15 IASC swimmers represented 6 Inverclyde schools at the Brodies Scottish Schools Swimming Championships and it proved to be another winning occasion with three golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze and a host of top flight finishes and new PBs.
Swimmers from all over Scotland compete in the prestigious gala at Tollcross. Races are streamed by age group, with swimmers competing in either 12 and under, 13-14 years, 15-16 years or 17-19 years events.
The morning session got off to a flying start, with Aimee Watson and Molly Cannon going in the 15-16 years 200m breaststroke. Clydeview’s Aimee was one of the pre-event favourites, and it turned into an exciting battle for gold. It was neck and neck throughout the race, with Aimee just stretching ahead in the last few metres to claim an outstanding win. St Columba’s Molly exceeded pre-race expectations to finish in a strong 11th place.
Aimee and Molly were back in action in the afternoon in the 100m breaststroke. Again, it was close battle at the front, with Aimee swimming another incredible race to claim silver. Molly finished strongly in 14th just a fraction of a second off 10th place.
The great results continued in the morning session with Sam Sharkey and Lauren Macleay – both of Clydeview – coming a very impressive 6th in their events: the 200m IM for Sam and the 100m backstroke for Lauren. Notre Dame swimmers Jay Keith and Nathan Peoples both swam in the 13-14 years 100m butterfly. Swimming in his first national competition, Nathan came a very respectable 18th, and Jay capitalised on his recent great form to finish in a great 9th place. St Columba’s Kilmacolm’s Ashleigh Blyth waited most of the morning for her race, and finished well in 18th place in the 15-16 years 100m butterfly.
Three primary school pupils were competing in the 12 and under events. In the morning session, Moorfoot Primary was represented by Luke Garrity, who was swimming in the 50m breaststroke. Luke put in an excellent performance to finish 11th and was unlucky not to make the final. Also swimming the 50m breaststroke, Betty Fischer-Keogh from St Ninian’s qualified for her final where she finished in a superb 7th place.
Starting off the afternoon session, 9 year old Archie McArthur was the youngest competitor of the entire event, swimming in the 50m butterfly. The St Columba’s Kilmacolm pupil showed what exciting potential he has, finishing in 10th place against swimmers two years older than him.
Next to race was Clydeview swimmer Kian McNelis, who put in a great performance to finish 12th in the 200m freestyle. Kian then went on to do the double, bagging another 12th place in the 100m event in the evening.
Clydeview’s Matthew Garrity was competing in the 15-16 years 200m breaststroke in the afternoon and the 100m event in the evening. Just like Aimee, Matthew was a pre-race favourite for both his races. In the 200m race, he executed a perfect final turn to move ahead of the competition and comfortably win gold. It was a closer battle in the 100m event, but Matthew kept his cool and stayed in control to win his second gold.
In the 17-19 200m breaststroke, Thomas Cannon of St Columba’s swam a fantastic final 50m to claim bronze, just missing out on the silver by a fraction of a second. Buoyed up by his success, Thomas then went on to claim 5th in the 100m breaststroke in the last swim of the competition.
Two other St Columba’s swimmers had to wait until the evening session for their chance to race, but they made it worth their while. Swimming in the 15-16 years 200m butterfly, Aaron Gray put in a fine performance to claim 6th place. Shortly after, Emily Lightfoot swam in the 17-19 year 200m IM, earning a great 8th place.
It was a long and tiring day, but the swimmers were all delighted with their performances and results. Team spirit and confidence levels are high and the future is looking exciting for swimming in Inverclyde!