Lewis school swimmers make a splash

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20 swimmers from the Isle of Lewis travelled to Inverness to represent their respective schools at the Highland Schools Swimming Championships.

The swimmers, all members of Swim Western Isles, had qualifying times to meet before they could even attend the event, and in competition they all excelled, with most of the swimmers achieving personal bests in their races.

The Nicolson Institute was represented by: Ania Lisowska, Rachel Murray, Mairi MacLennan, Karmiena Smitt, Sarah Murray, Matthew Hanlon, Isla Budge, Donald Matheson, Findlay Reed, Lucienne Doig and Ellen MacLeod. Sadly Ellen sustained an injury in her warm up and wasn’t able to compete.

The swimmers from Stornoway Primary were Isla MacDonald, Erin Smith, Maya MacIver, Cameron Reed, Charlie MacLeod. Laxdale Primary had Fraser MacLeod, Sophie Smith and Derek Finlayson. And from Sgoil Nan Loch, solo swimmer, Christina Matheson.

Coach David Hanlon said: “They all swam so well and got excellent times against the best swimmers in the North of Scotland.

“We came home with 18 medals, gold, silver and bronze, some great placings and a very happy squad. Special mention must go to Ania and Isla from the Nicolson Institute who got Golds in both of their races.”

On the first weekend of this month, three swimmers attended the North District Open Championships in Inverness, Kathryn Offer secured a silver in Back crawl and a sixth in 50 metre font crawl, setting club records in her events and in the 50 metre Fly. Matthew Hanlon and Luciene Doig were also back in Inverness for the event at the weekend, and both gained personal bests in all their races and Matthew set club records for his 50, 100 and 200 metre Breast Stroke.

The continued improvement in swimming and reduced times are very encouraging for the club and it means that the Swim Western Isles Records table displayed in the Sports Centre has been updated with numerous new records gained

10 & Under: Erin Smith 50 Back and 50 Free; Isla MacDonald 50 Breast and 50 Fly

11/12: Rachel Murray 100 and 200 Back; Ania Lisowska 100 Breast .

13/14: Matthew Hanlon 50, 100 and 200 Breast; Isla Budge 100 and 200 Free.

Seniors: Kathryn Offer 50m Back Crawl, 50m Front Crawl, 50m Breast Stroke and 50m Fly.

All those involved in Swim Western Isles were delighted to find out that David Hanlon has been awarded SportScotland Community Coach of the Year, a well deserved accolade for a committed and enthusiastic coach who gives so much of his time to swimming every week.