Fraser’s second medal came on Saturday night in the 100m fly where he dropped his time down to a 59.6 to take the bronze with what Jess described as another really good swim.
“I learned a lot from that competition,” says Fraser, reflecting on his week.
“I got big PBs in my two fly races and what pleased me most was going 2:09 in the 200m.
“The toughest part was the night I had the finals of the 100m fly and the 400m IM, and I managed to PB both of them.
“I need to work on the back end of my fly, the last 50m. And I think next year I’ll not enter so many events because I really felt it by the end of the five days, it was tough.”
Eve Mair returned to SNAGS swimming as a 15-year-old in the morning heats, with four individual races and involvement in three relay teams.
The DRP swimmer began with a PB of half a second in the 100m Girls 100 free, but Jess reckons her best race was the 100m fly on Saturday where she equalled her best ever time.
“There’s still a lot of work to do there and she’s still young,” says her coach.
Rachel McGuire was making her debut as an individual racer after achieving the fast consideration times required for four events.
Although Tollcross is a familiar venue to our swimmers from West District meets and long course training sessions, competing at a National championship is taking it to a whole new level.
“I think she was feeling a bit of first-time nerves,” says Jess. “We’ll look at how we can support the younger swimmers better next year so that they can give their best performances when it comes to SNAGS.
“I think it took her a couple of days to get into her rhythm, but when she did her fly races were strong, particularly the 200m where she went under three minutes, and there was also a PB in the 100m.”
Rachel saved her best for the final day where she got the girls 11-13 relay team off to a storming start in the 4 x 100m freestyle, setting up her team mates - Eilidh Moore, Isla Waller and Heather Stuart - with a lead they never lost as they won their heat against City of Glasgow’s ‘B’ team and Ren 96.
“It was the best relay of the week. They were solid swims and PBs from all the girls and a great team effort to finish in 7th place,” says Jess.
Jasmine Baird joined Rachel, Isla and Eilidh for the 4x100m medley on the Thursday, where they beat their entry time by three and a half seconds. “It was It was great to see girls push each other on.”
Adam Currie was the backbone of the younger boys’ relay squads as he made his first ever appearance at SNAGs with four individual swims including the gruelling 200m fly and 400m IM, impressing Jess with his performances.
“He put in a really good PB in his 50m fly,” she says. “He was strong off the start with a good underwater and into his stroke really quickly, which is just what we’re looking for.
“His 200m fly on Thursday was only the second time he’s done it and took off around 8 seconds, coming under the 3-minute barrier. I hope we can get that below 2:30 in the next couple of seasons.
“Adam set a 2 second PB in the 100m fly and in the 400m IM broke the 6-minute barrier with a 10 second PB, really strong on all four strokes which is exactly how you need to swim it.”
He teamed up with Gavin Friels, Lewis Gibson and Fraser Cowie for the 11-13-year-old 4x100m freestyle relay where they beat their entry time to finish 20th with some gutsy racing.
On the Sunday, Adam swam the fly stretch of the 4x100 medley with Scott Kean joining Lewis and Gavin.
“I was really impressed with the 14-16 mixed medley team,” says Jess. “Each of them, Abby Kane, Jen, Fraser Kelly and Andrew Sutherland, really stepped up and raced hard for their 11th place finish, and you can’t ask more than that.
“There’s a lot of potential for improvement in the all-girl squad – which included Leah Stark and Lucy Glencorse - and we just need to get a bit of fire in their bellies.
“I definitely picked the right order to swim the girls 800m relay with Leah posting a PB on the opening stint and Eve was back on her PB as well.
“The 14-16-year-old boys – who were joined by Harry Hume and Jacob Tarran - were unfortunate to pick up our only DQ of the meet in the medley relay, but when they came to the freestyle race their takeovers were much better with some strong swims, especially Andrew Sutherland on the lead leg. The time he swam would have put him into the individual races so that’s our target for next year.”
“They were great results for my first SNAGS as Head Coach at North Ayrshire, and I’m excited to see where I can take this team in the next couple of years. There’s always plenty to work on and improve.”