Swimming: Season starter serves up success for BEST squad

From left: Erika Coupek, Sarah Frizzel and Elsbeth Roper
From left: Erika Coupek, Sarah Frizzel and Elsbeth Roper

Borders swimmers have started the 2015/2016 season with a splash at the East District Age Group Championships held over three weekends at Glenrothes and the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

In total the Borders Elite Swim Team (BEST) Performance squad achieved 140 PB’s, 38 finalists and nine medals over the course of the three events.

Gregor Swinney

Gregor Swinney

Erika Coupek, 13, from Kelso had a fantastic three rounds and medalled in five events, achieving Gold in both the 100 and 200 metre backstroke, Silver in the 50 metre backstoke and 100 metre freestyle and a Bronze in the 50 metre freestyle.

Sarah Frizzel from Galashiels nearly had a clean sweep in the breaststroke events and medalled in three of her individual races. The 14-year-old took Gold in both the 50 and 100 metres and the Silver in the 200 metres.

BEST newcomer Elsbeth Roper, 12, also from Galashiels enjoyed her first taste of success at East District level when achieving a Bronze medal in the 50 metre freestyle.

BEST Performance head coach Lauren Jocelyn was delighted with how her relatively new charges had coped with the high level of competition.

“It was a fantastic achievements from the whole squad with lots of great results which was an extra bonus at this early stage of the season,” she told us.

“There are a lot of young swimmers stepping it up and showing great commitment.”

Elsewhere, at the Scottish Schools Championships held at Tollcross in Glasgow BEST Performance Swimmer Gregor Swinney from Peebles finished his school’s career on a high when placing third in the boys 17-19 year old 100 metre butterfly.

“Gregor continues to show his dedication and commitment to the programme and is going from strength to strength with huge gains – a huge team player that the whole team look up to,” commented Jocelyn.

The BEST Performance Squad is an initiative of the Borders Performance Development Programme which runs in partnership with Scottish Swimming, Borders Sport & Leisure and four local swimming clubs, Gala, Kelso, Peebles and Hawick & Teviotdale. Members from these clubs have the opportunity to join the Squad which involves attending morning training sessions with coach Jocelyn. The programme has been a catalyst for impressive results from Borders swimmers at local to international levels.