Hitchin swimmers finish third in first Peanuts League meet of the year

Hitchin Swimming Club's winning U13s girls’ relay squad, from left, Olivia Matfield, Freya Harwood,

Hitchin Swimming Club's winning U13s girls’ relay squad, from left, Olivia Matfield, Freya Harwood, Ashleigh Cooper and Lucy Storey - Credit: Archant

Hitchin Swimming Club finished in third place as they hosted round one of the Peanuts League Division Two.

Drawn against teams from Broxbourne, Buntingford, Cheshunt, Stevenage and Watford for Saturday’s event, Hitchin’s younger swimmers, aged from nine to 12, got the chance to experience competing in a team event.

Initially the home team struggled against the visiting teams until the nine-year-old girls’ relay squad of Charlotte Brakenbury, Jemima Cross, Hannah Lovelock and Isabel Matfield gave Hitchin their first win in the 4x25m freestyle relay.

The girls then made it a double by winning the 4x25m special relay while Jemima also comfortably added a second place finish in her 25m breaststroke individual event.

The nine-year-old boys were not far behind with their relay squad of Robin Kausar, Joseph Lee, Luca Menon and Michael Teobold managing second in both of their relay events.

Robin impressed with his additional individual win in the 25m breaststroke.

Hitchin’s strong U13 girls’ squad of Ashleigh Cooper, Freya Harwood, Olivia Matfield and Lucy Storey formed a solid foundation for the team with their impressive double freestyle and medley relay wins by significant distances.

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This was supported by first places for Ashleigh (50m freestyle), Freya (50m butterfly) and a strong swim by Lucy to gain herself an individual runner-up spot in the 50m breaststroke.

Other notable performances included a win for Emily Cairncross (U12 25m butterfly) as well as second positions being achieved by Rosie Smith (U11 25m freestyle) and Isabel Bygrave (U11 25m backstroke), before Rosie and Isabel then teamed up with Jessica Drury and Erica Peter to finish runners-up in their U11s 4x25m freestyle relay.

The event was ultimately won by Stevenage Swimming Club, with Hitchin finishing a respectable third.

Hitchin’s swimmers now look forward to returning to compete in round two of the Peanuts League on June 10.

Hitchin’s swimmers were in action recently at the East of England Regional Swimming Championship in Luton where Mark Evens achieved a European Down’s Syndrome record of 5:35.06 in the 400m freestyle.