STRAIGHT from the highly successful Boldmere Open, Pershore Swimming club took an impressive squad of 45 to the Worcester Open, which made them the biggest visiting club numerically by far and represented nearly 40 per cent of the entire Pershore membership.
The Worcester Open was always likely to be a very tough affair as the Pershore swimmers came up against strong contingents from Ellesmere College, Royal Wolverhampton School, Boldmere and hosts Worcester.
However, Pershore once again exceeded expectation in winning 71 medals across the weekend including 22 gold, 26 silver and 23 bronze, which was an impressive performance against some of the largest swimming clubs in the West Midlands.
Many Pershore swimmers achieved county times well ahead of the closing date and this bodes well for a record qualification for the Worcestershire County Championships at the end of January.
Whilst many swimmers performed strongly, there were some outstanding individual performances, including that of Lauren Annis (10) who was the star of the meet for PSC.
She narrowly missed out on the top girl award for the meet after taking seven golds (200m IM, 200m backstroke, 50m backstroke, 200m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle), three silvers (200m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke) and clocking some impressive new PBs.
Other fantastic swimming came from Hannah Woodcock (11) who delivered some strong swims which were rewarded with 11 medals.
These came in the shape of three golds (100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 50m backstroke) and eight silvers (200m IM, 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 50m fly, 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 100m fly and 50m freestyle.
The 12-year-olds were not to be outdone as Alex Barry and Megan Annis went up against some of the best 12-year-olds in the region. Both Pershore members swam strongly as Megan took one gold (200m backstroke), five silver and four bronze medals and Alex won five silver and five bronze medals.
Trying hard to stay on her big sister’s toes, Gabriella Barry (10) took the gold in the 50m fly and bronze in the 50m backstroke and swam some other strong PBs over the weekend.
Isobel Cumming (13) won bronze in the 100m fly and it was noteworthy she swam in every race over the weekend (15 races) and produced a PB in each, which is a fantastic achievement.
The ‘tough lady’ award must go to Emily Burton who took bronze in the 15/16-year age group 400m IM and swam many other races throughout the weekend, whilst battling through the pain of a fractured elbow. This was her own decision and her courage and determination was impressive to watch.
Other female medal winners over the weekend included Naomi Marsden (13) 50m fly and 200m backstroke silver, 100m backstroke bronze; Amy Cooper (14) 100m fly silver, 200m backstroke bronze; Macey French (11) 50m fly bronze; Jasmine Taite (14) 50m backstroke bronze; Isabella Woodcock (13) 50m backstroke bronze; Charlotte Downey (12) 200m fly bronze; Hannah Simister (13) 200m breaststroke bronze.
Other girls who competed well and delivered many PBs and County Qualifying times included: Jasmine Franks (11), Sophie Thomas (11), Holly Styler (11), Ella Webley (10), Olivia Howard (12), Martha Davey (9), Grace Styler (9), Tamara Marsden (10), Annie Garratt (10), Elana Christodoulou (11), Katie Christodoulou (9), Jessica English (9), and Grace Styler (9).
The boys were led out by David Annis (9) who secured eight golds (400m freestyle, 200m IM, 200m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 50m fly, 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle) and one silver (50m breaststroke).
This was another outstanding performance from David, who just seems to be getting faster and faster.
Also in the medals for the boys was Patrick Heeks (12) who won gold in the 100m and 200m fly and bronze in the 100m freestyle.
Luke Perry (13) was also in good form across the weekend as he swam against some tough opposition. Perry took silver in the 100m fly which was a great swim and well deserved after working hard all weekend.
George Howard, in his second competitive gala, had reason to be cheerful after taking the bronze medal in the 50m backstroke thanks to a great display and Jamie West (14) also came through to take an excellent bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke.
Last and most certainly not least came Ceris Styler who stepped up to take on the coaches’ fancy dress race (50m freestyle).
Despite the fancy dress this was a competitive race not for the faint-hearted as Ceris decided not to take on the tumble turn for fear of being trapped in her witch’s outfit!
Pershore head coach Tom Naughton was horrified, however, to see her being beaten by Worcester head coach Mark Stowe dressed as a pumpkin!