By Liam Moakes 03/07 Updated: 03/07 15:14
PERSHORE Swimming Club and Abbey Park Middle School aces Tazmin Pugh and Simon Sweatman did their county proud when invited to represent Hereford and Worcestershire in the annual three-way Inter-County match with Staffordshire and Gloucestershire at Redditch's new stadium complex last weekend.
This was ten-year-old Sweatman's first action in his county colours, whilst 12-year-old Pugh has represented her county for the last three years running since she was eligible at ten.
Pugh was in action almost immediately in the 12-year 100m backstroke and comfortably came first with a new personal best of 1:07.46 to climb to second in the UK short course end of year rankings, being the 14th best of all time for her age group from the five million on the database with still another six months to go before she is 13.
Pugh's second individual event was in the 100m fly and she once again won comfortably with another PB of 1:07.72, also taking the honours from the next age group up at the same time and putting her up to first in the UK and 19th best of all time.
Pugh helped her team win the 4x50m freestyle and medley events, together with the 6x50m cannon comprising two girls of each of the 12, 14 and 16+ age groups, achieving some great split times.
Pugh will be swimming both these events together with the 100m freestyle and 200m backstroke in the National Age Group Championships next weekend and these County-winning performances bode well for making the finals there in Sheffield, although she knows she would still need to chop another few seconds off her times for a medal placing.
Pugh was also in action in the South Worcestershire district athletics event, winning the 800m track title and sharing first place in the high jump.
Even though she is a year 7 pupil, because her 800m time was quicker than the year 8s she was duly invited to represent the district in the Minor Counties Athletic Championships at Hereford, where she went on to take gold in a new personal best time of 2.39.03 against year 8 pupils from Hereford, Wyre Forest, Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Leominster districts.
Sweatman was also in action in his county's swimming match early on, setting off in fine style for the 6x50m freestyle cannon comprising two boys of each of the 10, 12 and 14+ age groups. He handed over a good lead in recording 31.75 to the second swimmer and the team went on to win easily.
In the boys 50m fly Sweatman came home in first place with 34.59 to put him up to second in the UK. Sweatman followed this up with an even better and impressive 50m freestyle swim, comfortably winning in a time of 31.86 and at the same time beating the next age group up who were in the water at the same time, swimming concurrently in the other three lanes.
Sweatman went on to help his team win the 4x50m freestyle race and 4x50m medley.
First place went to Hereford and Worcestershire with 348 points, followed by Staffordshire on 294 and Gloucestershire on 280, making it two years in a row that Worcestershire have taken the title after a losing streak of ten years was broken last year.
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