Last Saturday, seen the Sliabh Beagh senior swimmers take to the pool in their first open meet of the season in the first round of the Aspiring Series which was held in the grand Lisnasharragh Leisure
Centre in Belfast. With the Aspiring Series focusing on swimmers aged 13 year and older, this meet gave swimmers an opportunity to post early season confidence swims as well as qualifying for the Ulster short course championships in November or the Irish National Winter championships in December.
Like the Future Challengers two weeks previously, the Aspiring Series applied the USA Motivational tables for podium performance results which rewarded not just the top three in each age-group and
event, but those swimmers who achieved an International approved time standard from the top competing swimming nation in the world which is no mean feat!
Getting the meet off to a blistering start, Adam Lynch posted a Gold podium swim in the 17 and older age-group 800 Freestyle, while the 100 Backstroke proved to a very productive event with silver podium places for Sean Greenan in the 15/16 age-group and Darragh Hughes in the 17 and older age-group, with Edvardas Zumaras and Kristupas Januskevic achieving Bronze places in the same age-group. In the girls 200 Backstroke, a personal best and bronze podium was posted by Katherine Ryan in the 15/16
age-group. In the 200 Individual Medley, a super gold podium place finish was attained by Darragh Hughes, while strong silver podium places were gained by Sean Greenan and Adam Lynch, with
Kristupas Januskevic picking up an unexpected bronze podium. In Girls 100 Breaststroke, Katherine Ryan impressed with a silver podium place, while there was more golden delight for Darragh Hughes in the 100 Freestyle, with Kristupas Januskevic and Sean Greenan adding more silver podiums and Edvardas Zumaras a bronze in the same event in their respective age-groups. In the last event of first session, stellar 200 Butterfly swims were set with a gold podium place by Adam Lynch and bronze podium place finish by Edvardas Zumaras, while Matthew McQuaid set fine personal best swims in the 200IM and 100 Freestyle and brought to an end a first class session of racing for Sliabh Beagh swimmers.
In Session two, Sliabh Beagh picked up where it left off with big personal best swims in the girls 100 Individual Medley for Katherine Ryan, while the boys 100 Butterfly provided cracking swims by Adam Lynch who won gold, with Sean Greenan and Darragh Hughes winning silver each in their respective age-groups. In the 200 Breaststroke, more personal best swims were posted by Kristupas Januskevic and Matthew McQuaid, while Darragh Hughes secured another gold podium in the 17 and older age-group, and Adam Lynch won silver. In the 400 Freestyle, Sean Greenan bagged silver in the 15/16 age-group and in the gruelling 400 Individual Medley, Katherine Ryan achieved bronze. In the flying 50 Freestyle, there was double gold for Adam Lynch and Darragh Hughes, while Kristupas Januskevic and Sean Greenan won double silver in their respective age-groups and Matthew McQuaid set a splendid
personal best swim in his last race off of the day.
This brought to a close a very accomplished day of performances for all the competing Sliabh Beagh swimmers who go back to hard training in preparation for the forthcoming regional and national meets as well as the exciting Sliabh Beagh Invitational cluster meet which will take place at the start of December.