THE ANNUAL Worcester County Swimming Championships – held over three weekends at pools in Worcester and Wolverhampton – were, once again, a huge success for Redditch Swimming Club.
A magnificent final day brought an additional 14 age group gold medals – three more than overall winners Worcester – and seven trophies which moved Redditch up into second place in the final 14-team medals table.
Redditch swimmers claimed 87 age group medals – ten more than last year – and also won four open and five junior (15/under) championship trophies.
The open championship winners were Paul Wilkes (200m butterfly), Millie Checkley (200m butterfly), Lizzie Kingham (100m breaststroke) and Emily Farr (50m breaststroke).
Checkley (200m butterfly) and Farr (50m and 100m breaststroke) also won junior titles and Aurelio Lencioni was junior champion in both the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
Wilkes’ victory in the 200m butterfly was his ninth consecutive win in this event and his 12th success overall since his first victory around 15 years ago.
Riley Perry, with 13 medals, had the highest medal total, with Anna Farr close behind (12). Next came Ashleigh Green (ten), Lencioni (nine), Amelia Wise (eight) and Orla Power (six).
The club’s 35 gold medals were shared among 12 swimmers across the seven age groups. The winner of the most golds with eight was Lencioni, just ahead of Anna Farr, who won seven.
Redditch’s other multiple gold medal winners were Green (five), Perry (four), Emily Farr (two), Kingham (two) and Power (two). Evie Rendell, Hannah Willis, Issy Griffiths, Checkley and Wilkes also each won one gold.
Apart from these 12 gold medal winners, there were seven other swimmers who collected silver and bronze medals in the shape of Amelia Wise, Dan Holmes, Elliot Wall, George Hastings, Lauren Hartland, Rosie Ward and Stefan Troye.
As well as recording a huge number of personal bests – a large percentage of all swims – 18 Redditch swimmers achieved 73 qualifying times for the West Midland Regional Championships which will be contested in Coventry in early May.
Head coach Chris Britt said: “My congratulations on their magnificent success to the 50 or so Redditch swimmers who competed at this year’s Counties.
“This is a brilliant effort that has hopefully made everyone associated with Redditch SC very proud of them!
“Now we get back to the hard work again as swimmers continue their preparations for the Regional and National Championships.”