The first of the Junior (age up to 13 years) West District Championship Meets took place at Cumbernauld’s Tryst Pool on 16/17 November. Of the fair number of swimmers who had achieved fast enough times to be entered, only 2 swimmers from Dunoon actually had their entries accepted – such was the strength and depth of the District entries. The West District covers clubs from Stranraer in the South, up to Alloa and Stirling in central Scotland and over to the Argyll Clubs of Kintyre and Oban, Islay, Helensburgh and Dunoon.
Nicky Ritchie (aged 12) had 5 events over the weekend. He achieved a 6th place in his 200 metres breaststroke in a new p.b. of 3 minutes 12.55 and in the 100 metres breaststroke he was 5th in the final in a huge new best time of 1 minute 27 .79. With big improvements also in his 200 metres Individual medley and butterfly, Nicky had an excellent weekend.
Rhys Meyer-McDonagh (13) also swam a fabulous time of 3 minutes 01.94 in the 200 metres butterfly, which gives him a competitive accredited time for the future.
Two weeks later, on 30 November and 1 December Dunoon swimmers were back at the Tryst, this time competing in the Cumbernauld Club’s own Open Age Group Meet.
The younger swimmers had the Saturday slot with 2 sessions of great racing, while the older swimmers renewed rivalries with the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Clubs on the Sunday.
Dunoon’s 14 competitors achieved a staggering 36 personal best times, as well as 5 finals places and 2 bronze medals.
Connor Kennedy (12) had 6 events, winning through to finals in his 50 metres events and bringing his times down by huge swathes of seconds. It is hard to pick out any one event as best, but if asked, Connor himself would probably select his 50 metres freestyle time of 31.58 seconds as his favourite. In the same age group Luke McIntyre showed his return to fitness with another impressive set of p.b.s, while Mollaidh Martin (11) exceeded her expectations in bringing her 200 metres backstroke time down by 7 seconds to 3 minutes 13.20. 12 year old Rachel Turnbull also reached the final of the 50 metres fly (36.93 seconds) and had pbs in all her races; Alistair Gibson (11) was just over 35 seconds in his 50 metres freestyle, Joshua Colquhoun also 11 years old bettered his 200 IM time to 3 minutes 28,12, and Finlay Martin and Ross Colquhoun (9 and 10) raced to great best times.
The older swimmers, not to be outdone, followed suit on Day 2. Kyle Martin (13) had 100 % p.b.s, bringing his 200 metres backstroke time down to under 3 minutes. In the 14 years age group Neil Lamont and Kyle Dominick were on fire, and both broke the 30 seconds barrier for the first time in their 50 metres freestyle races. In the oldest age group Jamie Dominick had an exciting 50 metres fly final in a fast 28.42 and went 25.83 in the freestyle event. Elaine Sherwood made finals in both her events, breaking 30 seconds in her freestyle at both heat and final. Graeme Brown, who has not been able to manage so many training sessions recently, still used the springboard of his hard training in Tenerife in October, and won bronze in the 200 IM (2.17.98) and also in 200 back (2.18.74 – a new p.b.).
This weekend (7/8 December) the Riverside will be the scene of some exciting close races in the annual Club Sprint Championships. The action starts at 12 noon each day and some loud and enthusiastic support for the hardworking swimmers is hoped for.