Lochaber swimmers pick up the medals at schools swimming gala
YOUNG swimmers in Lochaber have quickly become some of the best in the Highlands, seeing vast improvements over the last two years.
Forty-two members of Lochaber Leisure Centre swim team travelled to Inverness for the Highland Schools Swimming Gala on November 4 and came back with a fantastic 10 medals.
This comes after the team’s fastest swimmer was still 10 seconds short of the qualifying time when the group first considered applying in 2013.
But this year delighted coach Stevie Martin brought home two gold medal winners, five silvers and three bronze but said all 42 were winners to him.
Eleven-year- old Poppy Valentine picked up a gold in the 50-metre backstroke, allowing her to qualify for the Scottish Schools competition in January.
This is Lochaber’s first gold in the event, which has run for more than 20 years.
The second gold came from Jenna MacLean, also 11, who completed the 50-metre front crawl in 31 seconds. This saw her break the 18-year record set by coach Martin’s son, also Stevie, when he was 12 years old. Jenna has also qualified for next year’s nationals.
Silver medals came from William Cann for 200-metre back crawl, Aimee MacKay for 200-metre breast stroke, Evan Atkinson for 200-metre front crawl, Siobhan Gordon, also for 200-metre front crawl, and a relay team made up of Jude Kyle, Connie MacLennan, Eva Derbrnov and Evie Jay Clark, for the 4x50-metre front crawl.
Bronze medals were won by Dora Shepherd for 100-metre butterfly stroke, Evan Atkinson for 100-metre front crawl and Connor Cann for 200-metre front crawl.
MEDALS: Lochaber swim team medal winners with coach Stevie Martin.
FIRST GOLD: Proud coach Stevie with gold medallists Jenna
MacLean, left, and Poppy Valentine.