County Championships 2022 Report

After a 2-year break due to Covid, Worcester swimmers thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to test themselves again against the best local opposition at the 2022 County Championships, held over three weekends in January/February at Worcester and Wolverhampton

First and foremost, it was simply wonderful for the Worcester swimmers to be back racing again.  However, it was also very encouraging, mindful of all the challenges they have faced in training, to see so many of the 88 qualifiers from the Club performing tremendously well

 

Star of the show was Aimee Monks who claimed four superb Senior titles.  Now training at the Royal Wolverhampton School, she dominated the women’s Freestyle events winning the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m races with ease, showcasing her talent in style

There was also a Championship title for Bella Barry who won the 50m Butterfly with the perfect race, recapturing a trophy she had picked up previously as 14-year old in 2019…whilst Harvey Lloyd and Paralympian Rebecca Redfern each picked up both a bronze & silver medal in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke races

Looking forward, though there was great encouragement for the Club from the success of its Junior (15/u) swimmers notably Grace Earp (100m Individually Medley & 100m Breaststroke), Ben Gooch (100m Individual Medley) and Henry Hoare (100m & 200m Breaststroke) as they stormed to win the much coveted Junior titles

Across all the age groups (10/11 up to 17+), Worcester amassed an impressive 92 medals…with a medal in each and every age group / category, something that augurs very well for the future

Making their debuts at County Championships, the 11/u swimmers were in fine form.  Xanthe Carrington-Abraham and Oliver Ginger both won the 50m Freestyle for girls and boys, whilst Harry Hunt picked up a thoroughly deserved Gold medal in the 200m Individual Medley to go with Silver in the 200m Breaststroke.  There was also a Bronze for 10-year old James Hill in the 100m Individual Medley, the first of many for sure

In the 12-year old age group, Charlie Owen swam beautifully to win both the 50m and 100m Backstroke, showing real class, whilst team mate Julia Wolska-Bailey snatched an excellent Bronze in the 50m Breaststroke after narrowly missing out in the Backstroke

In the 13-year old age group, Dylan Lewis demonstrated his potential with big Personal Best times in all events, and two medals in the Backstroke, his Gold in the 200m race by a mere 0.05 seconds

However, it was in the 14 year old age group where the Club enjoyed greatest success with 6 swimmers hoovering up 26 medals between them!

Asha Mahanta led the way with 12, showing real versatility to win medals in events ranging from 100 Backstroke to 1500 Freestyle, her solitary Gold in a very competitive age group coming in the 100 IM after a wonderful race in which she needed all her speed, skills and endurance to win

Just (0.67s) behind Asha in that race in 3rd was Jess Day who won 3 medals of her own, her 400 IM silver the highlight with a superb all around performance

There were also medals in the endurance events for Abi Haldane (silver 800 Free) and Jacob Cutler (silver 800 & 1500 Free, bronze 400 IM and 200 Butterfly) both of whom absolutely smashed their Personal Best times

By contrast, Frankie Barry showed her prowess in the sprint events, winning both the 50m Butterfly and Freestyle races in blistering fashion, both by almost one second, a huge margin in the shorter races

Grace Ryder was not to be outdone.  Having picked up bronze & silver in the 200m & 100m Breaststroke races, narrowly touched out in both, she showed real determination to take Gold in the 50m Breaststroke in the very final session with a beautifully executed sprint

In the 15-year old age group, Grace, Ben and Henry collected more age group medals.  However, there were also outstanding podium finishes for Lottie Richardson (silver 400 IM), Will Pridden (silver 400 IM, bronze 200 Backstroke) and William Thomas (silver 200 Breaststroke, bronze 50 Breaststroke) proving the Club’s strength in depth here

In the 16 and 17/over age groups, there were no Golds but lots of minor medals.  In the 16’s, both Carmen West (2 silver, 3 bronze) and Grace Ciancio (1 silver, 3 bronze) were in excellent form, their 200m Backstroke and 100m Breaststroke arguably the stand out performances whilst in the 17+, there were medals for all of the Club’s top senior girls with Emma McKay 2, Maddie Fox-Haskins 2, Emily Clacher 2, Izzy Trow 1 and Lydia Cooper 1 reaping the rewards for their consistent hard work

There were many other swimmers from the Club who qualified and competed at the Championships –  a major achievement in itself – the full squad including Freya Halsey, Holly Hunt, Pru Goodison, Ellie Graham, Evie Goodall, Florence Venables, Lucia Ingles, Martha Colville, Josie Lane, Eva Chikuruhne, Olivia Odell, Isla Latimer, Hana Duncan, India Sherwood, Lillie Sawyer, Libby Gooden-Morris, Libby Nawarycz, Alice Davison, Elodie Vincent, Sophie Earp, Caitlin Pridden, Ciara Mahanta, Megan Bury, Amelie Fox-Haskins, Jess Dobson, Milly Ciancio, Mia Gooch, Emma Baddeley, Jess Piper, Amelia Gearey, Grace Vaughan, Amelie Forsyth-Ball, Olivia Jay, Rhys Elias, Rapha Rea, Toby Pugh, Robert Gearey, Lincoln Lewitzkyi, Orlando Grant, Oliver Clayton, Ollie Irwin, Lucas Pedley, Will Colville, Harry Guest, Jack O’Connor, Alexander Cutler Tucker, Jack Taylor, Harry Pickup, Alex Hughes, Jack Sweeney, Matthew Redfern, Eddie Richardson, Oliver Copson, Aly Kear, Josh Round and Eddie Cox

Most did Personal Best Times, many made Finals and all represented the Club with pride and distinction

Junior Champions (left to right: Ben Gooch, Grace Earp and Henry Hoare)