On Sunday 21st September, 27 Worcester swimmers traveled to Wolverhampton for the 2014 Worcester County Development Meet… an event designed to give youngsters (13/under) a chance to test out the skills they have been practicing in training, and compete against other swimmers from the County.
Many of the Worcester swimmers were novices, competing in their first Open Meet, but without exception, everyone swam well, racking up loads of Personal Best times and winning lots of medals too.
The younger boys led the way…with debutant Milo Reed making a big splash winning the 9/u 50m Freestyle in an impressive 41.87 before also picking up a Bronze in the 50m Backstroke.
The 10-year old boys were in inspired form too. In the 50m Freestyle, they finished 1-2 with with just 0.03 seconds between them, Max Rice just getting the better of team mate Daniel Day in a very quick 34.27. Max went on to also win the 50m Breaststroke whilst Dan picked up a further two medals, Gold in the 100m Individual Medley and Silver in the 50m Backstroke.
In the 12-year old age group, Josh Bennett swam beautifully, winning a brace of Bronze medals in the Butterfly and Freestyle events whilst in the 13-year old age group Sam Clayton dominated the day… wining 5 medals (4 Gold and 1 Silver).
Sam then went on to secure victory (and a modest cash prize!) in the prestigious Skins Final… a series of 7 shortly spaced races in which one at a time the best 8 swimmers from the IM are eliminated leaving just the winner… a real test of skill, fitness and determination.
In the girls events, the highlight came in the 13-year old 50m Breaststroke, where the Worcester swimmers finished 1-2-3… Freya Lines grabbing Gold fractionally ahead of Ellie McGinnes and Eleanor Niel. Freya and Ellie both enjoyed further success, Freya winning another 2 medals including Gold in the 50m Butterfly, and Ellie a further 3 including Gold in the 50m Backstroke.
Other girls to take home Gold medals included the excellent Nemi Edwards and Imogen Rhodes, winners of the 12/u and 11/u 50m Butterfly respectively… Imogen also bagging Silver in the 100m IM and Bronze in the 50m Backstroke… whilst Megan Bury (Silver, 10’s 50m Backstroke) and Lydia Cooper (Silver, 9/’s 50m Freestyle) both really impressed too with their skills and speed.
Mindful though that this was a meet predominantly about development/improvement, it was great to see so many PB’s being swum… with Lottie Bond, Alice Lloyd, Natasha Dobson, Hannah Dixon, Ellie Reed, Jenny Latta, Megan Williams, Lizzie Rhoden, Becky Yates, Abigail Moore, Thea O’Kane, Izzy Trow, Kate Sudworth and Ben Thorpe all knocking chunks of time off their previous best swims.