The West District Junior Age group Championships were held at the long course pool at East Kilbride. Only two of Dunoon’s swimmers were entered and each swam one race. For both this was the first time they had even seen, let alone raced in, an Olympic size pool, and they coped exceptionally well. To swim long course the swimmers must use different strategies than those used in 25 metre pools like the one in Dunoon. Only swimming and racing long course will allow swimmers to develop the skills to compete at their best. Considering Katy Marshall (12) and Connor Kennedy (11) were racing against swimmers who already have long course experience, their performances were great. Katy was well up in her 100 metres breaststroke heat until about the 85 metres mark, at which point her legs started to feel as if they were burning, but she kept going and came in with a good first long course time of 1 minute 40 seconds.
Young Connor was entered in what many regard as the killer event – 200 metres butterfly. There were many disqualifications in his event, due to the young swimmers’ inability to hold their technique, and using a non simultaneous arm action or leg action as they became too tired. Connor however held a beautiful stoke rhythm and style and finished with a time which bettered his official entry time by 25 seconds and brought his placing in the ranks right up.
On the following weekend Katy was back in action, along with Rachel Turnbull (12) and 16 year old Graeme Brown in the Bellshill Open Meet for swimmers aged 8 – 16 years. Clubs from Carlisle to Burntisland as well as many from the West were represented and there were some excellent races.
Katy swam fast personal best times in the 50 metres back and freestyle as well as 50 metres breaststroke in which race she also reached the final coming 6th in a time which bettered her new PB.
Rachel swam 5 seconds faster than her pb in the 100 metres back.
Graeme won silver medals in 100 metres fly ,and 200 metres freestyle (in a new pb) and gold in the 400 metres Individual Medley in a close race against Sam Andrews from West Lothian, (another pb) and 100 metres backstroke.
Many of the Lanarkshire swimmers at the Bellshill Meet were swimming to try to gain selection for the International Children’s Games to take place in Canada this summer, and the added incentive certainly produced good swims.
The Club’s younger swimmers are now preparing for their first mini league match which will take place at the Riverside on 17 March, while the older swimmers have Senior West District Championships, Portobello Mad March Meet, and the National Age Group Championships to look forward to over the next 8 weeks.