Sunday, December 15, 2019

University of Stirling sweep to top club title

The University of Stirling have enjoyed a great weekend of racing, and tonight’s finals of the Scottish National & Open Short Course Swimming Championships in Edinburgh, were no different with further success in seven more events, all of which contributed to them securing the top club title for the Meet.

Mark Szaranek secured his hat-trick of titles with further gold in the 200mIM, with team-mates Ross Murdoch and Craig McNally both taking all three titles in their breaststroke and backstroke finals respectively.

The squad finished on a points total of 1395.50, ahead of nearest rivals Edinburgh University who finished second with 704.50. Ellesmere College Titans, which included double European Short Course Champion, Freya Anderson, finished with 617 points for third.

Head Coach of the University of Stirling, Steven Tigg, said of his squad’s performances,

“Really happy with how things have gone this weekend. There have been some real big steps in the right direction looking towards the Trials, and some real positive performances that I think will keep people motivated over Christmas and into the long course part of the season.

“We normally have a little bit of a rest coming into this meet, with the athletes shaved down,  and here is really about testing the skills, seeing where we are compared to previous seasons and hoping we can get a little bit of confidence going into the next part of the cycle and just having fun with it. A lot of them swim different events at these meet, ones they don’t normally compete in.”

With 2020 being an Olympic Year Tigg spoke about moving into the long course season, and said,

“We won’t change a huge amount of things but there will be a shift in focus to long course preparation. We’ll review what’s happened in this first cycle and we’ll take the elements we think have worked well and try and implement them into long course. And on the flip side we will try and learn and adjust a few things that hadn’t worked as well as we had hoped.”

Talking about the depth of squad, Tigg continued,

“This is a great squad. If you look across Europe it’s probably one of the strongest groups of swimmers you’ll collect. Myself, Brad and Josh all enjoy the privilege of getting to work with these guys. It keeps us motivated as well, it keeps us hungry, it keeps us excited about what this year and beyond can bring.”

With the multi-million pound refurbishment of the sports centre due for completion at the University next year, Tigg said of the training ground,

“The support from the University, Scottish Swimming, British Swimming, the sportscotland Institute is massive for us. It is a really exciting time at the University seeing the new facility being built and for a training environment in particular, I think it will be unrivalled across the UK and perhaps even further afield.”

The top ten club points were:

University of Stirling


Edinburgh University


Ellesmere College Titans


University of Aberdeen Performance Team


City of Glasgow Swim Team


Bath National Centre


Newcastle Swim Team


Warrender Baths Club


Derwentside ASC


South Lanarkshire Swimming


Earlier in the evening Stephen Clegg, Edinburgh University, improved on the World Record for S12 100m backstroke he broke in the heats, touching home in a time of 56.45. Louis Lawlor (City of Glasgow Swim Team) also broke the World Record for S14 100m backstroke with a time of 57.74.

Special awards were also made with the Paisley 500 Trophy for best overall performance going to Hannah Miley of the University of Aberdeen Performance Team.

The Citrus Trophies for best junior performances based on FINA points went to Angus Allison, Warrender Baths Club for his 400m IM and Emma Russell of Hearts for her performance in the 200m freestyle.

The Aberdeen 200 Trophies were awarded for the best single performances based on FINA points and they went to Ross Murdoch for his 100m breaststroke and Freya Anderson for her 200m freestyle.

Full results from all heats and finals can be found on the Swim Scotland website:

The event is being live-streamed with the finals available to view on demand on the Scottish Swimming YouTube Channel:

The action can be followed across all Scottish Swimming social media channels using the hashtag #ScotNSC19

The Scottish National & Open Short Course Swimming Championships are taking place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh from 13-15 December 2019.