12:45pm Wednesday 5th February 2014
FOUR Pershore youngsters represented Worcestershire in the 11 and under age group at the Inter-County Invitation Gala in Stoke.
Against five other counties, who included several national and district swimmers, Simon Sweatman was second in the boys' 50-metre freestyle in 29.76 seconds.
Sweatman was just beaten into fourth in the 50m butterfly in 33.19, which was a personal best.
William Gearey was second in the 50m backstroke in 35.48 (pb) and third in the 50m breaststroke in 41.83 (pb).
Isabella Woodcock claimed fourth in the girls' 50m breaststroke in 41.12 and swam a strong breaststroke leg in the 4x50m medley.
Sweatman and Gearey were joined by Pershore club-mate Chris Vizard, who produced a new pb in the boys' 4x50m medley relay with a breaststroke leg of 41.55 to help Worcester county to fourth.
Sweatman and Gearey also swam the first two legs in the 8x50m cannon relay with Worcestershire just beaten into third.
Pershore head coach Tom Naughton said: "It’s a real achievement for a small club like Pershore to get four swimmers called up to compete for Worcester county.
"The standard of competition was extremely high and all the swimmers performed exceptionally well."
Pershore handed competitive debuts to several youngsters at the John Neale Trophy Gala in Redditch with the team grabbing plenty of podiums and 25 pbs.
The final score saw Kingsbury win the trophy with 216 points, ahead of Redditch (185), Orion (169), Pershore (156), Bromsgrove (119) and Blythe (115).
Sam Brearley secured Pershore’s first points with fourth in the boys' 10 and under 50m freestyle and Georgia Winkley was second in the girls' nine years 25m breaststroke,
Robert Thorner was fourth in the boys' 25m breaststroke.
Pershore grabbed maximum points with wins in the girls' and boys' 11 and under 4x25m medley relays through Olivia Howard, Rebecca Phillips, Holly Winkley and Alexandra Barry and Ronan Williams, Hamish Cross, Patrick Heeks and Owen Kirby.
Howard was third in the girls' 12 and under 50m backstroke as was Sophie Thomas in the 10 and under 50m breaststroke and backstroke.
Cameron Leach won the boys' 10 and under 50m breaststroke and was second in the 25m butterfly, while sister Helena was fourth in the girls' 12 and under 50m butterfly.
The 11 and under girl and boy relays teams were both second in the 4 x 25m freestyle through Imogen Harper, Barry, Howard and Winkley and Kirby, Cross, Williams and Heeks.
Barry finished second in the girls' 11 and under 50m backstroke and the fast-improving Williams won the boys' 11 and under equivalent.
The girls' nine years 4x25m freestyle team of Holly Styler, Thomas, Holly Wylde and Eleanor Christodoulou were second, while the boys, comprising Oliver Wycher, Oliver Smith, Brearley and Leach, were edged into fourth.
Holly Winkley came third in the girls' 11 and under 50m butterfly with younger sister Georgia fourth in the nine years 25m butterfly and Thorner fourth in the boys' nine years 25m butterfly.
William Clarke won the boys' 12 and under 50m freestyle and then teamed up with James Thomas, Josh Sharratt and Chris Vizard to claim the same age group's 4x25m freestyle relay.
Lewis Cribbins was second in the boys' nine years 25m freestyle as was Amy Cross in the girls' equivalent.
Hamish Cross claimed third in the boys' 11 and under 50m breaststroke and Rebecca Phillips went one better with silver for the girls.
James Heeks claimed silver in the boys' nine years 25m backstroke and Holly Wylde was fifth in the girls' 10 and under 25m butterfly.
There were also good performances from Jasmine Hoskins, Gabriella Barry and Nera Orthick.
Naughton said: "We were unlucky not to have finished second, especially as several of our swimmers picked up speeding tickets for being too fast. It was another determined performance from a young team.”
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