First weekend at Worcester – 28/29th January

Worcester’s swimmers enjoyed an exceptional weekend of success at the first main block of County Championships, held in their home pool at Perdiswell leisure centre on 28/29th January

Building on the strong performances at the Distance Freestyle races two weeks earlier, the Worcester swimmers were in fine form racking up lots of Personal Best Times, finals, medals, County titles and qualification times for West Midland championships in the Spring

Leading the way was Zara Beaumont who impressively won three Senior County titles. Although just failing to break the “magic” 5 minutes in the 400 Individual Medley (5:01.71) she was entirely dominant, a class apart. She had to work very hard though for her two Freestyle victories, adding the 400m and 200m titles to the 1500m and 800m she had won a fortnight before at Wolverhampton, the 200m race providing fascinating viewing for the packed spectator gallery as she narrowly got the better of her excellent Wyre Forest rival by 0.33s in a titanic battle

Theo Rogers was probably the Club’s most successful swimmer. The 14-year old won 6 Junior titles. However, remarkably, in two of those events he was also crowned Senior Champion, winning the 100m and 200m Backstroke in hugely impressive times, 59.38 and 2:12.21, putting himself well inside the Top Ten 15-year olds nationally at the moment on both events

However, there were more Senior titles for two other Worcester swimmers…

Harvey Lloyd was imperious in the 100m Breaststroke, his 1:05.91 an excellent life time best seeing him well clear of the other swimmers. However, in the longer 200m race, it took all his reserves of strength and determination to win…headed at the last turn, he found an extra gear down the final length to take Gold by 0.25s

Ben Gooch was a thoroughly deserving winner of the men’s 200m Freestyle. Having been runner-up in 4 races previously – both the 50m and 100m Freestyle by the most agonizing margin of 0.01s – he was not to be denied in the 200m event. Pushed by team mate Theo and older swimmers from Sandwell and Wyre Forest, 15-year old Ben showed a wonderful mix of speed, endurance and skills to take the coveted Senior title…many congratulations

There were also fine Senior medals (Bronze) for both Grace Earp (100m IM) and Will Thomas (100m Breaststroke), both delivering performances of which they can be really proud to make the Senior podium

In the younger Age Groups, Worcester also enjoyed super results…

In the 11/u age group, James Hill had great fun, winning four medals and securing qualification times for Regional championships on 50m, 100m & 200m Backstroke. His two swims in the 50m and 100m Back were particularly quick, earning him his first ever County Gold medals

In the 12-year olds, Freya Halsey and Oliver Ginger both managed to make it on to the podium, winning Bronze medals in the 100m Backstroke and 200m Breaststroke respectively; Freya gaining her first Regional QT’s as well!

In the 13’s, there were lots of near misses medals wise for the Worcester swimmers but some cracking performances nonetheless. Pru Goodison delivered a perfect 100 IM to win Bronze whilst Robert Gearey showcased his potential with a fantastic Bronze in the 200m Backstroke, but it was Tarek Bluck – making his County Champs debut – who probably stole the limelight with a string of excellent performances earning him three silver medals, his 1:00.25 in the 100 Free a massive PB and simply stunning

In the 14’s, Dylan Lewis was on fire. He took Gold in the 50m and 100m Freestyle but it was in the Backstroke races where he really shone, laying down a marker for the rest of the year…his 29.67, 1:04.51 and 2:18.89 for the 50m, 100m and 200m events incredibly impressive from such a young swimmer

It was in the 15’s though that the Club enjoyed most success with a remarkable tally of 18 medals alone from this uber talented group of swimmers. In addition to Theo, there were also medals for Asha Mahanta (7), Grace Ryder (2) and Frankie Barry (3), the highlight being their 1-2-3 in the 100m IM! Mindful that this is one of the most competitive age groups in the County, their performances were even more impressive – the highlights no doubt being Asha’s brace of Gold medals in the 100m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle, and Frankie’s superb exhibition of sprint Freestyle to take first place in the gold riband 50m event

In the 16’s, in addition to multiple medals for Grace Earp, Will Thomas and Ben Gooch, there was a thoroughly deserved Silver for Lottie Richardson in the gruelling 400m IM, well done

Overall, a very successful weekend – and although not picking up medals this year, all the Worcester swimmers raced with great aplomb, doing themselves and their Club very proud. The standard of swimming at this level is very high – it requires great skill but also huge amounts of commitment and hard work – so many congratulations to all the other Worcester competitors as well: Abigail Haldane, Alex Hughes, Alice Davison, Amelie Forsyth-Ball, Amelie Fox-Haskins, Carmen West, Charlie Owen, Charlotte Ciancio, Ciara Mahanta, Eddie Richardson, Elodie Vincent, Emily Clacher, Emma McKay, Freddie Preston, Grace Ciancio, Hana Duncan, Isabelle Thorn, Jack Sweeney, Jack Taylor, Jacob Cutler, James Ashfield, James Bury, Jess Dobson, Jess Piper, Joseph O’Leary, Josh Round, Julia Wolska-Bailey, Libby Nawarycz, Lillie Sawyer, Lincoln Lewitzkyi, Lucas Pedley, Lydia Cooper, Martha Colville, Matthew Redfern, Mia Gooch, Orlando Grant, Toby Pugh and Xanthe Carrington-Abraham