PERSHORE Swimming Club pair Hannah Woodcock and Simon Sweatman produced outstanding efforts to book their places at the Swim England National Summer Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
At the end of a long, hard season most swimmers are resting for a few weeks before the season kicks back into gear again, but not so for Woodcock, Sweatman and Co.
The duo and several of their Pershore team-mates were bidding to book their places at the prestigious August 2-6 event in the Steel City.
The National Summer Meet is Swim England’s biggest domestic swimming event of the year. The Summer Meet forms part of a swimming competition structure in Great Britain whereby the top ranked swimmers in each event are invited to compete at the British Swimming Summer Championships.
The next ranked swimmers at English affiliated clubs – or those who have chosen to be ranked as an English swimmer – are invited to compete at the English Nationals.
The rankings are on swimmers’ performances at level one meets between a qualification window, typically between March and May of the same calendar year.
Pershore SC continues to go from strength to strength and there was a real chance for four or five swimmers to make the grade. In the end, Woodcock and Sweatman achieved their mission and it is thoroughly well deserved after delivering some fantastic swims.
It was agonisingly close for Patrick Heeks (13) and Alex Barry (13), but it is a brutal selection and they will have to redouble their efforts for the 2017/18 season.
Woodcock (13) has been swimming better and quicker all season, particularly since moving up to the seniors group in early 2017.
She has always been a fantastic all-round swimmer and has traditionally favoured the breaststroke, in which she is technically excellent.
Woodcock came very close to qualifying for breaststroke and butterfly but secured her place at the National Finals with outstanding swims in the freestyle events, meaning she will line up in South Yorkshire in the 50m freestyle (28.75s) and 100m freestyle (1:01.89).
Sweatman (15), now schooling at Millfield in Somerset, is no stranger to the Nationals having qualified for the third year in succession.
The 2016/17 season was a big one for Sweatman who moved away from home to board at school and made some changes to his technique.
Traditionally a phenomenal backstroker but demonstrating you should never specialise too early, Sweatman has qualified for the Nationals in the 50m butterfly (27.70s), 100m butterfly (1:02.32) and 200m backstroke (2:19.42).
A Pershore SC spokesman said: “We wish all the swimmers, but particularly the Pershore swimmers, the very best of luck in Sheffield where they will be supported by Pershore head coach Tom Naughton.”