Successful European campaign for Warrender
Warrender Baths ClubPerformance Squad swimmers, Dan Wallace and Craig Benson are celebrating this week after returning home from a very successful European Junior Championships campaign. The European Junior Championships took place in Belgrade, Serbia from the 6-10th July, with Wallace and Benson two of the five Scottish swimmers making up the 28 strong British team. The competition is for 17-18 year old boys (born in 1993 and 1994) and 15-16 year old girls (born 1995 and 1996) from all across Europe. The Great Britain team finished with the highest number of medals, including the most gold’s, to finish at the top of the medal table for the first time in three years.
Dan Wallace(Scottish Institute of Sport Member) got off to a great start on Day 1 of the competition with a personal best time in the 200m Breaststroke of 2:18.37. This was good enough to get him through to the semi finals where he finished 14th in 2:19.59. On Day 2,Wallace was back in action for the heats (2:03.48) and semi finals (2:01.61) of his favoured event, the 200 Individual Medley. After a stunning semi final performance (18 year old Scottish Age Group Record), where Wallace dropped his best time by a staggering two seconds; Wallace went on to claim silver in the final (2:02.41) behind British team mate Ieuan Lloyd.
On the final day of action, Wallace was back in the pool to compete in the longer medley event (400 IM), continuing his fine form with a 4:24.05 heat swim which was both a two second drop on his previous best time and good enough to put him in lane 4 for the evening final. Wallace bagged his second medal in the final, dropping his time again to post a world class 4:20.60 to take the bronze medal, setting another 18 year old Scottish Age Group Record in the process.
Warrender team mate and fellow Scottish Institute of Sport Member Craig Benson, also had a superb week of swimming in Belgrade, setting lifetime best times in all eight of the races he took part in. On Day 1, Benson swam the heats of the 200m Breaststroke, setting a personal best time of 2:19.03, and although he finished 14th, he was unable to progress through to the semi finals as he finished third out of the British swimmers taking part in the event (and only two swimmers per nation are allowed to proceed through to the semi finals).
Bensonhad to wait until Day 3 to get his next swim, where he contested the 50m Breaststroke. Benson smashed the 17 year old British Age Group Record in the heat (28.88) and lowered it again in the semi final (28.80) and final (28.57) where he finished 4th, with only .05 of a second separating him from second place!
Determined not to finish out of the medals again, Benson cruised through the heats of the 100m Breaststroke, setting a new personal best time of 1:02.98. In the semi final, Benson dropped this time to an incredible 1:02.18 – another 17 year old British Age Group Record. As the youngest swimmer (only swimmer born in 1994) in the final, Benson managed to hold his nerve, finishing in second place with a slightly faster time of 1:02.17. To finish off a fantastic week of swimming, Benson swam the Breaststroke leg of the medley relay, setting an outstanding split time of 1:01.69 to help the team to 4th place.
Both boys have now returned home to Edinburgh, where they turn their focus to repeating their fine form at the British Gas ASA Youth Championships (taking place in Sheffield from 27-31st July) and the World Junior Championships in August.
Warrender Baths Club is extremely proud of the performances of these two boys, and it is great reward for the hours and hours of dedication and commitment they have shown throughout the year. The Club would also like to thank all of the support staff that have helped throughout the year to ensure the boys were performing at their very best in Belgrade.