PERSHORE Swimming Club took a young squad to the weekend’s Nuneaton & Bedworth Open Meet and they claimed a brilliant 45 podium finishes including 16 gold medals, writes Tim Gearey.
Up and coming PSC star David Annis won two medals in the boys’ nine/ten-year-old age group. Annis, still only nine, claimed a superb gold in the 200m backstroke in 3.02.47 and registered yet another County Qualifying Time (CQT).
He then added a silver medal in the 200m IM with a massive personal best time of 3.05.83 to show his overall strength across all strokes.
Will Gearey dominated the boys’ 11/12 age group as he won a phenomenal seven golds in seven events. Gearey, 12, produced personal bests in six events, claiming gold medals in the 200m backstroke (2.28.02), 200m breaststroke (2.47.09), 100m backstroke (1.07.59), 400m IM (5.15.74), 400m freestyle (4.38.75), 100m breaststroke (1.18.53) and 200m fly (2.47.77).
Several of these times sees Gearey rise into the top three in the UK rankings for short course.
Patrick Heeks, 12, pushed Gearey hard in the 11/12 age group, winning five medals including two golds. Heeks produced massive personal bests to claim gold medals in both the 100m fly (1.11.93) and 200m freestyle (2.22.73), moving closer to achieving Midland Qualifying Times (MQT).
He then snatched silver medals behind Gearey to make it a one-two for Pershore in the 200m backstroke (2.33.50), 100m backstroke (1.13.99) and 400m IM (5.39.04).
Simon Sweatman (13) was in excellent form too, producing a fine series of swims in the 13/14 age group. Sweatman recorded massive PBs in the 100m fly (1.06.02) and 100m backstroke (1.04.57) to take gold medals in dominant fashion and both times moved him up the UK rankings and into the top ten.
Sweatman then added silver medals in the 200m backstroke with another superb performance, clocking 2.18.31 and 2.08.26 in the 200m freestyle.
Chris Vizard, 13, produced a gutsy performance in the 200m fly, clocking 2.39.42 to take the gold medal in the 13/14 age group. He also claimed silver medals in the 200m breaststroke with a new PB time of 2.57.54 and 5.30.02 in the 400m IM.
Lauren Annis, ten, looked strong in several of the girls’ nine/ten-year-old events as she won four medals and just missed out on a couple of golds.
Annis claimed three silver medals with good performances in the 100m breaststroke (1.41.51), 200m backstroke (2.58.64) and 100m backstroke (1.23.04) – all new CQTs – whilst she added a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle with 2.48.75.
Amelia Gearey, ten, produced a 30-second personal best to win silver in the girls’ nine/ten 200m breaststroke (3.31.71) and also achieved her second CQT.
Megan Annis, 12, won eight medals across the weekend in the 11/12 age group, producing numerous PBs and also getting closer to 2016 MQTs. Victories came in the 100m breaststroke (1.27.11) and 200m breaststroke (3.07.94), although she pushed hard by team-mate Alexandra Barry.
Annis also won silver medals in the 100m backstroke (1.14.47), 100m freestyle (1.05.44), 100m fly (1.16.26) and 200m backstroke (2.37.33), plus bronze medals in the 200m IM (2.41.29) and 200m freestyle (2.27.83).
Barry, 12, battled all weekend with Megan Annis, running her close in several events in the 11/12 age group. Barry’s best performance came in the 400m IM with a superb victory in 5.44.56.
Despite producing several PBs, Barry had to settle for silver medals in the 100m breaststroke (1.31.01), 200m IM (2.41.29), 200m breaststroke (3.10.85) and 200m freestyle (2.27.77) and also claimed third places in the 100m fly (1.18.83), 100m freestyle (1.05.97), 200m backstroke (2.38.58) and 100m backstroke (1.17.06).
Isobel Cumming, 13, was one of the few Pershore swimmers who tackled the gruelling 200m fly and was rewarded with a silver medal for her efforts in the 13/14 age group, clocking 3.12.12. She then added bronze in the 400m IM in 6.33.21.
Several other PSC swimmers were unlucky not to podium, with many finishing in fourth place during the weekend and smashing personal bests.
Sophie Thomas, 11, secured her first ever CQT to book her place at the Worcestershire County Championships next year and there was also a welcome return after injury for Emily Burton.
Hannah Simister, Luke Perry, Hannah and Isabella Woodcock, Jasmine Franks, Owen Kirby and Cameron and Helena Leach also swam and all performed extremely well to produce numerous personal bests.