Young swimmers rise to challenge

A GROUP of swimmers came back with a host of trophies from the weekend’s Upper Deeside Challenge in Aberdeen, a competition considered one of the most difficult to master.

Competitors have to swim 50, 100 and 200 metres of any one stroke to gain a trophy or swim 50 metres of each stroke. They enter two of the five challenges in: 13 and under; 14 and 15; and 16 and over age groups.

Amy Harper, 16, Craig Nicolson, 14, and Megan Nicolson, 12, from Lerwick Amateur Swimming Club, and Andrea Strachan, 16, from Shetland Amateur Swimming Club, were accompanied by coach Jim Robertson and Dawn Harper for the event.

On Saturday in the 200m butterfly Megan, disadvantaged by her age, gained a very creditable sixth place while Amy and Andrea came first and second respectively in the 200m freestyle. Hopes of success were raised.

The 100m breaststroke saw Craig, also giving way to older swimmers, gain sixth place. Andrea’s first in the 100m breaststroke and Amy’s first in the 100m backstroke, both by good margins, kept hopes of success alive.

The 100m freestyle put Amy first and Andrea third and just before lunch Megan gained her 50m backstroke entry time and Amy hammered out the fastest 50m backstroke of the day.

In the second session Megan was sixth in the 100m butterfly while Andrea was pipped to second in the 50m breaststroke by three-hundredths of a second.

The trophy chances now lay with Amy and Andrea’s final swims and Amy dispelled any doubts with a nine-second win in the 200m backstroke. Megan rose to fourth in the 50m butterfly.

Amy was, on the day, the fastest female 100m freestyler, followed closely by Andrea in second place. Andrea then clinched the breaststroke challenge with a strong 200m swim.

In what was a very successful competition for all the swimmers, Megan and Craig in the lower part of their age group largely maintained their entry times. Andrea won the silver trophy in the freestyle and gold in the breaststroke for 16 and over females. Amy, in the same age group, was first in all her swims, winning the gold freestyle challenge and backstroke challenge trophies.


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