Fine performances by St Thomas swimmers at graded championships

The St Thomas members who performed superbly at Midland District Graded and District Championships. They are, from left, back - Blythe Brown, George Cowan, Robert Allan, Sophie Smith and Jenna Geddes: front - Kelsey Young, Jack Green, Hannah Coull and Joshua Mitchell.

The St Thomas members who performed superbly at Midland District Graded and District Championships. They are, from left, back - Blythe Brown, George Cowan, Robert Allan, Sophie Smith and Jenna Geddes: front - Kelsey Young, Jack Green, Hannah Coull and Joshua Mitchell.

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At the weekend St Thomas athletes took part in the Midland District Graded and District Championships at the Olympia, Dundee.

On Friday evening, Joshua Mitchell kicked things off with a gold medal in 200m breaststroke and silver in the 100m individual medley (IM) graded events, while Hannah Coull improved by 10 seconds in her 400 IM championship event securing a silver medal.

Excellent 400 individual medley swims also followed from Ashley Thomson, George Cowan and Jack Green who all set personal best times with Ashley finishing fifth, George fourth and Jack winning gold in his age group.

On Saturday morning George, Jack and Robert competed in the 400 freestyle (FS) championship event. Robert’s excellent start and underwater transition helped him to set his second fastest ever time just .20 outside his personal best, while Jack took off a solid 10 seconds from his entry time to win gold with some excellent turns.

George dug deep in an extremely closely fought race in which the gold, silver and bronze medals were all up for grabs; his closing 100m of 1.12 saw him not only set a new personal best but also win the silver medal.

Next up was the 800 FS Championship event for the girls in which Blythe Brown, Hannah Coull, Ashley Thomson and Sophie Smith all competed.

Blythe was making her debut in this event and demonstrated excellent pacing skills with consistent 100m splits and great underwater skills to finish 5th in a time of 11.49.97.

Hannah put on a similarly impressive display in her heat with a 14 second improvement to secure another silver medal.

Ashley, too, was on good form to set her second fastest ever time at this event with an encouraging 1.15 final 100m.

Sophie, who swam in the final heat, put in an impressive display by winning both the 800 Junior and Open Championships in a new personal best time of 9.05.67; this three second improvement was also a 13 year old girls’ Scottish record.

Jenna Geddes was the first swimmer in the water on Saturday afternoon and she led by example by setting a new personal best time in the 100m backstroke; this was despite her goggles falling off after the first turn.

Hannah Coull and Ashley Thomson swam just outside their personal bests and finished fifth overall in their respective age groups.

Sophie won gold in the 13 year old group in a new personal best time with an extremely strong final 100m. Joshua Mitchell took an impressive seven seconds off his entry time in the 100m breaststroke, while Kelsey Young making her debut in the competition, won gold in her 100m breaststroke event.

The personal bests continued to roll in with Robert Allan, Jack Green and George Cowan all in impressive form in their 800 FS. Robert improved his time by five seconds to come fifth overall, George won bronze with another excellent closing 100m and Jack took his fourth gold of the meet with a 30 second personal best.

On Sunday morning Joshua Mitchell set another personal best this time in the 100 FS to add a silver medal to his collection while Kelsey Young took an impressive six seconds from her 100 FS entry time to finish fourth overall.

Next up were the ‘Three Amigos’: George, Jack and Robert in the 1,500 FS and they did not disappoint with a pb fest! Jack demonstrated superb underwater transition skills and was a minute inside his entry time to secure another gold medal.

Robert, too, swam with determination as, during his 1,500 swim, he improved on his 800 FS time by four seconds. And George found himself in the middle of another closely fought heat but he pulled away from his rivals with some excellent pacing to take 13 seconds from his entry time and win the silver medal.

Hannah Coull wound up proceedings in the morning with a classy 200 IM; she destroyed the field with an 18 second personal best.

The final session (Sunday afternoon) saw another set of impressive performances from the St Thomas ladies.

Sophie Smith demonstrated superb attitude and grit with a solid 1,500 swim as did Blythe Brown and Hannah Coull who were making their debuts in the 1,500.

Continuing from their encouraging 800m performances, Blythe and Hannah executed effective race plans with impressive underwater skills and consistent pacing.

Jenna Geddes and Kelsey Young again impressed with their racing skills and determination to improve on their entry times by five seconds each with Jenna being placed sixth in her 100 FS and Kelsey third in her 100 backstroke.