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.

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