September 25th, 2016

Pershore’s magnificent seven

Updated: 9:13 am, May 07, 2015

SEVEN youngsters from Pershore Swimming Club received call-ups to represent Worcester County at the Three-County Invitation Gala held at Gloucester on Sunday.

Megan Annis (11), Patrick Heeks (ten), Naomi Marsden (12) and Hannah Woodcock (ten) all received their first county call-ups, joining William Gearey (11), Simon Sweatman (11) and Isabella Woodcock (11) who have all represented Worcester County before.

The Worcester squad faced strong competition from their counterparts from Gloucestershire and Staffordshire, who boasted district and some national ranked swimmers amongst their teams.

Hannah Woodcock made an impressive debut for Worcester County, winning two individual events. Woodcock’s first event was the girls ten-year-old 50m backstroke in which she just edged out her Staffordshire rival, touching in first place in 39.03.

She then made it two wins from two by storming to victory in the 50m freestyle in 33.47. Woodcock was also picked for the ten-year-old 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m medley relays teams.

Her older sister Isabella ensured it was a double celebration in the family as she also brought home maximum points for Worcester.

Isabella, a breaststroke specialist, showed true class in the girls 11-year-old 50m breaststroke with a commanding victory from the gun, hitting the wall in first place with another sub-40-second swim.

Simon Sweatman (11) produced impressive performances in the boys 11/U 100IM and 11/U 50m backstroke, ensuring maximum points for Worcester County in both events.

Sweatman led from the front in both events, easily winning the 100IM in 1.15.68, which was nearly two seconds quicker than his nearest rival from Gloucester, and then posted a 33.74 in the 50m backstroke.

William Gearey (11) was also in good form for Worcester, claiming two victories in his 11-year-old age group. Gearey produced a massive personal best in the boys 50m fly to win in 32.16 and then secured victory in the 50m freestyle with another sub-30-second time of 29.50.

Sweatman and Gearey were part of the double-winning relay teams for Worcester’s 11-year-old boys as they joined forces with Worcester’s Matt Richards and Ledbury’s James Casewell to easily win the boys 11-year-old 4x50m medley relay and then teamed up with Richards and Redditch’s Siljan Isufi to win the 4x50m freestyle relay.

Naomi Marsden, who has only just turned 12, found herself up against some strong competition in the 12-13-year-old category but held her own against the older girls.

Marsden was selected to swim the girls 100m backstroke and did not disappoint, claiming an excellent second place just outside her personal best. Marsden also led off the girls 12-13-year 4x50m medley relay team with the backstroke leg.

The first taste of County action for Patrick Heeks and Megan Annis came in relay events. Heeks (ten) was picked for both the boys ten-year-old 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m medley relay events, producing strong displays and showing signs of good form going into the Midlands Championships in early June.

Annis, who has also recently secured her place at the Midlands, anchored the girls 11-year-old 4x50m freestyle relay but, despite powering down in the last leg, just could not catch her opponent.

Pershore’s head coach Tom Naughton said: “It’s a real achievement and honour for a club like Pershore to get seven swimmers selected to compete for Worcester County.

“The standard of competition was extremely high and all the swimmers performed exceptionally well. Special mention must go to Hannah Woodcock for winning both her individual events on her debut for the County!”

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