A squad of eight Sliabh Beagh swimmers travelled to Dublin to compete in the prestigious 2023 Irish Youth and Senior Summer National Championships where they were joined by around 1125 of Ireland’s top swimmers from around 120 clubs. Achieving qualification times for this meet and to participate at the highest level of National competition is an achievement in itself.
Day one saw Adam Lynch swim in the 200m freestyle event where he achieved a 2.41 second personal best, finishing 4th in his heat while Hayden James posted a 1.90 second personal best and got their competition off to great start. Swimming in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke, Katherine Ryan set a new best time in the U15 age-group while in the U17 age-group Rebekah Gillis started positivity in the same event. Swimming in the tough 800m freestyle event, Sean Greenan took an impressive 3.57 seconds off his previous best in the U15 age-group while in the U16 gae-group Hayden James knocked a whopping 14.21 seconds off his previous time and with both performances placed both boys in the Top 10 in their age-groups at National level. In the men’s 100m Breaststroke, Darragh Hughes had a excellent swim in the 100 Breaststroke finishing agonising fourth in the U17 age-group in an exciting race finish.
Day 2 saw Rebekah Gillis return to complete in a very competitive 50m freestyle event posting a 0.2 second PB, while Hayden James dropped his personal time by another 0.28 with both swimmers excelling in the shorter sprint event. In the 200m Backstroke Sean Greenan bagged himself an impressive 5.95 second PB, earning a place in the B final and finished 18th overall, while Edvardas Zumaras set a fantastic 2.83 seconds personal best time in the same event in the U16 age-group. The 100m Butterfly proved to be a very popular even for five Sliabh Beagh swimmers with Sean Greenan, Hayden James and Edvardas Zumaras all posting 1-3 second performance best improvements in their age-groups. In the U17 age-group Darragh Hughes held form in his age-group in the same event , while Adam Lynch finished in the Top 20 and a B Final finish.
Day 3 saw exceptional performances in the Boys 100 Freestyle by Sean Greenan, Hayden James and Adam Lynch who again set personal best times across the trio of swims by between 1-3 seconds. In the 200 Breaststroke, Sean Greenan set a huge personal best time by some 5 seconds with a second swim and B final place in U15 age-group, while Darragh Hughes set a new personal best in the 200 Breaststroke and A final berth and Katherine Ryan finished off her summer nationals racing with a super personal best and B final swim in the Girls U15 age-group.
Day 4 was another day to impressive day of racing starting off with encouraging swims in the Girls 100 Freestyle by Rebekah Gillis and Aoibhin MacCinna in the U17 age-group. In the Boys 400m freestyle, Sean Greenan set a new personal best time while Adam Lynch finished 11th U18 200 Butterfly. In the final event of the day, Darragh Hughes had a fantastic swim in the 50 Breaststroke, setting a new personal best time of 30.83 in the Open B final and finishing fourth in the U17 age-group.
Day 5 of the meet saw Aoibhin MacCinna compete in the women’s 100m backstroke, with Sean Greenan and Edvardas Zumaras posting new personal best times in same event in their respective age-groups. In the 200 Individual Medley, Adam Lynch won his heat in great fashion in a new personal best time by nearly three seconds but Adam’s best swim of the meet came in the 50 Butterfly when he posted a sublime personal time of 26.12 to get a B final swim and bring his summer nationals to brilliant end.
Sliabh Beagh would like congratulate all the swimmers for their swimming and performance endeavours during the course of this exceptionally demanding event as the team looks to build on the progress for next season. Finally, Sliabh Beagh would like to thank the support team of parents, club administrators, sponsors and Coral Leisure for helping with the team’s preparation for this national meet, as well as Head coach Pearse McGuigan for his coaching guidance and direction throughout the season as well as the five days of this year’s summer Nationals.