School sports: Swimming - Borders trio claim double golds
Jedburgh Grammar’s Lucy Hope and Kelso High schoolmates Ryan Brown and Kirsty Armstrong did the Borders proud at Brodies Scottish Schools’ Championship in East Kilbride.
All three picked up two gold medals and broke Scottish schools records at the Dollan Aqua Centre and they were all rewarded with the top award in their category.
It was déjà vu for Lucy and Ryan. She retained the 15-16 year overall trophy thanks to a record 2:17.91 swim in the 200m backstroke and, winner of the 13-14 years trophy last year, he lifted the 15-16 boys’ cup.
Ryan was 15 on the eve of the championships, and he celebrated by setting a new mark in the 200m butterfly.
In one of the best races of the championships, he clocked 2:10.18. Silver medallist Duncan Scott (Strathallan School) was also inside the old record.
Ryan, Lucy and Kirsty are all members of Kelso Swimming Club and, among them, won seven medals at November’s WISE Schools international.
Ryan’s mum – Caroline Brown – is the club’s head coach and so it is not surprising that his swimming career began at a very young age.
“When mum was teaching I used to sit in my buggy at the side of the pool,” said the fourth-year pupil. “Now my goal is to make it to the next Youth Olympics.
“The British trials are in Leeds in March and I already have one qualifying time.”
Kirsty, 13, is a British age-group 12-year-old champion and is also aiming for the Youth Olympics.
Kirsten McKinlay (Boclair Academy) was the fourth record-breaker with a 2:06.41 swim in the 17-19 years 200m freestyle.
While the weather hampered travel arrangements, the championships produced many impressive performances. Suleman Butt (Aberdeen Grammar School) won the Open 400m freestyle and the 200m event in the 15-16 category.
Mark Szaranek (Auchmuty High School) had to pull out of his first event because he was sitting an exam – but he turned up in the evening session and won the 17-19 years 100m freetstyle. A winner throughout his school years, it was his meet swansong. His big goal now is to make the Scottish team for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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