Short course swimmers break records at Scottish and World Championships
It was a record-breaking week for University of Stirling swimmers competing at Short Course competitions in both Canada and Scotland.
Charlie Boldison, Ross Murdoch, Dan Wallace and Kathleen Dawson all made the trip to the FINA World Championships in Windsor to compete in the faster waters of the 25m pool.
In one of the first international race opportunities of the Tokyo 2020 cycle, 19-year-old Kathleen finished fifth in her first global final in the 100m backstroke and took Scottish records across the championships.
Kirkcaldy-born Kathleen now holds Scotland’s national records across the 50, 100 and 200m backstroke events for both long course and short course.
In the final event of the six-day championships, Charlie Boldison and Ross Murdoch swam with Adam Barrett and Stephen Milne in the 4x100m medley relay, finishing fifth.
Closer to home, more than 20 Stirling swimmers competed at the Scottish National Short Course Swimming Championships in Edinburgh.
The team took 15 national champion titles and broke six records in the Royal Commonwealth Pool.
19-year-old Duncan continued his winning form, taking the 200m freestyle in 1:42:47, breaking Robbie Renwick’s record which had stood since 2009. In the same race, team-mates Martyn Walton and Craig McLean won silver and bronze respectively.
Duncan, Martyn and Craig joined forces with Calum Bain for the 4x100m freestyle, breaking the Scottish Club Record in 3:12:10.
Duncan also broke the Scottish Record in the 200m individual medley final, improving on his heat time by over ten seconds. Again, it was a clean sweep on the podium for Stirling, with Martyn Walton picking up silver and Callum Lawrie the bronze. Duncan also won the 100m butterfly and 400m freestyle titles.
Speaking at the event, Duncan said: “These finals have been difficult to get into. I’ve been trying different things in the heats, lengthening my stroke a little. Everything seemed to come together correctly tonight and I was certainly happy with those times. Dropping ten seconds from the heats in my individual medley, I didn’t know I had that in the locker!"
Meanwhile, Cameron Brodie finished in silver in the 200m butterfly, piped by a tenth of a second by Duncan who grabbed another Scottish Record in the event.
Craig Benson also enjoyed tremendous success, completing a clean sweep of all three breaststroke titles. The final victory came in 2:05.07 in his Olympic event, the 200m.
Elsewhere, the squad picked up a raft of National Champion titles including Lauren Mills in the 50m butterfly, Calum Bain in the 50m freestyle, Martin Walton in the 100m individual medley and Callum Lawrie in the 400m individual medley.
There was success in the 4x50m freestyle relay for another Stirling quartet. Calum Bain, Martyn Walton, Jamie Graham and Duncan Scott broke the Scottish Club Record on their way to gold.
Martyn Walton, Craig Benson, Duncan Scott and Calum Bain also took gold and broke the National Club Record in the 4x50m medley.
World-beater Danielle Joyce also had an extraordinary week, breaking the Deaf World Records in 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke and 50m and 100m freestyle.
Ben Higson, Head High Performance Swim Coach at the University of Stirling, said: “It has been a fantastic week for University of Stirling swimming, with the athletes putting in some incredible performances in both Ontario and Edinburgh.
“It was great to see the team make so many new records in Edinburgh and at the World Championships. This stresses the diversity and depth we have in the squad, as well as the level of performance throughout the program as a whole. The work that Brad Hay is doing with the athletes in our second high performance squad is evident in these great results that round up a record year.”
Earlier this year, University of Stirling swimmers won a combined total of nine European medals and three Olympic silver medals.