PERSHORE Swimming Club’s promotion chances took a massive step forward at the weekend thanks to a dominant performance in round one of the National Arena League (West Midlands Division Three) at Wolverhampton Central Baths.
Competing against Warley Wasps, Blythe Barracudas, Burntwood and Wombourne, Pershore racked up a superb 32 wins out of 50 individual and relay races to take victory in style.
Michael Evans, looking strong throughout the evening, produced a superb 2.37.77 in the men’s open 200IM to start Pershore’s charge.
Pershore then dominated in the relay events, winning the girls 10/11 4x50m freestyle (2.13.90), boys 10/11 4x50m freestyle (2.14.23), girls 13/u 4x50m medley (2.21.78), boys 13/u 4x50m medley (2.18.75), girls 15/u 4x50m freestyle (2.07.78), boys 15/u 4x50m freestyle (2.00.15) and ladies’ open 4x50m medley (2.23.85).
Megan Annis claimed Pershore’s first individual victory of the evening with a win in the 10/11-year 50m backstroke in 36.02 and Patrick Heeks also won the boys’ event in 38.04.
Isabella Woodcock produced a 1.26.42 in the 13/u 100m breaststroke to take maximum points and Simon Sweatman, only 12, won the 15/u 100m backstroke in 1.09.87 – a time which puts him in the top five UK end of year rankings.
Charlotte Downey looked strong in the 10/11-year 50m fly, winning by a clear margin in 38.18, while Heeks made it two wins from two by also taking victory in the boys’ race in 38.36.
Will Gearey managed second in the 13/u 100m breaststroke in a new PB of 1.24.41 and Ella Spencer grabbed second, just losing on the touch, in the 15/u 100m backstroke in 1.19.67.
Helen Annis produced a strong display for silver in the ladies’ open 100m fly in 1.19.60 and Angus Jones claimed third in the men’s open event in 1.13.50.
After 18 events, Pershore had stormed into the lead on 75 points, with Wombourne in second place on 63 and Burntwood on 55.
Naomi Marsden produced a massive PB in the 13/u 100m backstroke to take the win in 1.13.59 and Sweatman made it another victory in the boys’ backstroke event in 1.11.19.
Amy Cooper, making her competitive debut for Pershore and swimming up an age group, claimed an excellent silver in the 15/u 100m fly in 1.21.98 and Josh Sharratt, also swimming up, claimed third in the boys’ event in 1.28.16.
Alex Dobell produced a 1.18.89 in the ladies’ open 100m backstroke to take second place, while Jones managed another third place in the men’s event in 1.13.21.
Hannah Woodcock got Pershore back to winning ways with an easy victory in the 10/11 50m breaststroke in 43.02 and Gearey also managed to win the boys’ event in 39.55.
Cooper claimed maximum points in the 13/u 100m fly by going faster than her earlier time with a 1.20.39 and Chris Vizard also won easily in the boys’ event in 1.17.95.
After 26 events, Pershore had extended their lead over Wombourne to 31 points and were looking strong.
Hope Rochelle was unlucky not to take first place in the 15/u 100m freestyle, losing out on the touch in 1.10.64, whilst Evans produced another excellent swim, this time grabbing maximum points for Pershore in the 15/u 100m freestyle in 1.02.10.
Alice Hall produced 1.29.12 to take gold in the ladies’ open 100m breaststroke, while Ben Clarke produced a fantastic 1.34.43 in the men’s open event.
Megan Annis made sure of a second win in the 10/11 50m freestyle, clocking 31.40, and Gearey also won the boys’ event in 29.77.
Marsden notched up another win in the 13/u 100m freestyle in 1.09.05, Sweatman produced another PB to win the boys’ event in 1.02.33 and Isabella Woodcock made it an individual double in the 100m breaststroke by winning the 15/u event in 1.28.10.
Evans and Hall then both grabbed third places in the 15/u 100m breastroke (1.27.97) and the ladies’ open 100m freestyle in 1.10.34.
With just the relays left, Pershore found themselves in a commanding position and unlikely to lose the lead, and six victories out of eight from the relay events ensured Pershore extended their lead with wins for the girls 10/11 4x50m medley (2.33.41), boys’ 10/11 4x50m medley (2.37.58), girls’ 13/u 4x50m freestyle (2.11.10), boys’ 13/u 4x50m freestyle (2.02.00), girls’ 15/u 4x50m medley (2.28.65) and ladies’ open 6x50m freestyle (3.10.77).
Other swimmers who put in good performances for Pershore in the relays included Alexandra Barry, Ronan Williams, Luke Perry, Hannah Simister, Kieran Cooper and Marie Porter.
The final points were Pershore 212, Wombourne 169, Burntwood 141, Blythe 103 and Warley 100.
Commenting on the win, Pershore’s head coach Tom Naughton said: “What a fantastic team performance. This victory will certainly help our promotion cause!”