Pershore swimmers strike Gold in Gloucester.


Several of Pershore swimming club members recently travelled to Gloucester to compete in their annual Spring Open Meet all trying to improve on their personal bests and for others to achieve or improve on qualifying times for either the Midland or the National Age Group Championships.


For Simon Sweatman (9) this will be the first year he is allowed to take part in the Championships (for 10 year olds up to 14) and will probably be the youngest 10 yr old taking part his birthday being on the second weekend of the meet. He was particularly trying to secure the 200m backstroke time which he did in fine style setting a great time of 2:46.24 (2nd in UK) and winning gold being a whole 17 seconds within the qualification time and being a 10 yr old he will automatically qualify for the 100m back as well.


His second came in the 200m Freestyle with a 4 second personal best of 2:34.11 (3rd in UK) well within the Midlands time and again automatically secures him a place in the 100m free. In the 50m fly Simon set a new official time of 35.75 taking gold for 9 yr old boys in style and rising to 1st in the UK. Sweatman's fourth gold medal and another Midland's qualification time came in the gruelling 400m Individual Medley (IM) comprising 100m fly, 100m back, 100m breast and 100m free with 6:29.48 (2nd in UK) over 1 minute faster than his previous best.


Sweatman's fifth and sixth gold came in the 200m breaststroke (3:45.43) and the 50m free (31.45 ) putting him back up to 2ndin the UK. After this most successful meet Sweatman now has seven Midland's Qualifying times to be competed over the first two weekends in June taking home six gold medals from the meet.


Club mate William Gearey (9) attended on the second day of competition and clocked an impressive new pb of 34.66 for the 50m free winning his heat in fine style winning the silver medal and moving up to 3rd in the UK end of year 9 yr old standings. Gearey also clocked a 30 second pb of 2.52.00 for the 200m freestyles putting him 5th in the UK, and 2ndin the Midlands.


Soon to be competing in the Olympic Pentathlon National Age Group Champs Pershore Bowbrook student Harry Sykes (14) set some fine pbs with special mention for both his 100m IM of 1:09.81 in which he secured a gold medal and also a spectacular 100m free (1:00.48) and getting to within 0.4 of a Midland time. Other good times came in the 200m IM (2:3315); 100m breast (1:17.71); 200m breast (2:52.81) and 50m free (28.18).


Though she won't be swimming all of them Tazmin Pugh (12) had already qualified in every single one of the eleven events at the Midland's Champs but was using this meet to build on the four National Championships Qualifying times she already has. Pugh started the first day with a brilliantly executed race in the 200m free improving her pb from her programme in Sheffield only a few weeks ago to 2:14.73 winning gold and getting to within an agonising 0.76 seconds of the National time rising to 4thin the UK



Winning her second gold and her heat in the 100m back (6thin UK) with 13-16 year old girls she went on to take another in the 400m IM improving on her pb by 3 seconds to 5:26.59 (11th in UK). Another gold and pb came in the 50m butterfly with 31.85 (2nd in UK) followed by another pb in the 100m breaststroke to 1:28.05.


Improving by over 5 seconds whilst winning gold in the 400m (3rd in UK) free drew her to within 1.46 secs of the National time following this by other golds and improving in the 100m IM to 1:13.22 (6thUK); the 100m free (1st UK); the 50m back (2nd in UK); 200m back (3rd in UK); to within 3 secs of the National time in the 200m IM (7th in UK); and the last event of the weekend the 50m breastroke. All in all Tazmin won eleven golds out of twelve events raced. With 8pts coming from a win down to 1pt for 8th place Pugh was announced 2ndtop girl by just 1 pt on 92pts from her 12 events out of the 185 girls competing.


Elizabeth Vizard competed in six events her best placing coming in the 50m breaststroke setting 41.49 whilst a 3 second improvement in the 400m free (5:26.09) and again in the 200m back (2:49.93) gave her the satisfaction to know all the training is paying off. Fourteen year old Pershore High pupil Ashley Gribble competed in the 50m fly (36.03), 50m free (31.86), 50m back (39.37) and 100m free (1:09.34).



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