By Liam Moakes 25/04 Updated: 28/04 18:10
REDDITCH Swimming Club continued their hugely successful start to 2012 with victory at the Worcester County Championships.
Following no less than six days of intensive swimming, spread over five weekends, RSC sat proudly at the top of the medals table.
Redditch beat the other 14 Worcestershire clubs as they finished with more medals and most golds out of all the clubs.
The final table saw RSC with a grand total of 149 medals - 58 gold, 40 silver and 51 bronze - including 140 age group medals, eight Open Championship medals and one Junior Championship gold.
This was a 16 per cent increase on the club's impressive 2011 total of 129 medals.
Not only was the medal count impressive, but there were also records galore and many new qualifying times for regional and national championships.
RSC swimmers achieved no less than 241 personal bests, 49 new club records, 85 Midland qualifying times and 7 National qualifying times.
Overall, 321 swims by Redditch swimmers placed them in the top ten in the County. National Qualifying times were achieved by Isobel Griffiths in the 200m IM, 400m IM, 200m free, 400m free, 200m fly and 200m back and Poppy McGourlay in the 100m free.
RSC club captain Paul Wilkes, Worcester County's Swimmer of the Year for 2011, ended the championships with a butterfly gold treble in the 50m, 100m and 200m and has now won nine consecutive 100m fly County titles.
Sophie Bridgman won both the Senior and Junior titles in the 400m freestyle. Wilkes, Bridgman and Laura Cranshaw were also open age group medallists in other events.
There were outstanding swims from almost all of the 51 Redditch competitors. The top RSC, age group medal winners were Dan Noke (13 medals, including 6 golds), Rosie Potter (12 medals, 9 golds), Braiden Hartles (12 medals, 7 golds), Rebecca Winn (11 medals, 4 golds), Alice Oliver (10 medals, 10 golds), Tom Page (9 medals, 2 golds), Caitlin Britt (8 medals), Megan Griffiths (7 medals, 1 gold), Olivia Hall (7 medals), Isobel Griffiths (6 medals, 6 golds), Sophie Bridgman (6 medals, 3 golds), Poppy McGourlay (6 medals, 1 gold), Joe Hamilton (5 medals), Sophie Lloyd-Smith (5 medals), Tyler Hartles (5 medals), Paul Wilkes (4 medals, 3 golds), Laura Cranshaw (3 medals, 1 gold) and Lydia May (3 medals).
The other RSC medallists were Adam Watson, Ben Lewis, Francesca Phillips, Megan Moss, Oliver Thompson and Will Moss.
Chris Britt, RSC head coach, heaped praise on both the swimmers' dedication and the commitment of his coaching staff.
"These remarkable results are a reflection of all of the hard work the swimmers and coaches have put in over the past year," he said.
"Just getting to the Counties in the first place requires a good level of ability and fitness, as only the best swimmers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are able to achieve the qualifying times.
"For Redditch swimmers to then go on and top the medals table, probably for the first time ever, and achieve over 300 top ten places surely indicates we are doing something right!
"We now have strength in depth, especially in the younger age groups - and this hugely talented and highly motivated group of youngsters can only get better. We are now looking forward to similar successes at this year's Midland and National Championships."
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