COMPETITORS from Irvine were in the team from the North Ayrshire Amateur Swimming Club which bagged three trips to the podium at the West District Long Course Age Group Meet in East Kilbride on January 13 and 14.

Highlights of the weekend for the team at the Dollan Aquatics Centre were Evan Clark (15) from Stevenston, taking second in the 100m breast stroke before Rory Dickson, (15) from Glengarnock, followed it up with second in the 400m freestyle and claiming 3rd spot in the 50m freestyle.

Head Coach Ross Douglas praised the teenagers’ performances and said: “I’m really happy for Evan, he’s a real worker. He very rarely misses a session, and to see him have his moment getting his medal was a real highlight when you see someone do what they didn’t expect to, and he achieved a couple of times for the Scottish National Age Group championships towards the end of March.

“Off the back of the weekend performances Rory Dickson has not got himself some consideration times for British Swimming Championships which are going to be held in Edinburgh at the start of March which is an amazing achievement for him at the age of 16 to be able to compete at that level.”

Two 11-year-old’s from Irvine, Adam Currie and Eilidh Moore, were among the youngest of the competitors at the meet for which just qualifying to swim was a huge achievement.

Held in the 50m pool at East Kilbride, it was a special event to give the fastest young swimmers in the west of Scotland a shot of qualifying for the British Championships, and to get in they needed to have much faster personal best times than for regular West District events.

Adam had one of the busiest schedules in the team, competing in seven events with a best result of 10th place in the 200m freestyle for 11 to 13-year old boys.

Eilidh also had the best of her three swims over the weekend in the girls 200m, finishing 12th in the 11 to 13-year-old group.

“For all the young ones it’s a totally different experience,” explained Ross.

“Some of the events are very different to when they are swum in a 25m short course pool, but they weren’t phased by it, they challenged themselves.”

“For me the performance of the team as a whole was fantastic. Bear in mind they’ve had Christmas, they’ve had a little bit of down time, and had to come straight back into a racing mentality.

“For me it’s important when the older ones move on to university we have the new wave coming through so it’s exciting and really, really positive. It’s only going to get better.”