Lochaber swim­mers pick up the medals at schools swim­ming gala

The Oban Times - - Sport -

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.

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