In an abbreviated first day of the Scottish Grand Prix – North District Open at the Aberdeen Sports Village, a National Record was broken in 6 events.
This meet is serving as the last leg of the Scottish Commonwealth Games qualifying series. Times from prelims, semi-finals, and finals are eligible for selection if they meet the standards described in Appendix 1 here, and if there is spots available in an event (up to three per) after the Scottish Nationals and British Nationals.
At least one of those selections was secured on Friday evening in Aberdeen, as Jack Ness broke the Scottish Record in the 50m backstroke in prelims. There, he swam a 25.54, which broke the 25.89 done by Andrew McGovern in April at the British Championships. McGovern has since been a hair faster at 25.86, which Scottish Swimming hasn’t yet recognized.
Regardless, Ness’ swim broke both records,but that was not the end of his Commonwealth story.
Ness went after the race in prelims, and ultimately added time to come in at a 26.14 in finals for 2nd place. No matter, his result from prelims is good enough to qualify him for the 3rd and final spot for the Commonwealth Games.
The event winner, Charlie Boldison touched in with a 25.91, but he is English so Ness’ qualification stands (if Boldison were Scottish, he would have bumped Ness’ time, despite being slower).
Ness will join McGovern (3rd in this final) and Rory Lamont in the event at the Commonwealth Games.
Ness was exactly a tenth short of the FINA Junior World Record. His prelims swim is also the British Swimming 17 years age record in the event.
Boldison’s is the only new qualification from the first day of the meet, though several others were close. The strategy seemed to be going hard after prelims swims, as the morning heats saw very fast times despite little challenge to make the 10-lane final. Lucy Hope took the women’s 50 backstroke in 29.78, which just misses her lifetime best. She’ll come up just shy of a qualification with her best being a 29.60 from Scottish Nationals.
Sean Campsie from Warrender won the men’s 50 fly in 24.84, touching-out Jamie Graham from Glasgow (24.94). Both were about half-a-second shy of the qualifying standard in an event where the Scots still have no qualifiers. Both were faster in prelims (Graham in 24.68), but still not quite fast enough.
East Lothian’s Raquel Matos was the closest to qualification among the bridesmaids; the East Lothian 18-year old swam a 27.33 in the 50 fly final, after a 27.44 in prelims. The qualifying standard is 27.19. The result here, though, puts her within reach of the qualifying mark in the 100 fly, and maybe even the 50 free.
In the Olympic distance events, swum as timed finals, open water star Keri-Anne Payne won the women’s 800 free in 8:42.18. Stephen Milne from Perth City (Scotland, not Australia) won the men’s 1500 free in 15:26.95.