Worcester juniors started the racing season with an exciting evening of swimming at the prestigious Division One Nuneaton and District Junior League Final.  This is the top Junior league in the Midlands for 12 and under swimmers, so competition is fierce and a place in the final always hard fought for.  Worcester qualified in a very creditable 6th position, moving up the rankings from 11th place in 2022 and on the night, were looking to improve on this.   Finalists included: Blythe, Coventry, Boldmere A, Leamington and Nuneaton and Bedworth A.

1st places were hard to come by, however, individual victories were secured by 12 year old Joseph O’Leary in the 50m breaststroke and 9 year old Zac May in the 25m butterfly, both leading from the start and achieving huge drops in times from previous rounds.

Impressive individual 2nd place finishes went to Junior Club Captain, Robert Gearey, in the boys 12 years 50m backstroke and Mia Gooch in the 50m fly, both swimmers achieving new personal best times.  Edward Hickman in the boys 9 years 25m freestyle also stood out.  It was one of two superb individual swims from Edward, which also included a 3rd place in the 25m breaststroke.

3rd place finishes went to Thea Pickstock, who was in spectacular form in the girls 10 years 50m freestyle, showcasing impressive improvements in skills and technique and a 2 second personal best.  Olivia Thomas also achieved over a 2 second improvement from the previous round and a 3rd place in the girls 9 year old 25m backstroke, one of two stand out individual swims for Olivia.

There were many fine performances in the relay teams, which shows great promise for our younger swimmers, including a simply stunning 2nd place for the girls 10 years 4 x 25m freestyle relay consisting of Thea Pickstock, Hope Mansell, Cyan Bedford and Ava Aspinal.  The girls then went on to achieve a very strong 3rd place in the medley relay.  2nd place also went to the quartet of Robert Gearey, Joseph O’Leary, Khai Yang and Oliver Ginger in the 12 years medley relay and 3rd place to Louie Ginger, Edward Hickman, Zac May and Sebastian Thorn in the boys 9 years medley relay.  James Ashfield, James Walter and Logan Nichols teamed up with 9 year old Zac in the 10 years and under freestyle relay for another impressive 3rd place finish for the team.

The night was finished off with traditionally the most exciting race of the evening; the 8 x 1 cannon, which consists of 1 girl and 1 boy from each age group and it didn’t disappoint. An incredibly close race from start to finish, showing the real strength in depth in the Club’s 12 and under age groups.  The team of Pippa Preston, Edward Hickman, Thea Pickstock, James Walter, Eva Anderson, James Hill and junior club captains Xanthe Carrington-Abraham and Robert Gearey put in performances to be proud of, finishing 3rd, with only 2 seconds dividing 1st and 5th places.

All in all it was a fantastic team performance with every swimmer demonstrating superb skills, attitude and team spirit with many personal best times achieved across the age groups.  Worcester finished in 5th place on the night, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd places achieved by Leamington, Nuneaton and Bedworth A and City of Coventry. 

The full team consisted of: 

Zac May, Louie Ginger, Edward Hickman, Sebastian Thorn, Leo Mitchell, Pippa Preston, Olivia Thomas, Charlotte Hastie, Thea Everitt, Thea Cale, James Walter, Logan Nichols, James Ashfield, Hope Mansell, Thea Pickstock, Ava Aspinal, Cyan Bedford, James Hill, Freddie Preston, Rohan Fellows-Day, Jessica Owen, Wren Goodison, Ava Copson, Eva Anderson, Khai Yang, Robert Gearey, Joseph O’Leary, Oliver Ginger, Mia Gooch, Freya Halsey, Xanthe Carrington-Abraham, Clementine Richards