National Arena League – West Midlands Final 9th December 2017

West Midland Arena League Final Tables

Premier Division – Gala 1 – Round 3 Results

Premier Division – Gala 2 – Round 3 Results

Premier Division – Gala 3 – Round 3 Results

Premier Division – Gala 4 – Round 3 Results

Lane Draw

 

Worcester Swimming Club made history on 9th December, finishing 2nd in the Final of the West Midlands premier division of the National Arena League…it’s highest ever placing

This success also means that the Club will be invited to the National finals next April where the swimmers will compete for the very first time against the elite of British Swimming, a 20-team competition that represents the pinnacle of club swimming in the UK

The Club’s performance in the Final was simply stunning.  Going into the Final ranked 3rd behind City of Derby and Leicester Sharks, all the swimmers knew that it would take a stellar effort to over turn the two favourites plus historic Regional heavy-weights City of Coventry and Boldmere, and an impressive upwardly mobile Leamington Spa team making their debuts

Making the most of home advantage and donning blue & green “war paint” for the occasion, the swimmers rose to the challenge incredibly well, every single one excelling and contributing to a wonderful team performance

The gala quickly settled down into a straight 3-way competition between Derby, Leicester and Worcester for the coveted top two spots…Worcester swimmers spurred on by the disappointment of missing the National Final last year by a single gala point when they finished 3rd, determined not to let that happen again

The lead swapped hands several times and going into the last 8 events (relays), Worcester actually had a slight advantage (3 points) over Derby but couldn’t quite get over the line to win…but did finish an incredible 2nd, in the end comfortably clear of Leicester, earning subject to formal ratification a place in the National Finals in Cardiff on 21st/22nd April

The final points were Derby 217, Worcester 215, Leicester 191, Leamington 160, Boldmere 134, and Coventry 128

There were many fine individual performances along the way

Olivia Fletcher got the team off to a strong start with an excellent 2nd in the 4x50m Open Individual Medley before picking up a 1st in the 100m Freestyle in her own 15/u age group, and an absolutely vital 2nd in the 15’s Breaststroke

Another busy swimmer was Matt Richards who bagged three 1st places…winning both the 15/u and Open 100m Butterfly before gutsily winning the 15’s 100m Breaststroke, his least favourite stroke

In the 15/u boys age group, Will Gearey was another impressive winner, this time in the 100m Freestyle…whilst he and Richards also combined with Aaron Cook, Louis Doyle and Alex Farmer to take both Medley & Freestyle relays in dominant fashion

Spurred on by their older team mates, the younger lads refused to be outdone

In the 13/u age group, Danial Day was an easy winner of the 100m Backstroke but critically also a narrow winner of the 100m Freestyle, having to dig deep to take maximum points for the team

Also relishing the challenge in the 13/u age group was George Glover who produced yet another big PB on 100m Breaststroke for a thoroughly well deserved 2nd place…with Brodie Willetts (100m Butterfly) and the 4x50m Freestyle team of Day, Glover, Adam Rutter and Eddie Cox taking an important 2nd place finishes too

In the 11’s, David Annis again showed his incredible potential with a brace of victories, nobody getting anywhere near him in both the 50m Butterfly and Backstroke…though team mate Charlie Dixon’s 4th place in the 50m Breaststroke, an event he only stepped into in the absence of a team mate, was also key in ensuring the Club racked up enough points to see off Leicester in the final reckoning

In truth, the girls found 1st places very hard to come by against some particularly strong Derby, Leicester and Leamington opposition but there were many vital 2nd place finishes…Maisie Lyons (11/u 50m Breaststroke), Becky Yates (13/u 100m Backstroke), Megan Annis (15/u 100m Backstroke), Lucy Clayton (Open 100m Breaststroke) and Tabby Monkhouse (Open 100m Butterfly and Freestyle)

Every single point mattered and a big PB from Jenny Gearey (4th Open 100m Backstroke) and a battling final 25m from Sam Hall (2nd Open 100m Breaststroke) exemplified the determination of all the swimmers involved to do their very best for the team

In the end, it wasn’t quite enough to snatch overall victory from Derby but Worcester signed off the night in brilliant fashion winning both the Open 6x50m Freestyle relays…Charlotte Hall, Olivia Fletcher, Megan Annis, Josie Armstrong, Jenny Gearey and Tabby Monkhouse winning a nail biting thriller from Leamington in the girls’ event and Joel Smith, Robin Williams, Anthony Redfern, Matt Thomas, Will Gearey and Sam Hall bringing the roof down with a 2-second win clear of Boldmere and Derby for the boys

Above all else though, this was a whole team performance through and through…every single swimmer stepping up on the night…and the full squad of stars was: Amelie Forsyth-Ball, Amelie Fox Haskins, Isobel Foster, Maisie Lyons, Olivia Eggleton, Aimee Monks, Amelia Gearey, Becky Yates, Lauren Annis, Lydia Cooper, Holly Workman, Jenny Gearey, Josie Armstrong, Maddie Fox-Haskins, Megan Annis, Naomi Marsden, Olivia Fletcher, Charlotte Hall, Lucy Clayton, Tabby Monkhouse, Beau Vaughan-Hawkins, Charlie Dixon, David Annis, Harry Chandler, William Thomas, Adam Rutter, Brodie Willetts, Daniel Day, Eddie Cox, George Glover, Aaron Cook, Alex Farmer, Louis Doyle, Matthew Richards, William Gearey, Anthony Redfern, Joel Smith, Matthew Thomas, Robin Williams and Sam Hall