By Emily Sampl
ABERDEEN, Scotland, May 28. THE remaining spots on Scotland’s Commonwealth Games roster will be determined this weekend at the North District Open/Grand Prix as the Scottish Grand Prix moves to the final stop of 2013-2014 at the Aberdeen Aquatics Centre.
While most of the team has already been chosen for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, a few spots remain open, and this meet will serve as swimmers’ final opportunity to qualify. Among those scheduled to compete this weekend who have already punched their ticket to Glasgow include Ross Murdoch, Robbie Renwick and Hannah Miley.
Murdoch has already qualified for the team in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, and is ranked in the top 10 internationally in all three. In the 50, he’s currently fifth with a 27.28; in the 100, he’s third at 59.56; and, in the 200 he sits fourth at 2:09.15. All three swims came at the Scottish Gas National Championships in early April. Murdoch should be the favorite to win all three events this weekend. He’s seeded first in all three events, with Edinburgh’s Calum Tait not far behind in the 100 and 200. In the 50, Murdoch will have to hold off four other swimmers who are also seeded at 27s.
Miley will have an insanely busy schedule this weekend as she’s entered in nine individual events: the 50 back (30.64), 50 fly (28.78), 200 IM (2:11.99), 400 free (4:10.91), 200 fly (2:11.01), 100 free (58.04), 200 free (2:01.07), 400 IM (4:35.48) and 200 back (2:15.30). Miley’s highest world rankings are currently in the individual medley events, where she’s 13th in the 200 IM and fifth in the 400 IM. Both her top times in those events came at the British Gas Championships early last month.
Renwick will just compete in his three best events this weekend: the 100 free (49.17), 200 free (1:46.52) and 400 free (3:47.02). Others to watch out for include Keri-Anne Payne, Mark Szaranek and Stephen Milne. Payne will swim the 800 free (8:34.27) and 400 IM (4:47.95), while Szaranek has a number of high seeds including first in the 200 IM (2:00.60), first in the 100 fly (53.70) and fifth in the 50 fly (24.84). Milne should contend in a couple of events also – he’s the top seed in the 1500 free at 15:14.90, second seed in the 200 free (1:49.11) and 400 free (3:51.21) and seventh seed in the 100 free (50.74).
Similar to the Arena Grand Prix Series in the U.S., the Scottish Grand Prix series awards cash prizes to the top finishers in individual events, and the overall series standings. Sian Harkin currently leads the women’s overall standings with 24 points, ahead of Kathryn Johnstone and Corrie Scott, who both have 18 points. All three swimmers will be at the meet with a final chance to win the series. Murdoch leads the men’s Grand Prix standings after the first two meets with 24 points; Mark Tully (20 points) and Craig McNally (16 points) are second and third. Murdoch and Tully will both compete this weekend.
Be sure to follow Swimming World for results and updates from the meet, which gets underway Friday.