The future is bright at West District Future Stars

14 swimmers took to the water at the West District Future Stars competition in Tollcross and set out to prove that the future for the club is bright. 13 medals were won and 26 new PBs set over the two-day event.

Races are contested across three age groups: 11-14 year-olds, 15-16 year-olds and 17’s and over. For many swimmers at the younger end of the age groups, the event is a chance to gain race experience against high quality competition and hopefully set new PBs and improved seedings.

Indeed, the coaches were encouraged by the quality of the swimming on display from the team, which was reflected in the good number of PBs. But they stressed that it’s important to remember that not setting a new PB does not make it a bad result. There’s always something to learn and something to work on – PB or not, and there are always positives to take away too.

Sam Sharkey was in impressive form in the 17+ category, coming away with two golds and two silvers. He won gold for the 100m and 200m backstroke – setting a new PB in his 100m – and took silver for the 50m butterfly and freestyle with another new PB in the butterfly.

Molly Cannon was equally impressive in the 15-16 years category to win both of her events on the Sunday. She set a new PB to win the 400m IM in the morning and improved on her second place seeding in the 50m backstroke.

Fellow 15-year old Ashleigh Blyth also had a great competition, winning silver in the 50m backstroke and bronze in the 50m freestyle by setting new PBs and improving on her seedings in both events. Ashleigh also came 8th in the 200m backstroke, ahead of her 9th place seeding, and matched her 17th place seeding in the 100m freestyle.

One of the busiest swimmers of the weekend was Jay Keith, who was rewards with two medals and five new PBs for his seven events in the 11-14 category. Jay won silver in the 100m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m butterfly. Like Ashleigh, Jay set PBs and improved on his seedings in both events. Equally impressive were the PB’s he set in the 50m breaststroke and butterfly to finish 5th and 6th place respectively: a great improvement from his 13th and 10th place seedings. Jay also matched or improved on his seedings in the 50m backstroke, 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle, showing the diversity of his talent in both strokes and distances.

Another busy swimmer was Kian McNelis who swam in six events in the 15-16 category. Kian also came away with a silver and a bronze medal and set another two PBs in the process: silver for the 50m freestyle and bronze for the 100m backstroke. Kian also secured top 10 finishes in the 100m butterfly, the 200m IM and the 800m freestyle. and an 11th place in the 50m butterfly. Once again, the coaches were delighted to see strong results across such a wide range of events.

The final medallist of the event was Adam Brooks, who scooped a bronze medal for the 400m freestyle with a new PB in the 15-16 category. He also came fourth in the 50m backstroke and set new PBs in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

Cammy Kerr took sixth place in the 1500m freestyle with a new PB for the 15-16 category and finished 14th in the 800m freestyle. Oliver Patton set new PBs in the 100m and 200m backstroke, improving on his seedings in both events and was just outside his best time in the 400m freestyle. All three boys should be pleased with their performances and continued improvement.

In the 17 and over old category, Lauren Macleay wasn’t able to improve on her times but still managed to finish in a respectable fifth and seventh place in the 100m freestyle and 200m IM. Brother Darren was also just outside his fastest times, but still put in solid performances in the 50m breaststroke, backstroke and 100m butterfly.

Two females came away with 100% PBs from the competition: Abbie Logan and Anna McClafferty. 15-year old Abbie was at the younger end of her events and did well to finish 13th, ahead of her 19th place seeding in the 100m breaststroke and beat her 31st place seeding in the 100m freestyle to take 25th. 14-year old Anna finished 20th from a 33rd place seeding in the 50m freestyle and moved from a 56th place seeding to finish 39th inthe 100m backstroke. The faster times and improved rankings will motivate both girls for their remaining races before the summer break.

13 year old April Craynor also improved her times and outperformed her rankings in three of her four events. She set new PBs in the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke, moving up on her seedings each time to finish 38th, 40th and 29th. April should be filled with confidence from her performance for the rest of the season.

At just 11 years old, Luke Garrity was the youngest swimmer to represent the club. Swimming against much older competition, Luke set a new PB to finish 43rd in the 100m backstroke ahead of his 54th place ranking. He was unlucky to finish just outside his best time in the 200m breaststroke, but still managed 24th fastest in the 11-14 years age group.

Well done to everyone for their effort over the competition.


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