EVESHAM Swimming Club qualified for the PGL finals with an impressive performance in round four on Saturday as they finished second behind Cheltenham and ahead of Droitwich Dolphins and Warley Wasps.
The Vale swimmers recorded 16 first places, 11 second places and 15 personal bests – two of which were County Qualifying Times.
The team amassed nine speeding tickets on the night and, whilst speeding tickets do not score points, it just shows how the club are improving with more and more swimmers over-achieving in their age groups.
The nine-year-olds got off to a great start in the 25m backstroke with Faye Castle winning her race in 24.60 and Simeon Todorov recording a new PB of 22.71. In the 25m freestyle Daniel Chalk came second with a new PB of 20.01 and Zara McKenna was a close third with 21.27.
Sam Parker recorded 22.17 in the 25m fly to come second, whilst Daniel Goodall set a new PB in the 25m breaststroke (27.97) to earn third place.
In the mixed freestyle relay Tristan Evans-Cook, Isabelle Hornblow, Faye Castle and Simeon Todorov produced a fine team performance to finish second. Faye and Simeon were replaced by Amber Cape and Daniel Goodall in the medley relay race in which they finished just behind the other teams in fourth.
The ten-year-olds were the team’s highest over-achievers as Kieran Copper, Sophie Pettit and Harry Robinson recorded five speeding tickets between them. Rachel Egan brought in the points with a first in the 25m fly with 20.14, followed by Holly Langston winning the 25m freestyle in a time of 17.93. Elysia Henly came second in the 25m backstroke with a time of 22.30.
The girls and boys medley relay teams both finished third, however it was a different story for the girls in the freestyle relay as a team of Holly Langston, Reka Varvedo Beaton, Rachel Egan and Sophie Pettit finished in 1:12:43 to earn a well deserved first place.
The boys freestyle team of Sam Parker, Harry Robinson, Daniel Goodall and Kieran Cooper finished in 1:19:34, placing them third.
In the 11-year-old category there were four new PBs. First up was Georgie Banton winning the 25m backstroke in a time of 19.63, whilst Kieran Cooper – swimming up an age group – then recorded a time of 19.30 in the 25m fly to take first place.
Eden Rees recorded 17.82 to earn herself second place in the 25m freestyle whilst Tom Simms smashed his PB to come home in 17.71 seconds.
There were two further first placed finishes for the 11-year-olds with James Carsberg taking the honours in the 25m breaststroke (22.21) and Joseph Childs in the 25m backstroke (28.29).
Heather Castle came third in a close fought 25m breaststroke with a time of 22.54. The boys medley team of Toms Sims, James Carsberg, Toby Vale and Jonathan Tarring finished second, whilst the girls team of Heather Castle, Rosie Denning, Eden Rees and Georgie Banton won their race in a time of 1:19:01.
The girls then went on make it two out of two relay wins in the freestyle relay with a time of 1:07:48. Joseph replaced Toby in the boys freestyle relay team in which they finished third in a time of 1:14:51.
Benjamin McKenna got the 12-year-old category off to a flying start with a win in the 50m backstroke (19.70), immediately followed by Brodie Mabbett taking second in the girls race with a time of 43.44. Toby Vale and Emily-May Sandallls both won the 50m freestyle in emphatic style with times of 35.46 and 37.99 respectively.
Emily West recorded a new PB in the 50m fly with a time of 45.97. Rebecca Brown swam the anchor leg in both the freestyle and medley girls relays in spectacular fashion to earn the teams third in both races. The boys also finished a creditable third in the medley relay despite two of the 11-year-olds having to swim up from the ten-year-old age group.
The 13/14 category saw Martha Bailey set a new PB in the 50m fly to set a County Qualifying Time of 34.59 – too fast for PGL but a great personal achievement. Luke Funnell also set a new PB (44.80) in the same event.
Annie Green had a fantastic swim in the 50m freestyle with a new PB of 34.33, whilst Oliver Denning finished second in a time of 35.26 in the boys 50m freestyle. He then went on to win the 50m breaststroke with a time of 47.55.
Eleanor Tarring completed the 50m breaststroke in a time of 47.49 to finish second. Another PB was set when Eleanor Hamby won the 50m backstroke in 38.72 whilst Benjamin McKenna – swimming up an age group – finished a fantastic second in the same event in a time of 40.01.
The boys relay teams came home in fourth in both the freestyle and medley relays. With some swimmers having to swim up an age group, the performances of both teams against tough opposition was very promising.
The girls medley team of Annie Green, Eleanor Hamby, Amy Cooper and Charlie Annis were just edged into fourth, whilst the freestyle relay team took second as Eleanor Tarring replaced Amy.
The evening finished with the 10x25m boys and girls cannons. With two swimmers from each age group competing, the boys finished a creditable third, whilst the girls took first spot as some fantastic individual performances rounded off the night in style.
With the PGL finals to look forward to in June, you can be sure the Evesham swimmers will be training hard over the coming weeks.