National Arena League Round 2 at Derby – Saturday 14th November 2015
Worcester will take its place in the Midlands Final of the National League, sponsored by Arena, for the second consecutive year after an outstanding performance in Round 2.
The team travelled to Derby on Saturday 14th November with 6 swimmers unavailable but full of confidence after a very strong result in Round 1.
The competition was expected to be fierce and extremely close but as it turned out, Worcester finished a pretty close second to City of Derby and well clear of the other four teams to comfortably take one of the prized top two spots.
The final points were Derby 237, Worcester 212, Long Eaton 154, Leamington 150, Stourbridge 149, Bicester 141.
Interestingly, Worcester won 16 of the 50 races, only 1 less than Derby… with 11 of these coming in the individual races as the Club’s stars put on a real show.
Unusually, the youngest members of the team led the way with Becky Yates grabbing a brace of victories, finishing first in both the 11/u Backstroke and Freestyle.
She then teamed up with Aimee Monks… herself a splendid winner of the 50m Butterfly… plus Sophie Pettit, Bryony Lowe and Lottie Martin to win both the Medley and Freestyle Relays in great style.
George Glover snatched a superb first in the 11/u 50m Breaststroke but all four boys in that age group made a significant contribution to the team with Daniel Day (2nd 50m Backstroke), Max Rice and Oliver Foster combining brilliantly for important 2nd place finishes in the two Relays.
In the 13/u boys, Worcester enjoyed a clean sweep with Matthew Richards (Butterfly and Backstroke), Aaron Cook (Breaststroke) and Will Gearey (Freestyle) all individual winners… with Sam Hartley, Isaac Shepherd and Louis Doyle dropping in to swim 1 relay leg each brilliantly and see Worcester well clear of their rivals in both Medley and Freestyle events.
In the older age groups, first places were very hard to come by though Charlotte Hall (15/u 100m Freestyle) and Robin Williams (Open 100m Butterfly) exemplified the overall team spirit, battling so hard to win tight finishes, Charlotte’s by the narrowest margin possible, 0.01 seconds!
Whilst it was a team performance, the stars were undoubtedly Olivia Fletcher and Sam Hall… who with a few older swimmers away competing at the British University Swimming Championships, stepped up superbly to fill the gaps, competing in 7 events each… most notably the Open 200m Individual Medley in which both finished a hugely creditable fourth.
Olivia, still only 12, backed that effort up with a Personal Best and close second in the 13/u 100 Breaststroke, plus a stunning win in the 13/u 100m Freestyle, 4 seconds clear and agonisingly close to breaking 1-minute for the first time.
Along with Charlotte plus Hattie Goff and Sophie Davis, Olivia was also a member of the winning 15/u Freestyle team!
Sam had to settle for a couple of 2nd place finishes in the 15/u 100m Butterfly and Breaststroke against high quality Derby swimmers but impressed yet again, with great stroke efficiency and some seriously quick times.
The Club’s swimmers will now look forward to the Final on Saturday 12th December.
This will be the first time ever that the Club has competed in back to back finals in the Premier Division…. proof positive of the Club’s continued development… and the swimmers are already relishing the opportunity to test themselves against the best of the best in the Midlands.
The full 36-strong team was Becky Yates, Sophie Pettit, Aimee Monks, Bryony Lowe, Lottie Martin, Jenny Gearey, Olivia Fletcher, Leyla Tayar, Josie Armstrong, Lottie Trevethan, Hattie Goff, Sophie Davis, Yasemin Tayar, Charlotte Hall, Sophie Groves, Lucy Clayton, Samantha Gearey, Emma Lovesey, Daniel Day, George Glover, Max Rice, Oliver Foster, Matthew Ricahrds, Aaron Cook, William Gearey, Louis Doyle, Sam Hartley, Isaac Shepherd, Kai Gooden-Morris, Sam Hall, Robert Latta, Mike Adair, William Hadley, Robin Williams, Ben Holmes and Joel Smith.