Worcester began the 2014 Worcestershire Winter League in fine style with a strong win at Droitwich on Saturday 18th January.

As a local competition against local rivals, the Winter League is always really hard fought… and with the random round 1 draw pitching Worcester’s “A” & “B” teams against each other plus two of the other potential League winners Halesowen and Redditch, this gala proved no exception, with some fantastic, close races.

Worcester won 18 of the 40 events with the “A” team getting the better of Redditch in a tight battle. The final points were Worcester “A” 202, Redditch 192, Halesowen 176, Worcester “B” 120, Droitwich 104.

The 11-year old mixed Medley Relay team of Jenny Gearey, Luke Perry, Leyla Tayar, Fraser Burgess, Olivia Fletcher and Matthew Richards got the team off to a flying start, winning event one… a lead the team never relinquished all night! They won the 6x25m Freestyle Relay too… whilst Jenny (Backstroke), Olivia (Butterfly & Freestyle) and Matthew (Backstroke & Freestyle) also notched up impressive individual wins.

In the 13/u’s, Harry Bamforth returned home from boarding school to help the team by winning the 100m Backstroke… whilst Emily Stancer set a brilliant new PB and Regional Qualifying Time of 1.05.33 to win the 100m Freestyle.

In the 15’s, Sophie Groves continued her excellent run of form with a 1st place in the Backstroke before teaming up with Alex Hughes, Lucy Clayton, William Hadley, Samantha Gearey and Harry Bamforth to win the Mixed Medley Relay… though special credit goes to the “B” Team of Emma Brereton, Oscar van Vuren, Caitlin Adair, Ben Holmes, Nixie Turner and Toby Elston who managed to beat the “A” in the 6×25 Freestyle Relay!

In the Open age group, the girls were unstoppable with Megan Willetts (Backstroke), Tabitha Monkhouse (Breaststroke & Butterfly) and Alice O’Toole (Freestyle) all winning. The men found the going a bit tougher though new Club member Anthony Redfern swam very powerfully to squeak home first in the 100m Freestyle in 54.92, team mate Luke McCluskey 3rd in 55.12! With Mike Adair, Robin Williams and Rupert Monkhouse joining Anthony and the girls for the Relays, they notched up another couple of vital 1st places…. the Medley by an unbelievable margin of 4.8 seconds, the Freestyle by a mere 0.12!

There were many other fine performances too, most notably from Wiliam Hadley who broke the 1-minute barrier for 100m Freestyle for the first time with a splendid 58.39, and it was unquestionably a strong overall team effort by both the “A” and “B” swimmers, the “B” team delighted to finish a hugely creditable 4th.

The full teams were:
A – Jenny Gearey, Leyla Tayar, Olivia Fletcher, Yasemin Tayar, Alice Hayden Jones, Daisy Ellis, Emily Stancer, Sophie Groves, Lucy Clayton, Samantha Gearey, Megan Willetts, Tabby Monkhouse, Alice O’Toole, Matthew Richards, Luke Perry, Fraser Burgess, Harry Bamforth, James Clews, Alex Hughes, William Hadley, Mike Adair, Rupert Monkhouse, Robin Williams, Anthony Redfern.
B – Georgia Hill, Emily Caldwell, Lottie Atkinson, Grace Dieppe, Sophie Monks, Josie Morris, Hattie Goff, Freya Lines, Caitlin Adair, Emma Brereton, Nixie Turner, Hollie Horton, Lydia Tainty, Emma Lovesey, Sam Doyle, Baeli Fern, Isaac Shepherd, Aaron Cook, Ruan Sarris, Sam Clayton, Craig Strachan, Ben Holmes, Oscar van Vuren, Toby Elston, Jack Weston, James Marsh, Adam McIntyre, Luke McCluskey.