North Ayrshire Synchro are celebrating a great end to 2018 with a fourth-place finish in the team standings at the Scottish Club Championships in Bellshill.
“I’m delighted with the results,” says Synchro Lead Coach, Emma Miller. “To have increased our routines threefold on last year just shows how much the club is growing.
“The extra pool time is helping to improve the girls’ performances every time they swim and they’re getting more experienced in competitions."
Recently-crowned double Scottish champion Aitanta Lopez, collected a bronze medal in the solos with a new routine, delighting Emma, who says she hadn’t been expecting any visits to the podium.
“She absolutely smashed it. Aitana improved on her score from the nationals by 3 full points. The club championships are not swam in age groups so she was competing against juniors and seniors, so coming third was a dream. I really hadn’t been expecting a medal.
“Aitana was 0.3 away from the silver position, so it was very close. To finish her season at North Ayrshire with a bronze to add to her national titles is wonderful.”
Ailidh Brobyn was the youngest soloist competing at the Sir Matt Busby Centre, in the 12 and under group, and repeated her routine from SNGAS, receiving a very similar score.
Neve Cassidy was making her debut at national level, swimming in the duets with Kerry Ternent, and scored 51, while Danielle Ternent and Erin Furey weren’t far behind on a 50.9.
“That’s 6 points better than last year’s duets score,” says Emma. “It’s evidence for us that the girls are improving, the routines are getting better and the marks keep going up. We’re going to keep working on these duets and aim to keep moving up the scores next year.
Erin Patten joined them to make up a quintet to swim the ‘Elvis’ routine in the team competition.
“We’ve made a few tweaks to it and it showed on the scoreboard because they scored 54.1 compared to 52.8 last year,” the coach comments.
“It also was the first competition for many of the girls in our ‘Reach for the Stars’ team – who also included Grace Thom, Emma Binnie, Layla Reid and Salma Shaheen - and a competition like this can be very daunting, but they took it all in their stride and scored a very creditable 46.6.
“I’m delighted with their swim and all the judges commented on how much they were enjoying the routine – they could see it on their faces as they were swimming it. The announcer made reference to the fact they were one of the youngest teams in the competition.
“We were fourth overall - which was helped by Aitana’s bronze medal - but even if we take her out of it we’d still have been joint fifth which is very good in only our third year of competition.”
“We’re determined to improve on that next year.”