Worcester Swimming Club hosted its 19th annual Open Meet on the 23rd to 25th October 2015, as always attracting a large number of swimmers to the City for this ever popular event.

The standard of swimming was very high this year, especially in the younger age groups with both Royal School Wolverhampton and Ellesmere College bringing big squads.

The Worcester Club’s own swimmers responded well to the added challenge, racking up lots of Personal Best Times and winning an amazing 175 medals.

There was success across the age groups, from the 9/under swimmers through to the top seniors.

In the 9s, Michael Agoston won 3 bronze medals in the 50’s Butterfly, Breaststroke and Freestyle before swimming out of his skin to land Gold in the 200m Breaststroke… whilst team mates Olivia Eggleton and Emma McKay grabbed a brace each… Olivia impressively winning Gold in both the 50m and 200m Breaststroke, Emma a Silver and Bronze in the 50m Backstroke and Freestyle respectively.

In the 10s, Milo Reed demonstrated his improvement with Gold and Silver in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke events but it was Bryony Lowe who really stole the show with a magnificent 9 medals in total (2 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze), the highlight a terrific 1st place in the 400m Freestyle on the opening night.

In the 11s, there was much success… led by Daniel Day who won 10 medals in events ranging from 50m Butterfly to 400m Freestyle, with his 2 Gold coming in the 50m and 100m Backstroke. Max Rice and George Glover were also on the medal trail, Max winning Silver for a fantastic 400m Freestyle and George doing the treble, taking Gold in all 3 Breaststroke events: 50/100/200m.

In the same age group, Becky Yates really impressed too with 6 medals, her Gold coming in the Final of the 50m Butterfly when she stormed through to grab 1st place on the finish from an outside lane… with Sophie Pettit claiming a well deserved Bronze in the 100m Breaststroke for all her hard work.

It was in the 12s though where Worcester really shone. Matthew Richards and William Gearey totally dominated the boys events, between them winning 11 titles with their head-to-head races the highlight of the Meet, the 50m Butterfly Final pretty typical, Matt just edging out Will by 0.14 seconds on that occasion. For the girls, Olivia Fletcher comfortably won all 7 of the races she entered, with 28.18 for 50m Freestyle at the end of a long weekend particularly eye catching.

In the 13s, Aaron Cook showed real potential to win 5 medals including 4 Gold, a cleansweep in the Breaststroke (50/100/200M) and a superb first place in the 100m Butterfly too… whilst it was great to see Jenny Gearey and Leyla Tayar in the medals as well, testimony to their fortitude as they deal with injury.

In the 14s, Kai Gooden-Morris enjoyed the limelight winning 7 medals including Gold in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke after two massive PB’s, 7 & 12 seconds respectively, but Sam Clayton grabbed an excellent couple of Bronze medals too, in the 50m and 100m Butterfly.

In the same age group, though, the Worcester girls really shared the medals out with 5 of them winning 16 in total!  Charlotte Hall showcased her talents superbly in the sprint events taking Gold in the 50/100m Butterfly, 50/100m Freestyle & 50m Breaststroke… leading a 1-2-3-4 in that event with Eleanor Niel (Silver), Charlotte Yates (Bronze) and Sophie Davis (4th). Sophie though was to get her revenge in the longer distance events, winning Gold in the 100m & 200m Breaststroke, Charlotte Yates just behind her in second.

In the 15/16s, Worcester had even more medalists, 12 in total, evidence of the Club’s strength in depth in the older age groups and proof positive that its philosophy of long term athelete development is paying dividends.

Sam Hall was the main star with 10, 5 of them Gold, though such was the standard that even in the events at which he competed so successfully in this year’s English summer national championships, 100m & 200m Breaststroke, he wasn’t totally dominant.

Ben Holmes and Matthew Redfern were in fine early season form too, winning the 50/200m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke respectively, whilst Alex Hughes won a well deserved medal in the 400m Freestyle as well.

For the girls, Lucy Clayton, Yasemin Tayar, Hannah Matthews, Hattie Goff, Emily Stancer, Becky Redfern, Caitlin Adair and Daisy Ellis all won medals in the 15/16’s…with the prized Golds coming from Lucy (100m Breastsroke), Yasemin (200m Butterfly), Hattie (50m Freestyle) and visually impaired S.13 Becky Redfern competing on level terms with the able bodied athletes (50m Breaststroke).

 In the 17+ age group, Worcester again had muliple medal winners, all winning several events.

Anthony Redfern really grabbed everyone’s attention with 51.80 for his 100m Freestyle to win 1 of his 7 medals though James Marsh (Gold in 50m Backstroke, 50m Breaststroke & 100m Butterfly) and Glenn Strachan (Gold in 400m Freestyle) also showed winning ways, with Mike Adair and William Hadley having to settle for hard won silver/bronze medals this time.

In the ladies, Worcester again dominated with Tabitha Monkhouse (200m Individual Medley, 200m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly), Sophie Groves (50m Backstroke & 200m Butterfly), Samantha Gearey (50m & 100m Freestyle) plus GB triathlete Nixie Turner (400m Freestyle) all enjoying top spot on the podium.

Unsurprisingly, with so many talented older swimmers, Worcester swimmers were at the forefront of the “Skins” event for the top 6 from the 200m IM…. with swimmers competing head to head over 5 races, one being eliminated each time until only the winner remains, a very tough event!

In the girls, Tabby Monkhouse battled through to the last pair but was just edged out in a dramatic finish by hundredths of a second. However, in the boys, Worcester went 1-2-3 with Anthony Redfern seeing off Sam Hall and then James Marsh in the final two races to claim the cash prize.




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