North Ayrshire’s Clyde Coast Mini League team pulled off the best result in a generation with a 4th place finish in the A Final on Saturday.
A very hard-fought afternoon of swimming at the Citadel in Ayr saw Ren96 take the title away from reigning champions City of Glasgow but just three points, while our team challenged Inverclyde hard for the bottom step of the podium.
It was our best since 2013 (when we finished third) but none of the current team were swimming then.
“It truly was a team effort,” says a delighted Junior Coach, Alan Dickson. “The atmosphere in the pool was fantastic, as it always is at the Mini League, and the swimmers really used that to motivate themselves.
“In 40 of the 46 events we swam on Saturday we were faster than in the third round, and 13 of the 14 relays were better than in Dunoon.
“We went in seeded sixth, in an outside lane, and got off to a real flyer in the opening relays, and after 11 events we were in third place.
“Inverclyde’s strength in depth began to tell as the events went on, but a look back at our campaign shows how much the team have improved.
We were 22 points behind Inverclyde this time, but a couple of weeks ago that gap was 32 points.
One of the younger swimmers, Kouper Sloss, won maximum points for the team with a win in the 25m backstroke, while two veterans, Erin Moore and Fraser Cowie, swimming in their last Mini League season, collected the 4th place shied and ribbons on behalf of our swimmers.
“I can’t emphasise enough how much it’s a team event, and I’ve got to make a special mention of those who turned up for just one swim, even if it was in a relay, because it’s all part of the bigger picture,” says Alan.
“They’ve worked so hard during a hectic season and it was great to have them all at morning training on Saturday. The last thing we worked on was finishes – keeping your head down and not breathing in the last 5m – and they carried that message into the final where there was some frantic racing.
“I’ve got to say a big thank you to Billy, Kenny and Rheanna who helped to make sure everyone was in the right place, at the right time and in the right order, and also to our volunteer coach, Kelly, who over the last five years has been a huge help at the turn end.
“It was a fantastic day and the swimmers will be hoping to use it as a springboard for their end-of-season meets at Ren and Bellshill over the next couple of weekends.”