Sunday, April 17, 2022

City of Glasgow Swim Team crowned Top Club at SNAGS

They’ve enjoyed great success across every session and in all age groups categories, and today, City of Glasgow Swim Team were confirmed as Top Club at the 2022 Scottish National Age Group Championships, which have been taking place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Medalling in all but a few finals tonight, Glasgow made sure the last night of SNAGS was going to be one of great celebration and even greater noise!  Further strong title-winning performances today from Andrew Bertoli, Katie Shanahan, Robert Burgess, Drew McKenzie and Kiera Davidson helped towards Glasgow’s impressive points total of 1375, making them the stand out winners.

Among the stand-out performances this week for City of Glasgow are those from Stella McCardie and Ruairi McKinnon, both of whom won further golds tonight and who leave Tollcross with 13 individual titles between them.

McCardie said of her favourite performances,

“My favourite moment of the meet was on Friday night where I got a double gold in the 400 Free and 200 Fly, and mentally you’re trying to go from one event to the other – so it was definitely a challenge but incredibly rewarding in the end.”

With titles won in events ranging from 1500m free to 50m fly, McCardie spoke of her versatility and going from distance to sprint events. She said,

“It’s all about taking each race as it comes and racing your own race – knowing where you are and what you can do, and finding that balance. That means that when you come out your first race you can forget about it and put all your focus on the next one and try your best to smash it.

“I always think that if I can do well in a short race like the 50 fly, I can do well in the 1500. For a longer race like the 1500 it’s all about knowing where you are in the race and how to pace that race and knowing from that what you can do and what your boundaries are and try and push. That gives me the variety as I know when I can push in races at opposite ends of the scale.”

Speaking about the support from team-mates and the Club, she said,

“The environment at City of Glasgow is amazing, having people like Katie Shanahan smashing it out the park on the international stage, as well as people in your squad pushing you on in the water and cheering you on before races – it’s just a great environment, and I’m so proud to be part of City of Glasgow.

“Danielle Brayson is the best coach ever, she understands so much about swimming, and how swimming is as much about the mental side as it is about the physical side – and she is so honest and truthful about training and racing.

“It means every to win SNAGS, It’s our first ever SNAGS win and it’s such an achievement, after three years without the competition. We’ve worked so hard and this is such a pinnacle moment.”

Team-mate Ruairi McKinnon also spoke of his week and said,

“The 50 fly has been the highlight of the meet for me because in Sheffield I thought I could have gone a bit faster in that event – I managed to drop time here though so I’m happy with that. I was expecting to go fast here but not as fast as I have been, because I had a good week at the British Champs.

“My coaches Danielle [Brayson] and Heather [Campbell] have been amazing. Recently they have been supporting me as I’ve been practicing a lot on my 50 Free, doing a lot of breath hold sets so that I can swim under pressure with less breathing.

“It’s been great having the whole team around and cheering each other on – particularly in the relays. We all want the best for the team, so it’s been great, and It’s amazing that we’ve managed to win top club.”

Head Performance Coach of City of Glasgow Swim Team, Ian Wright, said of his Club’s success,

“I think this is the first time City of Glasgow Swim Team have won the top club title for the Scottish National Age Group Championships. Success at every age group is definitely what you aim for and hope for as a coach and while I’ve not done all my analysis, I think I’m right in saying we’ve medalled in every age group category. That shows the strength and depth of the squad we currently have.

“As a coach this really isn’t my event, I tend to work with the older swimmers now. So the success here must go to Danielle Brayson, the Assistant Head Coach. She has been supported here by Heather Campbell, Jamie McKinley, Evan Thom and Charlie Boldison. They are the ones who have worked hard for this and this is the goal they set out to achieve at the start of the season.”

Brayson herself spoke of her pride at how well the team had done, she said,

“I’m absolutely delighted for them all. They’ve came here and stepped it up for the team, just like a lot of them did last week too. It’s amazing how the team have came together as a group over this past week.

“We’ve worked really hard to have a spread of quality across all age groups, and that’s really important to us. Fortunately, we’re all very driven to improve all our groups but collectively as a group of coaches we’re really driven to make the club better and to understand that the younger end of the pathway is so important, so that the top end can flourish too.”

Asked what her highlights from the week were, Brayson said,

“Day 1 was my highlight, with the 11-13 4x100m Freestyle relay – and those boys backed that up again today in the 4x100m Medley on little Kyle Mossman’s birthday. When they came out they had no idea they were national champions, so it was so amazing to share that moment with them and tell them that they had won.”

“I’m just so so proud of the guys. We’ve been on this journey for a couple of years, and Covid probably put a bit of a pause on things that we wanted to achieve a little bit earlier. And it’s been so nice that it’s not the coaches pushing everyone forward, but it was the swimmers driving it. They want to be the top team. Everyone has played a part in the result that we’ve got today – I’m so chuffed for them.”

A number of other athletes also added to their already impressive medal haul. Evan Davidson (Perth City), Dean Fearn (Aberdeen Dolphin), Suzie McNair (FIRST), Archie McArthur (Inverclyde), Stefan Krawiec (East Lothian Swim Team), Phoebe Arbuckle (Warrender) to name but a few, have swum brilliantly all week and secured further titles on the final night, helping their clubs to being well placed on the final Club standings.

The top 10 standings at the conclusion of the event are:

Club

Points Total

City of Glasgow Swim Team

1375

Warrender Baths Club

1085

East Lothian Swim Team

778.5

Perth City Swim Club

501

University of Aberdeen Performance

472.5

South Lanarkshire

342.5

Aberdeen Dolphin Swimming Club

290.5

Heart of Midlothian

238

Stirling Swimming

225

FIRST

209

 

The full list of Club points will be published next week.

Other awards given out tonight were for a male and female swimmer under 16 and based on FINA points for a single swim. For the girls, Kianna Coertze of Warrender Baths won for her performance in the 200m backstroke. Her time of 2:18.76 scored her 702 points and rounded off an excellent week for her.

In the boys, event Stefan Krawiec (East Lothian Swim Team) won the trophy for his performance in the 100m freestyle. His time of 52.30 scored 721 FINA points and rounded off another superb week for him.

At the conclusion of the Meet, Ally Whike, Director of Aquatics, Scottish Swimming said,

“SNAGS has provided an excellent five days of quality long course racing across all age groups. Despite the lack of opportunities on offer over the last couple of years for younger athletes, the competition has been fierce and this is testament to the hard work and creativity of coaches and clubs across Scotland, keeping their swimmers motivated and focussed.

“With our events schedule looking more familiar for the rest of the year, I am encouraged by the swimming performances and look forward to seeing how the clubs and swimmers will move these on again.”

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

Full Results can be found here

All sessions can be viewed on demand here