On Friday 9 March the ESMS senior swimming relay teams competed in the British Independent Relay Championships in London. 144 Independent Schools from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales contested The Bath Cup and Otter Medley competitions. The boys event has been running since 1910 and the girl’s competition was introduced in 1995.
The Mary Erskine School have challenged for this for 20 years and over the last couple of years MES have obtained a silver medal in the Freestyle Relay event, behind Guildford High School. After the heats this year MES qualified for the final in second position, .13 of a second behind Guildford, and Niamh Ritchie, Katy Smith, Katie Goodburn and Abby Orr had to improve their individual splits in order to further improve and win the gold. After a heated and very competitive final between the two Schools, The Mary Erskine team decreased their time and won the Open Freestyle event (ahead of Guildford High School by .41 of a second, a finger touch!)
70 British Independent girl’s schools participated in this occasion. To obtain a position in the final top 10 is a great achievement, to win a medal is superb, but to win a gold medal is beyond belief. A fantastic result for the five exceptionally talented swimmers.
The SMC freestyle team consisted of Sonny Kennedy (5E), Jamie Macdonald (5T), Iain Rose (4L) and Archie Goodburn (5E). After a tough leg against one of Northern Ireland’s top swimmers, the race was intensifying. SMC was tied up in a three-way race for the top spot, but an impressive leg from Archie secured Gold for the team!
Later in the day the 4x50m Otter Medley relay ran, consisting of a backstroke leg, a breaststroke leg, a butterfly leg and finally a freestyle leg. With the substitution of Iain for Joe Ewing (4E), the team was feeling confident from their morning’s victory, but needed to stay grounded and follow their race plan. A well-executed heat placed the boys in first position for the final, and with a new record for the race. In the final race of the competition, Jamie was the first leg who battled hard to generate a lead; Archie took over and stretched this lead with a British record split, before Joe managed to further increase the lead. Sonny was on the final leg and stormed to a victory touching in 1:48:54, a time which beat our own record that had just been achieved in the heats, setting a brand new Otter Medley record in the process!
After years of contesting for gold at the Bath Cup, we are very proud of all of our swimmers for such strong performances and congratulate the whole ESMS team and their coaches for this fantastic achievement!