Swimming: New names make mark at national championships

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SULEMAN Butt, Duncan Scott and Mark Szaranek were the new names to make a mark on the final day of the Scottish Gas National Championships in Edinburgh.

In the boys’ 15 years category, Scott (FIRST), who had set a Scottish junior and British age group record in the 50m freestyle on Friday, added another gold in the 200m medley in 2:09.41 before facing a showdown with Aberdeen’s Butt in the 100m freestyle. Butt came out on top in 51.97 secs – just outside the British age group record – with his rival in silver in 52.48.

Carnegie’s Szaranek is 17 and his final day was highlighted by wins in the 16-17 years 200m individual medley and the 100m freestyle.

The Glenrothes youngster won the medley in 2:06.54, just heading off clubmate Craig Bowman’s 2:09.55, and then was back in the water to take the 100m freestyle in an impressive 51.12.

Striking a blow for the older generation, South Aberdeenshire’s Kerry Buchan, who is aiming for a third Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, proved her form with a win in the 17 years and over 200m breaststroke in 2:28.45.

Kirsty Armstrong (BEST) won five gold medals in the girls’ 14 years section, and the Kelso kid set a Scottish age group record of 1:04.54 in the 100m butterfly.

After Michael Jamieson and Craig Benson, these championships suggest Scotland has a third world-class breaststroke swimmer in Ross Murdoch. On Saturday, he defeated Benson in the 100m in 1:00.97 and said: “I am so happy with my time. It’s a big personal best. I started to take swimming seriously when I left school.

“I know it is going to be hard but I want to try and make the British team for the World Championships this summer and then swim for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.”