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West District Senior Age Group Championships

Senior swimmers from Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club were back at Tollcross for the West District Senior Age Group Championships. Fifteen swimmers were representing the club and looking to set new fastest times and place highly in their events across the weekend long competition.

The performance of the weekend came from Matthew Garrity, who took home a gold and two silvers to go with his four new fastest times. Matthew won the 100m butterfly and came second in both the 100m and 1500m freestyle races. 4th place in the 200m backstroke completed a successful weekend away from his favoured breaststroke events.

Molly Cannon was also in impressive form throughout the weekend. Molly came 5th in the 200m IM, 7th in both the 400m IM and the 800m freestyle – with a new PB in the medley event – and 8th in the 100m backstroke. She also finished 12th in the 200m freestyle with another new PB. Teammate Aimee Watson put in a similar great performance, coming 5th in the 100m butterfly, 7th in the 200m backstroke (with a new best time) and 14th in the 200m freestyle.

It was a successful weekend for Aaron Gray, who claimed five new PBs, two top ten and three top twenty places in his five events. Aaron was 5th in the 100m butterfly, 10th in the 200m breaststroke, 13th in the 200m IM, 18th in the 100m breaststroke and 20th in the 100m freestyle.

The busiest swimmer of the weekend, with six events, was Kian McNelis. Kian came 6th in the 200m backstroke and 13th in the 100m butterfly in two new best times. He also came 15th in the 100m backstroke, 16th in the 400m freestyle, 20th in the 100m breaststroke and 21st in the 100m freestyle. Teammate Adam Brooks claimed three new PBs to place 7th in the 200m freestyle, 13th in the 100m butterfly and 14th in the 100m freestyle.

Ashleigh Blyth proved to be in great form with new fast times and impressive results across the weekend. Ashleigh came 8th in the 400m freestyle, 9th in the 100m butterfly, 10th in the 100m backstroke, 11th in the 100m freestyle and 16th in the 200m freestyle, where she just missed out on claiming the full set of PBs.

Nathan Peoples also had a great meet with 100% PBs, two top ten, and two top twenty places. Nathan came 8th in the 100m butterfly and 10th in the 200m freestyle, followed by 13th in the 100m freestyle and 16th in the 200m IM.

Lyall Black set new PBs and placed in the top twenty in all three of his events. He came 10th in the 1500m freestyle, and 14th and 19th in the 100m butterfly and 200m IM. Despite missing out on new PBs, Abbie Logan placed well in her three events. She came 8th in the 200m breaststroke, 17th for the 100m backstroke and finished just outside the top twenty in the 200m freestyle.

Also competing were Sam Sharkey, Anna McClafferty, Darren Macleay, Shaun Wiseman and Sofia McGeehan who all set new PB’s in at least one of their swims. Sam was competing in the 100m and 400m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 400m IM, achieving a top twenty finish in the both the IM and the backstroke and setting a new best time for the shorter distance.

Anna achieved three top twenty finishes in the 100m backstroke, 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle, setting new PBs in the two shorter races. She also performed well in the 100m butterfly and 200m IM, where she improved her time.

Darren also made it three top twenty finishes in the 100m breaststroke (with a new fastest time), 100m butterfly and 200m backstroke and a new PB in the 200m IM. Shaun was competing in the 100m butterfly and the 200m IM, and improved his time in the medley event, and Sofia set new PBs in both her 100m butterfly and 200m IM events.

For most swimmers, the only competition left this year is the club championships, where the age group placings will be as fiercely contested as ever.

Swimmer of the month – September & October 2019

Congratulations to our swimmers of the month for September and October – Anna McClafferty, Luke Garrity and Archie McArthur.

Anna won September’s award after impressing the coaches in a number of different ways. Anna has been working extremely hard on her technical skills and has had excellent attendance at sessions. This has seen her times improve greatly. Anna also coaches younger swimmers on a voluntary basis as part of her Duke of Edinburgh, and has been a huge help to the coaches and swimmers.

Luke and Archie share the award for October. Both have been pushing themselves hard in training. Archie has been working hard on developing consistency in his technical skills and is improving these all the time. Luke’s increased efforts have seen him produce some excellent performances and results in recent competitions.

Well done to Anna, Luke and Archie – what fantastic role models you all are for aspiring young swimmers!

New age group records

Over a busy weekend of racing our club saw not one but TWO West District Short Course Age Group Records being set. Matthew Garrity got the new record for the 15 years 50m breaststroke with a time of 30.25 at the Aberdeen nifty fifties meet on Sunday. This is the eighth west district record Matthew has set.

And at the Brodies Scottish Schools Swimming Renfrewshire heats on Friday, Archie McArthur equalled the 34.04 record time in the 10 & under 50m butterfly, set 12 years ago by none other than Duncan Scott. Now that’s pretty impressive company to keep!

Needless to say, everyone at the club is incredibly proud of both of them. We are so excited to see what’s next! Well done boys, and well done also to the coaching and volunteer team who support them.

The Nifty Fifties

Senior members of Inverclyde ASC hit the road as they travelled to Aberdeen to take part in the Nifty Fifties gala. Over 250 swimmers were competing at the two-day event, which attracted some of the best swimmers in Scotland, including Olympian Hannah Miley. Needless to say, the standard of swimming was extremely high across the five individual events: the four strokes at 50m distance and the 100m IM.

The standout performance of the competition came from Matthew Garrity. Matthew made it a clean sweep of PBs and took the silver medal and a new West District Short Course Age Group record for the 50m breaststroke. He then recorded another four more top ten finishes with 6th in the 100m IM, 8th in both the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle and 9th in the 50m butterfly.

Aimee Watson was also on the podium after setting a new PB to finish 3rd in the 50m breaststroke. Aimee also came 5th in the 50m butterfly, 7th in the 100m IM, 12th in the 50m freestyle and 19th in the 50m backstroke.

A further nine swimmers set new PBs in each of their five events. Lewis Gray got the full set with a high of 12th place in the 50m breaststroke while Anna McClafferty’s best performance was 14th in the 50m freestyle. Nathan Peoples got three top twenty finishes to go with his PBs when he came 15th in both the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke and 16th in the 50m freestyle. Kian McNelis’s best performance came in the 100m IM where he came 23rd, closely followed by 24th place in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle and 29th in the 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke.

Also taking home the full set of PBs were Betty Fischer Keogh with highlights in the 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke – where she came 25th and 26th – and Ashleigh Blyth, who scored her best results in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke where she came 27th and 28th.

A further trio of boys made up the 100% PB group, with more high-ranking performances. Adam Brooks and Luke Garrity were 27th and 28th in the 50m breaststroke and Wladek Zawadzki’s highest placing was 46th in the same event.

Despite not getting all PBs it was still a very successful outing for the other swimmers in the team. Aaron Gray set new fastest times across all of the 50m events and achieved top twenty finishes in the 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, where he finished 15th and 18th. Lyall Black also got four new best times, with his best performance coming in the 50m butterfly. Both Darren Macleay and Shaun Wiseman set three new PBs. Darren’s highlight was a 20th place in the 50m breaststroke, while Shaun swam best in the 50m freestyle.

Molly Cannon was only marginally off her best times throughout the event, but still put in excellent performances to secure two top 20 finishes with 14th in the 50m breaststroke and 20th in the 100m IM. She maintained her consistency to finish 26th, 29th and 31st in her remaining events.

The youngest swimmer of the meet was Archie McArthur who, at 10, was competing in the 14 & under category. Archie defied the odds to finish in the top 50 in three events, and earned a couple of good PBs in the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Outside of the individual swims, the team participated in the 200m relay events. The girls team of Ashleigh, Anna, Molly and Aimee took 5th in both the 200m freestyle and medley relays. The 14 & under boys team of Darren, Lewis, Nathan and Luke came 8th in the 200m medley and 9th in the 200m freestyle relays. All 12 boys then competed in three teams in the open relay events where the ‘A’ team of Kian, Matthew, Aaron and Adam matched the girls performance to come 5th in both relays.

The swimmers now have a short window of recovery before they tackle the West District Senior Age Group championships, where they are aiming for even better results.

IASC juniors take on the best in west at West District JAGS

The junior swimmers of Inverclyde ASC were in action at the West District Junior Age Group meet where 11-13 year old who have achieved the tough qualifying times compete against the best in the west. Seven swimmers took to the pool over the two-day event, with many new PBs recorded, top ten finishes and even a few medals won.

The busiest and most successful swimmer of the weekend was Luke Garrity, competing in seven events. Luke won gold for the 200m breaststroke in a new fastest time. A further PB followed in the 400m IM to take 4th place. He was 5th in the 100m breaststroke and set more new PBs to finish 8th in the 400m freestyle and 9th in the 200m IM and 200m freestyle. He just missed out on another best time for the 100m backstroke.

The youngest swimmer for the club was Mirren McConnell, who was competing in five events in her first West District competition, and what a debut it was. Mirren made a clean sweep of PBs as she raced to two medals and four top ten finishes. She took bronze in both the 100m and 200m backstroke, 7th in the 200m freestyle, 10th in the 100m butterfly and 13th in the 100m freestyle.

Lewis Gray also made it five PBs out of five as he secured three top ten finishes across a very successful weekend. Lewis earned 5th place in the both the 200m breaststroke and 100m butterfly, and came 6th in the 400m IM. A six second PB in the 200m freestyle saw him finish in 12th place, well ahead of his 17th place seeding and a further PB was set in the 100m freestyle.

Lukas Kong also gave a great performance to finish 5th in the 100m butterfly with a 17 second PB. Further new times followed in the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke to cap off a very successful West Districts debut.

April Craynor had an excellent meet, setting four new best times and earning three top ten finishes. New PBs were also set to finish 6th in the 200m butterfly, 8th in the 100m backstroke, 10th in the 200m backstroke and 12th in the 100m butterfly. There were also good performances in the 200m and 400m IM events and the 100m freestyle.

Betty Fischer Keogh was competing across multiple events and despite an early disqualification in the 200m IM, Betty went on to set new PBs in the 200m and 100m freestyle to finish in 12th and 13th place. These were followed with solid performances in the 100 breaststroke and the 400m IM, where she swam close to her best.

Oliver Patton also performed well in the 100m breaststroke and 200m backstroke, setting a new PB for the breaststroke to improve on his seeding.

Coach Shirley Reford was delighted with the overall performance, but was particularly happy with the number of PBs set. “Swimming your best time is all we can ask, and it was great to see every swimmer improve in at least one of their events. Everything is going in the right direction for them and I’m so impressed with them all.”

Champion performance at M&B sprints

Young swimmers from Inverclyde put on an impressive display of swimming at the recent Milngavie and Bearsden (M&B) Swimming Club Sprints competition, taking home three of the top six awards from the day. Sophie Campbell, Blake Herdman and Katherine Simpson were all crowned overall age group champions on a day where the team scored nearly 100% PBs.

Sophie Campbell made it five medals and five PBs as she dominated her age group to take home the 8-9 years girls champion trophy. Gold came in the 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke and 100m IM, all with impressive new times. Two silver medals followed in the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle with further PBs.

Not to be outdone, Blake Herdman also took home five medals and the 8-9 years boys champion trophy. Blake took gold in the 100m IM and the 50m freestyle, with a new PB in the shorter distance. Huge PBs in the 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke and a strong swim in the 50m backstroke earned Blake three silver medals to add to the collection.

Jessica Gallagher showed how much she is improving by setting impressive new PBs in each of her races. A solid start in the 50m butterfly was followed with a massive 9 second PB in the 50m backstroke and a 6 second improvement in the 100m IM. She followed up with further new best times in the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

The pressure was on the older age group swimmers in the afternoon session and Katherine Simpson put in a great performance to take home the trophy for the 12-13 years overall champion. Katherine took gold in the 50m freestyle and backstroke, taking nearly two seconds off her already fast times in both events. She then went on to win bronze in the 100m IM with another fastest time. The medals were followed by 4th in the 50m butterfly and 9th in the 50m breaststroke, again with new best times.

Lukas Kong continued his run of impressive performances with four new best times and top 10 finishes. Lukas took bronze in the 50m backstroke and came 4th in the 50m butterfly. An impressive 5 second PB in the 50m breaststroke earned him 5th place and he finished a successful day with 6th in the 50m freestyle.

Eric McKendrick performed well throughout the afternoon. A 4 second PB in the 50m breaststroke was rewarded with a 6th place finish, closely followed by 7th place in the 100m IM with another best time. A big 6 second improvement in the 50m butterfly earned him 10th place and he rounded off the 50m backstroke and freestyle with 11th places and new best times.

Lois Herdman also had a great meet, also coming away with 5 new best times. Her best race came in the 50m backstroke, where she went 2 seconds faster than her previous best to take 7th place. She showed great improvement in her 50m butterfly to take over 4 seconds off her time to finish 9th. Further good PBs followed in the 100m IM and the 50m breaststroke and freestyle.

The results leave the swimmers brimming with confidence for their next competition where they will compete for their schools in the Renfrewshire Schools swimming competition. It’s sure to be an exciting battle.

National County Championships 2019

IASC stars Aimee Watson and Matthew Garrity helped the Scotland West swimming team to an equal fourth place finish in the recent National County Team Championships.

The National County Team Championships is a UK wide event for regional swimming teams and the Scotland West team is made up of swimmers from clubs as far afield as Oban and Stranraer. This year’s event was held in Sheffield on October 6th with 39 counties and more than 1,000 swimmers taking part. It’s a highly competitive and fast paced event, with racing taking place across two pools simultaneously.

Scotland West finished as runners up in last year’s competition, but a large number of new swimmers in the team meant this year’s ranking was far lower. The team outperformed expectations racking up a record 22 top 10 finishes – including five victories – to claim equal fourth place.

For the Inverclyde pair, it proved a successful meet. Aimee was swimming the breaststroke leg of the girls 14-15 years 200m medley relay. Seeded fourth going in to the event, the team stepped it up a gear to power home to a big win in the final, taking victory over their nearest rivals by nearly 2 seconds.

Matthew was swimming the boys 14-15 100m breaststroke and the breaststroke leg of the boys 200m medley relay. In the individual event, Matthew swam a great race to finish sixth overall, matching his performance from last year and achieving a new PB. In the relay event the team put in a solid performance to take sixth place.

The club’s head coach Shirley Reford was once again asked to be part of the coaching team for the event and was delighted with the performance. She commented: “The team spirit was amazing and considering there were 14 rookies in the team the result far exceeded our pre-meet ranking and expectations. All the juniors swam brilliantly, helped by the team ethos and atmosphere which was electric throughout. Every single member of the team played a part and the younger members of the team soaked up the experience with the support and guidance of the rest of the others.”

If you are interested in your child joining the swimming club email membership@inverclydeasc.co.uk for more information or to book a place on the October assessment.

Bumper turn out at North Ayrshire meets

The racing season got underway again for IASC with a packed schedule over two days of action at North Ayrshire. The Development meet was for swimmers aged 11 upwards and the Foundation meet for swimmers aged 10 and under. Both meets were graded, meaning swimmers have to be slower than the entry time. If they beat the entry time they are awarded a ‘too fast’ medal, but the times are still accredited. For many swimmers it was a good opportunity to update times after the summer break.

At the Development meet, five swimmers from the club were awarded a ‘too fast’ medal. Both April Craynor and Peter Maloney were in excellent form, winning two ‘too fast’ medals each. April won hers for the 200m and 400m IM. She took a big chunk of time off her PB for the 200m event and set an impressive time in her debut at the 400m event. April then went on to win the gold in the 400m freestyle.

Peter matched April’s performance, taking home his ‘too fast’ medals for the 400m IM and the 200m freestyle, both with massive new PBs. He also took gold in the 400m freestyle with an impressive time in his debut race.

Wladek Zawadzki also had a great meet, winning a ‘too fast’ medal, one gold and four silvers and setting five new PBs. His ‘too fast’ came in the 200m breaststroke and his gold in the 200m freestyle, winning both with new fastest times. He set new PBs to win silver in the 100m backstroke and breaststroke and the 400m freestyle and finished off a busy day with silver in the 100m freestyle.

There were two other ‘too fast winners from the club: Ashleigh Blyth and Sofia McGeehan. Ashleigh won hers for a blistering new PB in the 400m IM in her only event of the day. Sofia took a ‘too fast’ for the 100m butterfly with a new PB and took bronze for the 200m freestyle with another new best time. A further bronze came in the 100m backstroke followed by a new PB and 4th in the 200m IM.

Other medallists on the day included Katherine Simpson and Keira McKee. Katherine took gold for the 200m backstroke and two bronze medals for the 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle, all with new PBs. She also finished 5th in the 100m breaststroke. Keira took silver for the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke with new PBs and also got a silver for her first swim of the 100m breaststroke. She took bronze in the 200m IM and came 5th in the 100m freestyle, again setting new PBs.

There were also encouraging performances from Michal Zawadzki and Charlotte Jones, who improved their times and finished high in their fields. Michal set new PBs in the 100m backstroke and breaststroke where he finished 5th and 7th. Charlotte came 6th in her debut swim at the 100m breaststroke and set new PB’s in the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke to finish inside the top 10.

At the Foundation meet, the club youngsters were determined to keep up the strong swimming. The 19-strong team was a mix of swimmers still relatively new to competition and more experienced swimmers hoping to update times. Between them, they achieved 23 medals and every swimmer set at least one new PB.

Most prolific swimmer of the day was Scott Brodie, winning three golds, two silvers and two fourth places. Gold came in the 50m backstroke and the 100m freestyle and butterfly and silvers were won in the 100m IM and the 400m freestyle. Scott also set new PBs to finish 4th in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Sophie Campbell set new times in her five events and took double gold for the 50m and 100m butterfly. She also won silver for the 200m IM and bronze for the 50m backstroke as well as finishing 4th in the 50m freestyle.

Eilidh Melrose made it seven medals from seven races. She won gold for the 100m IM with a new PB and took silver for the 50m backstroke and freestyle, setting another PB for the backstroke. Bronze medals came in the 50m and 100m breaststroke with more PBs and in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle.

Abi McAnerney set new PBs in all her events and took silver in the 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly. She came 4th in the 50m backstroke and 9th in the 100m IM. Abi continued to swim well to set new best times in the 100m and 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke.

Finlay Morrice won silver in the 50m freestyle with a new best time and came 4th in the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke with another PB. He finished 5th in the 100m breaststroke and 6th in the 50m butterfly. He also set new PB’s in the 100m IM and 50m breaststroke.

Brodie McArthur won silver in the 50m butterfly, came 4th in the 50m backstroke, 5th in both the 100m IM and 50m freestyle and 7th with a new PB in the 50m breaststroke.

Josh Docherty made it 100% PBs as he took silver for the 100m backstroke, 4th in the 50m butterfly and 7th in the 100m IM and 100m breaststroke. He also produced good swims in the 50m breaststroke, freestyle and backstroke.

Ellis Quigley won bronze in the 50m breaststroke and was 5th in the 50m butterfly, setting new PBs in both races. She came 8th in her debut at the 100m freestyle and set more PBs in the 50m backstroke and freestyle and 100m IM.

Oliver Jones took bronze for the 100m backstroke in his event debut. He also finished 8th in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle. Oliver then went on to set new PBs in the 100m IM and the 50m breaststroke, freestyle, and backstroke.

Outside of the medals, the younger and less experienced swimmers put in encouraging performances with many trying new events or improving their times. Mirrin Fay was 4th in the 100m backstroke and 6th in the 100m freestyle in her debut at the events She also took 6th in the 50m breaststroke and set a new PB to finish 7th in the 50m butterfly.

Freya McFarlane set a new PB to finish 4th in the 200m IM. Nina Spirit-Hawthorne was 5th in the 100m IM and 6th in the 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly, with new times for each. She also set PBs in the 50m breaststroke and the 50m freestyle, where she finished in 9th and 11th place.

Nuala Munro and Katie Deegan both managed 5th, 7th and 8th finishes with new times. Nuala’s placings were for the 50m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and 100m IM and Katie’s were for the 100m freestyle, 100m IM and 50m breaststroke.

Rory Munro set new PBs to finish 6th in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke. He took 8th in the 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly and set a new PB in the 100m breaststroke. Adam Quigley set new PBs for the 50m backstroke and freestyle, finishing 6th and 8th respectively.

Lucie Sweeney set new times for the 100m IM and 50m butterfly and backstroke, but just missed out in the 50m breaststroke. Jessica Gallagher set new PBs in each of her three races – the 50m butterfly and breaststroke and the 100m IM. Cameron Ridyard improved his times in the 50m breaststroke and backstroke and set a debut time for the 50m freestyle.

Well done to all the swimmers competing.