VALE swimming prospect Will Gearey competed against a top class field in the Wycombe Long Course Premier Level 1 Meet which included several Great Britain athletes including Abbie Wood, Molly Renshaw and Roberto Pavoni.
This was the first competitive level one meet held in Wycombe’s new 50m pool and attracted some of the best swimmers from all over England, Wales and Scotland, including top clubs such as Loughborough University, Millfield School and Guildford who sent large squads.
On the opening weekend of the new eight-week qualifying window, 13-year-old Gearey, who competes for Worcester Swimming Club, was looking to lay down his first set of times to qualify for the British Championships in Sheffield later this year.
Under the new format, the top 24 swimmers in each age group are invited to compete at the British Age Group Championships and then the next 24 ranked swimmers invited to the Summer Nations Championships, which sees England, Scotland and Wales each hold their own nations event.
Although medals proved elusive for most of the Worcester swimmers, St Egwin’s Middle School’s Gearey produced several strong performances across the weekend and numerous long course personal bests as he returned with a superb silver medal in the boys’ 13-year 50m fly.
Gearey had one of the busiest programmes within the Worcester team, tackling ten events across the Saturday and Sunday.
His best performances came in the 50m fly, 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle. In the 50m fly, Gearey produced a powerful display of sprinting, flying off the blocks and clocking 28.89 to snatch a silver medal.
His 50m fly time currently puts him in third place in the 13/14-year age group British rankings for the qualifying window.
In the 50m freestyle he produced another excellent swim with a new personal time of 27.47 to put him 13th in the British rankings.
He then pushed hard to break the long course one-minute barrier in the 100m freestyle, touching the wall in 59.91, which puts him 16th in the British rankings.
Gearey’s next qualifying event will be in Bristol in April, when he will hope to improve on his current times and rise up the rankings. He will then compete in the new West Midlands Swimming Championships in Coventry in May.