Wick swimmers acquit themselves well in north district championships
Rounds one and two of the North District Swimming Championships have just been completed in the 50m pool at Aberdeen Aquatics Centre, and Wick Amateur Swimming Club was represented by a team of 12 over the two weekends.
This competition is for some their first opportunity to compete in a 50m pool. For the more senior members of the team it's a chance to see where their form is in the run-up to the Scottish national age groups (Snags) taking place in a few weeks' time. For others it's a last opportunity to make the qualifying times needed to gain entry to Snags, and for the youngsters it's a great chance to get involved in a high-end competition with a chance to win coveted district medals.
Wick ASC had three of its team making their debuts in the 50m pool – Joe Gill, Glenn Miller and Mackenzie Westwood. All acquitted themselves well and achieved some fantastic personal bests, notably Glen improving his 200m FC by 13 seconds, Joe achieving a four-second PB in the 100 FC and Mackenzie taking a further second off his 50m FC time.
These boys all have at least another year in the 11-13 age group and with a good year of training will be looking to make a few finals next year.
Other swimmers in the 11-13 age group were Joshua Hughes and Kate Mill. Both swam particularly well, with Kate making her first district final in the 100 FC, smashing her PB by two seconds to finish sixth overall.
Joshua had his first taste of a district final in the 50m FC, finishing ninth overall. As a bonus both of these youngsters managed to achieve qualifying times for Snags.
In the 14-15 age group Wick ASC was represented by five swimmers: Emma Mill, John Mackay, Lewis Sutherland, Owen Klimas and CharlieSutherland. Emma swam four races, winning gold in her favourite event, the 50m fly. John made five finals from five swims, winning bronze in the 50m back and 50 FC.
Lewis managed eight top-10 finishes with his best placing being fourth in 50 breast.
Owen, aiming for Snags times, achieved these in each of the 50 fly, back, breast and free. Charlie achieved a Snags time in the 50 back.
Amy was the sole Wick ASC representative in the 16-17 age group and swam particularly well to set new long-course PBs in the 50 fly and 50 FC.
Wick also entered three relays for the boys' 11-14 age group with the highlight being the fantastic gold medal for the team of Charlie Sutherland, Joshua Hughes, Carter Mackay and Owen Klimas in the 4 x 50m FC relay to retain the title the club won last year – still the fastest boys north of Perth!
In a close final they edged out Gairloch by 14 hundredths of a second, with Owen chasing down the Gairloch swimmer in the final leg to take the win.
A delighted head coach Allan Sutherland said: "Once again our swimmers did the club proud. Medals at district level are particularly hard to come by and for the second year running we have the fastest boys' team north of the central belt.
"This meet is a great stepping stone to the nationals and I'm delighted that so many of our team are ready to move onto that level next month."
The Scottish nationals stake place at the start of April with Wick ASC represented by a club record eight swimmers.