Step Rock swimmers in the thick of the action

Flash award winners (Russell, Corey, Anna, Isla). Missing is Sian Ritchie.
Flash award winners (Russell, Corey, Anna, Isla). Missing is Sian Ritchie.

January was a busy month for Step Rock’s swimmers with the club’s youngsters involved in a whole host of top class events.

Swimmers were in action at the East District Age Group Championships (EDAGs) at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, the Scottish Schools championships at Tollcross, and the Novice and Fife Leagues at Glenrothes.

Top performer at EDAGs was 15-year old Robert Sparks, whose 50m breaststroke time placed him sixth, comfortably qualifying for the final.

The Novice League, for new and developing competitive swimmers, always provides much excitement.

The electric atmosphere on poolside can only have helped spur on the swimmers; of 40 swims, 37 were either lifetime bests or 1st ever swims.

Orla and Archie Suttie, Thea Wright, Ava Webster, Lois Ritchie, Ellie Wilson, Sam Jaffray, Cameron and Jamie McDonald, and Beinn Anderson all made their first Novice League debuts.

Two of the best swims of the day came from Corey Findlay (50m backstroke) and Russell Laker (50m butterfly), both swimming “too fast” and gaining flash awards.

Not to be outdone, the girls followed suit with Sian Ritchie (50m butterfly) and Isla Thoms (50m freestyle) also gaining flashes.

In the Fife League, Harry Paul and Isla Hedley stepped up to make their debuts.

A new format, with all races being swum as mixed gender, certainly increased the competitiveness.

In an excellent 100m backstroke swim, Anna Hedley raced to a rare Fife League flash, narrowly missing out on a Scottish national age group time.

In the same event, Màiri Noble took second in the 13/14 girls and Charlie Gillespie first in the 11/12 boys.

Davie de Wolff took 14 seconds off his entry time to finish third in the 100m breaststroke.

In the 50m backstroke, Jessica Buckett (second), Angus McCallum (second) and Harry Paul (third all sprinted to top three places, Jessica and Harry repeating this feat in the 100m freestyle.