Saturday, April 16, 2022

Racing intensifies for top club placings

It may have been the penultimate day of action at the Scottish National Age Group Championships, but there was certainly no sign of fatigue amongst the athletes, with the racing and finals being as hard fought on day four, as they were on day one.

Evan Davidson (Perth City) continued his excellent meet securing another two individual titles in the 200m freestyle and the 100m butterfly. In the freestyle final, Davidson dominated and came home for gold in 1:59.98, ahead of Zach Slater (East Lothian Swim Team) who won silver and Cain Buchanan of Dundee City Aquatics who secured the bronze medal.

In the butterfly final, Davidson won in another sub minute time of 58.62, ahead of Finlay Nelson of Dumfries and Adam Scott of Ren96 who won silver and bronze respectively. Speaking of his performances across the week, Davidson said,

“I’m really pleased with how this meet has gone. Obviously coming back from last week (at British Championships in Sheffield) I was tired, but I’ve managed to hold on well and I’ve done my best in everything, so the meet has been really good so far.”

When asked how he was feeling after two weeks of solid racing, Davidson continued,

“I was feeling fine for the first two or three days, but I woke up this morning and I suddenly felt absolutely exhausted. Last week obviously kicked in but I was just tyring to wake up in the heats, then I took a nice nap this afternoon, came back and felt much better in the warmup tonight.

"It’s obviously important to take time out, to eat, recover and sleep. Anything that helps you reset and feel good for when you come back. Once tomorrow is done I’ve a three-day break then back to school at Strathallan, back into training and back to working hard."

Speaking of Strathallan alumni, Duncan Scott, Davidson said,

“I’m sure everyone in the squad looks up to Duncan, he’s a great role model, great guy, such a good racer and it’s brilliant to be able to look up to someone so successful knowing that he’s been part of the same pathway as us.”

Earlier this afternoon, Phoebe Arbuckle, Warrender Baths Club, won her third individual title with gold in the 800m freestyle (14yrs age category). Arbuckle had previously secured gold in the 1500m and 400m freestyle events, and said of her performance,

“The 800 felt really good. I’ve never swum it long course before, so it was a great experience to get and to see how it feels and how it compares to swimming it short course.”

Speaking on what keeps her going during the distance events, Arbuckle continued,

“During the races I’m just focussing on keeping going and thinking about how much I really want a medal. This week has been such a good experience, it highlights what you are capable of and there are so many different events so it really gives you a good taste of swimming and what it is to be part of such a meet.”

This afternoon, the East Lothian relay boys were back to their record breaking winning ways. Luke Hornsey, Zach Slater, Calum Peebles and Stefan Krawiec broke both the Scottish National Junior Relay record and Scottish National Junior Club record for 4x100m freestyle. The quartet came home in a time of 3:34.12.

The quartet have also enjoyed strong performances individually, tonight being no exception.

Luke Hornsey, added to his 400m and 1500m Freestyle titles with a victory in the 400IM.

"That was a real challenge, but since it was the last swim of the night I just left it all out there - the adreniline took me through. I really enjoy the longer events and I think it suits me.

"To be part of such a great team is amazing - we're all friends and we spur each other on. Going up against them as competitors is tough, but to come together is great and something I'm so happy I get the chance to do that with this group."

In other finals, Lewis Gibson, North Ayrshire Swim Team, secured his second freestyle title of the week, with gold in the 200m freestyle, to add to the gold he won in the 400m event. He said of his performances,

“Double National Age Group Champion sounds amazing!

“I tried to swim the final of the 200 free in the same way as I swam it in the heat, but obviously much faster. It’s a different race from the 400m free, it’s more about the kick than the arms, but I think the work I’ve been doing on my underwater phase has helped in both events.

“This is my first SNAGs for individual events so getting to do them is an achievement in itself. Apart from the medals I’ve getting the experience of a full meet, being with the team, I’m really enjoying it.”

As always, the Scottish National Age Group Championships have attracted a number of Clubs from across the UK with notable performances from Darlington’s Lucy Oliver, who will leave Glasgow with four gold medals. She said of her experience,

“I’ve really loved being here, it’s a great experience and I’m just really grateful to have had the opportunity to swim. I’m really pleased with how I’ve swum and everyone has been so nice and welcoming. I’m just really pleased.”

Talking about her performance in the 100 fly, Oliver said,

“I was just sat in marshalling and I thought, ‘it’s your last race of the weekend, just go for it.’ I’ve swum well so I was relaxed going into it and was looking forward to it and hoping to place well.

I’ve loved all the swims I’ve done but I think I’ve really enjoyed the 100 free and 100 fly the best. There’s something about your first and last swims. The first one your obviously up for it, really excited and then the last swim is one to top everything off. I’m pleased with how all my swims have gone but they’re probably my favourites.”

The Championship will conclude tomorrow, with the final points total and top club set to be announced.

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

Full Results can be found here