With the boys going strong, it wasn’t long before Kirsty Fuge and Daniel Holiss demonstrated the strength of Hertfordshire’s breastrokers, with both competitors finishing an excellent 2ndplace in the 12 Yrs 100m Breastroke.With momentum of results building, Sam Pyefinch then went on to display another strong swim in the Boys 13 Yrs 100m Backstroke, finishing 2ndin a time of 1.09.22. However, against quality opposition, the team had to dig deep to see out a number of tough races and make sure they kept pace with the top of the leader board.
With the pressure mounting, it was Kaia Phillips who got Hertfordshire back on track, with an emphatic win the in Girls 12 Yrs 100m Backstroke, with a time of 1.13.78. Boosted by this result, it wasn’t long before Valeria Giron showed great determination to finish 3rdin the Girls 13 Yrs 100m Butterfly, with only 0.8 separating the top three. With the last individual of the section, it was Peter Soczewska who then stepped up to swim the boys 13 yrs 100m Butterfly. After seeing his team mate finish 3rdbefore him, Peter swam a storming second 50m to claim 1stplace, almost a full second ahead of his closest rival.
Entering the final run of relays, Hertfordshire looked set to fluctuate anywhere between 3rd-8th, with Suffolk and Essex holding commanding leads over the rest of the field. With our youngest swimmers getting off to a tough start, it was the mixed 11 yrs 200m Free team, made up of Thea Patel, William Fawcett, Alice Longman and Joel Pietersen, who pulled out an excellent third place finish to keep up the pressure. This was soon followed by Kaia Phillips, Kirsty Fuge, Molly Cobbold, Isabella Yeabsley, who finished an excellent 2ndplace in their 4x50m 12 Yrs Medley as well as Nathanial Mapley, Daniel Holliss, Max Hill and Alex Twyford, who also finished second for the boys.Moving into the final 8 individual swims, it was Sam Pyfinch who again impressed with a 2ndplace finish in the Boys 13 yrs 100m Freestyle, before Joel Pietersen claimed his second 1stplace of the day in the boys 11 yrs 50m Butterfly. Once again impressing in the breastroke, it was Hertfordshire’s Georgia Pritchard who continued the team’s winning ways in the girls 13 yrs 100m Breastroke event, with a time of 1.22.66, before James Gisborne finished 3rdin the Boys race of the same distance.
For the final race of the day, Hertfordshire once again gave an excellent account of themselves in the 8 x 50m Mixed Squadron. The team finished a strong 4th, which went onto be Hertfordshire’s final standing for the gala – just behind Warwickshire (3rd), Essex (2nd) and Suffolk (1st).
A big thanks goes to Anna Belsey and Tony Moore for their work as Team Managers work, as well as Matthew Brundle, Julie Baggett & Shirlyne Dunwoodie for officiating. An additional thank you must also go to Kate Burchell for all the behind the scenes work calling everyone up, as well as Bryan and Amy Thompson for all their hard work behind the scenes. Finally, thank you to all the swimmers who took part in the event, raced so well. A great day of racing all round!Andrew & Magda
Full results can be found: https://bedscountyasa.com/results/2018/InterCounty/index.php