PERSHORE Swimming Club claimed victory at West Bromwich in round one of the PGL League against teams from Oldbury, Northgate and Warley as their bid to secure a place in the final as they did in 2014 began in fine style.
The PGL is an exciting, development competition for swimmers aged between nine and 14 and also includes speeding tickets as part of its format.
Josh Sharratt got Pershore off to the best possible start with maximum points in the boys’ 13/14 50m fly (35.69) and Charlotte Downey soon added another first place in the girls’ 13/14 50m fly, winning in 37.22.
Roan Williams pushed hard for victory in the boys’ 12/u 50m backstroke, winning in 40.56, while Lauren Annis also won easily in the girls’ 12/u 50m backstroke in 40.72.
Pershore’s excellent start continued with back-to-back victories in the boys’ and girls’ 11/u 25m breaststroke. Owen Kirby won the boys’ event in 22.81 and Olivia O’Sullivan took victory in the girls’ in 22.25.
The boys’ 10/u 4x25m medley relay team were just edged into second place by Oldbury, while the girls’ 10/u team got Pershore back to winning ways.
Ethan Stanley swam hard in the boys’ 9-years 25m freestyle with a time of 19.94 and Lily Mullen impressed with a 23.47 in the girls’ 25m event.
After ten events Pershore had built a sizeable lead over Northgate, with Oldbury back in third and Warley in fourth place.
Callum Sanderson grabbed second in the boys’ 13/14 50m backstroke in 36.20, while Jasmine Taite picked up the team’s first speeding ticket in the girls’ 50m backstroke (35.44).
Pershore did not have to wait long for another victory, with the girls’ 12/u 4x25m relay team winning in 1.16.45, whilst the boys’ team grabbed third place in their race in 1.18.47.
Two more wins came courtesy of Max Aris and Oliver Smith. Aris looked strong for the win in the boys’ 11/u 25m freestyle (16.19), while Smith grabbed first place in the boys’ 10/u 25m fly (2.93).
Caitlin Yates was unlucky not to take victory in the girls’ 11/u 25m freestyle (16.69) and Georgia Winkley was also just edged into second in the girls’ 10/u 25m fly (20.18).
David Annis secured maximum points in the boys’ 9-year 25m breaststroke in 26.40, while Grace Styler took second in the girls’ event in 29.65.
Aris also won the boys’ 11/u 25m backstroke (21.75) and Robert Thorner easily won the boys’ 10/u 25m breaststroke (26.40).
After 20 events, Pershore had extended their lead (64 points) to 12 points over Oldbury (52), Northgate (44) and Warley (30).
Kieran Cooper won the boys’ 12/u 50m breaststroke in 45.32, while Macey French picked up the team’s second speeding ticket in the girls’ event (45.75).
Kirby was back in action in the boys’ 11/u 25m fly, taking third in 20.33, while O’Sullivan managed to grab second in the girls’ 25m fly (20.12).
Smith made it two wins from two with another dominant performance in the boys’ 10/u 25m freestyle (19.53), while Isabel Fairchild secured second in the girls’ 25m freestyle (19.38).
Lewis Cribben came third in the boys’ 9-year 25m backstroke (24.89) and Leah Meredith also came third in the girls’ 25m backstroke (26.98) and Luke Perry got Pershore back to winning ways with a great display in the boys’ 13/14 50m breaststroke (41.56) and Holly Winkley picked up a third place in girls’ event (43.97).
Isobel Cumming came close to snatching victory in the girls’ 12/u 50m freestyle (35.03), just being beaten on the touch.
James Heeks produced an excellent swim for the win in the boys’ 10/u 25m backstroke (22.00), while Fairchild also took maximum points in the girls’ 10/u 25m backstroke (21.82).
Hannah Simister produced a dominant performance in the girls’ 13/14 50m freestyle, winning easily in 33.00. Olivia Howard picked up the team’s third speeding ticket in the girls’ 12/u 50m fly (38.97) and Gabriella Barry the fourth ticket in the girls’ 9-year 25m fly (19.85).
There were also victories for the girls’ 10/u 4x25m freestyle relay team, the boys’ and girls’ 11/u 4x25m freestyle teams, girls’ 12/u 4x25m freestyle team and girls’ 10x25m cannon.
The final scores saw Pershore clear winners on 173 points, with Oldbury second on 163, Northgate 142 and Warley 96.
Commenting on the performance, Pershore’s head coach Tom Naughton said: “There were some great swims and I’m extremely pleased to get the win under our belt.
“Our target is to reach the 2015 PGL final so this is a good start. Victory in the next round will certainly put us in a good position to challenge for a place in the final.”