Worcester Swimming Club sent a 30-strong squad to compete at the United Bristol SC National Qualifier (Level One) held at Bristol’s Hengrove Park 50m international pool, with many swimmers chasing either national rankings or regional times.
The long-course meet attracted top-ranked swimmers from across the South of England, and the first chance for Worcester swimmers to put down times in the ten-week national age group qualification period (11th March to 29th May). Swimmers ranked in the top 24 in the UK in each event for specific age groups are invited to compete at the British Summer Championships held in Sheffield in July. The next top 20 swimmers ranked from 25 onwards will be invited to attend their respective domestic Home Nations championships in England, Scotland and Wales.
Worcester swimmers were in great form, coming away with nearly 60 podium finishes plus many secured new regional times for the forthcoming West Midlands ASA Championships at the end of April in Coventry.
In the girl’s 10 year age group, Olivia Eggleton and Maisie Lyons were battling it out for the medals in several events. Eggleton’s best performance came in the 100m back (1.31.34) winning silver, and she added bronze medals in the 400m free (6.41.60), 100m breast (1.37.94), 200m back (3.09.15) and 200m breast (3.28.74). Lyons claimed a superb gold in the 100m back (1.29.60), and also won silver in the 50m breast (42.04) and bronze in the 50m free (36.50).
David Annis picked up three gold medals in the boy’s 10 year age group. Annis’ victories came in the 200m IM (2.51.31), 100m free (1.10.83) and 50m back (37.81). He was edged into second place in both the 100m breast (1.36.06) and 50m fly (36.22).
Bryony Lowe was again looking strong in the distance events, producing an excellent time of 5.14.43 to take gold in the 400m free in the girl’s 11 year age group.
Henry Halford was delighted to notch up his first ever regional time, producing a fast time in the 50m breast (39.76) to take bronze in the boy’s 12 year age category.
In the girl’s 12 year age group, Lauren Annis and Rebecca Yates were both in action. Annis continued to show massive improvements, snatching gold in the 200m breast (3.01.60). Yates managed a brace of bronze medals, with third places in the 200m IM (2.41.03) and 200m back (2.37.40).
Dan Day, competing in the boy’s 13 year old age group, looks one to watch for the West Midlands championships. Day struck gold in the 50m back (31.08), plus added silver medals in the 200m free (2.14.39) and 100m back (1.07.24) as well as third places in the 200m back (2.26.31), 200m IM (2.33.54) and 100m free (1.00.89).
In the 13 year age group, Megan Annis took gold in the 50m free (29.29), while Holly Workman claimed bronze in the 50m breast (37.04) and Natasha Dobson also took bronze in the 50m back (34.34).
Will Gearey dominated in the boy’s 14 year age group, coming away with a staggering seven gold medals. Gearey’s victories came in the 200m IM (2.22.73), 100m free (57.68), 200m back (2.21.63), 100m fly (1.03.40), 200m free (2.07.88), 50m free (26.20) and 50m fly (28.13). He also bagged silver in the 400m free (4.36.44) and bronze in the 100m back (1.06.58).
In the girl’s 14 year age group Olivia Fletcher showed her all-round ability, taking a superb gold in the 200m IM (2.32.31). She also claimed silver in the 100m free (1.01.46) plus a brace of bronze medals in 100m breast (1.20.66) and 50m fly (32.13).
Matt Thomas put a series of strong performances across the weekend and unlucky not to take gold in the boy’s 15 year category. Thomas claimed silver medals in the 200m back (2.25.23), 50m back (30.74) and 50m fly (28.07) plus bronze medals in the 100m fly (1.04.54), 200m free (2.07.50) and 100m back (1.07.10). Also competing in this age group was breaststroke specialist, Harvey Lloyd, who won silver in the 100m breast (1.12.46), and added bronze medals in the 200m breast (2.45.88) and 50m breast (33.61). In the girl’s 15 year age group, Charlotte Hall produced a fantastic swim to take gold in the 50m fly (30.08).
Club Captain, Lucy Clayton, was another Worcester swimmer hoping to get to nationals in breaststroke. Competing in the 16+ category, Clayton won silver medals in the 200m breast (2.50.69), 100m breast (1.16.74) and 50m breast (33.65).
In the boy’s 16+ age group, Sam Hall and Anthony Redfern both produced good swims. Hall snatched silver medals in the 100m breast (1.09.13) and 200m breast (2.33.36), and was edged into bronze in the 50m breast (32.13). Redfern powered to silver in the 100m free (53.28) and also claimed bronze in the 50m fly (26.41).
Worcester’s full squad also included Hannah Dixon, Louis Doyle, Alex Farmer, Kai Gooden-Morris, Libby Gooden-Morris, Lauren Hill, Naomi Marsden, Lily Merrell, Will Thomas, Emily West and Brodie Willetts.