March has been hectic for the swimmers from DASC.
The new Argyll & Clyde Squad consisting of swimmers selected from the teams of Dunoon, Kintyre, Oban, Islay & Jura, Helensburgh and Inverclyde, had 2 days of training on 15/16 March. Dunoon’s nine selected swimmers, Jamie Dominick, Kyle Dominick, Lewis Danby, Katy Marshall, Kyle Martin, Rhys Meyer-McDonagh, Nicky Ritchie, Rachel Turnbull and Connor Kennedy, went through 3 hard training session in the water, 2 land sessions and a mental preparation lecture over the two days. Head Coach Shirley Refford from Inverclyde was well-pleased with their efforts in the water, while Steve Danby, assisting Kintyre’s Stuart McQuaker put them through their paces in the land work. Neil Storey, from Helensburgh gave them the benefit of his international swimming experiences in teaching them some mental toughness. It is hoped to repeat the exercise some time over the summer and the aim is to train swimmers to national standard to compete for the composite squad formed from these clubs at high level.
The following weekend the REN96 Graded Meet took place at the fabulous new Linwood Sports facility. Neil Lamont, Nicky Ritchie, Alistair Gibson and Connor Kennedy all placed in the first three in several events. Connor (12 ) surpassed his own expectations in the breaststroke events with a too fast time in the 100 metres (bringing his time down from 1 minute 40 to 1 minute 29) and on the following day in the 50 metres of the same stroke, coming in with 40 seconds. Nicky (13) swam pbs in all his events with a particularly good 200 metres breaststroke. Alistair (11) also had his best swim in the 200 metres breaststroke – very well controlled and reeling in his opponents in the final 50 metres. Neil also swam pbs in most of his events and went away laden with hardware.
For the girls, Kaitlin Rowley (10) had pbs in her events, as did Kayleigh Hartley-Watson (12) and Rowan Mobeck (13). And 12 years old Mhairi Rowley swam a great 200 metres freestyle to take her heat in a great controlled fashion, beating her West Dumbarton rival in the final 5 metres.
On 30 March Dunoon took a team of 28 swimmers to the inaugural Kingston Relays, competing in only relay events against teams from Kingston, Mavericks, and Rutherglen at the Drumchapel Pool.
This has to qualify as one of the most exciting and noisy events in which the team has taken part for some time.
Dunoon and Kingston were close right through the programme and when it came to the final 3 relays – 2 medleys (with 8 swimmers in each) and the final squadron consisting of 16 (mixed) swimmers there were only 3 points between them.
The Dunoon team had to beat Kingston in every one of these relays to either win or come in equal first. Dunoon overcame the Kingston opposition well in the 2 medley relays so it was all down the final relay to decide the trophy – no pressure!
Dunoon managed with a monumental effort from every single swimmers (and a specially brilliant leg from Kyle Dominick) to come in ahead of Kingston and the final result was a tie for first place between the 2 teams. The excitement generated by these swims and the effort and speed from the Dunoon swimmers was breath-taking.
The successful team consisted of Andrew Longster, Ciaran Bonnar, Anya McGillivray, Sinead Kenendy, and Orla Colquhoun (all 7/8 years); Raigan Malloch, Alan Stewart, Ross Colquhoun, Finlay Martin, Oscar McGillivray and Ethan Clothier (all 9/10 years); Connor Kennedy, Alistair Gibson, Joshua Colquhoun, Kayleigh Hartley-Watson, Mollaidh Martin, Rosie MacDonald and Ame Maclachlan (all 11/12 years); and Neil Lamont, Kyle Dominick, Kyle Martin, Lewis Danby, Rhys Meyer-McDonagh, Katy Marshall, Rachel Turnbull, Erin Malloch, Rowan Mobeck and Caitlin Kennedy (all 13 – 15 years) and a guest appearance in the fly leg of the medley from Jamie Dominick.
Jamie, along with Elaine Sherwood is taking part in the Scottish National Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials at Tollcross Pool on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (4 – 6 April). This will be streamed live so the supporters can watch their swimmers even though they may not be able to get there. There will be some great swimming to watch.