Youth Nationals a great experience

Greg, Katie and Nichola in Sheffield
Greg, Katie and Nichola in Sheffield

Three youth swimmers from the Fife Performance Swimming Squad travelled to Sheffield at the start of the month to compete on the national stage at one of the major meets of the season.

All three athletes who qualified for the British Gas ASA Youth Chamionships are swimmers with Kirkcaldy based club Fins.

Nichola Lamb (20), who spent the week fighting illness, enjoyed a week of heats and finals, missing out on medals, in what was a challenging week for her.

Competing in the 19 years and over category, Nichola qualified 13th overall, missing out on a finals place in the 200m freestyle.

The 200m backstroke saw her qualify for the finals where she went on to place seventh overall, just missing out on a personal best time.

In the 800m freestyle event, Nichola finished fourth, where she was just touched out by less than half-a-second for that coveted third-place medal. She then went on to compete in the 400m individual medley and while qualifying for the evening final, she had to withdraw as her illness took too heavy a toll on her.

Greg Watson (17), who competed in his favourite event, the 50m freestyle, widely recognised as one of the most exciting races to watch, qualified from the heats into the semi-finals, where he set a new personal best time of 24.28 seconds.

Similarly, 17-year-old Katie Johnstone, competing at her first British youth nationals, raced in the 50m freestyle event, narrowly missing out on a personal best time but thoroughly enjoying the experience of competing on the senior stage.

John Dougall, head coach of Fife Performance, said: “Our swimmers trained well leading up to the British Youth Finals and it was a disappointment for Nichola to fall ill at the championships.

“Nonetheless, she soldiered on and turned in several creditable performances given the circumstances. Greg really enjoyed his event and was delighted to make it through to the semi-final and to set a new lifetime best record.

“Katie too thoroughly loved the excitement of such high level competition and is committed to maintaining her high levels of training to hopefully repeat and improve on the experience next season. The swimmers are now going to enjoy a much-deserved break before starting the new seasons training next month.”