Worcester Swimming Club hosted its sixteenth annual Open Meet over the weekend of 26/27/28th October. As always, this friendly but high quality competition attracted a large entry, with swimmers travelling to Worcester from as far away as Leeds.
Over 50 of the home Club's swimmers took part with Tabitha Monkhouse stealing the limelight. With 9 first places in the 17 & over age group, in events ranging from 400m Freestyle to 50m Breaststroke, Tabby was crowned "top girl" at the Meet, amassing 61 points, 15 clear of her nearest rival. She also won the "Skins" event...a competition for the six best Individual Medley swimmers who race each other over 50m on different, randomly selected strokes and are eliminated one by one until just two remain, Tabby beating her Halesowen rival by 1/100th of a second in an amazing finale!
Third in that Skins event was team mate Alice O'Toole. She was also in fine form, racking up four hugely impressive victories in the 15/16 age group, her Gold medals coming in the 50m & 100m Freestyle plus the 100m & 200m Backstroke events.
Several other girls caught the eye too. In the youngest 9/10 age group, Amy Owens recorded a couple of brilliant Personal Best Times to win Silver in the 50m Butterfly and 100m Backstroke whilst Olivia Fletcher knocked 43 seconds off her 400m Freestyle time to also secure 2nd place!
In the 11/12 age group, Worcester swimmers dominated with Daisy Ellis and Lucy Clayton each winning a brace of Gold medals, finishing 1st in the 100m & 200m events on Butterfly and Breaststroke respectively. Yasemin Tayar was also a winner, storming to 1st place in the 200m Backstroke whilst Josie Morris picked up four minor medals (2nd 200 Individual Medley, 2nd 50m Breaststroke, 3rd 200m Breaststroke & 3rd 50m Backstroke) and India Fern another two (2nd 200m Backstroke, 3rd 100m backstroke).
The boys were equally successful, especially in the older age groups with Robin Williams (1st 50m & 100m Butterfly plus 50m Freestyle) and Daniel Adair (1st 200m Butterfly & 200m Backstroke) leading the way in the 17/O's. Luke McCluskey's 54.76 for Bronze in the 100m Freestyle was impressive too, a good PB and a sign of even better things to come.
In the 15/16 age group, James Marsh picked up 7 medals including two Golds in the 50m Butterfly and Breaststroke, with Mike Adair a further 3 including 1st place in the 200m Backstroke. James' performances re-wrote a few records, his brilliant 31.93 breaking the 15-year old County record for 50m Breaststroke and his 2.30.95 an Open age group Club record for 200m Breaststroke!
Some of the younger boys were evidently inspired. In the 11 & 12 year old age groups, Oscar Brain (50m Freestyle & 50m Backstroke) and Harry Bamforth (200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle & 100m Backstroke) broke Club records too, whilst in the 13/14 age group, Oscar van Vuren swam superbly to win Gold in the 50m Breaststroke.
Other medal winners from Worcester were Francesca Daniels, Sophie Groves, Kate Lovesey, Lydia Tainty, Emma Thompson, Hollie Horton, Ben Holmes, Rupert Monkhouse, Matt Davis and Jack Stanney.
Head Coach Mark Stowe was delighted: "The Open Meet was a huge success yet again, well supported by the premier West Midlands Clubs like Boldmere and Halesowen. With 204 Personal Best performances, the Worcester swimmers really excelled and contributed fully to the fun and excitement of the competition."