Harpenden Swimming Club wrap up successful season

HARPENDEN Swimming Club wrapped up the season in style with top-placed league finishes, national qualifiers and an award-winning coach.

On the team gala front, HSC finished the season on a high completing the final round of the County Peanuts League, coming sixth out of 12 teams in Division One.

The Division Three team won the league and promotion, while in the Major League, the club finished seventh in Division One and third in Division Three.

Annie Thompson, head coach at HSC and the 2013 winner of the St Albans and District Sports Awards’ Community Coach of the Year award, said: “The swimmers at the club have performed really well over a range of competitions this year.

“We have done exceptionally well when you take into account that we are one of the smaller clubs in the county and our swimmers have a maximum of eight hours pool time per week.’

Despite the limited time in the water, many of the club’s individuals have excelled. Millie Dixon, Ellie Galvin, Caitlin Hoddinott, Juliet Merelie, Guy Muncer, Ralph Muncer, Matt Tester-Wilson and Katialin Dang competed against swimmers from the rest of the Eastern region all put in top performances at the Regional BAGCAT Championships.

Dang, in particular, did especially well, winning silver in the 100m breast stroke, bronze in the 200m breast stroke and earning two national qualifying times.

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She was not the only swimmer to dip below the national time. Dang will be joined by Josh Duggan (1,500m freestyle), Abby Smith (200m fly, 400m freestyle) and Georgie Smith (200m backstroke) at the national Championships in August.

Thompson added: “Our swimmers that achieved regional and national qualifying times have done amazingly well, but I’m really proud of all our swimmers as they have all worked so hard to improve their performances this season.

“This year we also had great swimming by our county level swimmers at the championships in March, where we had five top eight finishers in various age groups.

“The club is thriving and we’ve got over 130 swimmers who train regularly, but we’re always looking out for new recruits.”

The club is also benefitting from two new pace clocks from the warm-up pools at the Olympics, which it won during the British Championships.