Sunday, May 29, 2022

Curtain closes on Glasgow International Swim Meet

After nine sessions across three days, the Glasgow International Swim Meet concluded. With no team points or medals on offer, the Meet was always billed as one of opportunity ahead of a busy summer of swimming events.

Kerry Wood, Team Leader for the National Junior Team said of the Meet,

“It’s been a really positive experience for all of the swimmers. They’ve risen to the challenges we set them on night one when we arrived. Those challenges were to focus on the process, focus on all the things they’ve learned as part of being on the National Junior Team, and turn that into some really good racing performances. From day one through to day three they’ve done that well.”

Speaking about the learning opportunities of running a junior team alongside a senior athlete camp, Wood continued,

“It has been great that their physical prep area has been alongside that of the senior athletes so they’ve been able to watch, learn, copy and also have a little bit of competition with them as well. There has been a bit of hero worship but sharing the space has been really great and the senior athletes have been brilliant too at coming over and giving some tips and chats as well.”

Looking ahead to opportunities for where the junior team can put their new found knowledge to use, Wood said,

“They’ve all got some big competitions left to race this summer, whether that’s the Scottish National Open Meet, our Summer Meet or the British Summer Champs. And we’ve a fair number on the team heading to the European Juniors so it will be a big summer for them all.”

Junior 2

Picture of athletes, coaches and support staff for Scotland National Junior Team

University of Stirling’s Cassie Wild, who secured her second backstroke victory of the meet, wining the 100m event today, said of being a senior athlete,

“I’m still trying to get my head round the fact that I’m considered a senior. I first came onto the team back in 2018 and I train with a lot of the others who were there on the Gold Coast, so I still think of myself a junior. But then I look round here and think ‘actually, I am more senior now’.

“But then when I go away on teams, I still think I’m one of the ones with less experience than anyone else. I’ve only done one Commies, one Olympics and a couple of Europeans. I know that’s more than some, but it’s a lot less than others.”

Prior to joining the University of Stirling programme, Wild was based in England and didn’t get to benefit from being part of a junior camp environment. She said,

“I feel I arrived on the scene really quite late. I was 17 so one of the oldest juniors! And because I was based down south I didn’t feel fully integrated into the Scottish set up. I can see how the juniors here are enjoying the camp, there’s a lot of noise and buzz around them which is great to see.”

And part of that Junior team was Ruairi McKinnon (City of Glasgow Swim Team). He finished his meet with the 100m freestyle in which he turned first after a blistering first 50m of 24.88. He said of his race,

“I just wanted to attack the race. I didn’t manage to hold on but I gave it my best shot. It’s been great being part of the team, we’ve helped push each other on. You want to give your best for the team but you also want to help push each other on so everyone does their best as well.”

Speaking about any learnings he can take away from the camp, McKinnon said,

“I’ve got to much from it. Different race plans and not being scared to try different things to see what works best for me. I finish my season at the British Summer Championships at the end of July and I’m looking to medal at those Championships. Seeing the seniors together, pushing each other on and developing a great team spirit, that was really inspiring and will definitely spur me on.”

Earlier in the day, Laura Pilkington of FIRST broke the SB5 200m British breaststroke record, with a time of 4:34.26. That was Laura’s third record of the meet, subject to ratification, having already broken Scottish records for SB5 50m and 100m breaststroke. City of Glasgow Swim Team’s Louis Lawlor broke his own S14 Scottish Record for 50m butterfly, finishing in 27.14.

Ally Whike, Scottish Swimming’s Director of Aquatics, said of the meet,

“A competitive opportunity ahead of a busy summer of domestic and international racing is always welcome, and my thanks to the Meet Organisers for a well-run event.

“I’ve been pleased at how athletes from the National Junior Team have risen to the challenge of competing alongside the senior athletes in their events, and I hope they leave Glasgow with more insight around race preparation that will hold them in good stead for achieving their season goals.”

The Glasgow International Swim Meet is taking place from 27-29 May, at Tollcross International Swimming Centre. All sessions can be watched live here

Full results can be found here