Impressive start for Borders swimmers

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BEST Performance Squad members made their season’s intentions clear at the first instalment of the 2012/2013 East District Age Group Championships.

Running over three weekends the first round, consisting entirely of distance events, was held at the Bathgate Sports Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

Fourteen-year-old Ryan Brown performed brilliantly in all three of his events to come away with a gold and two silvers.

Brown won gold in the 400m individual medley and now has the Scottish age group record for this event in his sights after narrowly missing the milestone on this occasion.

He achieved impressive personal bests in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle events also, coming within just a second of the East District age group record in the 1,500m.

Kirsty Armstrong, 13, also starred at the meet, matching Kelso ASC team-mate Brown’s medal haul of one gold and two silvers.

Her gold also came in the 400m medley, while her silver medals were achieved in the 400m and 800m freestyle events.

Lizi Clelland narrowly missed the podium, placing fourth in the 400m freestyle. The 13-year-old Kelso ASC member also achieved significant pbs in the 400m medley and 800m freestyle.

Many of the team’s swims resulted in substantial personal best times.

Contributing to the team’s 84 per cent pb rate for the weekend were Gregor and Kathryn Swinney of Peebles ASC, Matthew Berlansky of Gala ASC, and Jenny Adams, Morgan Anderson, Morvern Anderson and Amy Richardson, all of Kelso ASC.

Borders performance coach Alex Jordan told TheSouthern: “Being early in the season, team members are not entirely race-fit just yet. However, they achieved many great results over the weekend, simply through fantastic racing.

“This was a top start to what is hopefully going to be another successful season for the team.”

The BEST Performance Squad is an initiative of the Borders Performance Development Programme, which runs in partnership with Scottish Swimming, Borders Sport & Leisure Trust and five local swimming clubs – Duns, Gala, Kelso, Peebles and Teviotdale.

Members from these clubs have the opportunity to join the Borders Elite Swim Team (BEST) Performance Squad which involves attending morning training sessions with coach Jordan.

The programme has been a catalyst for impressive results from Borders swimmers at local to international levels.