Worcester Swimming Club took an eleven-strong team to compete at the City of Bristol International Open Meet (Level 1) at the weekend, with several coming away with medals against nationally-ranked opposition.

With the action taking place in Hengrove’s 50m pool in Bristol, this Level 1 meet was an opportunity for Worcester swimmers to achieve regional qualifying times (RQT) and improve national ranking positions for the forthcoming British and Home Nations Age Group Championships later this summer.

In the girl’s 12 year old age group, Megan Annis produced personal bests across the weekend, as well as putting down several fast times in the new qualifying window for the Home Nations Championships. Megan powered to victory in both the 200m back (2.36.79) and 50m back (33.78), with both times hopefully putting her high enough in the British rankings (12/13 year old age group) to secure a place at the Home Nations. Megan added bronze medals in the 50m fly (32.29) and 100m fly (1.14.22) to secure her first medals at a long course Level One meet.

Will Gearey and Matt Richards battled for medals in the boys 13-year-old age group, with both securing podium finishes in several events against formidable opposition.

Will was looking to improve his rankings following his recent outing at High Wycombe in March and proved to be in excellent form. Gold medals came in the 100m free (59.10) and 50m fly (28.38), his fly swim putting him 9th in the British rankings (13/14 age group) respectively. He produced personal bests across the weekend, adding silver in the 100m breast (1.19.25) and 100m fly (1.05.26) plus bronze medals in the 200m IM (2.25.63), 200m free (2.10.60) and 50m free (27.14) which should secure event invites to the Home Nations.

Matt, who recently produced a phenomenal set of swims at the Welsh National Championships in Swansea, couldn’t quite reproduce the same form but still looked strong. Matt’s best swim came in the 200m IM, clocking a new personal best of 2.22.46 and moving him up the British rankings. He then claimed third places in the 400m IM (5.09.25), 50m back (32.14) and 50m fly (29.64) – again he looks set to make his debut at the British Championships in several events.

In the girls 13 year age group, Olivia Fletcher and Leyla Tayar were in action. Livvy, another Worcester swimmer who enjoyed a highly successful Welsh Nationals, snatched four silver medals. She claimed silver medals in the 200m IM (2.33.31), 200m free (2.15.49), 50m free (28.90) and 100m free (1.01.60). Leyla, competing at her first long course competition of the season, looked strong across the weekend, producing personal bests in the 100m free (1.09.45), 100m fly (1.14.21) and 100m breast (1.30.78), securing new or improved RQTs for the forthcoming West Midlands Championships in Coventry in May.

Sophie Davis pushed hard in the girl’s 14 year age group, and another tackling the long course format in preparation for the West Midlands Regional Championships. Sophie, targeting the breaststroke events, achieved excellent top ten finishes in the both the 100m breast (1.24.87) and 50m breast (39.49). Sophie now lies ninth in the West Midlands’ rankings for the 100m breaststroke.

Sam Hall (15) took a hat-trick of medals, with superb wins in the 200m breast (2.34.31) and 50m breast (32.76) and an impressive silver in 100m breast (1.12.76). Sam is on course to compete at the British Championships with his current rankings, and also goes to the West Midlands Championships with a good chance of medals.

In the girls 15-year age group, Ellie McGinnes and Yasemin Tayar both clocked a series of new pbs. Ellie secured top ten finishes in the 200m back (2.41.04) and 50m back (34.47) as well as her first RQT, with Yasemin securing excellent top ten finishes in the 100m fly (1.12.95) and 50m fly (32.25).

Breaststroke specialist, Lucy Clayton (16), another looking to compete again at the British Championships, powered to bronze in the 50m breast (34.89), just outside her previous Pb set at High Wycombe.

In the Open age group, Anthony Redfern (19) snatched a brace of medals. Anthony was unlucky not to grab gold in the 50m free, being edged into silver in a fast time of 24.42 knocking 0.57 off his entry time. He also won bronze medal in the 50m fly in 26.45 which was a massive 0.83 improvement on his entry time.