PERSHORE Swimming Club ace William Gearey produced a commanding performance to win the 12/under West Midlands Biathlon Championship held at Tudor Grange in Solihull.
The modern biathlon comprises an 800m run and 50m swim, with points allocated for each individual event.
Eleven-year-old Gearey, a novice to the biathlon format and competing in his first ever event, faced stiff opposition from entrants from several of the leading specialist private schools in the Midlands and large Birmingham swimming clubs.
In his 800m heat St Egwin’s Middle School pupil Gearey led from the gun, going off hard on the first 400m, taking it out in 1.15 pace, and maintaining good speed on the last 400m to win in 2.41.43 and secure 1,204 points in the process.
Gearey went to the top of the leaderboard after beating Luke Warren from Ellesmere College into second place on 2.46.04 (1,135 points) and Oscar Hamilton-Russell from Wolverhampton Grammar School into third on 2.46.83 (1,123 points).
Gearey then moved on to the 50m freestyle – his strongest event – hoping to extend his lead and he did not disappoint.
He recorded the fastest swim of the day with a 28.93 (1,336 points) to win the second event, again edging Warren into second place on 32.16 (1,240 points) and above third placed William Cooper from Queens Mary Grammar School on 33.18 (1,210 points).
The final standings saw Gearey in first place on 2,540 points, Warren second on 2,375 points and Cooper third on 2,309 points.
Gearey’s win secures his place in the U12s British Biathlon Championships on Saturday, November 29, which will be held at Tudor Grange in Solihull and where he is likely to be seeded second.