North Ayrshire swimmers are in with a chance of winning national titles this weekend at the Brodies Scottish Schools Swimming Championships 2019.
We’re taking an even bigger team to Tollcross on Saturday with 13 swimmers competing across 20 events.
“I’m very excited about our prospects,” says Head Coach, Jess Wilkie. “It’s great that we’ve got such a big spread of age groups in the team which shows how much depth there is in the club, with both sprinters and long-distance swimmers.
“Kids who won’t qualify for SNAGS get the chance to race against swimmers from all across the country, not just the west, so it gives us a better picture of where they stand.
Leading the charge is Largs Academy’s Fraser Kelly who is seeded first for the heats of the 100m & 200m fly for 15 -16 year olds. He’ll be looking to improve on last year’s battling bronze medal in the 200m event.
Also ahead of the pack as they line up on the blocks will be Garnock Academy swimmer Rory Dickson, who has the fastest time going into the 400m IM in his first year on the 17-19 year old category.
Rory’s also seeded second for his other event, the 200m IM, for which he won a silver medal in East Kilbride last year. After claiming two Junior titles at the Scottish Short Court Championships in December a lot of people will be watching to see if he can better that in a 50m pool.
Both Largs and Garnock have two swimmers representing them with Andrew Sutherland qualifying for the 100m & 200m freestyle and Rachael Grant lining up for the 200m fly and 200m IM respectively.
Jacob Tarran, from Largs Academy, is on the reserves list for the 100m fly.
Isla Waller completes the Largs campus quartet claiming a place in the 12 and under 50m fly. She’s the only primary school pupil in the club to make the cut this year, swimming for Largs Primary.
Jennifer Murray will compete in the 200m & 400m freestyle for Loudoun Academy while Eve Mair has swims in the 200m freestyle and fly for 15-16’s representing Grange Academy.
Greeenwood Academy’s Adam Currie goes in the 13-14’s 100m fly, while Rachel McGuire for St Matthews Academy will line up for the 100m and 200m fly for girls in the same age group.
Evan Clark, from Auchenharvie Academy, has made the 200m IM for 17-19 year olds while Nathan Hughes, representing Wellington School in Ayr, competes in the 200m breaststroke for 13-14 year olds.
Leah Stark from Kilmarnock swims in the 200m IM for 15-16 year olds.
Doing well at Brodies has always been a great springboard for generations of swimmers, including our Head Coach.
“I was champion two years in a row in 100m freestyle, and on one occasion I followed that up by winning at the age group championships, so it’s a great stepping stone,” recalls Jess. “I’m really hoping some of our swimmers can put a marker down for when we return to Tollcross for the nationals.”
She’ll also get to share her thoughts on swimming with an audience watching around the country online having been invited to co-commentator on the live stream during session 2, something she’s really looking forward to.
“It’s great to be doing it with Duncan McKinnell again because he’s the king of swimming commentary in Scotland and it’s terrific to have someone like that sitting alongside you for a couple of hours.
“It will also be a fantastic opportunity to club on the map and say our piece. Hopefully our swimmers will do us proud when I’m on!”
Watch the sessions LIVE following these links: