Swimmers make a splash in West District time trials

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Kintyre swimmers were back in action this month thanks to the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association West District which organised two time trials.

Four Kintyre Amateur Swimming Club (KASC) members made the long journey from Campbeltown to Dumfries to compete in the first event at the DG1 Leisure Centre on November 6 and 7.

With swimmers only managing to compete in virtual championships using their own pools recently, it was great to return to live competitions.

With no spectators allowed, the poolside was much quieter than usual but that didn’t seem to deter Kintyre’s swimmers, who were competing for the first time since the Summer Festival of Swimming.

Younger swimmers Hannah Millar, Emma Millar and Niamh Quinn took to the pool on the Saturday.

Hannah dropped 12.26 seconds in the 200m backstroke finishing 11th in 2:47.09, with twin sister Emma 13th.

Niamh Quinn finished sixth in the 100m breaststroke in a new personal best time of 1:23.75.

Emma and Hannah then competed in the 13-year-old girls’ 400m freestyle with Emma finishing seventh in 5:10.62 and Hannah ninth in 5:11.92, both in personal best times.

The morning session concluded with the girls’ 100m individual medley where Niamh swam 1:19.75 to finish 15th in the districts.

Evie Judge was Kintyre’s sole representative on the Sunday, swimming the 400m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 100 individual medley. She swam a new personal best in the 200m breaststroke before finishing with a 400m freestyle.

Kintyre swimmers made the shorter journey last weekend to Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow, to compete in round two.

Over the two days, six Kintyre swimmers represented the club at district level, the highest number from the club ever.

On Saturday, 16-year-old Sophie McSporran started the trials well, recording a personal best in the 200m backstroke, finishing 11th in the girls’ 16 and over age group.

This was followed by a 10th place finish in the 100m breaststroke for 14-year-old Evie Judge, in a time of 1:22.24.

In the afternoon, both girls recorded personal best times in the 200m individual medley and Sophie in the 200m freestyle.

On Sunday, the younger girls were joined by 11-year-old Angus Woods who was attending his first ever West District meet and he did not disappoint. In his first swim, he finished third in the 11-year-old boys’ age group, in 1:36.71.

‘What a fantastic swim from Angus who has unfortunately missed out on the opportunity to compete in a number of events due to lockdown followed by Covid restrictions,’ said Stuart McQuaker, KASC’s head coach. ‘His last event for Kintyre was in the mini league one week before lockdown so to now compete so well at district level is fantastic.’

Angus continued to show fine form, finishing fourth in the 200m individual medley and 200m freestyle in excellent personal best times.

Emma started off the morning with a gruelling 400m individual medley, finishing in sixth place, followed shortly afterwards with a seventh place finish in the 100m freestyle.

Niamh showed excellent determination in her 200m breaststroke, dropping more than six seconds to finish in 4th place in 2:58.86.

Emma and Hannah rounded off the morning with personal bests in the 100m backstroke.

‘To have six swimmers compete at West District level and do very well is testament to the hard work and dedication these youngsters show at training,’ said Mr McQuaker. ‘A number of our swimmers now have the opportunity to attend five sessions each week in Aqualibrium, putting in eight hours of training.’

This weekend, all Kintyre swimmers will compete in their club championships at Aqualibrium.