PERSHORE Swimming Club had one of the most successful weekends in the club’s history at the eighth Boldmere Open Meet (Level Two), as they came away with the prestigious Top Club, Top Girl and Top Boy awards.
The club also won a staggering 90 medals across the weekend and produced a record number of Midland (MQT) and County Qualifying Times (CQT).
The Boldmere Open attracts top regional clubs from the Midlands, with Pershore beating the likes of City of Birmingham, Blythe Barracudas and Leamington Sharks to win the Top Club Award.
Naomi Marsden (12) scooped the Top Girl trophy, with an excellent series of strong swims, and Will Gearey (11) walked off with the Top Boy Trophy.
Marsden was in dominant form across the two days of competition, winning four gold medals, five silvers and a bronze medal, holding off the challenge of a City of Birmingham swimmer to land the individual title.
Victories came in the 12/u age category in the 100m backstroke (1.12.59), 200m backstroke (2.35.87), 200m IM (2.49.17) and 50m breaststroke (41.19) and second places arrived in the 200m freestyle (2.32.84), 100m freestyle (1.07.65), 50m backstroke (34.61), 50m fly (35.11) and 50m freestyle (30.35). She then added bronze in the 100m breaststroke (1.31.95) to complete her programme and win the trophy with 56 points.
Gearey had to hold off a challenge from team-mate Simon Sweatman to take the boys title, eventually winning by just two points. Gearey won a staggering 11 gold medals in the boys 11/u age group, with wins in the 200m IM (2.33.52), 50m fly (30.87), 200m fly (2.47.98), 50m breaststroke (38.28), 200m backstroke (2.31.33), 100m fly (1.11.13), 50m freestyle (28.55), 100m backstroke (1.11.10), 200m freestyle (2.16.65), 200m breaststroke (2.57.54) and 100m freestyle (1.01.58). He currently heads the UK rankings in seven events.
There were plenty of Pershore female swimmers on the podium during the weekend across all age groups, showing the strength in the depth at the club.
Lauren Annis (9), one of the youngest squad members and a star of the future, took gold in the 50m backstroke (42.17), silver in the 50m breaststroke (47.16) and then added three third placed finishes in the 200m breaststroke (3.54.33), 200m IM (3.28.67) and 200m backstroke (3.21.48).
Jasmine Franks managed to bag two medals in the 10-year-old age group, win strong performances in the 50m breaststroke (44.84) for silver and a bronze in the 50m freestyle (33.59).
Megan Annis (11), pushing hard to achieve MQTs for 2015, continued to improve on her times and also bagged numerous medals including six golds. Wins came for Annis in the 100m breaststroke (1.28.75), 100m backstroke (1.16.95), 50m backstroke (35.35), 50m fly (34.92), 100m fly (1.21.03) and 50m freestyle. She also won silver medals in the 200m IM (2.50.13), 50m breaststroke (41.36) and bronze in the 200m breaststroke (3.16.79).
Another chasing her first MQTs was Alexandra Barry (11) who again produced some impressive performances and massive personal bests. Barry’s best performance came in the 100m fly, where she took silver in 1.24.47, just edged out by team-mate Annis. Barry then added bronze medals in the 200m IM (2.53.55) and 50m fly (36.11).
Isobel Cumming took home three medals in the 12-year-old age group, with the strongest display coming in the gruelling 200m fly in which she clocked 3.12.56 for silver. Cumming then added third placed podium places in the 200m backstroke (2.51.72) and 100m fly (1.26.66).
There were three Pershore swimmers contesting medals in the 13-year age group. Amy Weston (13) grabbed four gold medals, winning the 100m backstroke (1.15.16), 200m fly (3.07.77), 50m backstroke (35.02) and 50m fly (34.72). She then added silver in the 100m fly (1.20.42) and 200m backstroke (2.42.87).
Amy Cooper also claimed a top podium spot in the 13-year age group, winning the 50m freestyle in 31.22. Cooper then added to her medal tally with silver in the 100m freestyle (1.06.98) and bronze in the 50m backstroke (36.95) and Hannah Simister (13) grabbed bronze in the 50m breaststroke, producing an excellent time of 41.16.
In the 14-year age group, Beth Carter managed to secure first, second and third places, with victory in the 50m breaststroke (37.97), silver in the 100m breaststroke (1.22.95) and bronze in the 200m breaststroke (3.05.46). Jasmine Taite (14) also snatched bronze in the 50m breaststroke (41.20).
It was not just the girls that were topping the podium as the Pershore boys also had a highly successful meeting. Cameron Leach battled hard in the 10-year age group all weekend, with the reward being well deserved silver in the 200m breaststroke with 4.00.88.
Patrick Heeks was another medallist in the 11-year-old age group. Heeks’ best race was undoubtedly the 100m freestyle. Qualifying in third, Heeks produced a massive PB of 1.08.63 to take silver behind Gearey and beat a promising City of Birmingham into third.
Heeks also won silver in the 100m fly (1.20.91) and 100m backstroke (1.16.77) as well as securing third places in the 200m IM (2.53.54) and 200m backstroke (2.46.40).
Simon Sweatman dominated the 12-year-old age group, picking up an amazing 11 medals, eight of which were gold. Sweatman won gold medals in the 200m IM (2.37.93), 50m fly (31.84), 200m fly (2.45.20), 200m backstroke (2.30.30), 50m freestyle (28.73), 100m backstroke (1.11.19), 200m freestyle (2.18.10) and 100m freestyle (1.01.79).
He had to settle for silver in the 100m fly (1.13.37) and third places in the 50m breaststroke (40.62) and 200m breaststroke (3.06.06). Sweatman is in the top 20 in the UK for several strokes.
Chris Vizard (12) battled hard with Sweatman all weekend, producing numerous PBs and winning five medals. Vizard grabbed second places in the 200m IM (2.42.19), 50m fly (33.46) and 50m breaststroke (40.16) as well as bronze medals in the 50m freestyle (30.11) and 100m breaststroke (1.26.55). He also edged closer towards his first MQTs.
Jack Betteridge, returning to competition for the first time in a while, was amongst the best performers in the 14-year-old age group. Betteridge produced a massive PB to take gold in the 50m breaststroke (37.83) and then added silver medals in the 50m fly (33.18) and 100m fly (1.14.87) and bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke (1.25.70), 200m IM (2.46.43) 50m freestyle (30.26) and 200m breaststroke (3.06.54). Qualifying fourth for the 100m freestyle final, he produced yet another PB to grab bronze in 1.03.91.
Angus Jones completed Pershore’s tremendous medal haul in the 15-year-plus age group with silver in the 100m backstroke (1.10.29) and bronze in the 200m backstroke (2.30.71).
Other Pershore swimmers who produced massive personal bests but were just outside the medals included Lewis Cribbin (9), Robert Thorner (10) Leo Rendall-Baker (10), Kieran Cooper (11), Owen Kirby (11), Hamish Cross (11), Ronan Williams (11), Luke Betteridge (11), Luke Perry (12), Josh Sharratt (13), Tamara Marsden (9), Gabriella Barry (9), Martha Cross (9), Caitlin Yates (10), Amelia Gearey (10), Sophie Thomas (10), Macey French (11), Charlotte Downey (11), Olivia Howard (11), Emily Drayton (11), Suzanne Capewell (11), Helena Leach (13) and Katie Sharratt (16).