THE Garioch Amateur Swimming Club travelled to the Sunderland Aquatics Centre in order to compete at the Scottish Gas National Age Group Championships that took place between Saturday, (March 31) and Wednesday (April 4).
This team event involved travelling to the University Halls of Residence by minibus on Friday (March 30) where the swimmers would have meals provided by Garioch parent member Courtney O’Grady and transport to and from the pool by Garioch Club President Garry Holmes.
The five day meet, consisting of three sessions per day, was supported evenly by the coaches Eavan Adams and Carol Holmes.
In the Youth (heats), Emily Jones, true to form, made all her finals becoming the Scottish Age Group Open Champion and securing gold medals in the 200 fly, 100 breast, 50 free, 100 free and 100fly setting new Scottish Age Group records in the 100m breaststroke and the 100m butterfly. Orla Adams made the finals where she took a silver medal in the 200IM and bronze medals in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 back. She also finished in fourth place in the 400IM.
Robert Bryce won two bronze medals in the 200 and 400 free. He also made the finals in the 200 breast and 400 IM where he got a 10 second personal best time and a fourth place heat declared winner final placing in the 800 free giving him a further 10 second PB. Alastair Miley was up against fierce competition in his age group but came fourth in the 200 back, fifth in the 100 back, 400 IM, and 200 fly, whilst also making the finals in the 200 IM and particularly the 200 breast where his recent focus paid off and earned him a five second personal best time.
Thomas Holmes narrowly missed out on a medal in the 200 breast by getting a fourth place final, while Sarah Smith reached finals in the 200 fly and 200 back. Ruth Bryce achieved the greatest personal best time by reducing her 400 free time by 56 seconds.
In the Age Group (heats) Joseph Miley made the final in the 200 back where he finished fifth and also gained further personal best times of 21 and 9 seconds in the 1500 and 400 free. Jessica Thomson swam superbly in the 800 free securing a bronze medal. In the 400free she obtained a 51 second personal best time along with a sixth place final in the 200 free. Findlay Douglas produced an amazing 27 second personal best time in the 200 back along with his teammate Peter Holmes who finished second in his heat in the 100 breast getting a 12 second PB.
The Clubs 12 year old swimmers Shannon Crawford and Spencer O’Grady battled their way in to the finals with Shannon finishing in fourth place in the 100 back and in fifth place in the 200 back and also got a 28 second PB in her 200fly. Meanwhile, Spencer finished in eighth place in the 100 back final getting a 14 second personal best time. Jemma Grant swam in the 200 fly to reach the final along with Rebecca Eggeling who got her first entry time.
There was huge excitement during the boys 4 x 200 free relay with Peter, Joseph ,Spencer and Findlay swimming with gusto to finish eighth out of 14 clubs, also getting a 7 second team best time. The 4 x 100 medley relay was equally exciting. Spencer (back), Peter (breast), Joseph (fly), Findlay (free) produced their best strokes in order to make this a grand finale to the meet.
Carol Holmes commented “Despite the duration and intensity of the meet, the swimmers were a credit to Garioch finishing in 13th place out of 39 competing clubs, a great achievement for such a small number of swimmers. The support for their fellow team-mates was a joy to see.”