ALEX BARRY and Hannah Woodcock led an outstanding medal-laden performance from Pershore SC at the 2017 County Championships.
Alex finished with 13 medals in all, including six gold, and Hannah had 11 medals, with five gold, as the club excelled in five gruelling days of swimming in the Worcestershire Championships in Wolverhampton.
Under the watchful eyes of head coach Tom Naughton and deputy head coach Ian Cumming the young swimmers claimed a record 47 medals – 12 gold, 19 silver and 16 bronze.
Dozens of personals bests (PBs) were set and an incredible 14 swimmers have already qualified for the West Midlands Regional Championships in May.
Alex (13) had another fantastic county championship in all strokes and all distances. Particular standouts were the 400 metres individual medley where Alex not only took county age group gold but also the county bronze medal for the third fastest time in all age groups for 2017.
In the 800m freestyle, she recorded a time of 9mins 46.50secs to finish more than eight seconds ahead of second place, and, despite limited experience of the 200m butterfly, she took 10 seconds off her PB to record a gold medal in 2.40.39.
Other golds came in the 200IM (2.32.20), 200 freestyle (2.13.65) and the 400 free (4.46.58).
She also took silvers in the 50 butterfly (31.56), 100 fly (1.11.83) and 100 IM (1.12.42), plus bronze in 50 backstroke (33.59), 100 back (1.12.17), 100 free (1.03.21) and 50 breaststroke (38.59).
Hannah Woodcock (12) never fails to disappoint at a major championships and 2017 was no different.
Despite really formidable competitors in the 13-year-old age group, Hannah set Midland qualifying times were tumbling in every event.
She finished with gold medals in the 100IM (1.10.98), 50 back (33.06), 100 back (1.10.84), 50 breast (36.98, plus silver medals in 50 free (28.80), 100 fly (1.13.14), 50 fly (32.04), 200 back (2.35.29), 100 breast (1.19.65) and bronze 200 free (2.20.61).
Patrick Heeks (13) has showed great improvement in his breaststroke this year and clinched his first regional time in the 50 breast (37.0). Patrick went on to win eight medals: one gold, four silver and three bronze.
The gold came in a great 200 butterfly swim seeing him dominate the race and winning by more than eight secondss in a great time of 2.28.36.
Silvers came in the 100 free (1.00.65) , 100IM (1.08.79), 200IM (2.31.08) and 50 fly (30.12) plus bronze was in the 200 free (2.13.33).
Hamish Cross (13), having been second fastest in the heats in the 50 breast, narrowly missed the gold medal in the final but with a spectacular 34.71secs claimed the silver medal.
The time sees him ranked well inside the top 10 for the Scottish National Championships in March.
Hamish also picked up silver medals in the 100 butterfly (1.10.37) and in the 100 breast (1.18.84).
Alfie Brown (12) showed some true courage in the 100 freestyle.
Having set a PB in the heat of 1.08.93 and then completing a swim-off for the eighth place in the final 10 minutes later Alfie then touched in 1.06.99 to take the bronze medal.
Chris Vizard (14) delivered some excellent swims across the weekends, taking two silver and four bronze.
The pick of Chris’s swims was smashing his PB in the 50 free, clocking an impressive 26.87secs which earned him a bronze.
He also took silver medals in 100 fly (1.04.86) and 200 fly (2.27.23) and bronzes in 50 fly (29.08), 50 breast (34.04), and 100 IM (1.06.46).
Luke Perry (14) delivered his first ever sub-one minute 100 freestyle in 59.56 secs while Amy Weston (15) took silver in the 200 backstroke (2.24.27) and Max Murray (11) silver in the 50 butterfly (35.58).
There were also bronze medals for Izzie Cumming (14) (400 IM, 5.48.58), Jaz Hoskins (12) (200 back, in a PB 2.41.51) and Jaz Franks (12) (50 breast, 37.81).
It was also fantastic to see some new swimmers making their debut at the County Championships, with Josh Heeks (9), Jessica English (10), Grace Styler (10) & Will Clarke (15) all acquitting themselves admirably.
The other swimmers from Pershore who battled hard over the weekends in the county championships and excelled included: Hannah Simister (16), Jaz Taite (16), Lewis Cribbin (11), Olly Smith (12), James Heeks (11), Emily Drayton (13), Bella Woodcock (14), Cait Yates (12), Leo Rendall-Baker (12), Josh Sharratt (15), Jamie West (15), Bella Barry (11), Ronan Williams (13), Olivia Howard (13), Olivia O’Sullivan (13), Tara Smith (12), Sophie Thomas (13)
During the County Championships, 14 swimmers have already managed to achieve the very tough Regional Championships qualifying times.
These swimmers are: Chris Vizard, Patrick Heeks, Hamish Cross, Luke Perry, Alfie Brown, Max Murray, Hannah Woodcock, Amy Weston, Jaz Franks, Alex Barry, Bella Barry, Emily Drayton, Jaz Hoskins and Bella Woodcock.