Swimming: Eaglesham and Co shine in Scottish championships

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Edinburgh UNIVERSITY’S Sarah Eaglesham completed a haul of four titles on the final day of the Scottish Gas National Open Short Course Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

Eaglesham started her swimming career in Chester, but the 20-year-old, whose parents are Scottish, joined Edinburgh University two years ago and she won gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle plus the 50m butterfly.

“It’s great to be part of such a competitive programme at 
Edinburgh University,” said the second year Cognitive Science student. “I cam here because I believe it the best place to 
combine studies and swimming.”

A recent bonus for Eaglesham
is the arrival of Caitlin McClatchey, Scotland’s three-times Olympian, at the University. She is another freestyle specialist who has moved to the Capital from Loughborough to study for a Masters degree in Psychology.

“It’s so good for me and the other swimmers to have someone with such great experience,” said Eaglesham, who completed her gold medal tally with a fine time of 1:58.59 in the 200m freestyle.

“My own goal is to make the 2014 Commonwealth Games team in Glasgow, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll take time out from university to concentrate on the Games. I’ll see how it goes.

“It’s been terrific to win four Scottish titles this weekend and nice to be competing for a first time at the Commonwealth Pool. I’m very lucky. I live just across the road and we get to do most of our training here.”

Andrew Rodgie (Warrender), whose brother Craig is a 2012 Paralympian, won the 200m breaststroke in 2:11.19, while East Lothian’s Raquel Matos won the silver medal behind Eaglesham’s 27.17. Matos’ 27.52 was a Scottish junior record.

Falkirk’s Charlotte McKenzie is just 16, but she underlined her talent by claiming all three backstroke events and setting two Scottish records. The second came last night with a 100m time of 1:00.20.

Dan Wallace, formerly with Warrender but now unattached, won two events on the final day – the 400m individual medley (4:10.35) and the 200m freestyle (1:47.42) – 
with South Aberdeenshire’s Kerry Buchan, the 25-year-old Commonwealth Games 
competitor, taking the 200m breaststroke in 2:25.89.

Suleman Butt (Aberdeen) was one of the championships’ stand-out youngsters. He set British junior records in the 60m and 100m freestyle and the 100m individual medley, collecting a bundle of Scottish junior titles.

Edinburgh University was the top team overall and coach Chris Jones was delighted with the all-round effort.

“Sarah has done really well and is a great young talent,” he said, “but everyone has had a great meet. It is so good that Caitlin has joined the squad. She pulled out of the 100m freestyle this weekend because she has only been with us a week and wasn’t quite ready for 
serious competition.

“She will be a great asset to the squad. To have a three-time Olympian and double Commonwealth Games Champion brings so much to the group in the build-up to Glasgow 2014.”