North Ayrshire swimmers will be getting their first taste of national competition this weekend as they compete in the finals of the Scottish Schools Championship.
13 of our swimmers have qualified from the Ayrshire heats – up from 12 last year – to win place on the blocks at Tollcross on Saturday representing their schools.
Making the cut is a great achievement in its own right.
To qualify for the finals a swimmer needs to finish in the top 3 in the event at the regional heats and to better the consideration time.
Even then, only the fastest will get onto the start sheet for the limited number of lanes and heats scheduled at the finals.
Fraser Cowie and Caelin Chan deserve special mention for winning their way through in the 12 and under category where primary school pupils are up against S1 students in the same group.
Fraser, representing Dalry Primary, swims in the 50m fly while Caelin goes in the 50m breaststroke.
2019 medal winner Jen Murray goes again in the 200m free – where she won bronze last year – and in the 100m free for Loudoun Academy.
Lewis Giblson, for Kilwinning Academy, is making his first appearance in a national final having qualified for the 50m breaststroke in the morning session.
Adam Currie is back again this year representing Greenwood Acacdemy in the 200m IM and 100m fly.
A remarkable 4 swimmers have qualified from Largs Academy, which is one of the best hit rates for any school in Scotland, going in 7 events.
Fraser Kelly was a double fly medallist last year and once again takes on the 100m and 200m races.
Andrew Sutherland has the same swims again this year in the 100m and 200m free.
Jacob Tarran goes in the 200m fly and Isla Waller makes her second visit to the schools finals. Last year she was our only primary school qualifier and in 2020 takes on the 100m and 200m fly.
Rachael Grant is one half of the Garnock Academy pairing, qualifying for the 100m fly and 200m IM while Heather Stuart has qualified for the 200m backstroke and 200m IM.
Rachel McGuire is getting to be something of a veteran of the schools finals. She’s qualified for a third year running for St Matthews Academy, this time taking on the 100m and 200m free while Gavin Friels makes his second appearance with a swim in the 200m breaststroke.
For those not going along to Tollcross you can still follow the action wherever you are by logging onto the livestream coverage here.