East District Open and Grand Prix
Scottish East District Open and Grand Prix
The Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh, was the venue for the Scottish East District Championships and SASA Grand Prix, last weekend. The meet attracted a very large entry with top swimmers from both sides of the border competing. In a few events there were over 100 competitors.
There were no age groups in the main events and even the Youth event, which was held in the afternoons between the Open heats in the morning and the finals in the evening. In the Open event there was an ‘A’ and ‘B’ final meaning 16 swimmers had a second swim in the evening for each event. However the Youth event was declared winner.
Eight of Fins’ top swimmers qualified plus Greg Watson, who was swimming for Edinburgh University, but even in the Youth event, that went up to 18 years of age, the expectations of achieving a top sixteen place in the Open, with the exception of Greg, were very slim.
Greg did extremely well gaining a bronze medal in the Men’s 50m Butterfly. He had four swims over the weekend and just missed out on a second bronze finishing in 4th place in the 50m Freestyle. He also gained a 5th place in the 100m Freestyle. In his remaining swim he qualified for the ‘B’ final of the 100m Butterfly, which he won (9th overall) in a time that would have given him another 4th place in the ‘A’ final.
Despite the expectations 15 year old Kyle Pate qualified for the ‘B’ final of the Men’s 100m Backstroke where he finished in 5th place. Kyle’s time of 1 min. 3.88 seconds will move him up the Scottish rankings for his age group from 11th to 6th, but he also beat the swimmer lying in 5th place by one one hundredth of a second.
Another swimmer to do extremely well was 16 year old Arran Stowe who finished 6th in the Youth event in the 200m Individual Medley, 7th in the 200m Freestyle and 9th in the 200m Backstroke.
At this level it gets harder to keep producing PBs but the improvement from Fins’ swimmers continued at the weekend with a 74% improvement rate and once again there were some outstanding improvements. The top four came from: Arran Stowe who reduced his 200m Backstroke time by 14.26 seconds, Kyle Pate who reduced his 50m Breaststroke time by 10.30 seconds and he also reduced his 400m Individual Medley time by 7.89 seconds, and the third best improvement came from 13 year old Claire Thomson who reduced her 400m Freestyle time, in the Youth event, by 9.62 seconds which gave her a 13th place finish.
The remaining swimmers to qualify for the event, who all recorded at least one PB were – Callum MacDonald (13), Kieran Pate (18); Kiara Mackay (14), Rachel Brisbane (17), and Greg Turner (17).