Glasgow International and INCAS

Fins’ swimmers were in two separate locations last weekend with eight senior squad swimmers competing in the Glasgow International Meet held at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow, from Friday morning until Sunday evening, while four junior squad swimmers were at the Michael Woods Centre, Glenrothes, competing in the INCAS Distance meet, on Saturday and Sunday.
There were very contrasting outcomes from the two meets with a 33 year old club record being beaten at one event while there was a top UK ranking for the first time in 33 years at the other. There were only four PBs recorded in Glasgow while at Glenrothes there was just one swim that did not produce a PB.
The Glasgow International Meet attracted a very high standard of swimmer from all over the UK and Ireland. There was also a Danish National Youth Team, 15 to 18 year olds, and a few other Scandinavian Clubs competing. The competitors included a number of Commonwealth Games medallists, who will be representing GB in The European Championships, to be held in the same pool, in August.
The numbers in each event ranged from around 70 to 130 competitors with slightly less in the longer distance events. Each event, with the exception of the 800m and 1500m Freestyle had three finals with the fastest 10 qualifiers from the heats in the ‘A’ final and the next 10 fastest in the ‘B’ Final. There was also a Youth final with the fasted 10 swimmers for 17 and under boys, and 16 and under girls, qualifying from the heats.
Fins top swimmer in Glasgow was Arran Stowe who was Fins’ only swimmer to qualify for a ‘B’ Final. This was quite an achievement as approximately 50% of the fastest swimmers in the event swim in the morning heats with the remainder in the afternoon heats. Arran’s heat was in the afternoon and had to move up about 20 places to make the ‘B’ Final, which he did in his 400m Freestyle recording a time of 4 minutes 18.70 seconds. This was a 2.60 PB and set a new Fins’ Club record, previously set in April 1985, at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, by the current Head Coach, Ian Lewis, who was there to congratulate Arran. Ian was a Scottish International swimmer in 1985. Arran finished 9th in the ‘B’ final (19th overall). The event was won by Stephen Milne, City of Perth, who was a finalist in the event at the Commonwealth Games in April.
The four PBs recorded came from Arran, who had two, and Stephanie Strang who also had two, and it is probably no coincidence that the remaining six swimmers had just finished their exams in Highers and National 5s, although most came very close.
Two of the remaining swimmers made six Youth Finals between them.
15 year old Caitlyn Dodds, was 3rd in both the 100m and 200m Backstroke, and was 4th in the 50m Backstroke. Caitlyn’s time in the 200m Backstroke was just 3 one hundredths of a second outside her PB with her 50m and 100m 2 tenths and 8 tenths of a second respectively.
16 year old Theo Goodfellow, was 3rd in the 100m Breaststroke, 4th in the 200m Breaststroke and 8th in the 50m Breaststroke. Theo was just 0.49 seconds out on his 50m and 0.69 seconds on his 100m. His 200m was a bit farther away from his PB.
The other swimmers taking part in the International were – Eireann Comrie, Catherine Comrie, Euan Pate and Sam Lewis.
The four Junior Squad swimmers, at Glenrothes, were accompanied by their coach, Iain MacDonald in what can only be described as an incredible weekend as the efforts of the coach and the swimmers over several months started to pay dividends.
It is impossible to say who was Fins top swimmer as there were different aspects to the achievements over the weekend. The four swimmers had a total of 15 swims resulting in five gold medals, four silver, three bronze, and no swimmer finished lower than 6th place. They recorded a 93% improvement rate but more important was the outcomes from the improvements.
One swim gained a top UK and Scottish Ranking, another gained a top Scottish Ranking and a Scottish East District age group record, and yet another swim gained a top Scottish Ranking, and one was awarded top swimmer in her age group.
11 year old Esme Lee is now currently ranked number one in the UK, and Scotland, for the 12 years 1500m Freestyle (British and Scottish Rankings are base on age at 31 December). Her time of 20 minutes 7.99 seconds takes her clear of Claire Stuhlmacher, of Poole. This is the first time since 1985 that a Fins swimmer has been ranked 1st. in the UK and that was when Gary Watson was ranked 1st. 16 year old following his win in the 100m Breaststroke at the European Junior Championships in Geneva.
Esme is also ranked 1st in Scotland for the 200m Breaststroke. She had been ranked 1st at the beginning of the year but had slipped to 3rd, albeit by just 0.32 seconds behind. However, her time of 2 minutes 54.63 seconds, an 8.94 second PB put her clear at the top of the rankings by 8.62 seconds, and she is also ranked 3rd in the 400m Freestyle. Her time in the 200m Breaststroke is also a Scottish East District 11 years old record, beating the previous record set by Kirsty Armstrong, of Kelso, in June 2011.
Esme also had the largest PB of the weekend reducing her 200m Individual Medley time by 14.40 seconds, which now ranks her 4th in Scotland.
12 year old Erin Taylor won four gold medals and was awarded the best swimmer in the 11/12 years girls age group. One of her wins was in the 200m Butterfly and her time of 2 minutes 34.19 seconds was good enough to move her up to 1st ranked position in Scotland, for 13 years girls, by just 0.31 seconds from Louisa Stoddart of Haddington.
Erin’s largest PB came in the 200m Breaststroke. However, as she is ranked as a 13 year old her time of 2 minutes.54.17 seconds takes her to 6th place in Scotland.
The other two swimmers also had a good weekend with both winning a medal and both with good PBs. Kimberley McCabe reduced her 200m Individual Medley time by 8.73 seconds and Mark Scott reduced his 200m Breaststroke by 6.23 seconds.
The full results for the four swimmers were –
Erin Taylor, 11/12 girls, Gold Medals in 200m Butterfly, 200m Breaststroke, “00m Freestyle, and 200m Individual Medley.
Esme Lee, 11/12 girls, Gold – 400m Freestyle; Silver in both the 200m Breaststroke and 1500m Freestyle, Bronze in both the 200m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley.
Mark Scott, 11/12 boys, Silver in both the 200m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle,
and 6th – 800m Freestyle.
Kimberley McCabe, 15/O girls, Bronze – 800m Freestyle, 6th – 200m Individual Medley.
Further news this week is that Lindsay Lewis has been appointed Assistant Team Manager to the GB Team for the European Championships to be held at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow, in August.
Updated 2018-06-07 09:18:59 by Ken White