Swimming stars shine at West District Championships

17 swimmers headed back to Tollcross for Round 2 of the West District Long Course Age Group Championships for Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club. With 56 individual swims, the club achieved an incredible 25 top 10 finishes, 2 bronze, 2 silver and 2 golds as well as lots and lots of new PBs!

After a successful outing in Round 1, focus switched from 100m and 400m races to the 50m and 200m versions. It was also the time for the distance events, with the 1500m freestyle being contested.

Matthew Garrity led the honours for IASC, coming away with two superb gold medals in the 50m and 200m breaststroke events. His 50m time of 31.84 seconds brings him within 0.1 second of a new West District record for this distance – a hugely positive sign so early in the long course season. To round off his successful weekend, Matthew also came 5th in the 200m freestyle.

Not to be outdone by his older brother, Luke Garrity put in another great performance to pick up a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke and a bronze in the 50m breaststroke. Luke also swam in the 200m freestyle, finishing an impressive 7th place in his age category.

Leading the way for the girls once again was Aimee Watson. Aimee opted not to swim in her preferred breaststroke events, and still managed to win a silver medal in the 50m butterfly and a bronze medal in the 200m IM. An 8th place in the 200m backstroke and 14th place in the 50m freestyle added to the impressive results for the highly talented swimmer.

Outside of the medalists, there was a lot of other success, with a further 16 top ten finishes being achieved by a further 10 swimmers. April Craynor impressed by coming 5th in the 50m backstroke and 8th in the 200m event, setting fast new PBs in both. April also recorded another impressive PB in the 50m butterfly, where she finished 15th. And despite being well outside his PB, Kian McNelis managed to hold on for 5th place in the 1500m freestyle.

Molly Cannon set new PBs to finish 6th in the 200m IM and 7th in the 50m breaststroke. Molly finished just outside her best times for the 50m butterfly, 200m freestyle and 50m freestyle, but still recorded respectable 11th, 15th and 16th place finishes. Young Betty Fischer Keogh also achieved two top ten places and two new PBs – coming 6th in the 50m freestyle and 9th in the 50m butterfly.

Thomas Cannon was pleased to finish 8th in the 200m breaststroke, despite being just outside his best time. He swam a PB to reach 15th in the 50m breaststroke and was 18th in the 50m backstroke. Alistair Currie did well to come 8th in the 200m freestyle and 9th in the 50m event, with a fast new PB. Oliver Patton also swam an impressive PB to claim 8th place in the 200m backstroke. He also PB’ed in the 50m freestyle, where he finished 13th.

Adam Brooks finished in 9th place in the 50m backstroke with a new PB and despite not swimming his fastest time, managed 10th place in the 200m event. Peter Maloney finished 9th in the 50m butterfly and 11th in the 50m backstroke, setting two new PBs. He also managed a 12th place finish in the 200m backstroke.

Completing the list of finalists was Jay Keith, with two 10th places and two PBs for the 50m butterfly and the 200m IM. Jay also scored three further PBs to finish in the top 20 in the 50m breaststroke, freestyle and backstroke events.

Despite finishing outside of the top 10, other swimmers were pleased with their performances at this high level of competition. Lucy Campbell achieved five top 20 finishes and three new PBs and Michal Zawadzki made three top 20 finishes and two PBs. Ashleigh Blyth made the top 20 twice and was just outside it on her third swim and Emily Lightfoot was unlucky not to PB in her races.

The coaches commented: “It was one of the most successful weekends of competition at West District level for the club. Besides their great results, our swimmers were delighted to be given the opportunity meet international stars Craig McLean, Ross Murdoch, Aimee Willmott and Duncan Scott. The chance to learn from the best and get tips and advice from them was an amazing experience. We are very grateful to the West District Team for organising it.”

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