64 SWIM­MING Young­sters strike age group gold

East Kilbride News - - SPORTS -

Har­ley Mathieson

There was tri­umph and a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ment at the Scot­tish Na­tional Age Group Cham­pi­onships in Aberdeen.

Swim­ming as part of South La­nark­shire Swim­ming, East Kilbride’s young­sters were keen to de­fend their top club crown but it was not to be a fairytale re­peat of last year in Glas­gow, as they had to set­tle for third over­all.

Ed­in­burgh’s War­ren­der Baths have al­ways been one of the UK’s pre­em­i­nent clubs and it was clear from day one that they were de­ter­mined to re­claim their crown at the Aquat­ics Cen­tre in Aberdeen Sports Vil­lage.

With a huge squad of swim­mers and a new points sys­tem ben­e­fit­ing teams with more fi­nal­ists, they dom­i­nated the points ta­ble with 1253 points.

Newly-formed Aberdeen Univer­sity per­for­mance squad took sec­ond with 969 and the South La­nark­shire team were third with 799, ahead of City of Glas­gow in fourth with 705.

How­ever, there was no shortage of in­di­vid­ual suc­cess for the EK swim­mers com­pet­ing over the five-day event.

Nikki Miller con­tin­ues to prove her­self one of Scot­land’s most promis­ing young swim­mers. The East Kilbride and Scot­tish gold squad mem­ber claimed an as­ton­ish­ing eight Scot­tish ti­tles in the fe­male 17-18 cat­e­gory, win­ning the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, the 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley and the 100m and 200m but­ter­fly events in an ex­tra­or­di­nary five days of swim­ming for the 17-year-old.

The real ic­ing on the cake came in the form of two nom­i­na­tion times for the Com­mon­wealth Youth Games in the Ba­hamas later this year.

Nikki swam 2.03.76 in the 200m and 4.19.04 in the 400m freestyle events to earn a chance to swim for Scot­land in June.

Nikki, who makes the 20 mile round trip to the Dol­lan from New­ton Mearns around ten times a week, said: “I was re­ally ner­vous com­ing into the fi­nal, as I knew that this would be my big chance of se­cur­ing the time in this event.

“It was tight but I’m re­ally happy I’ve achieved it.

“I feel the pres­sure is off now and I can now fo­cus on my other events down in Sh­effield in a cou­ple of weeks.”

There was suc­cess for 15-year-old Lucy Ross too, claim­ing a fur­ther five age group ti­tles for South La­nark­shire.

The Calder­glen High pupil won the 50m, 100m and 200m breast­stroke, 50m freestyle and 200m in­di­vid­ual med­ley ti­tles in the fe­male 15 years cat­e­gory.

Strathaven’s Keir Buchanan also en­joyed a fan­tas­tic cham­pi­onships, storm­ing his way to four ti­tles in the male 15 years cat­e­gory, win­ning the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events.

Sev­en­teen-year-old Scott Gib­son put in a mem­o­rable per­for­mance to win the male 17-18 years 200m back­stroke ti­tle de­spite strong com­pe­ti­tion, while train­ing mate Richard Laird won a tough 400m event in the same age group.

There were medals too for the boys 14-16 years re­lay teams. Dy­lan Som­merville, Keir Buchanan, Jonathan Christie and An­drew MacIn­tosh took the sil­ver in the 4x200m freestyle re­lay and Ste­wart Brodie joined Dy­lan, Keir and An­drew for the 4x100m med­ley re­lay to claim third spot.

An­drew MacIn­tosh won the male 16 years 200m breast­stroke in an age group packed with qual­ity swim­mers. Other in­di­vid­ual medal­ists were Tay­lor Bartlett, Yvonne Brown, Jonathan Christie, Mark Hill, Kather­ine Lynch and Alice Mel­drum. Also swim­ming were Calum Barnes, Ste­wart Brodie, Cameron Ca­vanagh, Lil­lyella Craw-Sea­man, Olivia Eas­don, Elise Fitzger­ald, Ca­tri­ona Fowlie, Robyn Hill, Mor­ven Jack­son, Hazel Les­lie, Robert Mathieson, Rosie Mathieson, Eilidh Mc­Cracken, Erin McGee, Ewan McMur­ray, Skye Mull­hol­land, Me­gan Ruddy, Ryan Sandi­lands, Kate Saxon, Dy­lan Som­merville, Emma Steele, So­phie Steele and Calum Young.

Head coach Andy Fig­gins said: “It was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to match last year’s per­for­mance but a third place over­all was fan­tas­tic as we had a much smaller team than both Aberdeen Per­for­mance and War­ren­der, who fin­ished ahead of us.

“The swim­mers were out­stand­ing and did them­selves proud.”

Next up are the Bri­tish Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships in Sh­effield, where a num­ber of the swim­mers hope to make their mark.

Team ef­fort East Kilbride ASC’s swim­mers who com­peted for South La­nark­shire

Mak­ing waves Nikki Miller

Five wins Lucy Ross

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