Records fall at swimming club championships

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Kintyre Amateur Swimming Club members were delighted to return to competition once again at their annual club championships on Saturday afternoon.

With Covid-19 curtailing last year’s championships, swimmers were eager to get racing and put on a show for the limited number of spectators allowed to watch the 2021 event at Aqualibrium.

While the number of competitors was down from the 2019 championships, those who took part did not disappoint.

In an exciting start to the afternoon’s events, all 11 competitors in the girls’ 200m freestyle recorded new personal best times.

Evie Judge took gold in the girls’ 200m in a time of 2:20.00 and Angus Woods won the boys’ race in a new personal best time of 2:38.96.

In the backstroke events, 16-year-old Sophie McSporran took almost one second off her long-standing 100m backstroke personal best to finish first in 1:11.68, with her younger sister Niamh McSporran also taking gold in the girls’ eight-and-under event.

Sophie Millar swam under 30 seconds to win the girls’ eight-and-under 25m breaststroke event in 00:29:71, while Evie swam a fantastic race in the older girls’ event over 100m where she clocked 1:22.10.

Next up were the butterfly events and there were strong swims from Carla Renton, who finished first in the nine to 10-year-old girls’ event in 00:53:22, and Lucy McFadzean, who took gold in the 11 to 12-year-old girls’ race in 00:42:60.

Medals and ribbons were presented at the poolside throughout the afternoon’s competitions, giving swimmers well-earned breaks before the next races took place.

In the freestyle events, there were strong swims from nine-year-old Kyle McQuaker, touching home in 00:41:48 over 50m, and Evie in the girls’ 13-to-14-year-old 100m event where she dropped her personal best to 01:04.53.

The final events of the afternoon saw a number of Kintyre swimmers compete in their first individual medley, where the younger swimmers competed in the 100m race.

No less than 15 girls took part in this event with some outstanding swimming.

Eight-year-olds Niamh and Sophie both finished in the top six, collecting fifth and sixth place ribbons respectively which was a huge achievement.

After an exciting boys’ 100m individual medley, the older girls took to the pool one last time for the 200m event.

The top three girls finished in under two minutes and 50 seconds, with Evie, Sophie and Emma Millar finishing first, second and third.

With time to spare, all swimmers finished the club championships with a 50m freestyle event which saw two outstanding swims by 13-year-old Emma and 14-year-old Evie, who both swam the distance in under 30 seconds.

Emma clocked 00:29:66 and Evie 00:29:16, the first time either had broken the magical 30-second mark in this event.

The afternoon’s presentations were completed with the presentation of the club championship trophies in each age category.

The winners were: Girls’ eight and under: Niamh McSporran. Girls’ nine to 10 years: Carla Renton. Boys’ nine to 10 years: Kyle McQuaker. Girls’ 11 to 12 years: Lucy McFadzean. Boys’ 11 to 12 years: Angus Woods. Girls’ 13 to 14 years: Evie Judge. Boys’ 13 to 14 years: Gregor Craig. Girls’ 15 and over: Sophie McSporran.

This weekend, Evie will attend Tollcross International Swimming Centre, along with head coach Stuart McQuaker, as part of the Scottish Swimming Junior Academy.

The day will be their first face-to-face session organised by Scottish Swimming for some time after many online sessions and workshops.