Nine swimmers from Shetland Competitive Amateur Swimming Club attended the graded meet at Inverness recently and returned with 21 personal bests and five medals First up was Johannes Kerr in the 10-and-under 50m freestyle. It was only his second trip south to compete and he had only turned 10 the week before the competition. He started off in great style knocking three seconds off his 50m freestyle (42.38) and gaining fifth place. He repeated fifth place and took four seconds off his 50m backstroke (53.11), 3.5 seconds off the 100m IM and a second off the 50m breaststroke (58.47) which gave him 11th place. He also finished a commendable sixth in the 50m butterfly (1.00.11).
Next up was the team’s youngest competitor Katie Bain, aged eight, competing in the 10-and-under age group. In her first mainland meet she was delighted to knock seven seconds off her 50m freestyle time (52.34) and six seconds off her 50m breaststroke while matching her time for 50m backstroke (1.01.13).
Eleanor Hutcheon, 10, was competing in the same age group and again another on her first trip south. She took two seconds off her 50m freestyle and finished 13th out of 54 swimmers. She then knocked three seconds off her 50m backstroke time and took sixth place (51.24) followed by 16th in the 50m butterfly (1.01.40). Tired after her success in the morning session Eleanor was just short of her entry time for the 50m breaststroke (1.01.83).
Marcus Mullay and Josh Newcombe, both 12, were both competing in the 11-12 years boys’ events. Marcus knocked time off in his 100m backstroke (1.48.67), 100m freestyle (1.35.28) and matched his times for the 100m IM (1.52.72) and was shattered by the time the last event, the 100m butterfly came.
Josh knocked a staggering nine seconds off his 100m backstroke (1.41.46) and five seconds off the 100m IM (1.45.09). His other two events were the 100m freestyle (1.37.53) and 100m breaststroke which again he was too tired to put in his best performances.
The other four swimmers were all entered for the 11-12 girls’ events and had also been persuaded to enter two relays since there were four of them in the same age group.
Bryony Laurenson – another on her first trip south – did the team proud by taking four seconds off her 100m backstroke time (1.49.42) and six seconds from her 100m breaststroke (2.04.26). She also swam in the 100m freestyle just over her entry time (1.39.27) and the 100m IM (1.52.09).
Alexis Anderson was chuffed with her performances as she took eight seconds off her 100m freestyle (1.29.83) in 14th place, matched her 100m IM (1.47.42) and swam well in the 100m breaststroke (2.07.46) and 100m butterfly (2.13.41).
Her sister Kayleigh was up for the challenge and started in the 100m backstroke by taking 16 seconds off in a time of 1.32.37 and gaining a speeding ticket to boo. Speeding tickets are handed out if swimmers finish in a time faster than the C grade time set by SASA so definitely something to be proud of.
Kayleigh’s next event was the 100m freestyle and she again excelled by improving her time by 13 seconds and winning the bronze medal. The 100m IM saw her just short of her entry time (1.42.02) but session two saw her take five seconds off her 100m breaststroke (2.00.43) and finish 10th and then match her entry time in the 100m butterfly (2.01.64).
Last was Sarah Burgess who also gained a speeding ticket in the 100m backstroke, finishing in a time of 1.31.37. Unable to enter the 100m freestyle or 100m breaststroke due to a knee injury, she swam a two-second PB in the 100m IM in a time of 1.36.52.
The third last race of the day was the girls’ 11-12 years 200m freestyle relay and Sarah, Alexis, Bryony and Kayleigh had saved just enough energy to complete the race in 2.41.58 and take the silver medal.
All in all it was a very successful trip for the nine swimmers with two speeding tickets, 21 PBs and five medals. They paid tribute to Hilary, their coach, who was unable to travel with them, Steven Kerr and Anne-Marie Mullay for the superb organising before and during the trip, Sheila for getting the hoodies and Alison Bain for standing in as coach and her expert skating tuition.