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Four Kintyre swimmers joined more than 1,000 athletes representing 92 clubs from across the UK at the Scottish National Age Group Swimming (SNAG) Championships.
Evie Judge, Emma Millar, Hannah Millar and Niamh Quinn of Kintyre Amateur Swimming Club (KASC) qualified for this year’s championships, held at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow over five days during the Easter break.
In the 15-year-old category, Evie got off to an excellent start in the 50m breaststroke, recording a new personal best of 36.98 seconds, dropping -0.62 seconds to finish in 13th place, narrowly missing out on the evening finals.
In the afternoon session, Emma had a superb swim in the 100m freestyle, knocking -1.57 seconds off her time to qualify in 10th place for the national final later that day.
Emma returned to the arena for the finals and did not disappoint, swimming even faster, touching in at 8th place in a time of 1:04.96 seconds; an outstanding swim in her first ever National final.
After a solid swim in the 50m breaststroke on day one, Niamh returned to the pool to swim her preferred distance of 200m and she did not disappoint, pacing herself really well throughout, to qualify in 9th place for the evenings finals. When she returned later that day, she again swam very well in the final, consolidating her 9th place position.
Emma continued her fine form throughout the five-day meet, setting new personal best times in five out of her six swims which included breaking 30 seconds for the 50m freestyle for the first time.
Touching in at 29.51 seconds, she finished 12th place as second reserve for the final. She also swam personal bests in the 50m and 100m backstroke as well as the 50m butterfly and had a very strong swim in the challenging 200m butterfly, finishing in 12th place.
Evie returned to the pool later in the championships and swam a fast 50m freestyle in 29.53 seconds, finishing in 18th place overall. She also had strong swims in the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.
Hannah performed well in the 100m freestyle event and was delighted to qualify for the National event, while Niamh returned with a strong swim in the 100m breaststroke to finish in 16th place overall.
A delighted head coach Stuart McQuaker said: ‘It was a huge achievement for all four girls to qualify for their first ever Nationals but to then swim so well, with two finalists, was a very proud moment and shows all the swimmers at our small club just what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.’
Mini League returns to Aqualibrium
Aqualibrium was once again busy with swimmers, coaches and poolside parents on Saturday April 23, for KASC’s second round home tie in the Clyde Coast Mini League.
Teams from West Dunbartonshire and Kingston travelled to Kintyre for the tie, with more than 90 swimmers competing in what turned out to be a fantastic afternoon’s competition.
The Kintyre team members were in a confident mood after finishing a close second behind North Ayrshire in their round one tie away to Bellshill but they knew both visiting clubs would bring strong, competitive teams.
After the medley relays, Kintyre was ahead by a small margin of only two points going into the individual events.
The Mini League provides clubs with a fun introduction to competitive swimming, with three matches swum from March until May with finals taking place at the beginning of June.
Kintyre swimmers continued to swim very well, with only three points separating each club at one point but they managed to hold a narrow lead going into the freestyle relays.
After exciting freestyle relays, the results were announced with Kintyre finishing in first place with 156 points, West Dunbartonshire second with 149 points and Kingston in third place with 147 points.
It was a fantastic afternoon’s competition which sets Kintyre up for the club’s third round tie away to South Ayrshire Swim Team next Saturday May 14, at the Citadel in Ayr.
After this excellent result, Kintyre’s place in one of the finals, which will take place again in the Citadel in Ayr, on Saturday June 4, should be guaranteed.
The teams will compete for the Rosebowl trophy in what is by far the best and noisiest gala of the West District.