THIRTEEN youngsters from Inverclyde Amateur Swimming Club represented the club at the North Ayrshire Junior Meet.
It was an extremely challenging competition with unprecedented levels of disqualifications, but the talented group still achieved 30 medals –- 12 gold, nine silver and nine bronze -– and 26 new personal best (PB) times from 49 swims.
There was another dominant display from Archie McArthur, winning seven golds across the weekend. His medals came in the nine-year-olds’ 50-metre butterfly, backstroke and freestyle, 100-metre individual medley, and the 200-metre backstroke, freestyle and breaststroke. The coaches were delighted with his performance, especially the new PBs he set in the 50-metre freestyle and the 200-metre backstroke.
Archie McArthur, left, and Lewis Gray
Lewis Gray also came away from the competition with seven medals: four gold, two silver and one bronze in the 13-year-old age group. He won gold for the 100-metre butterfly, freestyle and breaststroke and the 400-metre freestyle; silver in the 200-metre and 400-metre individual medley and bronze in the 200-metre freestyle. Lewis also swam four impressive new PB times.
Luke Garrity medalled and PBed in each of his four events in the 11-year-old category. He won gold for the 200-metre breaststroke, silver for the 400-metre individual medley and bronze for the 200-metre backstroke and individual medley.
April Craynor also set new PBs and won medals in her three events in the 13-year-old age group. She won silver for the 100-metre backstroke and the 200-metre freestyle and bronze for the 100-metre breastroke.
There were more PBs and medals for Betty Fischer Keogh and Scott Brodie. Betty won silver in the 100-metre breaststroke and 200-metre freestyle in the 11-year-old age group and Scott won silver for the 50-metre freestyle and 200-metre backstroke in the nine-year-olds’ competition. Both set new PBs each time.
Cameron Beck set a PB to claim bronze in the 200-metre individual medley and also finished 4th in the 50-metre backstroke and 200-metre freestyle in the 10-year-old age group. Sister Holly also won a bronze in the 200-metre backstroke and set new PBs in the 200-metre and 400-metre freestyle.
More bronze medals came from Mirren McConnell, Logan O’Donoghue and Abigail McAnerney. Mirren set two new PBs to win bronze in the 50-metre backstroke and finish 6th in the 200-metre freestyle in the 10-year-olds’ age group. In the nine-year-olds’ category, Logan came 3rd in the 200-metre freestyle and set a new PB to come 8th in the 50-metre backstroke. Fellow nine-year-old Abigail also set a PB to win bronze in the 100-metre individual medley.
Yet more PBs came from Katherine Simpson and Ellis Quigley. Katherine set a superb new PB in the 100-metre freestyle to finish 7th in the 13-year-olds’ category. She also achieved 4th in the 100-metre butterfly and 6th in the 200-metre backstroke. Ellis set excellent new PBs in the 50-metre freestyle and breaststroke, achieving 10th and 12th place in the 10-year-old age group.
Coach Sarah Reford had these words of advice: “Disqualifications are part of swimming, and everyone suffers from time to time, but it was a hard lesson to learn for some of our younger, less experienced swimmers. That’s why we place so much importance on practising these technical aspects in training. Everyone who suffered a disqualification will learn from it and come back stronger next time.
“On a positive note, it was great to see swimmers tackle new events and distances — the 200-metre backstroke was our busiest event! Younger swimmers can be daunted by distance events, but they are a fantastic way to develop stamina and the earlier they start, the more used to pacing races they will become.”