Young swimmers pull of some amazing strokes

The South Ayrshire Swim Team, who train at South Ayrshire Council’s Citadel in Ayr, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon swimming pools have been pulling through the water with brilliant strokes and making a big splash in the world of swimming.

Members of the Swim Team enjoyed their highest ever finish at the recent Scottish National Age Group Championships which were held in the newly refurbished Commonwealth Pool. The team gained 16 medals in total, including three gold, five relay and three championship titles with some of the swimmers setting British Team qualifying times.

Many of the young swimmers are training harder than ever to try and secure a place in the 2014 Commonwealth Games swimming team which is an achievable aspiration for some of them.

Katie Robertson pulled of an amazing double in her first ever championships with clear victories in the 10-12 years 100 and 200 breaststroke with new West District records of 1:20.31 and 2:55.70. The 11 year old who will compete in the same age group next year also collected a bronze in the 200IM with a life time best of 2:37.82.

Karen Reid was also crowned Scottish champion with a powering 100m backstroke in the 14 years age band with 1:06.28. This was slightly slower than her heat swim of 1:06.11 but still good enough to finish half a body length ahead of the field. It was a close battle in the 200 backstroke but Karen, who is more favoured for sprinting took a second off her best with 2:25.42 for the bronze.

Kieran Brand collected three silver medals with huge performances in the 14 years 100 freestyle (54.46), 100 backstroke (1:00.27) and 200 backstroke (2:16.13). In the 100 backstroke both the winner and Kieran finished inside the Scottish National record which exemplifies the high level of performance.

In the same age band Cameron Muir finished 3rd in for the 100 breaststroke with a 3 ½ second life time best of 2:35.93. He was unlucky not collect another medal in the 100 breaststroke as he finished 4th in another personal best of 1:10.92. A time which last year would have taken the silver. Josh Mitchell in the 13 years age group took a fantastic 27 seconds off his best in the 400 IM for 3rd place with 5:11.12. He went one better in the 100 freestyle by recording another best time of 58.05 to pick up the silver medal.

The 10-14 years girls of Karen Reid, Anastasia Khymnyuk, Michelle Hoffin and Erin Robertson finished 2nd in the 4x100 freestyle and 3rd in the 4x100 Medley. Young Katie Roberston joined the team replacing Anastasia for the 4x200 freestyle relay were they picked up their second silver medal.

The boys 10-14 years team of Josh Mitchell, Richard Faulkner, Cameron Muir and Patrick Smith finished 3rd in an explosive 4x100 freestyle event with all four swimmers recording well inside their best times. In the 4x200 freestyle events the boys came ever so close to winning but were touched out at the finish by a very strong Carnegie for a well-deserved silver. The team came very close to a medal in the 4x100 Medley relay with 4th place in the final race of the championships.

Josh Mitchell in the 100 breaststroke and 200 freestyle and Patrick Smith in the 800 freestyle also came close to the podium with great personal bests to finish 4th. Erin Roberston in the 14 years 200 breaststroke and Megan Niven at her first champs in the 10-12 years 100 backstoke finished 5th with life time bests. Lucy Illingworth was 6th in the 15 years 800 freestyle whilst younger brother Marshall in the 13 years 1500 freestyle was placed 8th. Richard Faulkner in the 14 years 200 butterfly had a best finish of 12th and Caitlin Duffy in her first Champs was 14th in both the 100 & 200 backstroke. 14 year old Michelle Hoffin had a best finish of 10th in the 50 freestyle & in the same age band Anastasia Khymnyuk was 21st (100 freestyle). Lara Seville also at her first champs was 33rd in the 100 breaststroke.