Hertfordshire Counties weekend 2

Tuesday, 14th/Saturday 18th/Sunday 19th January 2020, The Venue, Borehamwood

The second week of this year’s Herts County Champs started on Tuesday 14th January 2020, with the long distance events. 


Finn Menich (16) raced in the 800 free: he swam this difficult race for the second time ever, with a great first 400m. Long distance events require mental toughness and strategic preparation, and Finn showed big improvements on both areas, to touch wall in 10;09.60, finishing 9th in the 16yrs and Over category  (2nd 16yrs old in the County). Well done Finn!


The weekend of the 18th & 19th January, was as usual the busiest out of the 3 weekends of Counties, as it included many 50 and 200m races. Over the 2 days Hertford SC was represented by 16 swimmers: unfortunately, Henry Roberts had to withdraw on medical grounds, we wish him to recover quickly!


Matilda Tramontano Wells (11) swam the 50 free on the Saturday, qualifying for the final in 5th place, with a time of 34.40 (PB). Due to the 50 free finals being held on the Sunday morning, her qualification added to an already busy day. On Sunday 19th, Matilda started her racing feats by swimming another PB in the 50 free final and finishing in a time of 34.20 in 6th place. She then swam the 50 breast heats clocking a PB (46.62) and qualifying 8th for the final, which she swam in 47.20 to finish 7th. Her eventful day continued with the 100 IM, where Matilda improved on her previous PB by 3 seconds (1;32.32), finishing 2nd reserve for the final (10th). To ‘warm up’ for her main event of the day, Matilda swam the 200 free, in which she clocked an amazing 8-second PB, finishing in a time of 2;43.41, and coming 4th. But she was reserving the best to the end: in fact Matilda swam a gutsy and powerful 400 free in a time of 5.45.67, not only clocking a more than impressive 28-second PB, but also claiming a well deserved Bronze Medal… what a way to finish the weekend: congratulations Matilda you have excelled!

Joe Reynolds (15) had been working hard over the past week on his 50 breast race: determined to do well, Joe swam the heats in 33.92 (his exact PB), qualifying 2nd in the final. He fielded a fantastic swim in the final, fighting to the very last stroke and touching wall in 33.94, winning a shining Silver Medal! Joe carried on with his great performances by clocking a PB in the 50 free (27.63) and coming 10th (2nd reserve for the final): Joe is working hard on perfecting the transitions and the results are showing. A time of 1;09.46 signed another PB for Joe in the 100 IM heats, coming 9th, first reserve for the final. Joe also raced in the 50 fly, finishing his heat in a time of 31.95 and coming 16th in the County. Great job Joe, you should be very proud!

Joshua Holland (17) started the weekend by swimming the 50 breast: performing a powerful stroke, he touched wall in 32.37, placing himself 9th in the 16yrs & Over category and coming 2nd 17yrs old in the County. He also finished 2nd 17yrs old in the County (7th in the 16yrs and Over) in the 50 fly: Josh swam the heats in 27.31 and improved in the final, finishing with a time of 27.25 performing a great underwater! In the 50 free Josh swam a time of 25.56 placing himself 10th in the heats (2nd reserve for a final): due to the age category of 16yrs and over, Josh did not enter the final, but can be very proud of himself as he was the fastest 17yrs old in the County! To confirm the great all-round work Josh is putting into his training, he also placed himself 2nd fastest 17yrs old (14th in the 16yrs & Over) in the 100 IM, with a time of 1;05.76. Well done Josh, keep up the great work!

Georgie Marsden (11) swam a wonderful 50 breast, clocking a 3-second PB (46.51) and claiming her place in the final, which she swam in 47.24 finishing 8th in the County. What a feat!

Laura Malagoli (13), still recovering from an injury, incredibly managed PBs in nearly all her races. On the Saturday, she swam the 50 free in 32.34 (PB, 17th) and the 200 breast in 3.15.53 (8th), but it was on the Sunday that she swam with all she had in the tank: Laura placed herself 9th (first reserve for the final) in both her races, the 50 breast (40.92 PB), and the 100 IM (1;20.52, PB), which, in light of the ‘forced’ reduced training, sets great grounds for future races. 

Jack Blake (13) started his weekend of racing with the 50 breast, which he swam in 42.21 (17th). He then clocked a PB in the 200 breast, finishing in a time of 3;18.28 and claiming 9th place. Jack showed a fabulous focus in the latter race, one of the hardest races in the programme, holding his stroke with consistency. Well done!

Ellie Sopala (12), also started her races with the 50 breast (44.43, 12th) and clocked a PB in the 100 IM touching wall in 1;28.35 (18th). The quality of Ellie’s strokes is improving week after week, thank to her hard work and determination!

Leonardo Malagoli (15), who is dealing with an injury, showed great determination by swimming the 50 breast in 38.60 (17th), a convincing 200 free (2;23.93, 17th in the 15yrs category) and a gutsy 200 breast (3;07.67, 14th in the 15 yrs category). Leonardo’s resolve, despite the injury, was admirable!

Isla Cavill (13) followed up on the previous weekend excellent racing by fielding a brilliant backstroke, swimming the 50 back with grit and efficiency, and finishing in 12th place with a time of 36.97 (PB). Well done Isla!

Kye Parsonson (15) swam the 50 free showing a very good stroke and touching wall in 28.70 (21st). His consistent work on improving the underwater phase of the race will greatly add to Kye’s brilliant stroke technique. Good job Kye!

Our ‘breaststroke army’ also included George Reynolds (13) whose kick is phenomenal! (43.93, PB, 21st); Neo Metz (20), who swam in 33.21 (15th) and showed great improvement on the forward thrust; Isabella Fabri (11), at her very first County experience, who clocked a time of 49.64 coming 16th in the County; and, last but not least, Troy Metz (18), who is literally revolutionising her stroke, adding many advanced skills (40.81, 26th). Each and everyone of them are working extremely hard on improving probably the hardest stroke of all… way to go breaststroke army!


The weekend of racing was hectic and fast paced: all our swimmers have something (a lot really!) to be proud of. I am just delighted to watch them race and show their skills and improvements. I very much look forward to the 3rd and final weekend of Counties, with some more great individual races and … the relays!