Swimmers perform well at annual championships

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ON SATURDAY St Thomas Swimming Club held its annual Age Group Championships.

There were some closely fought races with many age group titles not decided until the final races.

The age group winners were:

Eight and under girls - Blythe Brown; eight and under boys - Lewis Runge; nine-year-old girls - Rachael Fotheringham; nine-year-old boys - Cameron Craig.

10-year-old girls - Sophie Smith; 10-year-old boys - Robert Allan and George Cowan; 11-year-old girls - Ally Morrison; 11-year-old boys - Brandon Runge.

12-year-old girls - Sophie Buick; 12-year-old boys - Blair Geddes; 13-year-old girls - Heather Ingram; 13-year-old boys - Blair Fotheringham; 14-and-over girls - Louise Taylor; 14-and-over boys - Nathan Watt.

The annual championships are also the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of particular swimmers during the course of 2011.

The recipient of the Grace Kinnear Trophy for swimmer of the year was Mark Shepherd who has represented St Thomas with distinction for over 20 years.

During this time he has been an excellent ambassador not only for the club, but for competitive swimming in general.

This year he competed in his first 1,500m freestyle race at the Scottish 1,500 Championships winning gold. In April at the Scottish National Masters Short Course Meet he broke the Scottish 200m butterfly record.

Squad Swimmer of the Year awards are presented to the swimmers who are the role models for their squads. Regular attendance in training, hard work, responding well to challenges are a few of the ingredients required in all the club swimmers.

And this year the following swimmers have proven themselves to be great ambassadors for the club: intermediate and junior squads - Kieran Welsh and Claire Milne; national and district squads - Taylor Young and Sarah Cummins.

The Most Improved Swimmers of the Year trophies are awarded, quite simply, to the swimmers who have shown the most improvement over the past 12 months. Obviously this is not just by accident but as the result of regular attendance in training, remaining focused and committed and, of course, hard work. This year’s winners were Blair Geddes and Sophie Buick.

The Swimmer of the Month awards were also presented at the Age Group Championships. These awards reflect specific individual performances at competitive meets but also cumulative efforts in training or over a series of different competitions.

l Pictured are swimmers after Saturday’s event.