Largs swimmer Fraser Kelly was a double medal winner for North Ayrshire Swimming at the prestigious National Age Group Championships.
He strengthened his reputation as one of the country’s most promising young butterfly swimmers as he claimed a silver and bronze medal in the 16-year-old category.
He took on the gruelling 200m, qualifying third fastest for the final with a new PB, and then dropped another two seconds to take second place.
Head Coach at North Ayrshire Swimming, Jess Wilkie, paid tribute to his grit and determination.
“It was a really strong swim,” she says. “I had a couple of coaches coming over and asking about him. I’m excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for him.”
“His stroke’s been looking really good recently. He also took 4th place in the 50m final, dropping half a second, which is pretty good in a 50m race at his age, and we’ll be looking to lower that again and go sub-27 this season.”
Fraser came close to another medal in the 400m IM on the third day of the five-day meet held at the international pool at Tollcross in Glasgow.
His fastest qualifying time for the final was deceptive, though, as some of his rivals had swum tactically in the heats, but he fought hard for a fourth-place finish.
Fraser’s second medal came on Saturday night in the 100m fly where he dropped his time down to a 59.6 to take the bronze with what Jess described as another really good swim.
“I learned a lot from that competition,” says Fraser, reflecting on his week.
“I got big personal bests in my two fly races and what pleased me most was going 2:09 in the 200m.
“The toughest part was the night I had the finals of the 100m fly and the 400m IM, and I managed to PB both of them.
“I need to work on the back end of my fly, the last 50m. 
"And I think next year I’ll not enter so many events because I really felt it by the end of the five days, it was tough.”
Isla Waller, from Largs, smashed expectations as she helped North Ayrshire’s 11-13-year girls quartet to a brilliant seventh place finish in the 4x100m relay.
She faster than she’s ever gone before as they dominated their heat beating team from the giant City of Glasgow’s ‘B’ team and neighbouring Ren 96.
“It was the best relay of the week. Those were solid swims and PBs from all the girls and a great team effort,” says Jess.
Isla was also part of 4x100m medley, swimming the fly leg, with the foursome beating their entry time by three and a half seconds. “It was great to see girls push each other on,” the coach enthuses.
Paralympian Abby Kane, and Fairlie’s Andrew Sutherland, helped make up the 14-16-year-old mixed medley relay team, in one of the few events in any sport where males and females race each other on equal terms.
“I was really impressed,” says Jess. “Each of them really stepped up and raced hard for their 11th place finish, and you can’t ask more than that.
It was one of three relay appearances for Andrew who was also joined by fellow Fairlie swimmer, Jacob Tarran, in the boys quartet.
“They were unfortunate to pick up our only DQ of the meet in the medley relay,” says Jess. “But when they came to the freestyle race their takeovers were much better with some strong swims, especially Andrew on the lead leg. The time he swam would have put him into the individual races so that’s our target for next year.”
Jen Murray won silver medals, and was crowned Scottish champion, in the 800m and 400m freestyle, as well as bronze in the endurance 1500m race, while Rory Dickson bagged three second places in the 50m freestyle and the 200m and 400m Individual Medley races.
“The team achieved great results for my first SNAGS as Head Coach at North Ayrshire, and I’m excited to see where I can take them all in the next couple of years. There’s always plenty to work on and improve.”