Swimming
Gearey, Marsden and Woodcock shine at gala

By Liam Moakes Tuesday 06 November 2012 Updated: 07/11 10:05

AT THE annual Worcester Swimming Club Open Meet, now in its 16th year, 20 members of Pershore Swimming Club competed and achieved 14 podium places, over 30 personal bests and 23 County Qualifying Times.

Top club swimmers at the event were William Gearey (9), Naomi Marsden (10) and Isabella Woodcock (10), who each notched up two first places against strong opposition.

Gearey, still only aged 9 but having to compete throughout in the combined 9&10 category, had his first taste of swimming in a final in the 50m fly.

Qualifying in 2nd place with a new PB (40.15), he smashed his newly-set PB again to spectacularly take victory in the final in a time of 38.80, resulting in him rising to 4th in the UK end of year rankings (EYR).

His second victory over the weekend came in the boys 9-10-year-old 50m freestyle. Qualifying in first place in a new PB of 33.78, Gearey flew out of the blocks in the final, powering down the first 25m and extended his lead on the turn to take first place in an excellent 33.18, putting him up to 3rd in the UK EYRs out of nearly 1,000 competing in his 9-year-old age group.

He also achieved 2nd placings in the boys 9-10-year-old 200IM in 3.13.69 (CQT), the 50m backstroke in 40.81 (CQT) and 200m freestyle in 2.43.05 (CQT & 5th in UK EYR) as well as 3rd place in the 200m backstroke in 3.07.47 (CQT).

Naomi Marsden (10) produced a series of excellent performances, again showing she is a force to be reckoned with in the backstroke.

Marsden took her first gold in the girls 9-10-year-old 100m backstroke in a new PB and CQT of 1.26.65, putting her third in the current County rankings in her age group.

She then took her second gold in the girls 9-10 year old 50m backstroke. She qualified in first place in the heats in a new PB of 39.98 and in the final led the other swimmers from the front, powering to victory in a new PB of 39.05 and rising to the top of the County rankings for the event.

Marsden nearly made it a hat-trick of victories in the backstroke, narrowly missing out on first place in the 200m backstroke, taking second in a time of 3.06.33 (CQT).

In her final event of the weekend, she produced a stunning performance in the girls 9-10-year-old 50m freestyle, taking a magnificent 2nd place in the final in a time of 35.43 (CQT).

Isabella Woodcock (10) again showed her class in the breaststroke, winning two first places and like Marsden also narrowly missing out on a hat-trick.

First up for Woodcock was the girls 9-10-year-old 100m breaststroke in which she recorded an excellent time of 1.36.04 and a new PB and CQT. She now tops the County age group rankings after this performance.

Woodcock's second victory came in the girls 9-10-year-old 50m breaststroke. In the heats she showed her class with a time of 44.45 to qualify for the final in first place, only to go even better in the final in taking the lead from the start and finishing in 1st place in 43.72 seconds to rise to top of the County rankings and in fact 18th out of 2,700 girls competing in her 10-year age group in the whole of the UK EYR.

The 200m breaststroke title just eluded Woodcock, who was just beaten into third place by strong opposition from Redditch and Halesowen in a time of 3.34.27 (CQT).

Owen Leeks (12) finished off the day for Pershore in style, notching up an excellent third place in the boys 11-12-year-old freestyle.

Qualifying for the final in fourth place in a time of 32.19, Leeks stepped up his game in the final to take bronze in an excellent time of 31.35, which was a new PB and also another CQT for the club.

Simon Sweatman (10) finished second in the boys 9-10-year-old 400m freestyle in a time of 5.20.61, just beaten by three seconds by his Halesowen rival Ben Meakin.

Other notable performances for the club came from some of the young swimmers coming through the ranks and competing in their first Open competitions.

Megan Annis (9) had a couple of excellent swims during the weekend, securing a CQT in the 50m breaststroke (52.35) and 50m freestyle (39.69), ensuring her place at the County Championships in at least two events next year.

Patrick Heeks (9), one of the youngest swimmers at the meet, also produced a couple of excellent performances, posting a time of 40.67 in the boys 50m freestyle and his first County Qualifying Time and just missing out on his 50m backstroke CQT in recording a new PB of 47.87.

Other swimmers recording CQTs over the weekend included Charlotte Downey (9) in the 50m breaststroke (52.72), Chris Vizard (10) in the 200m backstroke (3.09.70), Josh Sharratt (11) in the 200m backstroke (3.06.14), Isobel Cumming (10) in the 200m backstroke (3.19.08), Elizabeth Vizard (13) in the 50m breaststroke (40.24) and Sam Doyle (9) in the 200m freestyle (3.25.04).

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