On Saturday 9th November, Worcester hosted the 2nd Round of the Arena sponsored National Swimming League. This is the premier team competition in the country and as always in Division 1, the standard of swimming was incredibly high… exemplified by the Men’s 100m Freestyle in which every swimmer went 54 or better!
Worcester swimmers performed very well, finishing tied for third. The final points were Boldmere 251, Abingdon 181, Worcester and Long Eaton both 167, Halesowen 158, Leicester Sharks 119. Worcester therefore narrowly missed a place in the prestigious Final, Abingdon grabbing the second spot, though the battle for 2nd – 5th was close fought all night.
First places were extremely hard to come by, with Worcester only managing three, all in the Open girls events. National semi finalist Tabby Monkhouse won the 100m Breaststroke and was joined by Megan Willetts, Eloise van Vuren and Alice O’Toole to win the 4x50m Medley Relay relatively easily. The 6x50m Freestyle though was another story… the girls were joined by Emma Lovesey and Sam Gearey to make a formidable team, but it still took an incredible 26.8 seconds from Alice on the last leg, to overhaul Long Eaton’s equally star-studded squad!
Those three 1st places were the least achieved by any Club… though Worcester made up for that with far more 2nd & 3rd places than any other team, in 24 out of the 50 races.
Highlights included the performances of the 11/u’s: Jenny Gearey, Olivia Fletcher, Leyla Tayar and Elizabeth Moyden finished 2nd or 3rd in all their individual and relay events…. whilst in the boys, Matt Richards secured 2nd & 3rd places in the 50m Backstroke & Freestyle.
In the 13’s, Alice Hayden Jones did another Personal Best time for 3rd in the 100m Breaststroke…. and combining with Hattie Goff, Daisy Ellis and Emily Stancer, secured a splendid 2nd in the 4x50m Medley Relay.
In the 15’s, Lucy Clayton couldn’t match her new brilliant Personal Best from the Worcester Open Meet but again looked on top form finishing 2nd in the 100m Breaststroke, whilst Sam Gearey knocked a few more tenth’s off her best time for a hard fought 3rd in the 100m Freestyle.
The Open age group proved the most lucrative for the Club. In addition to Tabby’s win in the Breaststroke, there were also 2nd places for Megan Willetts (Backstroke) and Eloise van Vuren (Freestyle), both in seriously quick times…. whilst in the Men’s, Mike Adair continued his rich vein of form for 2nd in the 100m Backstroke and Robin Williams had to swim 58.3 and 53.8 just for 3rrd in the 100’s Fly and Free – such was the standard of swimming!