Northsea shine north of border

Luke Robins
Luke Robins
Kate Steels-Fryatt in action  Picture: Terry Scott

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Portsmouth Northsea are celebrating more success after a string of flying performances at the Scottish Nationals.

Medals and national qualifying times were collected in Edinburgh as the club continue to rack up impressive displays.

Luke Robins led the way for his squad as he grabbed victory in the 200m freestyle.

That was followed up with a double second-placed effort in the 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle.

Robins’ hurtling improvement was underlined by the fact he only missed out on qualifying times for the ASA National Championships later this year by just one second.

That’s a huge drop in time for the son of former international swimmer and Northsea coach Grant Robins in both events.

Going that extra mile to earn a spot in Sheffield will be the ambition for Luke Robins now.

Oliver Kincart already has a national qualifying time in the 200m backstroke.

But he added medals and two more national times in the 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley north of the border.

Kincart grabbed a string of runner-up spots in a busy competition.

They came in the 1,500m freestyle, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley and 200m butterfly.

And there was more joy for Northsea as James Miller bagged an additional national time in the 100m breaststroke.

Miller already had his mark in the 200m breaststroke but improved his time by another second.

Northsea head coach Paul Hogg had nothing but praise for the hard work the swimmers have put in to make the big improvements being shown.

Hogg said: ‘We had some absolutely great swims up in Scotland.

‘There were qualifying times and medals all over the place.

‘Luke was nowhere near the qualifying times going into the meet.

‘But he has picked up a win, medals and is right on the qualifying times now after dropping something like seven seconds in the 200m freestyle.

‘Oli already had a national time but has another in the bag now and medalled.

‘We are seeing improvements from him all the time.

‘James Miller got a national time and came fifth in the final.

‘He went out too hard there and tried too hard and that maybe affected his technique.

‘But they are coming through now and have been working hard and patient. That is paying off.’

The busy period for Northsea continues with the National Disability Championships at the end of the month in Sheffield.

Amberley Hoar, Lauren Steadman and Alex Goodman will all be hoping to shine there.

Then Northsea compete in Northampton next month before heading to the Regional Championships.

Hogg said: ‘This is a busy period with hard training.

‘The swimmers are looking to bang in best times each time they compete.’