Thursday, April 14, 2022

Krawiec, Bertoli and McNair continue to impress in Glasgow

The show continued on Day 2 of the Scottish National Age Group Championships with fast racing and an impressive medal spread, across clubs from around the country.

East Lothian Swim Team’s Stefan Krawiec secured his second individual gold and fifth gold medal overall after relays, with another solid butterfly performance, this time in the 200m event.

Krawiec powered down the last 50m to overturn the lead, which Scott Fleming of South Lanarkshire had established after the first turn. Krawiec looked strong and came into the wall in 2:09.05 to take the win. Fleming won silver with Matthew McMillan of InCAS securing bronze. Krawiec said of his performance,

“That hurt but it felt great. It was a good race, happy to have the boys there to race against. I saw the guy next to me take off after 50m and I thought, ‘no, just stick to the race plan, do what my coach said and it will all work out.’ At that last turn, I went big underwater and I still had the legs to drive me through. Had I tried to chase him down earlier, I’m not sure I could have done that.”

Last week Krawiec was down in Sheffield at the British Championships, he said of that experience,

“After coming back from the British Champs last week, I was racing a lot older boys, a lot faster boys; to come back, race and win, it feels good. The biggest thing I took away from last week’s Championships was, no matter how fast you think you are, there’s always going to be someone faster out there, and that’s what motivates me to train, go training in the morning and to keep doing well.”

Earlier in the day, Krawiec won gold alongside team-mates Calum Peebles, Luke Hornsey and Zach Slater in the 14-16 yrs 4x100m medley relay.

In terms of medal haul, Stefan is not the only Krawiec with an impressive tally from the meet so far. Younger sister Zara is competing in her first SNAGS and kicked off the finals in style, bagging her fourth individual medal of the Championships, with gold in the 11-13 yrs 200m breaststroke.  Krawiec took control of the race from the off and victory came in a time of 2:53.70. Leonie Bedborough (InCAS) won silver and Jessica Kirkwood of Aberdeen Performance won bronze.

Krawiec said of her performance,

“I’m really happy, I pushed quite hard in that one so I’m feeling good.

“I knew I had some challenges beside me, I knew some of the girls wanted to beat me in that race, but that helped push me on. I was quite nervous coming into the final, but I wasn’t going to let it go. I fought for that win and I’m really happy and I got a wee PB as well.”

Krawiec also won gold in the 50m breast on the opening night, she said of that final,

“I knew I had some company beside me. I was quite stiff going in but relaxed in the last 15 metres and just went for it and got gold, so was very happy.

Speaking about the rest of the meet, and having an older brother competing here, Zara said,

“I want to keep pushing it on with the rest of my events, get more golds and more PBs as well. It is quite nerve-wracking being ‘Stefan’s little sister’ as there’s high expectations on him, but I want to keep the Krawiec champions name going myself, so I’ll be trying to race hard all week.”

Andrew Bertoli continued a busy fortnight of swimming. The City of Glasgow Swim Team athlete added to his medal haul with gold in both the 17-18yrs 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle. Speaking after the fly final, he said,

“It’s the 200m fly so it hurt, as they always do! To be honest I’m just trying to race it how I want to race it in the future. The British Champs last week, that was the focus for the times and this week it’s about the processes and executing the race plan. I’ve a heavy schedule this week, the times are not going to be as fast as I would like but if I can execute the race then I can’t complain.

Last week was my first ever British Champs so it was about gaining experience of a big meet and managing pressure. I was happy with it, I improved on all my swims.”

Suzie McNair of FIRST continued to showcase her versatility with a dominant performance in the 400m IM final, which secured her a third age group title, previously winning the 200m back and 100m free events. She said,

“Winning my third age group title is pretty cool, I’ve never really been to SNAGS before so this is like a proper experience. I’m just very happy to be here and it’s finally happening as well.

“I really enjoy 400m IM which always gives me a boost when I’m racing it. For me it’s about pushing through all the pain, as it’s a hard event.

“Being an IM swimmer does come with its challenges; you have to be really good across the board on all the strokes. You’ve also got to be quite good at different distances as well, because as the race goes on, it gets tougher and you need the stamina to keep going.”

Erin Taylor and Nula Gow produced a fantastic head-to-head in the girls 17-18 yrs 200m breaststroke final, a race that went right down to the touch. Taylor (Fins) edged ahead at the halfway point, but Gow (Garioch) came back strongly to take the lead on the final turn. Shoulder to shoulder nothing could separate the girls going into the touch, but it was Taylor who triumphed in 2:36.43, just 0.03 ahead of Gow. The Fifer said of her performance,

“I’m just over the moon, I wasn’t expecting that at all.

“Obviously knowing in the back of my mind that Nula is a fast finisher just edged me on. It really helps having competitors beside you. In a heat you might not think you are able to go faster, but as soon as you have someone right up there with you, it becomes a totally different race.”

SNAGS is running from 13-17 April at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow.

Full Results can be found here

All sessions are being livestreamed and available on demand here