THIRTY-EIGHT youngsters from Pershore Swimming Club entered the annual ‘Pied Piper’ Junior Aquathlon (swim/run) held at Cheltenham’s Sandford Park 50m outdoor lido and they came away with four age group titles and numerous podium finishes.
Jack Porter was first to win for Pershore as he edged past team-mate Matthew Franks in the Tristar Start (54m swim, 400m) eight-year-old age group.
Coming out of the water together, Porter and Franks headed out on the run together but the latter unfortunately lost one of his trainers and completed the 400m circuit with just one shoe!
Porter pressed on ahead with a strong run, eventually winning in a time of 2.50.00 to take the trophy, with Franks just five seconds behind on 2.55.00.
In the girls’ Tristar Start event, Pershore’s Sapphire Stankovich managed second place with a time of 3.19.00.
David Annis (9) provided the second win for Pershore with an impressive victory in the boys’ 9-10-year-old Tristar 1 (100m swim, 1,300m run) event.
Exiting the water with quite a margin on his nearest rival, Annis, who won the Tristar Start event in 2014, went from strength to strength on the run leg and extended his lead. Annis took the boys’ title with another excellent overall performance in a time of 7.25.00.
In the girls’ Tristar 1, Gabriella Barry (10) looked strong in both the swim and run, coming out of the water in second place and never looking like losing her silver medal. Barry eventually claimed second place in 7.36.00.
Will Gearey (12) made it victory number three for Pershore with a dominant performance in the boys’ 11-12 Tristar 2 (200m swim, 1,900m run) event.
Gearey, who was defending his title from 2014, exited the water with nearly a 30-second advantage over his nearest rival and then went on to extend his lead on the run. Gearey crossed the line to retain his title in 10.00.00.
Pershore’s Jamie Saunders (11) put in a very impressive effort on the run leg to snatch the silver medal by a single second. Saunders, who lay in fourth place after the swim, set about overtaking the second and third placed boys to force his way on to the podium with a time of 11.03.00.
Pershore’s final win of the day came courtesy of Megan Annis (12) in the girls’ 11-12 Tristar 2 event.
Annis clocked a swim time of around 2.55 to come out of the water in first place and never looked like relinquishing the lead. Annis extended the gap on the 1,900m run to take first place in 11.22.00.
Jasmine Franks ensured there were two PSC competitors on the podium as she finished strongly on the run to snatch third place in 11.50.00.
In the girls’ 13-14-year-old Tristar 3 event (400m swim, 2,500m run), Naomi Marsden (13) was unlucky not to take gold in her first attempt competing in a junior aquathlon as she eventually had to settle for a silver medal.
Marsden looked comfortable after the 400m swim, finding herself just behind the eventual winner, but despite a brave run just could not close the gap. Marsden’s time of 18.04.00 secured the silver medal, with her team-mate Hannah Simister (14) not far behind in 18.12.00 – again with another excellent performance on the run.
In the boys’ 15/16-year youth age group event (400m swim/3,100m run), Callum Sanderson was hoping to defend his 2014 title.
Sanderson exited the water in second place and was looking to push hard on the five-lap run but, despite a strong display, was another PSC competitor forced to settle for silver with a good time of 18.14.00.