Young swimmers from the Largs area took a step up the ladder as they tested themselves at a graded meet for the first time.
The North Ayrshire Swimming club fielded a team of 35 swimmers for two days of competition at the On-X in Linwood.
“I wanted to target the younger side of the juniors,” says their coach, Alan Dickson.
“For a lot of them it was their first time at a level 2 meet, where the reasons for disqualification are many and varied, and I wanted to use it as a real learning opportunity, and I think they responded very well to that.”
10-year-old Angus Wark, from West Kilbride, claimed one of the prestigious ‘swam too fast’ rosettes for his 50m fly, meaning he bettered the time limit for the event, as well as claiming a silver medal for the 100m IM and bronze in 100m fly.
Emma Binnie, from Skelmorlie, rounded off the first day’s action in the best possible way with a gold medal in the 50m fly, while twin brother Dean took 10 seconds off his 100m free and sliced 9 seconds off his backstroke over the same distance.
Another swimmer taking a huge chunk out of his times was Cameron Hamill, from Largs, who set a 9 second PB in the 100m free.
9-year-old Hannah Matchett, from West Kilbride, found more than 11 seconds in her 100m breaststroke while elder sister, Zoe, who’s 11, bettered her 50m fly by over 6 and a half seconds.
Stephen Blane was among the Largs swimmers setting new personal bests in every race they entered, along with Chloe and Lauren Peckover, Rebecca Shanks and Rose Smith.
Lewis Bray, from Inverkip, took nearly 15 seconds off his 100m freestyle and was praised by coach, Alan Dickson, for a gutsy swim in his breaststroke, where he was nearly a second faster over 50m.
“Some of them are much more comfortable swimming these events now and I would like to see a bit more attack from some of them. They can swim the strokes correctly and execute the skills around the walls, and what we need to see is a bit more go.”
Kouper Sloss improved his 100m IM benchmark by 9 seconds, and Lucy McLaughlin, from Skelmorlie, took 3 seconds off her 50m freestyle and nearly a second off her backstroke.
“Big thanks to Ren 96 and all their volunteers for hosting the meet which was very slick and well organised,” says Alan.
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Linwood for the Ren 96 Junior Meet. It’s always another opportunity for them to perform again and the City of Glasgow Long Course graded meet with the Gold squad.”