National title and PBs for Fins swimmers

The Scottish National Age Group Championships – the top age group meet in the Scottish Swimming Calendar was held last week.

Fins' champion swimmer Erin Taylor.
Fins' champion swimmer Erin Taylor.

It ran from Wednesday morning through to Sunday evening at the Tollcross International Swim Centre in Glasgow with four members from Kirkcaldy’s Fins Swimming Club taking part; Erin Taylor – 17/18 years girls; Mark Scott – 16 years boys; Steven Pate – 15 years boys and Adam Selbie 11/13 years boys.

Overall the quartet competed in a total of 16 swims, 14 of which were PBs.

There was one Scottish Age Group Champion, one bronze medal and a further six made a final, or its equivalent when it was a heat declared winner event.

There were also a further three Fins club records broken.

Top Fins swimmer was, once again, Taylor who is now the Scottish 17/18 years 200m Breaststroke Champion, but was made to work hard all the way, by Nula Gow of Garioch, in an unbelievably close race.

At the end of the first 50m Taylor established a 0.61 second lead, which she increased slightly to 0.67 seconds at the halfway turn.

However, by the end of the third 50m Gow had gained an advantage of 0.07 seconds and the two girls battled it out stroke for stroke down the final 50m with Taylor getting the touch by just one hundredth of a second.

Her time of 2 minutes 36.43 seconds now ranks Taylor at the top of the Scottish long course rankings for 200m breaststroke, and fifth ranked in Britain, up from 15th.

Taylor’s time was a very respectable 4.95 seconds PB and is a new club record, and again she also set a new club record at the 50m split in a time of 34.75 seconds beating her own previous best by 0.21 seconds.

The 17 years 100m and 200m breaststroke, in Scotland, is extremely competitive and she had to settle for a bronze medal in the 100m event, although she did have a 0.01 second PB, giving her the third club record of the week.

The winner on this occasion was Kiera Davidson, City of Glasgow, with Gow in second but the gap between Davidson and Taylor was just 0.35 seconds.

In another close finish Erin just missed out on a second bronze medal in the 200m butterfly losing out to Drew McKenzie, City of Glasgow, by 5 one hundredths of a second to take fourth place.

Taylor made it four out of four finals with a sixth place in the 200m individual medley.

Scott had three swims, all PBs, and did well to gain a fourth place in the 1500m

freestyle, fifth in the 400 freestyle and seventh in the 800m Freestyle.

There are very few pportunities to swim an 800m Freestyle and this was Scott’s first long course swim but he had an excellent time of 9 minutes 12.55 seconds which was an improvement of 16.02 seconds on his short course time.

Selbie had six swims over the week and wasn’t expected to achieve any top 10 placings because he was in a three year age group and classed as a 12 year old it is not going to be easy to compete against 13 year olds.

He was there because he had made the qualifying times and it was an opportunity to gain valuable experience as this level of meet in readiness for next year’s Championships.

It was a bonus to finish seventh in the 1500m freestyle. His entry time was a conversion from the short course time he did at the Fife distance meet in February and he reduced that by 11.02 seconds.

Pate had three swims over the week and although he didn’t make a final he was second reserve for the final of the 50m breaststroke.

Because of the pandemic he hadn’t been able to swim a long course 50m breaststroke since 2019 but even so an actual 9.96 second PB over 50m is excellent and if he could have squeezed a further 0.28 seconds off his time he would have made the final.