The North District of the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association (SASA) held the first round of the 2016 Grand Prix Series this past weekend in Inverness. Teams from across Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles gathered at the short course meters Inverness Leisure pool to compete across multiple events distinguished as ‘Sprint’, ‘Middle Distance’ and ‘Distance’ to accumulate points in each category and be named the overall winner within each designation.
The male and female winners within each category are outlined below:
Sprint Female – Yvette Man-yi Kong, Edinburgh, 1587 pts
Sprint Male – Ross Murdoch, Stirling, 1587 pts
Mid-Distance Female – Hannah Miley, Garioch Amateur SC, 1657 pts
Mid-Distance Male – Lewis Smith, Stirling, 1578 pts
Distance Female – Hannah Miley, Garioch Amateur SC, 1689 pts
Distance Male – Angus Barr, East Kilbride, 1470 pts
Hannah Miley pulled off the double point-standings win, earning both the Mid-Distance and Distance titles in Inverness. Over the course of the three-day meet, Miley racked up an astonishing 7 first-place finishes, as well as multiple minor place results in the sprint events. Miley kicked off the meet with a big-time win in the 800m freestyle, clocking a time of 8:28.73. She followed that up with victories in the 200m IM and 400m IM, registering times of 2:12.50 and 4:38.21, the latter of which cracks the world’s top 5 in the event so far this season.
Before the meet was through, Miley would also wrangle in wins in the 200m breaststroke (2:26.78), 400m freestyle (4:11.75), 200m butterfly (2:13.72) and 200m freestyle (2:00.25). No other times cleared the world’s top 5, but her results were certainly strong enough to bring the 26-year-old the most points in both the Mid-D and D categories.
For his part, University of Stirling stand-out Ross Murdoch brought the heat across all of his signature breaststroke events, claiming wins in the 50m, 100m and 200m races. Murdoch was the only sub-28 swimmer of the field in the shortest sciences, taking the gold in a mark of 27.69. Of note, that time is a full half second behind that of teammate Craig Benson, who scored a new Scottish record of 26.84 at the BUCS Championships to overtake Murdoch’s old national mark.
Murdoch made some world ranking shakeups in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events, however, taking the former in a time of 59.19 to represent the only swimmer to dip beneath the one-minute threshold. His time of 59.19 now ranks as the 3rd-fastest in the world this season.
Murdoch’s 2:08.06 time in the 200m breaststroke also marked the only sub-2:09 swim of the field and his time now sits as the 2nd-fastest performance of the season behind the Netherlands’ Sebas Van Lith’s 2:06.80.
Although not an overall point winner, Stirling teammate Robbie Renwick got the job done in his trademark 200m freestyle event on day 2 of the meet. Renwick scorched the field by over four solid seconds en route to registering the world’s #1 200m freestyle mark of 1:44.51, the swiftest textile mark of his career and less than half of a second off of the Scottish National Record of 1:44.04 held by Andrew Hunter since 2009.