King’s Worcester has been celebrating its best ever team swimming performance after taking home three relay trophies at the recent schools’ swimming competition held at Perdiswell Swimming Pool. King’s took five Senior School teams to the Bromsgrove School Invitational Relays where they were up against 26 schools and 78 teams competed in this annual prestigious event. Schools came from all over the country to compete, including Newcastle under Lyme, Nottingham and Bedford.
The competition was fierce, starting with the heats, followed by the A finals for the fastest swimmers and B finals for the second fastest swimmers. For the first time ever, King’s Worcester was placed in the top eight making the A finals in all events.
The U15 girls (Jessica Day, Eve Hind, Amelia Venables, Catherine Rendall-Baker & Gabriella Barry) performed very well in both of their relays placing 5th in the medley and 7th in the freestyle. With only one member in each of the relays being in the correct age group and the rest being two to three years younger, this result is particularly impressive. Similarly, the U15 boys (Harry Chandler, Daniel Arridge, Ben Gooch and Henry Halford) were also going to find it tough with only Henry in the correct age group and the rest being under 12. The boys fought well on both relays and placed a credible 7th in both races.
In the U18 competition, King’s fielded two teams in the girls’ races. This was another King’s first and they proved to be a force to be reckoned with. In the medley relay, with a Worcester County record holder swimming the butterfly and an English National champion on the breaststroke, it was no surprise that they were going to be tough to beat. The A team (Naomi Marsden, Hannah Woodcock, Gabriella Barry and Josie Armstrong) stormed to victory, beating the King’s B team (Alexandra Barry, Isabella Woodcock, Hannah Dixon and Isabella Trow) into second place by 6 seconds and King’s High, Warwick into third place by a further three. In the freestyle relay the A team once again dominated the pool. The team, this time consisting of Hannah Woodcock, Gabriella Barry, Alexandra Barry and Josie Armstrong, won gold convincingly with a clear three second lead. King’s B team (Naomi Marsden, Isabella Trow, Hannah Dixon and Isabella Woodcock) again had a battle with King’s High Warwick for second place but just lost out by 0.06 seconds taking third place overall.
The U18 boys had great competition in both relays. Oliver Osborne, Leo Rendall-Baker, Henry Halford and Daniel Day looked pure class in their medley, winning first place a second clear of both Abingdon and King Alfred’s School. In their freestyle it was the same three schools battling it out for the medals. In a very exciting race the boys were placed third on a blanket finish, with Oliver Osborne swimming a blistering 25.68 seconds on the last leg.
Lizzie Monkhouse, Head Swimming Coach at King’s Worcester added, “It was a very exciting day for King’s Swimming. With all teams making ‘A’ finals and bringing home three trophies for the cabinet, this is the best performance so far. We have a tremendous wealth of talent at King’s and it was a privilege and pleasure to watch and support all swimmers. All swam well without exception but special mention must go to Henry Halford and Gabriella Barry who swam in their age group (U15) as well as in the U18s, both swimming 8 races in quick succession. Well done, swimmers!”