Inverclyde record an impressive victory at mini league round 2

Round two of the Clyde Coast Mini League saw IASC make it two wins out of two with a stunning victory in Ayr.

Inverclyde were competing against Kilmarnock and South Ayrshire. Confidence was high after victory in the first round, but a late change of date meant many of the team were unavailable to compete. Roadworks on the A78 added further travel complications and in the end, the club was relieved to be able to field a full team.

On the day, the additional pressure brought out the best in the swimmers with the team scoring an incredible 212 points out of the 230 available. Once again, the boys were dominant across all age groups, but this time, the girls showed great improvement to boost the previous points total.

First up were the medley relays, with Inverclyde taking 28 out of the 30 points on offer through some impressive and dominant swimming. Many swimmers were swimming up an age category to complete the 4-person teams, and coped admirably with the responsibility.

In the individual events, the boys dropped just two points across the entire competition. Even the swimmers competing in the Inverclyde reserve lane were impressive. Although swimmers in the reserve lane cannot earn points, they get valuable racing experience and compete every bit as fiercely as their teammates.

In the 8 and under category, Blake Herdman, Brodie McArthur and Finlay Morrice each won their individual events: Blake in the 25m freestyle and butterfly; Brodie in the 25m backstroke and Finlay in the 25m breaststroke.

For the 9-year olds, Scott Brodie won the 25m butterfly and freestyle. Josh Docherty won the 25m backstroke and took second place in the breaststroke. In the 10-year old boys category it was another 100% win rate for the team. Archie McArthur won the 50m backstroke and butterfly and Ryan Cummings won the 50m freestyle and breaststroke.

In the 11-year old boys category, Peter Maloney and Luke Garrity improved on their points score in the first round to make it full marks in their four events. Peter won the 100m butterfly and backstroke events and Luke won the 100m freestyle and breaststroke.

The reserve swims across all the age groups were equally impressive. Oliver Gibson, Oliver Jones, Cameron Beck and Lukas Kong all did well, beating all other teams on several occasions to record multiple Inverclyde first and second place finishes.

In the girls team, there was lots of cause for optimism, with some strong swimming across the age groups. In the 8 and under category, the girls matched the boys by winning all the individual events. Nina Spirit Hawthorne won the 25m freestyle and breaststroke while Taguen Maloney won the 25m butterfly and backstroke.

The 9-year old girls bettered their male counterparts by recording 100% victories. Sophie Campbell won in the 25m butterfly and backstroke, Eilidh Melrose in the 25m breaststroke and Isabella McClafferty in the 25m freestyle.

The 10-year old girls also won all their races: Lois Herdman in the 50m backstroke, Mirren McConnell in the 50m freestyle and butterfly and Alice McClafferty in the 50m breaststroke. Competition was toughest for the 11-year old girls, but Olivia McNally and Charlotte Jones should be positive about the improved times they achieved against strong swimmers.

The reserve girls performed well throughout the afternoon, scoring many more second place finishes. Mirrin Fay, Ellie Atkinson, Beth Nichol, Skye McLellan and Amy Mearns were among those competing, with a number of new PBs being set.

By the end of the individual swims, the score check showed Inverclyde had a 50 point lead and could not be caught, but there was no chance of the young team taking it easy in the freestyle relays. Once again, they claimed victory in all but one of the races, with more impressive times being recorded.

Race of the day was undoubtedly the final boys squadron relay. Despite strong swims in the first few legs, South Ayrshire had a good lead over the Inverclyde team. Each swimmer worked tirelessly to close the gap and by the final 25m there was nothing between the teams. With the whole of the Inverclyde team screaming him home, Luke Garrity managed to inch ahead and claim victory by less than a second.

Mini league coach Andrew Hemphill reflected on the performance with these words: “In round one we saw some great individual performances, but in this round we really showed our strength as a team. Holidays meant that some of the team were unavailable so we had to make changes. Some of the swimmers were asked to compete outside their comfort zone, but they managed it with incredible maturity. Every swimmer focussed on the task in hand and swam incredibly well across all the events. Such a strong team performance reminds us that swimming is not always an individual sport, and such a great team spirit from swimmers, officials, supporters and parents will be a massive advantage as we head into our home round, and hopefully the final!”

The third round will be hosted by Inverclyde ASC in Dunoon (due to the broken floor at the Waterfront) on Sunday 19th May. All are hoping the winning streak continues and a place in the final is secured.

British Championships 2019 Preview

It’s almost time for the #BSC19 British Swimming Championships – the biggest national event in swimming – and three Inverclyde swimmers will be there competing alongside the likes of Adam Peaty.

The event – held in Glasgow’s Tollcross – runs from Tuesday 16th – Sunday 21st April. We are incredibly proud to have swimmers representing the club in this prestigious competition. Both Aimee Watson and Thomas Cannon will be competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and Matthew Garrity in the100m breaststroke.

Good luck to our talented trio – we will keep you updated on their progress, but here’s a rundown of their events.

Tuesday 16th April
Event 101: Aimee in the 50m breaststroke
Event 106: Thomas and Matthew in the 100m breaststroke

Wednesday 17th April
Event 201: Thomas in the 50m breaststroke
Event 206: Aimee in the 200m breaststroke

Friday 19th April
Event 404: Thomas in the 200m breaststroke

Sunday 21st April
Event 602: Aimee in the 200m breaststroke


Super SNAGS for IASC

15 swimmers from Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club recently competed in the Scottish National Age Group (SNAGS) championships – the biggest and most important competition in the junior swimming calendar.

Hopes were high for a successful meet, but few would have dared dream of the success that was to unfold across the five days of competition. Overall, the team finished 18th out of 102 teams – the first time in the club’s history that a top 20 placing has been achieved. There were six Scottish champions, 4 gold medals, 5 silver medals, 1 bronze, 12 additional finals qualifications and multiple PBs and improved national rankings.

One of the two busiest swimmers, Matthew Garrity swam in eight individual events in the 15 year old age group and had the competition of his life. Matthew won gold and was crowned Scottish champion in the 100m and 200m breaststroke with two new PB times. He won silver and was crowned Scottish champion (as the fastest Scot competing) in the 200m and 400m IM with another two great PBs. On top of this, he won silver in the 800m freestyle, and bronze in the 50m breaststroke (again with PBs) and came 4th in the 400m freestyle. Matthew qualified in 5th place for the 50m freestyle but withdrew to focus on his 100m breaststroke event the same evening.

Fellow 15 year old Aimee Watson was also competing every day in eight individual events and returned another superb set of results. Aimee won gold and was crowned Scottish champion in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and won silver in the 200m breaststroke and 200m IM. In addition to the medals, Aimee qualified for the final of the 50m butterfly, where she finished 7th and came 13th, 16th and 22nd in the 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle respectively.

Thomas Cannon showed his versatility by qualifying for seven individual events where he either matched or improved his ranking and set five new PBs. Swimming in the 17-18 year old age group, Thomas also made the finals of five events. His best results came in the breaststroke, where he finished 5th in the 200m, 6th in the 50m and 7th in the 100m events. He also achieved a 7th place finish in the 400m IM. In the 100m backstroke, Thomas qualified for the final in 10th place, but withdrew to focus in his 200m breaststroke the same night. An 11th place in the 50m backstroke and 13th in the 200m IM completed a very successful meet for Thomas.

Sister Molly was also busy, swimming in three individual events: the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke. It was another great result for the Cannon family, with Molly making all three finals in the 15 year old age group category. She swam new best times to finish 8th in both the 50m and 100m events, way ahead of her 16th and 21st place seedings. In the 200m event, Molly swam to a 6th place finish, just outside her PB but ahead of her 9th place seeding.

Jay Keith was competing in four events in the 14 year old age group and came away with a great set of new PBs and improved national rankings. He narrowly missed out on a spot in the finals for the 100m breaststroke when he finished 11th. A 14th place in the 200m butterfly, 17th in the 100m butterfly and 22nd in the 50m butterfly showed just how much he has improved in this stroke.

Aaron Gray was swimming in two individual events for the first time: the 16 year old 100m and 200m butterfly. Aaron came to the event after a great run of results, and his confidence showed. In the 200m event he finished as first reserve and was unlucky not to make the final. The 100m event came later, where he swam a superb new PB to finish 13th. Kian McNelis qualified individually for the 200m and 400m freestyle in the 16 year old category and put in strong performances in both events to secure top 20 finishes.

Oliver Patton and Lewis Gray were also competing in their first individual SNAGS events, both in the 13 year old age group. Oliver swam in the 100m and 200m backstroke and Lewis in the 50m breaststroke. Both boys put in a solid performance and gained invaluable experience for future national events.

In the relay events, the 14-16 boys team took on three relay events, setting new PB’s and finishing ahead of their seeding each time. The team of Matthew, Aaron, Kian, Adam Brooks and Cammi Kerr came 8th in the 4x100m medley and 12th in both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle.

The 14-16 girls team also performed well to score two out of three PBs and exceed their seedings. Ashleigh Blyth and Anna McClafferty made up the team with Aimee and Molly, exceeding expectations against much older and more experienced competition.

The 11-13 year old boys were determined to do their bit for the club, and swam new PBs to finish 11th in the 4x100m medley relay and 16th in the 4x100m freestyle event. Well done to Oliver, Lewis, Luke Garrity and Alistair Currie.

The club also had a mixed team competing in the 14-16 age group, which managed to grab a superb 6th place finish in the 4x100m medley with a new PB. Well done to Molly, Matthew, Aaron and Aimee and all the relay teams for some great teamwork.

Head coach Shirley Reford has just about settled down after all the celebrations and had this to say: “The preparation in the lead up to SNAGS was intense and the workload required from the swimmers was very tough. The performances overall were outstanding in both team and individual events. Finishing 18th out of 102 clubs was a magnificent achievement, considering we are a relatively small club. I’m extremely proud of how we performed at the top level.”

Indeed, Shirley’s words echo the feeling throughout the club. Everyone is immensely proud of the medals and the finals, but the PBs and improvement in seedings across a wide range of strokes and distances is causing just as much pride. They show what an exciting time it is for the club and how much the whole team is developing and improving. Team spirit is at an all-time high and the swimmers due to take part in upcoming competitions are desperate to play their part in keeping that going. I wouldn’t bet against them.

SNAGS Day 5 Round Up

One minute it feels like a marathon – the next minute you’re almost at the end. Sport is funny like that. Just as well we won a few more medals today to keep the momentum up. Here’s what happened on the final day of #SNAGS2019.

The final morning at #SNAGS2019 was one of our busiest. First up were Matthew Garrity and Thomas Cannon in the 200m IM. Matthew qualified comfortably for the final in 2nd place, just outside his PB. Thomas went next with a great swim to finish 13th ahead of his 15th place seeding. Sadly, it wasn’t quite enough to secure a place in the finals.

Next we were back to our breaststroke ladies, Aimee Watson and Molly Cannon in the 100m event. Both swam well, with Aimee securing the fastest qualification for the evening final. Molly swam a PB and finished in 11th place as first reserve for the final. Yet again, it was a wait to see if she would get to swim it, and she got her chance! More on that later…

Brother Thomas was up next in the 50m backstroke heats. Just like Molly, Thomas swam a PB to finish as 1st reserve, but unfortunately he didn’t get to swim again. Despite this disappointment, Thomas has had an excellent competition and should be very proud of what’s he’s achieved.

Next, Aimee was back in the pool again for the 50m butterfly, doing well to qualify for the final in 7th place. Matthew was back in the action as well, swimming the 800m freestyle. The tough distance event can really take it out of swimmers, but as 2nd seed, Matthew was in with a good chance of a medal. It was a tough race, but Matthew swam extremely well to set a new PB and claim his silver medal. 4 medals won by Matthew, and still the evening finals to come!

Last race of the morning was the 14-16 girls 4 x 200m freestyle relay. The team of Molly, Anna McClafferty, Ashleigh Blyth and Aimee swam a brilliant PB to move up to 29th place from their 34th place seeding. Well done girls.

It was another quiet afternoon, with just the 11-13 boys relay team competing in the 4 x 100m medley relay. Oliver Patton, Luke Garrity, Lewis Gray and Alistair Currie had a fabulous swim, setting a new PB and finishing 11th ahead of their 13th place seeding. Well done boys.

The first final of the night was Matthew in the 200m IM. It was a repeat of the 400m event, with Matthew going up against Pietro Ubertalli. Having competed so well in the 800m freestyle earlier, there were a few nerves around whether Matthew would have enough energy left to be competitive in the race. It started out as expected, with Matthew holding 3rd place on the butterfly leg, but losing ground on the backstroke. He had quite a gap to bridge for the breaststroke, but he did it in style, not only moving up to 2nd place, but challenging for 1st. It was neck and neck down the final 50m, and in the end Matthew was beaten by just 0.03 seconds. He is still crowned Scottish champion as the fastest finishing Scot, and you will not see a more exciting finish to a 200m IM swim this year. Amazing stuff.

It was the girls on the 100m breaststroke next, with Molly getting her place in the final as hoped. In a way, the pressure was off Molly, and she could just enjoy the race. No such luck for Aimee however. As fastest qualifier, she was the one to beat. A close start to the race saw Aimee just edge ahead slightly. She built a small lead down the first 50m, and executed a good turn to remain in the lead. But the pressure was relentless and with every stroke the winning margin narrowed. Our girl was not to be beaten though, and kept everyone else at bay to claim her second Scottish champion title of the competition. Amazing Aimee!

In the same race, Molly was able to swim it her way in the outside lane, and powered home to another PB and an 8th place finish: not a bad effort from 1st reserve! Like brother Thomas, Molly has been outstanding in this competition and should be full of confidence for the rest of the season.

The last final of #SNAGS2019 was upon us, and it was only fitting that with Matthew starting the night, Aimee was the one to end it. She swam in the 50m butterfly final and finished just outside her best time in 7th place.

And like that, we are done. Every race has been swum and we are all completely drained. We’ve had disappointment and elation alike, but overall, #SNAGS2019 has exceeded every expectation. We’re going to rest and reflect on what we’ve achieved and come back with some words of wisdom in the next couple of days.

If you’ve read this far and you’ve enjoyed being part of the journey, please let your friends know about us. We’re looking to grow the club with new members, and you never know who the next Matthew and Aimee might be. It might just be your child…

But tonight is for those very special people who have given us some amazing memories over the last five days. Our SNAGS class of 2019: Matthew, Aimee, Thomas, Molly, Aaron, Jay, Kian, Oliver, Lewis, Ashleigh, Anna, Adam, Luke, Alistair and Cammi. Our amazing coaches: Shirley, Kyara, Andrew and Sarah. Our amazing mums and dads and grandparents and brothers and sisters. And the amazing extended family that is our club. Until next year!


SNAGS Day 4 Round Up

#SNAGS2019 is a marathon of a competition and never does that feel more true than at the start of day 4. So what a perfect time to be told you’re making history for your club. Would the pressure get to our swimmers? Another two medals and ANOTHER Scottish champion says not a chance! Here’s the story of today.

Coaches and swimmers alike were boosted by the news this morning that after 3 days of competition, not only were Inverclyde in the top 20, but that we had already beaten our total points score from the previous year. It was great to see proof of just how much the club is improving and developing year on year. It gave the swimmers that extra bit of motivation – not that they needed it!

It was ladies first in the morning session, with Aimee Watson in the 200IM putting in a solid performance to qualify for the finals in 3rd place. Next was Kian McNelis in the 200m freestyle, finishing in 17th place with a new long course PB. After a short recovery, Aimee was back in action in the 100m butterfly. She was unlucky to finish a couple of seconds off her PB in 13th place, narrowly missing out on another final. Aaron Gray was next up in the same event. Like Aimee, Aaron finished in 13th place, but will be delighted with a new PB for his efforts.

Next it was time for Matthew Garrity and Thomas Cannon in the 400m IM. Both boys swam well to qualify comfortably for the evening’s finals – Matthew in 2nd place and Thomas in 6th. The last race for the club in the morning session was the 14-16 boys 4 x 100m freestyle relay. Kian, Adam Brooks, Aaron and Matthew swam a fabulous race to set a new PB and finish 12th overall, ahead of their 17th place seeding.

It was a quiet afternoon for the club, with just Jay Keith swimming in the 100m butterfly. He swam well, and finished just a fraction off the PB he set a couple of weeks ago to gain 17th place.

Aimee was first out in the evening finals for the 200m IM. In the first butterfly leg, Aimee was well positioned in third place. Race leader Katie Shanahan looked unstoppable from only 25m, and even second place looked out of reach after the backstroke leg. But a brilliant breaststroke from Aimee pulled her into silver medal position and she held her nerve to swim home to a phenomenal second place with a massive PB. Unbelievably exciting stuff from Aimee!

Next up was Matthew in the 400m IM. A strong butterfly put him in a good position, but his rivals clawed time back on the backstroke. Breaststroke was always where Matthew was going to shine, and he used his strength to great advantage and pulled himself into a solid second position. He stayed strong and no-one could catch him on the freestyle 100m, as he swam home to claim silver overall, and be crowned Scottish champion for the event, in another superb PB time. Triple Scottish champion fairly rolls off the tongue!

Our last final was from Thomas Cannon in the 400m IM. Thomas was seeded 6th, so hopes were more for a PB than a medal. The field was strong, and despite a fast first couple of legs, the gap was too great for Thomas to get into a medal position. He stayed focused however, to finish strongly in 7th place, with that coveted new PB time. Well done Thomas – you have set new PBs in almost every event so far!

WOW. Two more medals; another Scottish champion, and more PBs that show our are swimmers are heading in the right direction. The club stopped training tonight to watch and support Aimee in her final. That’s what we do here at Inverclyde: we’re a team. We’re small but we’re mighty, and we’re with them to the last stroke. Tomorrow is our last day, the finish line is in sight and we’ve still got some strong events to compete in. Join us all for the last push.


SNAGS Day 3 Round Up

We’re over halfway through the competition now and success is as much about mental strength as physical strength. Do our swimmers have what it takes? Another medal says yes! Here’s our round up of the events on day 3 of #SNAGS2019.

First off the blocks for the club was Matthew Garrity in the 50m freestyle. Matthew swam a great race, beating his previous PB and qualifying for the final in 5th place, ahead of his 7th place seeding. Next up was Aimee Watson for the same event. Aimee was just off her best time but still finished in a respectable 16th place.

It was back to the breaststroke next with Matthew and Thomas Cannon taking on the 100m distance. Both boys qualified comfortably for the final – Matthew in 2nd place and Thomas in 5th place – with Thomas setting yet another new PB.

The final race of the morning was the 14-16 girls 4 x 100m freestyle relay. The team of Molly Cannon, Anna McClafferty, Ashleigh Blyth and Aimee swam their hearts out to a new PB.

In the afternoon session Oliver Patton swam in the 200m backstroke, finishing in a solid 28th place. Jay Keith in the 100m breaststroke was up next. Jay swam incredibly well to score a new PB and finish as first reserve for the evening final. Once again, it was a nervous wait to see if Jay would get a place, and once again it wasn’t to be. Jay should still be very proud of his achievements.

The first final of the evening should have been Matthew in the 50m freestyle, but he took the decision to withdraw to focus on the 100m breaststroke. Only time would tell if he made the right decision, but at least it wasn’t a long wait to find out. With Jay not getting a place, Matthew’s breaststroke was to be our first final of the evening.

The commentators pitched it as the battle between 50m and 200m, and they weren’t wrong. As they emerged after the start Matthew was in second place, with very little in it. It was all to play for at the turn, and Matthew emerged ahead – a lead he was not going to surrender. For the next 20 metres he was under pressure, before his strong finish pulled him clear to win his second gold of the competition. Hard fought and well won!

Thomas Cannon followed minutes later in the same event. Having qualified in 5th place, Thomas had great confidence, but it wasn’t to be his night. Several swimmers were able to step it up a gear to claim the medals. Thomas finished in 7th, just hundreds of a second off 5th place. It was a bittersweet moment, but once the towels have dried, Thomas should be very proud of his achievements this year.

Another day, another medal. Sometimes, our amazing young swimmers can make it look easy, when it’s anything but. So as we head into the weekend and a couple of days off, spare a thought for our swimmers, coaches and supporting families, who will be back poolside at the crack of dawn for another bid at PBs, finals and medals. The rest of the club is willing you on: one team, one dream.

SNAGS Day 2 Round Up

We are well and truly in the thick of the competition now, as IASC saw five finalists and two more medals in the second day of competition. Here’s what happened in #SNAGS2019 day 2.

First to swim in the morning session were Molly Cannon and Aimee Watson in the 200m breaststroke heats. Both girls were well off their PB times, as were most of the field, but still managed to comfortably secure qualification for the evening final – Molly in 9th place and Aimee in 2nd.

Aaron Gray qualified as first reserve for the in the 200m butterfly final after finishing the heats in 11th place. This was a great achievement for Aaron in his first individual SNAGS swim. He faced a nervous wait to see if he could get a place in the final but it wasn’t to be. He can still take great confidence from his performance into the 100m event.

Next up was Matthew Garrity and Thomas Cannon in the 50m breaststroke. Both put in impressive performances to set new PBs and qualify for the finals in 2nd and 7th place.

Matthew was in action again shortly afterwards in the 400m freestyle heats along with Kian McNelis. Despite being a few seconds off his best time Matthew managed to qualify easily for the finals in 4th place. Kian wasn’t quite as fortunate. Although he improved on his seeding, it wasn’t enough to qualify for the final as he finished in 19th position.

The final races of the morning were the girls and boys 14-16 4 x 100m medley relays. The girls team of Molly, Aimee, Ashleigh Blyth and Anna McClafferty swam first and finished just off their PB in 26th place overall – well ahead of their 33rd place seeding. The boys relay team of Adam Brooks, Matthew, Aaron and Kian closed the morning session with a new PB to finish in an impressive 8th place.

In the afternoon session, Jay Keith swam a great new PB to finish 14th in the 200m butterfly. Two 200m butterfly swims in one day at SNAGs is a first for our club and it’s great to see more of our swimmers competing in previously less popular events.

Lewis Gray was the last of the day-time swims with the 50m breaststroke, where he finished just outside his PB. Like brother Aaron, Lewis was competing in his first individual event in SNAGS and gained valuable experience for the rest of his events over the weekend.

It was role reversal in the evening finals with Matthew and Thomas taking on the 50m breaststroke and Aimee and Molly taking on the 200m event and hopes were high for more medals.

Aimee and Molly were the first out in the 200m breaststroke final. From the start Aimee was in a strong second position behind race leader Katie Shanahan. Aimee kept in touching distance for the first three lengths, but despite a strong surge in the final 50m, she couldn’t make up enough distance on Katie and had to settle for silver. Molly, in the outside lane also had a fantastic swim to grab 6th place from her 9th place qualification.

In Matthew’s 50m breaststroke it was all about the start. From the off, the swimmers were tightly packed, but the order remained unchanged, despite the onslaught of pressure. Matthew managed to hold on to 3rd place to win a great bronze medal. The 17-18 year olds race was another tightly packed field, but Thomas pulled out yet another PB to finish in 6th place ahead of his 7th place qualifying. Amazing swimming once again from the boys.

The last final of the night saw Matthew going up in the 400m freestyle. It was a complete contrast to the 50m breaststroke, and Matthew had to recover quickly and compose himself for the more tactical distance event. He did really well to finish 4th just outside his best time after a hectic day of competition.

So as the lights dim on day two, we are going to try and get as much rest and recovery as we can, before it all begins again at 9am. Tomorrow will bring lots more swimming, and with that come lots more tension and cheering for the club. Bring it on folks – these are the problems we want to have!


SNAGS Day 1 Round Up

What a day. 2 Scottish champions? Well, yes… but let’s start at the beginning…

It was a successful morning at day 1 of #SNAGS2019 with 4 swims securing a place in the evening finals. Matthew Garrity qualified in 1st place for his 200m breaststroke final and Thomas Cannon in 7th place with a new PB for the same event. For the girls, both Aimee Watson and Molly Cannon were in great form, securing PBs to book their places in the 50m breaststroke final – Aimee qualifying in 1st place and Molly in 8th.

Thomas also came 10th in his 100m backstroke event and Aimee finished in 22nd position for the 100m freestyle. In the afternoon session, Oliver Patton finished 35th in the 100m backstroke and Jay Keith came 22nd in the 100m butterfly with a new PB.

The 14-16 boys team scored a big new PB to improve on their 14th place seeding and finish 12th overall in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay. Well done to Cammi Kerr, Aaron Gray, Kian McNelis and Matthew. The 11-13 boys did it again, scoring a big PB to finish 16th over their 19th place seeding in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay. Well done to Oliver Patton, Luke Garrity, Lewis Gray and Alistair Currie. The 14-16 mixed team also scored a big PB to finish 6th in the 4 x 100m medley relay. Well done also to Molly, Matthew, Aaron and Aimee.

In the evening finals it was all about the breaststroke. 2 boys, 2 girls, 2 distances, 1 aim: swim fast. The boys were going in the 200m event and the girls in the 50m. The boys were first up, with Matthew Garrity looking to improve on his silver medal last year and Thomas Cannon hoping to better his 7th place finish both last year and in qualifying.

Having qualified in 1st place in the morning, all the pressure was on Matthew. He got off to a solid start, but lane 5 next to him took an early and dominant lead. Matthew kept a cool head and stuck to a comfortable 3rd place for the first 150m, which did nothing to settle the nerves of his coaches, family and clubmates. At the final turn, however, Matthew injected a burst of speed that no-one could match. He executed his race to perfection and went on the win in dominant style with a 3 second PB. Even the commentators were impressed!

Aimee Watson had no such luxuries in her race. The 50m event is a flat-out sprint, and despite being the defending champion and qualifying fastest, Aimee and her coaches knew nothing could be taken for granted. Aimee managed to build on a very slim lead at the halfway mark and extend it by inches with each remaining stroke to claim the victory in exciting fashion.

In the same final, Molly Cannon held off the competition to secure her 8th place finish. Brother Thomas swam a phenomenal race in the 17-18 yo 200m breaststroke category to finish above his 7th place seeding in 5th taking an incredible 4 seconds off his PB.

Did all that really happen and is it only day 1?

Never end #SNAGS2019, never end!


Clydeview Academy, Gourock St Columba’s High School, Gourock