2017 Scottish National Schools Aquathlon Championships21st Apr 2017 | Written by LesleyJ
What a great day at the 2017 Scottish National Schools Aquathlon Championships!
Fifty schools, and over 240 pupils headed to Stirling University [on Friday 21 April] to take part in the event that was run in collaboration with Beaconhurst School and the University of Stirling. The weather was a little more kind this year with no hail on offer, but some gusty winds to contend with none-the-less.
Pupils from S1 to S6 raced in their year groups with S1/S2 swimming 300m and running 2km; S3/4 swimming 400m and running 3km and finally S5/6 swimming 500m and running 4km. As well as the individual event pupils had the chance to take part in the mixed team relay that comprised a 200m swim followed by a 1km run, where teams of four were represented by a female and male pupil in S1/S3 and a female and male pupil in S4/6 – a great turn out also with 12 schools represented and 17 teams taking part – our largest to date.
The female S1/2 participants were the first to go and saw over 80 pupils on the start line! It was Isla Britton (Balfron High School) that took the title in 10:54, recording the fastest run split of the field by around 14 seconds! Jennifer Murray (Loudoun Academy) came in second with a great swim leg from her that helped to seal that podium spot in 11:10. Anya Maclean (The High School of Glasgow) completed the podium with a consistent display of swim and run with her time of 11:20.
The S1/2 boys heats welcomed over 60 participants where Daniel Saunders (George Watson’s College) had a phenomenal swim to see him victorious in 10:26. A strong run from Callum Byrne (Balfron High School) saw him move up the places into a silver medal spot with his 5:59 run split, and total time of 10:56. Monifieth High School’s Ryan Duncan completed the podium with his 11:20 course time, recording one of the fastest swim splits.
It was a Triathlon Scotland Foundation squad clean sweep in both the female and male S3/4 races. In the females, Nicole Reynolds (Madras College) put in a blistering swim to lead the pack with her 5:12 swim leg, followed by Clare Wallace (Eastwood High School) and Annabelle Wright (Alford Academy). Onto the run and Reynolds faded with Barnes attacking that tough hill and recording what was the fastest run split by over 30 seconds (!) to finish in 15:36! Clare Wallace had a steady race to take the silver medal in 15:46 and Kate Richardson (Eastwood High School) also had a great run leg to recover from a swim that saw her with work to do on the run (16:53).
The S3/4 males’ race was led from start to finish by Calum Young (Williamwood High School) to give him the gold two years in a row, with a time of 14:10. Andrew Rolland (Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools) had some time to make up on the run where he had to chase to get that coveted podium spot. Robert Sparks (Madras College) made it a podium for the second year in a row with his bronze medal winning time of 14:28, just behind Rolland.
Onto the S5/6 races and it was tight at the top in the male event where Josh Hendry (St Columba’s School), Jonathan Jackson (Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools), Forbes Jackson (Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools), Dan Hesp (Beaconhurst School), Andrew Merry (Grove Academy), Rory Strachan (Balfron High School) and Tom Graham Marr (Beaconhurst School) were all within seconds of each other heading onto the run leg. Here is where Hendry showed his strength whizzing up the hills, and with the fastest run split, saw him take the title in 18:38. Jonathan Jackson and Marr put up a good fight on the run to take second (18:57) and third (19:11) respectively.
In the female race Jessica Damen (Boroughmuir High School) was leading the pack with her swim time of 6:32, with the nearest competitor Iona Miller (St Columba’s High School) nine seconds behind and Sophie Annan (Boroughmuir High School) chasing also. Kate Gallagher (Stirling High School) and Rachel Calvert (Braes High School) had it all to do after a difficult time in the pool, however chase they did and Gallagher (20:52) had a great run to take her up into second place where Annan held on for that third podium spot (22:57). Miller used her steady swim to her advantage and put in a good run to see her retain her title in 20:18.
It wasn’t finished there; it was time for the mixed team relay. An undoubtedly exciting event, the team spirit was once again there in abundance as Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools team was looking to make it two in a row and George Watson’s College were hunting down that title also. An exceptional swim from Monifieth High School’s Sienna Guild saw them fly out into the lead with a huge advantage; however Erskine Stewart’s Melville’s Katie Goodburn and George Watson’s Sally Jack kept their composure, focusing on their race. From there the team of: Katie Goodburn, Joe Ewing, Niamh Ritchie and Forbes Jackson all had an excellent race to see them crowned champions [once again] with their 27:41 performance. George Watson’s College [Sarah Fyfe, David Saunders, Caitlin Arnott and Charlie Kidd] were a comfortable second with their collective time of 28:57. St Columba’s High School [Olivia Barns, Jack Patton, Iona Miller and Josh Hendry] completed the podium with their time of 29:30.
Iona Miller, St Columba’s School, 20:18
Kate Gallagher, Stirling High School, 20:52
Sophie Annan, Boroughmuir High School, 22:57
Josh Hendry, St Columba’s School, 18:38
Jonathan Jackson, Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, 18:57
Tom Graham Marr, Beaconhurst School, 19:11
Heather Barnes, Mearns Castle High School, 15:36
Clare Wallace, Eastwood High School, 15:46
Kate Richardson, Eastwood High School, 16:53
Calum Young, Williamwood High School, 14:10
Andrew Rolland, Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, 14:26
Robert Sparks, Madras College, 14:28
Isla Britton, Balfron High School, 10:54
Jennifer Murray, Loudoun Academy, 11:10
Anya MacLean, The High School of Glasgow, 11:20
Daniel Saunders, George Watsons College, 10:26
Callum Byrne, Balfron High School, 10:56
Ryan Duncan, Monifieth High School, 11:10
Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, 27:41
George Watson’s College, 28:57
St Columba’s School, 29:30