YOUNG Kendal swimmer Molly Towers produced a display of courage, skill and determination to match the best in her age group in the Scottish National Open Water Championships.

The two day event on Loch Venachar in the beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park represented the biggest challenge of Towers' developing career.

But on the first day, she defied wind and torrential rain in the 2K event to take 11th position in the 15/16 years age group in a time of 30.28.

And the following day in better conditions, she gave another great performance to take sixth place in her age group in 14.40.

Towers' next open water challenge was the Coniston Epic where she was joined by Kendal Swimming Club colleague Natalie Pinder and Isabelle Wall-Budden in taking on a large countrywide field.

Again conditions were far from ideal with choppy water and strong cross-currents but a magnificent finish from Towers saw her placed 11th lady out of 131 and eighth girl in the U/18 years category with a time of 25.55 for the 1 mile swim.

Pinder gave an admirable performance in the same event, driving hard to the finish to take 33rd place in a respectable time of 33.51.

Wall-Budden tackled the 500m event and put in a late injection of pace to finish in 11.05 and take seventh place in the junior ladies category.

Towers returned to Scotland for the West Region Open Water Championships at Loch Ken, where a water temperature of 17 degrees and a slight breeze made conditions tricky, but she held her nerve in the 1K race and kept to her plan, and burst through to take second place in her age group and third lady overall.

Her final open water swim of the year was the Windermere Epic where she entered the ladies' one mile.

In near perfect conditions, she began to move up the leading pack then made a superb charge for the finish which took her into 6th place in the junior category and a 3rd place in her age group with an outstanding time 25:47.50.

Wall-Budden competed in the 500m race at the same event and produced a fantastic display of power, technique and impressive skill before forging through to snatch 5th place in the junior girls in 9:51.69, which also left her in 6th place overall.