HEAD coach Chris Britt heaped praise on Redditch Swimming Club members who produced a string of highly impressive performances to help the team to second place at the annual Worcester County Swimming Championships.
Once again Redditch exceeded the medal achievements of clubs from across Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and the Black Country as they were bettered only by the much larger Worcester Swimming Club in the 14-team contest.
Redditch won 77 medals – 31 gold, 28 silver and 18 bronze medals.
Some 42 Redditch swimmers competed over three weekends, mainly at the Central Baths in Wolverhampton, although the girls’ 800m and boys’ 1,500m event were held at Perdiswell in Worcester.
Town swimmers won 31 gold medals across the five-day competition, which also sees competitors aim to achieve or improve qualifying times for this year’s West Midland Regional Championships.
Excluding finals, for which there were many Redditch qualifiers, their swimmers competed in 225 races and secured 170 personal bests at a rate of 76 per cent.
Britt said: “I would like to congratulate every swimmer who swam at the championships in Wolverhampton, including several who were making their first appearance at Counties, on their brilliant performances.
“You all swam well, represented your club superbly and contributed to this great team result. We are very proud of every one of you!”
Redditch medal winners, spread across each of the six age groups, were Anna Farr (14 medals), Amelia Wise (ten), Emily Farr (seven), Evie Floate (seven), Millie Checkley (six), Aurelio Lencioni (six), Amelia Rodd (six), George Hastings (four), Riley Perry (four), Ashleigh Green (three), Natalie Hatfield (two), Lizzie Kingham (two) and one apiece for Brendan Colley, Georgia Fisher, Megan Grainger, Kiera Phillips, Josie Ross, Alisha Stephenson and Paul Wilkes.
Winners of the 31 Redditch gold medals were Anna Farr (ten), Lencioni (six), Checkley (six), Rodd (four), Kingham (two) and Emily Farr, Stephenson and Wilkes with one each.
Redditch also won an amazing 18 trophies, awarded to junior (U16) and senior/open champions. Open age county champions were Checkley (800m freestyle, 400m individual medley and 200m breaststroke), Rodd (100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 100m fly), Kingham (50m and 100m breaststroke), Stephenson (200m fly) and Wilkes (200m fly).
The Junior Championship trophy winners were Checkley (400M freestyle, 800m freestyle, 400m individual medley, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 200m fly) and Emily Farr (50m breaststroke).
Numerous Redditch swimmers achieved qualifying times for the West Midland event, including first-time qualifiers Rosie Ward, Hastings, Anna Farr, Hannah Willis and Green.
Others to guarantee a return visit to Coventry for the Regional Championships included Colley, Rodd, Lencioni, Hollie Richmond, Floate, Emily Farr, Checkley, Wilkes, Fisher, Grainger, Kingham and Stephenson.
Several others, including Wise, Dan Holmes, Ross, Jamie Chance and Lucy Hatfield, achieved new personal bests which put them within a whisker of a qualifying time which they will hopefully achieve at an open meet in the next couple of months.
Other swimmers in the squad, most of whom improved on their entry times for the County Championships, are Aidan Dawe, Benedict Jones, Charlie Davidson, Elliott Wall, James Mucklow, Jamie Wright, Kieran Cann, Robert Riley, Michael Greenfield, Ella Loftus, Hannah Osborne, Lauren Hartland, Louisa Baldwin, Maddison Allard, Niamh Gibbs, Rosie Grainger and Talia Mitchell.
Redditch Swimming Club is a competitive club based at Abbey Stadium. If any swimmer would like to trial to join the team, they can email Chris Britt at firstname.lastname@example.org. The club is particularly looking for year four pupils.