Three swimmers from Largs and Fairlie will be taking on the fastest in the country after qualifying for the Scottish Summer Meet next month.
Fraser Kelly, Andrew Sutherland and Abby Kane, who train with North Ayrshire Swimming, will be competing in a dozen events as part of a team of eight from the club heading through to the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
Fraser, 16, has the busiest schedule, qualifying for four freestyle events from the 50m sprint through to the 400m. He’ll also be taking on the 50m and 100m butterfly plus the 200m Individual Medley.
Andrew, who will have turned 16 by the time of the competition, has the 100m and 200m freestyle, plus the 1500m ‘swimming marathon’, and the 100m breaststroke.
Para-swimmer Abby Kane will compete in her favourite 100m backstroke race.
Along with Fraser, Abby has also earned a place at the British Summer Meet, being held this year in Glasgow.
At Tollcross she’ll be doing the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle as well as the 100m backstroke and 200m IM.
Fraser has qualified for the 200m fly and 400m IM at the prestigious meet where only the fastest 24 swimmers in Great Britain make the cut.
Both Fraser and Andrew put in a series of impressive performances at the recent Glasgow International Swim Meet.
Says North Ayrshire Head Coach, Jess Wilkie: “These guys are still in pretty tough training so it’s fantastic to see the times they’re posting.”
Fraser started his meet with a new PB in the 100m fly (59.55) and went sub-60 again in the final. “It’s nice to see him being consistently under a minute, especially as we’re in full training,” says Jess.
“He had a great reaction of the blocks, too, which is something we’ve been keeping an eye on across the weekend.”
Fraser also qualified for the 400m IM final on the Saturday but opted to sit it out to save himself for his swims on Sunday.
The 50m fly didn’t produce the time he’d been hoping for, according to Jess,
“He was really slow off the block and that’s definitely an area to work on. If his reaction time had been faster he’d have been right on target.
“In his 100m freestyle (56.7) he was much better, which shows he’s taking the feedback on board.”
Fraser grabbed a huge PB in the 50m free, down from 29 seconds to 26.3. “He’s not done the race in a while, but even so it’s not often at his age you get a big one like that,” says Jess.
Andrew was also collecting PBs, with his first in the 200m IM, and then taking 11 seconds from his 200m backstroke, down from 2:40 to 2:29.
He sliced 2 seconds from his 100m breaststroke, but Jess was most impressed with his 200m freestyle.
“Andrew really showed some showed some class with a nice rate all the way through to drop from a 2.07 to 2.06. It was a really impressive first 100m from him.”
On the Sunday he dropped his 400m freestyle time by 3 seconds with a 4:30. “His freestyle’s been looking really good recently. We’re trying to get him more consistent in his pacing ahead of the summer championships.”