VALE swimmers Will Gearey and Sophie Pettit – both pupils at St Egwin’s CE Middle School in Evesham – were in excellent form in the long distance events at the Worcestershire County Championships in Redditch at the weekend.
Gearey, 13, defended the 1,500m title he won in 2015 to claim gold in the boys’ 13-year age group category, although his time was some way off his personal best.
Gearey, who joined Worcester Swimming Club from Pershore SC in October last year, took first place in 18.51.01 for the gold medal after producing a steady pace throughout the race, eventually winning by eight seconds from his rival from Stourbridge who put in a late surge.
In the girls’ 12-year-old 800m event, Pettit produced a massive 30-second personal best to finish in 11.32.55 and was unlucky not to get among the medals as she finished fourth.
Both Gearey and 12-year-old Pettit are part of Worcester’s 75-strong swimming squad which will be competing in the full range of shorter distance and sprint events in the County Championships at Wolverhampton Central Baths held over the next two weekends.
Gearey enjoyed an excellent 2015 as he won multiple medals at county and regional levels and also reached the new Summer Nationals in Sheffield.
He is currently ranked in the top ten in the UK across all strokes within his age group, with the number one ranking in both the 50m butterfly and 200m individual medley at short course and also 50m fly long course.
He will be contesting all 17 events at the County Championships and aiming to reach this year’s British Championships in August.
Breaststroke specialist Pettit is currently ranked sixth in the West Midlands region in the 50m breaststroke and also in the top five in the county for both 100m and 200m breaststroke.