Carnegie Swimming Club’s Mark Szaranek enjoyed a fantastic experience as part of Youth Team Scotland, which took part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Douglas, Isle of Man.
The team of five boys and girls returned with a haul of 11 medals from the pool.
Auchmuty High School pupil Mark (16) produced some great swims and qualified for the finals in all individual events.
Day one saw him placed 4th in the 400IM and 5th in the 50 Butterfly final. His fly time of 25.13 was a new Scottish Junior Record. The highlight of the night was his participation in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay.
Scotland produced a fantastic effort and gave eventual winners, Australia, a serious run for their money. A silver medal was a great reward for their efforts.
Day two produced further good swims from Mark as he finished 6th in the 100 Butterfly final. The Scottish 4 x 100 Freestyle relay finished just outside the podium positions.
The final day of the competition resulted in the best swim of the meet from Mark. He was first in the water in the morning session and he posted the fastest time of the field in the 200 Individual Medley. He also qualified for the 200 Fly final.
The final of the 200IM was always going to be a challenge as the European Junior Champion Ieuan Lloyd, Wales, had cruised through the heat swim. Mark had a great race sandwiched between his Scottish team mate, Craig Benson, on one side and the Australian and South African swimmers on the other side. The race was won by 18 year-old Lloyd and Mark had a great tussle with Benson and Eugene Tee (silver) from Australia for the other medals. A final time of 2:03.02 earned Mark the bronze and smashed his own Scottish Junior Record in the process.