Step Rock swimmers excelled at the recent East District Sprint Championships, held at the Michael Woods Centre, Glenrothes in what is thought to be an unprecedented day for the club. The morning heats saw 15 swimmers take on a total of 39 individual swims, with over half of these being personal bests. In the afternoon, it was the mixed medley relays and sprint finals, kicking off with the youngest age group, 11-12. The Step Rock team of Corey, Emmy, Sam and Ellie were seeded 6th, giving them one of the outer lanes. Corey delivered an excellent lead-off leg, just over a tenth of a second behind the pre-race favourites, Warrender Baths. Emmy, fresh off a 2 second PB in her individual breaststroke heat, then ripped the field apart, storming to a 3 second lead, taking an incredible further 3 seconds off her heat time. Sam’s 50m fly split was a whole second faster than his morning heat swim, setting up Ellie perfectly. The youngest member of the team, Ellie held her nerve magnificently, swimming a 2 second PB to ensure that the Step Rock team took the gold.
Buoyed by this shock result, Rowan, Anna S., Isla T. and Fraser then raced their hearts out in their medley relay, finishing a creditable 13th. Step Rock had never had so many junior finalists at an East District Championships. Corey, Sam and Finch qualified for all four stroke finals, Fraser for the backstroke, Emmy for the breaststroke, and Anna S. a reserve for the freestyle final, having moved up from 24th in the rankings to 10th with her first ever sub-30 seconds swim.
Corey was the clearest individual winner of the day, another PB in the backstroke giving him his second gold, some 3 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Sam then held off a strong challenge in the butterfly, to also become East District champion; Corey, in a tight finish, winning bronze. In a blanket finish, with just 7/100ths separating the top three, Sam raced to bronze in the 50m breaststroke, before surprise finalist Emmy reproduced her relay form in stunning fashion to win silver in the girls’ event from lane 8. The boys’ 50m freestyle saw Corey drop another 1/3 of a second from his heat time, but he had to settle for silver on this occasion behind his Warrender rival.