GLENGARNOCK swimmer Rory Dickson rounded off a magnificent 2018 by claiming two Junior titles at the Scottish National Short Course Championships.

The Garnock Academy pupil was the fastest under-17-year-old in the 100m and 200m Individual Medley races at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, sharing the top step of the podium with British Swimmer of the Year, Duncan Scott.

“I managed to put down some big markers for the rest of the season,” said Rory, who set new Personal Bests in five events, including his 400m IM.

“Doing well in the IM and freestyle is a good thing because I've been putting a lot of work in on them.”

A twist of fate prevented the 16-year-old going for the hat-trick of Individual Medley titles in the 400m on the last night of the championships.

Rory qualified for the B final, but a couple of withdrawals saw his main rival promoted to a start in the A final, meaning he could not be crowned Junior champion, even if he set a faster time in the race.

The rule cheated the crowd at the pool, and those watching the live stream on the web, to what surely would have been an epic head-to-head battle.

The pair had been separated by seven seconds coming into the meet, but by the end of the finals Rory had got that gap down to one tenth of a second!

“It was disappointing that I couldn't do the treble, but hats off to Angus Allison. He had a good swim in the heat and it's a shame we didn't get to go head to head in the final, but I'm sure the time will come. Being on the podium with Duncan Scott for the 100m was surreal. He's a West District boy like myself, we've probably grown up doing the same competitions, and now he's a multiple Commonwealth and European champion," Rory added.

His swims delighted Head Coach, Jess Wilkie, at her first national meet since she joined North Ayrshire Swimming.

She said: "I didn’t really go in with any expectations,” she says. “The plan was just to hit PBs - medals were a shot in the sky.

“It was great to see Rory get two Junior titles in the medleys.

“We knew we were stepping it up in the final and we were trying to prove a point that we deserved to be in among the other guys in the A final.

“He did just that, beating some of those in the second race (going five seconds faster again) which just goes to show that we’ve got a pretty good standard of swimmers."

Rachael Grant from Beith was one of seven swimmers from the North Ayrshire club who qualified for the championships, which round off the short course season of racing in 25m pools and attracts some of the biggest names in British Swimming including Ross Murdoch and Aimee Wilmott.

Rachael’s backstroke was on form, lowering her times in both the 50m and 200m events, and she was part of the girls 4x100m relay team who put in a fighting display to beat their entry time by 2.36 seconds

“It’s normally impossible to get every swimmer PB’ing at the same time and it’s nice to be able to set some pretty tough benchmarks for the rest of the season. It got better and better as the days went on, which just shows that we’re doing the right training," Jess added.