2019 SCOTTISH OPEN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, December 13th – Sunday, December 15th
- Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh
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The 2019 Scottish Open Short Course Championships kicked off yesterday, Friday, December 13th, with the likes of Ross Murdoch, Duncan Scott and Hannah Miley among the elite and amateur competitors. For several swimmers, this meet is coming immediately after their participation at the European Short Course Championships, which just concluded last weekend.
22-year-old University of Stirling athlete Scott was among the Glasgow medalists, taking silver in the 200m freestyle individually. On night 1 here in Edinburgh, the versatile athlete tried the 200m back on for size as an off-event. He produced a time of 1:54.34 to finish with the silver behind winner Craig McNally.
For Scott, his time knocked more than a second off of his previous personal best. But, for McNally, he busted out one of the best swims of his life for gold, putting up a new Scottish national record in the process.
Touching in a time of 1:50.57, McNally overtook the previous Scottish standard of 1:51.66 Gregor Trait wrote onto the books back in 2008.
Prior to his swim tonight, McNally’s previous PB rested at the 1:52.18 notched at this same meet 3 years ago. However, splitting, 54.86/55.71, the man hacked that time to bits, slashing well over a second off the mark for gold.
Of his swims, McNally stated, “I knew there was a quick swim in me. I never do well in training or in season but I had quite a good swim at BUCS and training has been going well so I knew a fast swim was coming. I was trying to get as close as I could to the 1:50 or 1:49 mark but it’s over a second PB and I really can’t complain.”
Two-time European Short Course Champion Freya Anderson took on the 100m free following her gold in Glasgow, with the teen producing a winning time of 52.56. She logged 51.49 for the win last week, but the Ellesmere swimmer was still pleased with this performance in Edinburgh.
“This is just about working on my turns and my skills here in Edinburgh, that’s what the coach has said to do. Hopefully, I did alright skills-wise in that race; it’s really not about the times this weekend, it’s just about going out and enjoying it,” Anderson said after the race.
Finishing with the silver behind Anderson was Lucy Hope of Edinburgh. The student swimmer raced to the wall in a time of 53.26, establishing a new Scottish national record in the process.
The 22-year-old’s previous lifetime best was marked by the 53.39 she logged at the 2017 BUCS SC Championships, so she managed to slice .13 off of that outing with a new record.
Said Hope of her swim, “That’s the fastest time I’ve swum in the last two years. Hopefully this form turns out well for long course as well. We’ve been focusing more on long course and I’m not really rested coming into this meet, so to come away with a PB and Scottish Record I can’t complain.”
Yes, I have an exam on Monday morning, which won’t be a lot of fun. I went part-time this year so the workload has been a lot less with only one course this semester and one next semester. I still think it’s important to keep your brain a little bit busy and not always focus too much on swimming.”
Murdoch reaped gold in the men’s 50m breaststroke last night, touching in a time of 26.26. That overtook his own previous Scottish national record of 26.34 from last year.
“This is great and is another opportunity to use a meet as a springboard almost. So I’m trying to come off the back of the Europeans and swim faster here. It’s a great place to be and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the weekend,” Murdoch said.
“It’s been full-on recently with the ISL, one week off, then coming back for the Europeans and now here. But I think that’s the way you have to do short course swimming.
“I spoke with Michael Jamieson at this meet last year and was asking him as I was miles off the Scottish Record for 200m breaststroke, and I asked him, ‘Mate, how do you go a 2:01 for 200m breaststroke?’ and he said it was just about racing, racing and racing.
“He got the record at the back end of racing at all the World Cups and doing everything he could to try and swim fast that year and you know I’ve taken that advice and tried to attack ever race and get as many opportunities to race as I can. And I see this as a great opportunity, using last weekend as a springboard, to move everything on again.”
- Bath swimmer Kieran Bird snagged the first gold medal of night 1 with a time of 7:43.76 in the 800m free.
- Stirling’s Danielle Huskisson got it done for gold in the women’s edition of the 8free, producing a time of 8:31.82.
- The men’s 100m free saw Craig McLean surge to the wall first, hitting the only sub-48 second time of the field in 47.73.
- Former Florida Gator Mark Szaranek, who now swims for Stirling, nailed a time of 4:02.32 to capture the 400m IM title. That checks-in as a huge personal best, destroying his previous PB of 4:04.57 from 3 years ago.
- 3-time Olympian Hannah Miley stopped the clock in a time of 4:34.25 to win the women’s 400m IM, a time just off her 4:34.12 at the ISL meet in October.
- The women’s 50m breast saw one swimmer get under 31 seconds, with Kara Hanlon clocking 30.86 to top the podium.
- Kat Greenslade logged a winning effort of 2:07.17 to take the women’s 200m back.
- The men’s 50m fly was won by Calum Bain in 23.59, while South Ayrshire’s Lucy Grieve took the women’s race in 26.69. Grieve is just 15 years of age and captured a new Scottish Junior Record.
- Securing gold in the men’s 4x50m medley relay, the combination of Martyn Walton, Ross Murdoch, Duncan Scott, and Scott McLay clocked a new Scottish NR of 1:33.52. Splits included 23.80, 26.02, 22.53 and 21.17, respectively.