Lothian Intermediate Leagues

The first round of the this year’s Leagues were held on 19th March at Prestonpans. With the vast majority of our older swimmers competing in Forres that weekend, it was left to the remaining older swimmers and our youngest to contest the first round.

Well done to all who participated, many swimming for the club for the first time.

Special mention to our 8/9 years teams. The girls team of Cara Denholm, Ellie Turnbull, Eve Thomson and Ria Colbridge are currently first and the boys team of Ross Porteous, Jamie Ferguson, Nicholas Rietwelt and Lewis Thomson are in third place with 2 rounds to go.

In the 10/11 years age group, Natalie Ramsay set a new club record in the 50m butterfly.

Forres 2 day Meet

After a gap of 2 years, a very excited group made the trip North this year to compete in what is fast becoming one of the most eagerly anticipated club events on the calendar.

After settling into our accommodation in Inverness, it was off to a local restaurant for our evening meal. Our time there could probably be compared to a swarm of locusts descending on a crop and devouring everything in sight. Fraser, however had great difficulty keeping tabs on his ice cream which constantly disappeared then re appeared when he least expected it. 

We made our way to the pool early the next morning to be greeted by our hosts who were delighted to see us back.

The first event was the 100m breaststroke in which our swimmers featured strongly. Beth Denholm won Gold, Kimberley MacKay silver and Amy Sylvester bronze, whilst Lauren Sutherland picked up a point in 4th place. This event also saw an excellent swim from Vaila Robertson who reduced her PB by 10 seconds and Hebe Ramsay who reduced hers by 4.

In the 100m backstroke there were very good PBs from Katy Needham, Anna MacKay, Bryony Eunson, Beth McFarlane and Jenny Timoney.

Midlothian swimmers were back in the medals in the next event, the 100m butterfly. Jenny Jubb claimed Gold, Fiona Inglis Silver with Beth Gray finishing 4th.

Ross Muego recorded a huge 9 second PB in the 100m IM and this was followed by good PBs from Lauren Sutherland, Hebe Ramsay and Vaila Robertson in the corresponding girl’s event in which, despite being slightly outside her best, Kimberley MacKay won gold.

In the older girls 100m IM, Amy Sylvester won her second bronze in a personal best time and there was also a PB for Nikki Pettitt.

The youngest member of our team, Fraser Wilson kept the momentum going with a very good swim to claim silver in the 50m backstroke. This was matched a few minutes later by Andrew Denholm in the 11 years 100m breaststroke.

In the same event Beth McFarlane won bronze and there was excellent PBs for Bryony Eunson, Anna MacKay, Katy Needham and Jenny Timoney.

In the 100m butterfly, Kimberley MacKay claimed her second Gold, Sarah Eunson won bronze and Amy Sylvester picked up a team point in finishing 4th with all 3 girls recording PBs.

The final individual event of the day was the 100m freestyle for the older age groups. First, Prentice Robertson swam an excellent race to record his first PB of the weekend; then Fiona Inglis set a new club record but just missed breaking the 60 second barrier by only 0.07 in winning Gold in the girl’s event. There were also good PBs from Jenny Jubb who finished 4th and Beth Gray. 

The day was finished off by the 4 x 50m medley relays which proved to be very exciting, resulting in the noise levels reaching new heights. In the younger age group, our team of Bryony Eunson, Beth McFarlane, Anna MacKay and Jenny Timony narrowly missed out on a medal finishing a very close 4th. An identical fate was met by our ‘B’ Team of Sarah Eunson, Nikki Pettitt, Beth Gray and Lauren Sutherland in the older age group as they missed out by less than 1 second. However our ‘A’ team of Kimberley MacKay, Beth Denholm, Jenny Jubb and Fiona Inglis comfortably won Gold. 

It was a weary team that headed back to our accommodation after day 1 but they were soon revived after devouring masses of pizza which had been acquired for half price thanks to David Eunson’s negotiating skills.

This was followed by birthday cake to celebrate Vaila Robertson’s birthday, before eating gave way to social activities for the remainder of the evening. 

An early start the following day meant that there were some bedraggled and scary sights at breakfast, but none as bad as Jenny Timoney’s pyjamas. There was the usual scramble to clear bedrooms before departing for the pool.

The first event of the day was the 100m IM for some of the younger boys. Andrew Denholm and Iain Doyle both swam really well in recording excellent PBs with Andrew winning bronze.

Fraser Wilson then finished 4th in the 50m breaststroke, missing bronze by a mere 0.5 seconds.

It was bronze also for Fiona Inglis in the 100m backstroke where she finished with a 2 second PB with Jenny Jubb finishing 4th.

Amy Sylvester won our 3rd bronze of the day in the 100m freestyle and a good PB from Sarah Eunson resulted in a 4th place finish.

Kimberley MacKay broke this trend by winning Gold in the 100m freestyle and in this event there was also a good PB for Hebe Ramsay.

Katy Needham chopped an incredible 12 seconds from her 100m butterfly time, Jenny Timoney, 4 seconds from hers and Andrew Denholm finished 4th in the boys event.

Not to outdone, Fraser Wilson the reduced his 100m IM by over 9 seconds, winning bronze in the process.

In the same event, good swims from Anna MacKay, Katy Needham, Bryony Eunson and Jenny Timoney saw them all record PBs, Jenny’s a very impressive 8 seconds.

In the oldest age group, all our swimmers set new PBs in the 100m breaststroke. Prentice Robertson, Jenny Jubb, who won silver, Beth Gray who finished 4th and Fiona Inglis, all swam really well in this event.

Fraser Wilson who was having a great weekend, had to settle for 4th place in the 50m butterfly before Ross Muego recorded his best swim of the weekend with a 3.5 second PB in the 100m backstroke.

In the corresponding girl’s event, Kimberley MacKay won her 4th Gold of the weekend and Vaila Robertson capped a fine weekend’s work with another PB.

In the older age group, Sarah Eunson won medal number 2, again bronze despite swimming slightly below her best.

Katy Needham was another who was swimming really well continued this in her final individual race with a 7.5 second PB in the 100m freestyle.

The final individual event of the meet was the 100m IM in the oldest age group. Prentice Roberson was first in action and he swam really well to record a 2.5 second PB.

This was followed by the girls in what turned out to be one of the closest finishes of the weekend. Despite trailing in second place going into the final length, Fiona Inglis produced a storming finish to win Gold in the closest of margins. Jenny Jubb finished 3rd with a fantastic 7 second PB and Beth Gray also improved her time.

The day finished with the 4 x 50m freestyle relays and there was more success for our team. In the older age group, our B Team of Beth Gray, Sarah Eunson, Jenny Jubb and Amy Sylvester finished in the Bronze medal position. Our A Team consisting of Beth Denholm, Kimberley MacKay, Lauren Sutherland and Fiona Inglis was involved in another nail biting finish and again we came out on top winning Gold with the narrowest of margins.

However our younger team of Katy Needham, Jenny Timony, Beth McFarlane and Anna MacKay had to again settle for 4th place.

 The final award of the weekend and perhaps the most prestigious was still to be decided. Throughout the weekend, swimmers had been submitting reports of daft quotes from their team mates. In the end, the winner was unanimous and the prize went to Lauren Sutherland who was under the distinct impression that Salami was a type of fish!!!!! 

The long trip back was uneventful as a weary team reflected on a very successful and thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

East District Challenge Meet

This was a new meet on the calendar and was held on 3rd & 4th February 2012 at Glenrothes. 

The first Midlothian swimmer involved was Vaila Robertson who was rewarded for her hard work in training with a great swim in the 100m butterfly in which she set a huge PB and finished in second place in her age group. In the same event, although slightly outside her best, Beth Gray finished fastest in her age group.

Vaila recorded anther good PB in the 100m freestyle as did Jenny Timoney, Anna MacKay, Amy Dinse, Katie Golder, Nikki Pettitt and Beth Gray. Nikki and Beth also finished on top of their respective age groups.

Session 2 got off to a good start with a very good swim from Iain Doyle in the 100m backstroke and he was followed by Andrew Denholm in the 400m freestyle in which he also recorded a good PB.

Both boys then teamed up in the 100m breaststroke where Andrew edged into 2nd place with Iain finishing just behind in third.

In the girls 200m freestyle, Nikki Pettitt claimed first place again with Jenny Jubb and Beth Gray finishing second and third respectfully in their age group. In this event there were also very good swims from Vaila Robertson and Anna MacKay.

Day 2 got off to a great start in the 200m backstroke. Lauren Sutherland, Vaila Robertson and Jenny Jubb all recorded massive PBs resulting in Lauren and Jenny finishing on top in their respective age groups.

This was followed by excellent swims from Anna MacKay and Eilidh Edmiston in the 200m breaststroke, Eilidh doing particularly well considering that she had missed the previous days swimming through illness.

In the boys 100m freestyle, Iain Doyle set yet another PB and then Beth McFarlane considerably reduced her 800m freestyle time.

The start of the final session saw Anna MacKay and Jenny Jubb swim really well in the 100m backstroke, the latter claiming first place and also reaching a National qualifying time.

Jenny Timoney and Beth Gray then set new personal bests in the 100m breaststroke followed by a good swim from Iain Doyle in the 200m freestyle.

The final event of the meet was the girls 200m IM and our swimmers finished strongly with excellent PBs for Anna McKay and Lauren Sutherland with Lauren winning the event in her age group.

The percentage of PBs achieved at this meet was impressively high with 81% of all swims resulting in personal bests.

East District Age Group Championships

The final round of these championships was moved to the newly opened pool at Bathgate and was held on 4th & 5th February 2012. Although the pool and surroundings were impressive, it was very cramped and extremely hot around the poolside. Undaunted though, our swimmers performed extremely well throughout, turning it into a very successful weekend. 

In the first event, the girls 100m butterfly a marginal PB from Kimberley MacKay was enough to see her through to the final to be held in the evening. Beth McFarlane, Beth Denholm, Fiona Inglis and Jenny Jubb also swam in this event, all slightly outside their best, however Hebe Ramsay swam a very good 2 second PB. 

In the boys 100m backstroke, Prentice Robertson bettered the personal best time he had only just swam 2 weeks previously and Ross Muego knocked 2 seconds off his time however was unfortunately disqualified. 

The girls 100m freestyle saw Fiona Inglis and Kimberley MacKay reach their respective finals. This was followed by Prentice swimming just on his PB in the 100m breaststroke. Ross Muego, who was going for a Scottish Age Group consideration time had unfortunately been ill in the lead up and despite a valiant effort, couldn’t quite manage the time. 

The afternoon session was taken up entirely by the girls 200m IM. There were personal best swims from Kimberley, Jenny and Sarah Eunson, with the other 5 girls who had qualified swimming just outside their best. Kimberley’s time was enough to reach the final where she set a new club record by reducing her time by almost another second to claim our first medal of the weekend, silver. 

The evening session comprised of finals and relays. Kimberley maintained her ranking to take the bronze in the 100m butterfly and finished 4th in the 100m freestyle. Fiona also finish 4th in her freestyle final, agonisingly missing out on a medal by a mere 0.12 seconds, however she did have the consolation of inching ever closer to the 60 second mark in a new club record time of 60.73. 

The final event of the day for our swimmers was the 13/14 years girls’ medley relay. Our team of Sarah Eunson, Beth Denholm, Kimberley MacKay and Lauren Sutherland were in the mix from the start. After a close race, they emerged with the bronze medal, all the girls swimming faster than their PBs. 

Day 2 started with Andrew Denholm in the 100m butterfly. Despite missing a lot of training recently, he did extremely well to finish just on his personal best time. Andrew was to repeat this later in the 100m freestyle. 

The girls 100m backstroke proved to be a good event for us. Hebe Ramsay and Sarah Eunson knocked over 2 seconds off their times, Sarah reaching her goal of a Scottish consideration time, however Hebe just fell short. Fiona Inglis, Beth McFarlane and Lauren Sutherland reduced their times by around 1 second and Kimberley MacKay reached her 4th final by reducing her time by 3 seconds. 

If the backstroke was good, the breaststroke was even better. Beth McFarlane produced a great heat swim to qualify for the final reducing her time by over 4 seconds. Good PBs from Lauren Sutherland and Beth Denholm saw them safely into their respective final where they were joined by Kimberley MacKay. There were also very good swims from Jenny Jubb, Sarah Eunson and Nikki Pettitt. 

In the afternoon, our only swim was Prentice Robertson in the 200m IM. Prentice appeared to be very keen to do well and he did not disappoint by reducing his time by 5 seconds. 

The final session was again finals and relays and was kicked off by Kimberley in the 100m backstroke. Despite setting a new club record by reducing her heat time, she was just squeezed out of the medals finishing 4th

After a great swim in the heats of the 100m breaststroke, Beth McFarlane took her place in the final as the fastest qualifier. A great race was anticipated and Beth did not let us down. She led from start to finish taking the title in a new East District record time of 1.16.67. The old record had stood for 10 years demonstrating how good a swim it was.

It was fantastic to see 3 Midlothian girls line up for the very next final. Beth Denholm, Kimberley MacKay and Lauren Sutherland were side by side and after the dust had settled, Kimberley came away with the Bronze medal with Beth and Lauren not far behind. 

Our final involvement of the weekend was the girls’ 4 x 50m freestyle relay. Our team of Beth Denholm, Sarah Eunson, Lauren Sutherland and Kimberley MacKay  battled throughout the race but just missed out on a medal, finishing 4th.

LDD Development Meet

At 9.00am on 22nd January 2012 at Deans High School Pool in Livingston, a new venue to all of us, 14 Development and 3 Bronze Swimmers timidly arrived. We set up on poolside all crammed onto one bench next to the spectators and prepared for warm up.

An impressive team in black swimsuits and Midlothian caps entered the water and carried out their warm up for butterfly and breaststroke, the two swims for the morning session. 

We were introduced to Andrew Aitchison, a top West Lothian swim squad member who demonstrated his Butterfly techniques. It was then the turn of all of our swimmers to impress us with their 25m Butterfly. In the 9 and under Girls, Midlothian finished 2nd with Cara Denholm and 3rd with Ria Colbridge. The 10 years girls had our Eve Thomson finishing first and the boys had Fraser Wilson finishing 3rd.

Out of the 17 swims in fly our swimmers gained a total of 16 PBs, they may not have got in  the top 3 placings but they were all impressive swims in particular Ellie Robertson, Amber Roe and Evie Cuthbert. 

A demonstration from Andrew Aitchison on breaststroke showed all our swimmers the importance of stretching and gliding in the stroke. Again our swimmers took to the water. This time Cara Denholm finished first in the 9 and under Girls and Lewis Thomson was first in the same age group for the boys. Euan Edminson was 2nd in the 10 year old boys.

This time we only got 13 out of 17 PBs, however this was the stroke in which I saw the biggest improvement in overall technique in the majority of swimmers. The area which we still need to improve is the transition from the push off into the swimming stroke.

One of the most impressive swims in the Breaststroke came from Izzy Drysdale who could not believe how much she was leading in her first length. She stopped for a wee while at the 25m mark to make sure and then proceeded to do a 2nd impressive length. Izzy, next time you know you can do it and let’s see the PB you will get from it! A great swim was also achieved from Ellie Turnbull knocking 15 seconds off what I predicted for her. 

Lunch time allowed everyone to cool off and get a massive sugar high to then watch how backstroke is done. The explanation of the black markers on the lane ropes proved a challenge to Sammy Patterson. She made a good effort not only in this transition but in fly and free too.  

10 PBs out of 16 swims was really good considering this pool had the same slippy walls as Dalkeith campus which resulted in a few victims struggling to get started. Coupled with fact that we rarely get the opportunity to practice proper backstroke starts from a block meant this was our overall weakest event.

Elouise Maciver was very disappointed with herself in this event as she was so focused and determined to do her best. Even after her slipped start she managed to give heart and soul to her swim which was then completed with a bang to the head due to the lack of splash boards at the ends. I am waiting for the next time to witness her swim as it will happen correctly and it will be well worth waiting for, just keep being detemined. Ross Porteous was not very happy with his swim but to me he managed to do a very good technical stroke throughout the swim. He now needs to practice this stroke at speed and his times for it will tumble. Nicholas Rietwelt switched on the adrenalin at this stage along with Owen Kennedy and finished with really good PBs.                                                                                                                                   Our placings in this event were 3rds in the 9 and under for Cara Denholm and Lewis Thomson and a very well swum 1st for Fraser Wilson in the 10 years boys. 

The majority had now got to the stroke they wanted – freestyle. They patiently watched the final demonstration and my advice to them was to keep the stroke long and heads steady. The adrenalin kicked in and they were off. Huge PBs were achieved by some, notably Ellie Robertson, Ross Porteous, Nick Rietwelt, Cameron Stables and Owen Kennedy. 14PBs out of 17 was our result in this event and a 2nd in the 10 years boys for Fraser Wilson. 

The adrenalin did not stop there as the finale for the day was still to come for Lewis Thomson, Cara Denholm, Fraser Wilson, Eve Thomson, Cameron Stables and Sammy Patterson. A 6 x 25m mixed freestyle relay was to end the day. The lead was immediately Lewis’s and then lengthened by Cara, Fraser and Eve. Cameron maintained it and Sammy just had to finish it. A really spectacular finish for the day and I believe Sammy was stunned for days after. Gold medals went to all of them and LDD sent all swimmers home with a keepsake plaque. 

Many thanks to Steve Edminson who has now achieved a very high level of hat applications, for his assistance on poolside and to all the Parents who are credit in the support department.

Congratulations to the poor parents I conned into doing the timekeeping course and were very impressively dressed in white on the day.

Finally well done to all the swimmers who took part, not just in their swimming but their behaviour in very cramped conditions for the whole day. You represented the club well!

Scottish Schools Championships

This year’s Scottish Schools Championships were held at the Dollan Aqua Centre in East Kilbride on 28th January 2012. As this pool is considerably smaller than Tollcross, where the championships are normally held, the number of swimmers was much reduced this year. For this reason, the five Midlothian swimmers who did qualify, had to swim extremely well in the heats. Ross Muego, Beth McFarlane, Beth Denholm, Kimberley MacKay and Andrew Denholm all reached the finals after producing excellent heat swims. Unfortunately Beth Denholm missed the finals due to illness but the other 4 acquitted themseves really well.

Andrew came in for his swim in the 50m breaststroke from a reserve position but was not daunted and swam a really good race.

Beth MacFarlane recovered from a poor start in the 200m breaststroke to produce a storming finish overtaking several swimmers in the final 25m. She swam even better in the 100m event where despite being a year younger than most of the other swimmers, she finished a creditable 9th.

Ross performed really well in the 100m breaststroke taking into account that this was by far the highest level he has competed at to date.

Kimberley MacKay, also produced a storming finish in the 200m freestyle to claim the silver medal in the closest swim of the day with only 0.3 seconds separating the first 3. In her other event, the 100m freestyle, she finished 4th in another close finish.

All in all, this was excellent experience for our swimmers which will serve them well in the future.

Carnegie Graded Meet

A small team of Midlothian swimmers travelled to the newly refurbished Carnegie Leisure centre in Dunfermline on the 21st/22nd January 2012. As this was very early in the season it was going to be interesting to see how they Read more of this post