Five more swimmers added their names to the Montreal team sheet on the final day of competition in Manchester, swelling the number of selected athletes to 10. The final afternoon of 11 finals didn’t produce any British records but there were some encouraging swims along the way.
Loughborough’s Caitlin McClatchey produced the swim of the session in the ladies’ 400m freestyle, smashing her personal best and the Scottish record with a time of 4:09.75. She was well clear of runner up Rebecca Cooke and third place getter Joanne Jackson and under the qualifying time, thereby adding an individual swim to her relay berth on the 4x200m team. the highlight on the men’s side was Gregor Tait’s performance in the 200m backstroke, as he booked his place on the team. The Scot came home in 1:58.59, ahead of Commonwealth record holder James Goddard, who had already booked his place in the 100m event.
In the 1500m, David Davies found it tough going, as he swam solo for much of the race, but he still came home a second inside the Montreal qualifying time, despite tiring in the latter part of the race. Chris Alderton outpaced open water specialist Alan Bircher for second, setting a personal best in the process.
Kate Haywood overcame her 100m disappointment, setting a personal best in the 50m event and securing her team spot, while Darren Mew did the same in reverse, taking the 100m title from 50m victor James Gibson and equalling the qualifying time.
Elsewhere, Melanie Marshall had a string of near misses as she just missed the required standard in winning the 100m freestyle (55.40) and in taking her first title over 200m backstroke (2:12.38) where she was just 2 tenths shy of the qualifying time. 50 and 100m champion Gemma Spofforth was second, 0.55s behind.
There was a shock in the men’s 50m freestyle when Mark Foster lost his first domestic race in many years, managing only third in the one lap dash behind Baths Matthew Tutty and 100m champion Chris Cozens. Both improved their best times, Tutty coming home e in an encouraging 22.77, but will have to try again a the stage 3 meet for selection. Ros Breet faces a similar task in the 50m butterfly, winning in 27.13, but not making the selection time.
Meanwhile in the 400IM, Loughborough team-mates Euan Dale and Joe Roebuck made the most of Robin Francis’s absence to take first and second placings, but well outside the Montreal standard. Matthew Edwards was also well off the required pace in the 200m fly, but still took his first senior national title in 1:59.75.