It was a proud day for North Ayrshire Swimming as members of our junior squads were crowned champions in two events at the Ayrshire Primary Schools Championships.
Although, officially, they were swimming under the banners of their own primary schools, because so many of them are also members of the club our coaches, Jess, Alan and Kelly were on poolside at the Citadel in Ayr to organise and encourage them on the day.
It’s a sprint event with the individual races held over 50m and Isla Waller took a terrific victory in the fly.
“It was a smashing swim which I’ve got down as a new PB,” says Junior Coach, Alan Dickson. “We’ve been working with the kids these last few weeks on attacking their swims and she came through on that in all her events.”
Isla went on to win a bronze medal in the breaststroke, and came home 4th in the freestyle, before taking the anchor leg as the quartet from Largs Primary – including Rebecca Shanks, Lucy McLaughlin and Skye Cameron – took a thrilling win in the girls 4x50m relay.
“It was a positive afternoon for the club,” comments Alan. “It was great to be there, especially at the end for the relay which was something else. The girls were over the moon – Lucy McLaughlin couldn’t stand still, she was jumping up and down with excitement.”
Lewis Gibson also made two visits to the podium with a second place in the breaststroke and third in the backstroke, as well as a ribbon for 5th in the freestyle.
Fraser Cowie was 4th in the fly and Erin Moore also had another attacking swim in her fly with a 4th place and a 5th in the breaststroke.
For the club’s fastest swimmers the day was about more than winning medals, as Alan explains: “These county heats feed into the Brodies Scottish Schools Championships, which is going to be held at the end of January in Glasgow, and you need to have set a consideration time for your name to go forward.
“Those times are really tough. Although Lewis finished second in the breaststroke there was only one boy made the time. It wasn’t as if Lewis swam poorly, it’s just that the times are so tough – and rightly so because it’s a national competition and it shouldn’t be easy.
“Isla had consideration times for fly, breast and free, Lewis made it with his back and free, Fraser for his fly and free and Erin for her fly and her breast.
“We also need to mention Ella Bruce and Sarah Short who both went under the time for their freestyle.
“They can only pick one time to submit for the finals and they’ve all made their selections and we’ll have to see how everyone else swims across Scotland to see if they get a place at Tollcross.”