Eight Shetland swimmers took part in the Elgin Spring Meet on Saturday and Sunday in the five-lane 25-metre pool at Buckie School.
Paige Buggy, Chloe Nicolson, Megan Nicolson, Anne Hutchison and Emmie Hutchison were representing Lerwick ASC while Johannes Kerr, Megan Petursdottir and Eleanor Hutcheon were from Shetland ACSC.
Paige, Anne, Emmie, Eleanor and Johannes were competing for the first time in 200-metre events, an essential step in their continued development as competitive swimmers.
In session one, event one, Megan Nicolson took 14 seconds off her entry time in the 12/13-year-old 400m freestyle. In the 10/11-year-old 200m backstroke Johannes took off 13 seconds, Anne seven seconds and Emmie 12 seconds.
In 12/13 200m freestyle Megan Nicolson held her time while Megan Petursdottir and Chloe improved theirs by six seconds. Again, in the 10/11 breaststroke, Johannes, Anne and Eleanor improved their times – Eleanor by an impressive 11 seconds.
The final event of the morning saw the first outstanding head- to-head dual between these two 13-year-old girls in the 50m butterfly, Megan Nicolson taking the gold medal and Megan Petursdottir the silver.
In session two, Megan Nicolson put in a good performance in the 12/13 200m butterfly, finishing sixth and swimming just outside her best time in what is one of swimming’s toughest events.
In the 10/11 200m backstroke Johannes improved by four seconds and Anne by 11 seconds. In the 50m freestyle Anne (10/11) improved on her entry time while Megan Petursdottir cruised to a two-second PB to take silver in the 12/13-year-old 50m breaststroke. Megan Nicolson, who is starting to find her form again in this event, swam close to her best time.
It was another early start for the swimmers on Sunday morning. Anne gained 14 seconds and Johannes 13 seconds improvements in the 200m freestyle. Megan Petursdottir’s breaststroke form showed no sign of easing as she stormed to a comfortable win in this event to take gold with a 4.5 second improvement and going under three minutes.
Megan Nicolson in the same event swam a well-deserved personal best time. Chloe pushed down her entry time in 50m backstroke, Megan Petursdottir was fifth for a medal and Megan Nicolson improved by a stunning two seconds to take the gold medal.
In the final session of the meet, the 10/11-year-olds Page, Anne, Emmie and Johannes all bettered their 50m backstroke times. In the 12/13 200m backstroke Megan Petursdottir achieved a fifth place medal. In the final event of the day, the 12/13-year-old 50m freestyle, Chloe was sixth, while the weekend’s most exciting race saw four swimmers touch at what looked liked like the same time with no-one from the spectator gallery or coaches able decide who got the first touch.
As there was no electronic timing used at this event, everyone waited anxiously for the result to be announced. On this occasion it was Megan Petursdottir who took gold while Megan Nicolson was in fourth place. However, Megan Nicolson will be out make amends as these two very good friends will go head to head again in this event in March at the Shetland Sprint Championship.
Megan Petursdottir was awarded the plaque for the best 12/13 year old female.
A special mention must go to Megan Nicolson who was the only one of the eight swimmers to compete in all the events on offer over the weekend.
Coach Petur Petursson said: “The swimmers are all members of the Clickimin pool training squad and their outstanding performances are a tribute to their hard work and dedication. Twenty-nine times improved on and nine medals won, two golds and a fourth for Megan Nicolson and two golds, two silvers and two fifth place medals for Megan Petursdottir. Eleven-year-old Anne Hutchison achieved two qualifying times for Scottish Swimming’s district regional programme.
“Thanks must go to all the officials, Elgin Swimming Club and our parent helpers for looking after the swimmers and coaches so well.”
Two South Mainland ASC swimmers also attended the Elgin Spring Meet.
Eddie Price, 11, had a tremendous weekend, breaking PBs and winning medals in each event in the 10/11-year-old age group, and finishing overall runner up to Aberdeen Dolphin Jack Watson.
In the 50m races Eddie took four seconds off his entry time in the breaststroke with 43.07 and came first. In the butterfly, backstroke and freestyle he came thirrd in each very closely fought race.
However, it was in the longer 200m races that Eddie really shone. In the backstroke he took eight seconds off his time for a 2.53.96, and finished fourth. In the breaststroke there was a four-second improvement for a 3.20.69, a clear nine seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
In the freestyle he was the clear winner with a 2.31.63. But his most remarkable swim came in the tough 200m butterfly, taking second place by knocking 38 seconds off his time to finish in 3.13.42, only one second behind the winner.
Eddie also swam in the open 400m freestyle as the youngest competitor and successfully chopped nine seconds off his time to touch in 5.16.96.
Kirsty Laurenson, 13, swam well in her eight races over the weekend. She finished close to entry times for her 200m freestyle and backstroke and in the butterfly she finished in seventh position. The 50m sprints in these strokes gave her more success.
In an event that saw four Shetland girls in the top seven, she swam a great 50m freestyle to win her heat in 31.98 which earned her seventh place. A two-second improvement was achieved in her backstroke with a 37.59. Kirsty’s highest place and a well deserved fourth place medal was awarded for a two-second PB in the 50m butterfly in 34.55.