BORDERS swimmers returned home with nine medals and three records from the Scottish Schools Swimming Championships.
The region’s six golds came solely from Kelso High’s Kirsty Armstrong and Ryan Brown and Lucy Hope of Jedburgh Grammar, who all bagged two each.
Armstrong won gold in both the girls’ 13/14 year 200m individual medley and 200m butterfly at Dollan Aqua Centre in South Lanarkshire, the latter performance seeing the teenager break the Scottish schools and East District records.
Armstrong’s efforts saw her secure the girls’ 13/14 years best performance award.
Hope touched the wall first in the 100m and 200m backstroke, claiming the Scottish schools record in the longer event. She also walked away with the girls’ 15/16 years best performance trophy.
Brown also received the best performance trophy for the boys’ 15/16 years age group, having won the 200m fly – breaking the Scottish schools best ever time – and 400 IM.
Toby Douglas of Eyemouth High won gold in the 13/14 years 100m free with a sub-minute swim and personal best. Douglas also placed seventh in the 200m IM.
Earlston High’s Lizzie Clelland contributed further to the Borders schools medal tally, winning her first national medal.
In a superb showing, Clelland claimed a silver medal in the 13/14 years 100m free.
The final Borderer to mount the Scottish Schools podium was Galashiels Academy’s Fiona Inglis, taking home bronze in the 17 to 19 years 100m free.
Kelso High’s Morgan Anderson narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth in the boys 15/16 years’ 100m breast and fifth in the 200m breast, while Finlay Dewar of Peebles High impressed on his Scottish Schools debut, finishing fifth in 13/14 years 200m back.
Kingsland Primary’s Thomas Nicholl, 11, the youngest competitor in the 12 and under 50m free field, was placed sixth in the final.
The remaining Borders pupils recorded some impressive PBs: Kathryn Swinney, Peebles High (6th in 13/14 years 200m IM, one PB); Gregor Swinney, Peebles High (7th in 15/16 years 200m IM and 8th in 100m back, two PBs); Liam Caldwell, Stirches Primary (7th in 12 & under 50m breast, one PB); Matthew Berlansky, Earlston High (9th in 15/16 years 200m back and 10th in 200m breast), Alex Thompson, Kelso High (5th in the 17 to 19 years 100m fly, one PB) and Maili Brown, St Margarets Primary, Galashiels (12th in girls’ 12 & under 50m back, one PB).
Many of the swimmers are members of Borders Elite Swim Team (BEST), while all competitors from the region, as well as coaches, received team shirts for the championships from Borders Sport & Leisure Trust.
Meanwhile, cousins Emma Suddon, 12, and Rachel Sharp, 15, from Hawick are looking forward to this weekend when they take part in the East District age group competition at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. Both are members of the Teviotdale Turbo Swimming Club and this is their first time in this competition. They both managed qualifying times for the 100m freestyle and will be following in the footsteps of Turbo team-mates such as Jessica and Scott Wilcox and Katie and Kristie Waugh, to name a few.