All posts by Claire

SLIABH BEAGH RACE TO AQUA SERIES DIVISION THREE TITLE!

The junior swimmers from Sliabh Beagh raced to glory making it two division titles in two years winning the Forest Feast Aqua Sprint series Division three title in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone last
Friday night after a sublime three way battle with Alliance & Leander from Belfast.
With Sliabh Beagh going in as strong favourites during the league series meet, which were dual meets during the March to May period the final presented a much greater challenge with three
teams competing, which made scoring much more intriguing and nail-biting.

With mixed relays having such a massive impact on the overall scoring, Sliabh Beagh got off to the perfect start with the U10 Mixed Medley Relay team of Cora McArdle, Evin Casey, Sophie McMullen
& Lucas Coyle getting their hand on the wall to get 1st place & top points, while the Group B team of Rian Lynch, Lexi Ronaghan, Jacob McCabe & Hannah McKenna had a photo-finish ending with Alliance, finishing 2nd . In Group C, Zach Mulligan, Sophia Vergnano, Aoife Mullan and Chullain Rankin got the finish & top points, while in Group D Owen Fitzpatrick, Egan Hearty, Clodagh McCabe & Eabha McMullen had an epic tussle with Leander, just getting pipped by Leander in an exhilarating final relay finish. As everyone caught their breath after the relays, the scores had Sliabh Beagh on 36 points, Alliance on 28 points & Leander on 20 points.

With the first individual event, the 25m Backstroke was up first, with Sliabh Beagh looking to build on their slender Mixed Medley relays start. The individual events scores where per race adding up to 21; a score of 8 meant that each two team swimmers in each race increased their points total per event and having two competing swimmers in age-group finishing as high as possible was the key
focus for swimmers in each race. As the Backstroke kicked off, the Group A’s did their bit with Cora McArdle and Sophie McMullen finishing 1st and 3rd gaining 10 points while Evin Casey and Lucas
Coyle placed 1st and 6th adding another 7 points. In Group B, Hannah McKenna and Lexi Ronaghan finished 1st and 3rd with 10 points, while Rian Lynch and Jacob McCabe combined their 2 nd and 3rd places for 9 points. In Groups C, Sophia Vergnano and Aoife Mullan placed 2nd and 3rd for 9 points with James Corrigan and Chullian Rankin finishing 1st and 5th for 7 points. In Group D, Clodagh McCabe and Eabha McMullen positioned 3rd and 5th for 6 points with Owen Fitzpatrick and Egan Hearty 3rd and 4th for 7points. Scores gained from the Backstroke where Sliabh Beagh 66 points, Alliance and Leander both on 51 points, taking the overall points tally for Sliabh Beagh 102 points, Alliance 79 points and Leander 71 points.

The 25m Breaststroke was just as exciting as the Backstroke, with the Sliabh Beagh Group A swimmers of Cora McArdle and Sienna Ronaghan finishing 2nd and 5th while Evin Casey and Killian
McKenna placed 1st and 6th, gaining 7 points each in this age-group. In Group B, Hannah McKenna and Lexi Ronaghan placed 1st and 3rd for 10points with Jacob McCabe and Hugh Connolly finishing
2nd and 5th gaining 7 points. In Group C, Sophia Vergnano and Grace May Davies finished 1st and 5th for 8 points while Chullain Rankin and Zach Mulligan placed 3rd and 4th for 7 points. In Group D, the stakes were very high with some very competitive fast finishes. Eabha McMullen and Clodagh McCabe gained 7points for 3rd and 4th places finishes, while Owen Fitzpatrick and Egan Hearty
placed 3rd and 5th for 6 points. The points taken for Breaststroke where Sliabh Beagh 59, Alliance 55 and Leander 54 bringing the overall scores to Sliabh Beagh 161, Alliance 134 and Leander 125.
The third individual event was the 25m Butterfly which proved to be a decisive event for Sliabh Beagh, culminating their equal best scoring event, tallying 66 points to Alliance’s 48 and Leander’s
54. With top points and 1st place finishes being achieved by Cora McArdle, Evin Casey, Hannah McKenna and Jacob McCabe; the supporting cast of Sophie McMullen, Killian McKenna, Lexi
Ronaghan, Rian Lynch, Sophia Vergnano, Aoife Mullan, Zach Mulligan, Chullian Rankin, Clodagh McCabe, Eabha McMullen, Owen Fitzpatrick and Egan Hearty all contributed critical points to the overall scores. After the Butterfly Sliabh Beagh extended their lead to 227points, Alliance 182 points and Leander 179 points with the battle for second place really heating up between the two Belfast teams!

The 25m Freestyle was the last individual event and much like the Butterfly proved to be a significant event with Sliabh Beagh gaining 66 points, Alliance with 56 points and Leander 46 points.
With 1st place finishes hard earned throughout the meet, team depth and racing skills proved crucial to the Sliabh Beagh performances. So far we had achieved 1st place finishes in the Freestyle by Cora McArdle in Group A and Owen Fitzpatrick in Group D. In the Freestyle, the depth of Sliabh Beagh’s best placed and second placed swimmers contributed critically to the event scoring with Sophie McMullen, Evin Casey, Lucas Coyle, Hannah McKenna, Lexi Ronaghan, Hugh Connolly, Jacob McCabe, Sophia Vergnano, Aoife Mullan, James Corrigan, Zach Mulligan, Eabha McMullen, Clodagh McCabe and Egan Hearty all ensuring Sliabh Beagh kept well ahead going into the last event of the night, the Mixed Freestyle relays. After the Freestyle, the total scores read Sliabh Beagh 293 points, Alliance 238 points and Leander 225 points. With the Mixed Freestyle relays concluding the Division 3 Final, Sliabh Beagh had an amazing finish to the meet winning three out of four events with the Group A team of Cora McArdle, Sophie
McMullen, Evin Casey and Lucas Coyle; and the Group B team of Jacob McCabe, Hugh Connolly, Lexi Ronaghan and Hannah McKenna taking top points. In Group C, Zach Mulligan, Chullain
Rankin, Sophia Vergnano and Aoife Mulan fought hard with their place finish while in Group D, Owen Fitzpatrick, Egan Hearty, Clodagh McCabe and Eabha McMullen ensured an electrifying
finish to the meet sealing the top points in Group D. With the Mixed Relay points reading Sliabh Beagh 36, Alliance 28 and Leander 20, the overall scoring in the end had Sliabh Beagh 329 points,
Alliance 266 points and Leander 245 points, with the top finishing team celebrating the result and performances with gracious cheers and sporting respect to the others competing on the night.
With all the competing teams receiving their final podium medals, Sliabh Beagh’s Team Captain’s Clodagh McCabe and Owen Fitzpatrick received the Division 3 trophy from the Aqua Series sponsor representing Forest Feast and Swim Ulster representatives on the night, the Sliabh Beagh team enjoyed some quality time together as a team celebrating their achievement in the Final.
The Sliabh Beagh Team on the night included – Sienna Ronaghan, Katie Farrell, Cora McCardle, Thomas Deery, Lucas Coyle, Killian McKenna, Evin Casey, Ciara Gillanders, Saoirse Breen, Lexi
Ronaghan, Hannah McKenna, Nathan McQuillan, Jacob McCabe, Rian Lynch, Hugh Connolly, Gracie May Davies, Aoife Mullan, Ellen Casey, Sophia Vergnano, James Corrigan, Eli Mohan, Zach
Mulligan, Chullain Rankin, Clodagh Connolly, Lily Deery, Eabha McMullen, Clodagh McCabe, Colm Duffy, Daihi Lynch, Egan Hearty & Owen Fitzpatrick.
With Sliabh Beagh now being promoted to Division Two for 2025, the team’s focus will now restart with the planning and preparation to be competitive at the higher level.

Behind the team performances, sincere thanks must be given to the support team of, coaches, club officials as well as the parents who have bought into the club’s ambitions to embrace the standards set by the coaching team, to be competitive and really enjoy these extra special occasions.

Sliabh Beagh impress at the Swim Ulster Age Group & Senior Championships 2024

Sliabh Beagh was immensely proud to attend this meet with 16 swimmers from the Club, who had qualified to swim at this high level meet. The meet took place in the 50 metre pool at Bangor Aurora Centre, Bangor over the 3 day period Friday 3 rd to Sunday 5th May.

First time qualifiers for this Competition were Ellen Casey, Clodagh McCabe, Eabha McMullen, Aoife Mullan, Ellie Mulligan, Sophia Vergnano, Egan Hearty, Zach Mulligan and Chullain Rankin.  The remaining members of the team were Owen Fitzpatrick, Riya George, Sean Greenan, Adam Lynch, Katherine Ryan, Ridas Zelvys and Edvardas Zumaras.

On Friday, Ellen swam in the 100 Breaststroke gaining an impressive 3.6 second personal best and then competed in the 50 Freestyle where she also secured another PB. A great start to the meet for Ellen competing in the youngest of age groups, age 12. Ellen was back on Sunday to compete in the 200 Breaststroke where she knocked a huge 15.9 seconds off her time, finished in 8th place and earned herself a swim in the Finals that evening. Having raced the final, Ellen wasn’t finished there knocking another 5 seconds off her heats time to finish in overall 7th place and gaining a Consideration Time for the Irish National age-groups in July. Well done Ellen!

Owen Fitzpatrick swam in six races over the three days. First up was the 100 Backstroke on Friday where Owen set a new PB, gaining a place in the Final and finished in overall 6 th place in his age 13/14 category. In the 200 IM, Owen achieved his largest PB of the meet by some 4.5 seconds, where he finished in 11th place, securing a reserve spot for the Final that evening.  Saturday started with the grueling 400 Individual Medley race, which Owen was swimming for only the 2nd time and finished in 8th place in his age group and he followed this with a small personal best in the 100 Freestyle. Sunday saw Owen compete in the 200 Backstroke and 100 Butterfly posting PB’s in both races and earning second swim in the Finals where he finished in 6th and 10th place respectively.  Owen achieved an impressive six out of six Qualification Times for the Irish Age-Groups. Way to go, Owen!

Riya also swam in six swims over the three days in the age 13/14 category. On Friday she posted a PB in the 100 Backstroke and was narrowly outside the times for Summer Nationals for this swim and
the 50 Freestyle also. Saturday saw Riya race in the 100 Butterfly and 200 Freestyle which saw her achieve that Consideration time for Irish National Age-groups and a 1.3 second PB. Riya’s final swims on Sunday were the 200 Backstroke where she set 1.2 second PB and in 100 Freestyle where she achieved another Consideration time for Irish Age-Groups. Well done Riya, super work!

Sean was competing in the 15/16 age group competing in six races over the three days.  On Friday it was the 200 Breaststroke and 200IM, where he secured himself 6th and 8th place finishes which got him second Final swims that evening.  In the finals Sean finished in 5th place for the 200 Breaststroke achieving a Qualification time for the Irish Summer Nationals and a consideration time in the 200IM with a 9th place finish. Saturday saw Sean tackle the 400IM, a super swim saw him knock 10.8 seconds off his time and finishing in 4th place, earning him a consideration time for Irish Summer
Nationals and he also swam in the 100 Freestyle finishing in a solid 13th place.  Sunday was the turn of the 200 Backstroke, where Sean finished in 6th place and got a swim in the final that evening, finishing 7th overall and set a Qualification time for the Irish Summer Nationals. In his last swim of the day, set a new PB in the 100 Butterfly and placed reserve for the final. This 100 Butterfly time was also a Consideration Time for Nationals. Well done Sean!

 

Egan was in electric form at the Ulsters swimming five events over the three days. In his 1st event, the 200 Free he raced to a 10.5 second drop and a 10th place finish to earn a place in the Final. The 200IM was equally impressive with a 13.8 second PB, finishing 9th place with another swim in the finals.  Saturday saw Egan continue his great form, throwing himself into the 400IM and producing a huge PB of 22.8 seconds and 5th place finish. Sunday saw Egan compete in the 100 Butterfly, recording another PB of 9.3 seconds, place in the final finishing in overall 6th place. Saving his best for last, Egan competed in the 400 Free where he smashed 31 seconds off his previous best and finished in 7th place. All of Egan’s five races earned him Qualification Times for the Summer Nationals. What a
great weekend’s swimming Egan, keep up the hard work!

Adam swam in five races in the 19 years and over category. Friday saw him swim in the 50 Butterfly and 200 Freestyle earning final swims in both where he finished in 7th place in the Butterfly and 6th in the Freestyle.  Saturday saw him swam the 100 Freestyle where he posted a solid time to achieve a reserve place in the Final. Sunday was the 50 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly, with another Final place achieved in the Butterfly and a 7th place finish. With Adam’s endeavours at the Ulsters he achieved two qualification and 1 consideration time for Nationals.

Clodagh swam in the age 13/14 category and had qualified in five events. First up on Friday was the 100 Backstroke and 50 Freestyle, where she gained a 1.4 second PB in the backstroke and both
swims gained her Consideration Times for the Irish National age-groups. On Saturday, Clodagh returned for the 100 Butterfly where she finished in 11th place, securing a reserve spot for the Final
that evening with her time being a Qualification for the Summer Nationals. On the Sunday, Clodagh swam in the 200 Backstroke getting a huge 4.7 seconds PB and the 100 Freestyle with another two second PB. Both times were once again Consideration Times for the Summer Nationals. Brilliant swimming Clodagh and achieving five times for the Irish National Age-Groups!

Eabha joined Sliabh Beagh on Sunday for two swims in the age 13/14 category. After a nervous start in the 200IM, Eabha had a great swim in the 200 Backstroke with a 6.9 second PB and a
Consideration Time for the Irish National Age-groups – super stuff Eabha!

Aoife swam in the 100 Backstroke knocking 5.5 seconds off her PB and finishing in 14th place. She returned on Sunday for the 200 Backstroke gaining valuable competition experience at this level at
the age of only 12. Well done Aoife!

Ellie was up on Friday for the 50 Freestyle just finishing outside the Consideration Time for the Irish Age-Groups – great job Ellie!
Zach swam on Friday in the 100 Backstroke getting an impressive 2 second PB, finishing in 8th place and earning himself a place in the Final that evening. In the final he dropped a further second and
finished in 7th place in his age 12 category. Well done Zach.

Chullain also swam on Friday in the 100 Backstroke finishing in 9th place and earning himself a place in the Final that evening. He returned on Sunday for the 200 Backstroke where he posted a two
second PB, a 6th place finish and another swim in the Finals. Super stuff Chullain, two Finals at your first Ulsters.

Katherine swam on Friday and Sunday in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke where she competed well in the age 15/16 category. Katherine earned herself a Consideration Time for the Irish Summer Nationals for the 200 Breaststroke. Great swimming Katherine, keep up the hard work!

Sophia swam in the 100 Breaststroke and 100 Backstroke events on Friday finishing in 9th place in the heats and qualifying for the Finals that evening. Sophia returned that evening to secure further PB’s of 1.6 seconds in the Breaststroke and 6.5 seconds in the Backstroke finishing in 7th place in both events for the Age 12 category.  Sophia was back on Sunday for the 200IM and 200 Backstroke once again securing final places for both events with a 7.7 second PB in the 200IM and 7th place finish and 1.7
second PB and 5th place finish for the 200 Backstroke. Sophia gained Consideration Times in the 200IM, 100 and 200 Back and a Irish National Age-group Qualification time for the 100 Breaststroke.  What a great weekend’s swimming Sophia, well done!

Ridas had two great swims on Friday and Saturday in the 200 and 100 Breaststroke. He posted impressive 10 and 6 second P.B’s finishing in 14th and 16th place respectively in the age 13/14 category. Both times also earned him Qualification for the Irish Age-Groups. Great work Ridas!

Edvardas swam on Friday and Sunday in the 17+ age category competing in the 100 and 200 Backstroke. He earned himself Final swims in both events finishing 7th in the 100 Backstroke and
posted a four second PB in the 200 Backstroke and a 5th place finish, which was also a Consideration Time for Irish Summer Nationals. Well done Edvardas!

2024’s Ulster’s represented a very different event for Sliabh Beagh with the concentration of achievement made up of excellent swimming performances and personal best times, with multiple
new faces now reaching the dizzy heights of Irish National summer consideration and qualification times which is no mean achievement by any stretch!

A special word of sincere thanks to the SB Coaching team lead by Head Coach Pearse McGuigan, who ensured the swimmers were prepared as best as possible for the demands of such a high level
of competition with an encouraging sixteen swimmers competing at this year’s Ulsters, who achieved a collective of a 75% + PB’s, 20 finals and over 30 Irish National Age-group & Senior times for this July competitions.

Finally, Sliabh Beagh would also like to acknowledge and are hugely grateful to the hard working SB parents who fulfilled all their Team Manager and Officials duties over the three days and ensuring that Sliabh Beagh played their part in supporting the delivery of a very important date in the Swim Ulster swimming season.

Sliabh Beagh ASC Glides to Victory

AQUA SERIES
SLIABH BEAGH Vs DUNGANNON

Saturday 6th April saw Sliabh Beagh ASC tackle their first swimming event in Division 3, a position they have trained hard to attain and looking at the results of this race they are well deserving of. The first Aqua Sprint event of the 2024 series was held in Dungannon Leisure Centre against Dungannon Swimming Club.


The Sliabh Beagh team was represented by 46 swimmers in 4 different age groups ranging from U10 – U13; with the final team selection being based on the results from the clubs time trial and dual meet which were held in March.
Sliabh Beagh’s first outing in division 3 proved to be much of an unknown due to 40% of the selected team having never competed in an Aqua Series before. There was alot of first time nerves and butterflies in the air as the team took their place on the bus to begin their journey for their first meet of the series.

Group A Girls were sublime with Cora McArdle and Sophie McMullen finishing 1st or 2nd with maximum points on the 25 backstroke, fly and freestyle. The girls were well supported by Sienna Ronaghan, Lucy Mullan and Katie Farrell through the four individual events.

Group A Boys saw Evin Casey race to 1st place in four out of four races in the individual events with Killian McKenna, Lukas Jarusas, Thomas Deery, Thomas Carragher and Lukas Coyle also swimming strongly in their races.

The 4 x 25 mixed medley and freestyle relays in these groups saw Evin Casey, Sophie McMullen, Cora McArdle and Lukas Coyle winning both events and securing maximum points, getting Sliabh Beagh off to a superb start.

Group B Girls were in terrific form with Hannah McKenna and Lexi Ronaghan placing 1st and 2nd in three out of the four individual events. This group saw three of our Aqua Series debutantes; Alice McGuinness, Ciara Gillanders and Saoirse NiRaifeartaigh, having brilliant first time race performances on the day.

Group B Boys had outstanding performances, which saw Jacob McCabe and Rian Lynch blazing to top points with 1st and 2nd finishes in three out of the four individual events. We also got to see tremendous swims by Drew Mulligan, Nathan McQuillan, Turlough Hearty and Mark McEntee in their respective events.

In the 4 x 25 mixed medley and freestyle relays in this age group we saw, Rian Lynch, Lexi Ronaghan, Jacob McCabe and Hannah McKenna all excelling, winning both relays, gaining top points and helping Sliabh Beagh continue their magnificent start to the dual meet.

Group C Girls had a great battle on their hands with the Dungannon opposition proving to be strong competition, we saw some very fast finishes with Sophia Vergnano splendid in her four 1st place finishes and Aoife Mullan getting her hand on the wall for invaluable 2nd place finishes. Adelle Fitzpatrick and Gracie May Davies put in great shifts on the day with their individual swims.

Group C Boys had some swimmer absences on the day, which led the way for Hugh Connolly to show his wonderful leadership qualities by stepping up an age group to swim up from Group B to Group C, this gave great support to both that age group and the teams quest for important individual and relay points. Hugh along with Eli Mohan and James Corrigan didn’t disappoint with some great scoring points in backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

The 4 x 25 mixed medley and freestyle relays in this age category saw, Hugh Connolly, James Corrigan, Aoife Mullan and Sophia Vergnano swim in red hot form, winning both events putting Sliabh Beagh in a commanding position as we entered into the last age groups on the day.

Group D Girls were met with a fierce competition for points, with Clodagh McCabe and Eabha McMullen up against some tough Dungannon opposition. The girls swam hard and shared the top points spoils in backstroke and butterfly with Clodagh Connolly, Saoirse McMahon and Maliosa McManus posting encouraging results in their individual races.

Group D Boys saw Owen Fitzpatrick and Egan Hearty in impressive form, dominating their age group with top two finishes and maximum points across the four events, Daithi Lynch and Colm Duffy posted some cracking individual swims and gave Sliabh Beagh a huge point boost towards the end of the meet when we needed it the most.

Egan Hearty, Owen Fitzpatrick, Clodagh McCabe and Eabha McMullen pulled together for the 4 x 25 mixed medley and freestyle relays, they didn’t have it all their own way on the day however placing 2nd in the mixed medley; they pulled it back strongly and did the business in the freestyle with an exciting finish for 1st place.


Sliabh Beagh Captains on the day were Clodagh McCabe and Owen Fitzpatrick who showed great humility and grace, thanking both the host team Dungannon and the travelling team Sliabh Beagh for all their swimming endeavours and support on the day.


A great overall team performance saw Sliabh Beagh getting across the line with an end result of, Sliabh Beagh 246 points and Dungannon 154 points.

Sliabh Beagh ASC take on the Irish Minor Schools 2024

An impressive 16 swimmers from Sliabh Beagh Swimming Club will take to the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin on 24th March to represent their Primary Schools at the Irish National Minor school finals. To qualify for this prestigious event, the swimmers all took part in the Swim Ulster Primary Schools Cup & Championships in December and achieved the necessary qualification times to go through to the National Event. This is by no means an easy achievement and credit must go to each and every swimmer, parent and their coaches for their sublime commitment and endeavours to their consistent training levels.

To have such a representation from a small club bears testament to the great strides in achievement the program has made over the last couple of years from having our younger swimmers win the Swim Ulster Aqua Series Division Four title and being promoted to Division 3 as well as some of our senior swimmers achieving National finals.  Most of club’s progress has been nurtured from the vision of the Sliabh Beagh Club committee and Sliabh Beagh’s coaching team professionally lead by Head Coach Pearse McGuigan,  

Representing Sliabh Beagh at the 2024 Irish National Minor school finals are:

Evin Casey and Hugh Connolly – All Saints NS, Castleblayney.
Jacob McCabe and Clodagh McCabe – Scoil Mhuire Gransha, Clones.
Rian Lynch and Daithi Lynch – St Michaels NS, Castleshane.
Hannah McKenna – Knockconan NS, Emyvale.
Lexi Ronaghan, Aoife Mullan, Sophie McMullen, Aoife Mullan and Sienna Ronaghan Gaelscoil Ultain, Monaghan.
Adelle Fitzpatrick – Gaelscoil Eois, Monaghan.
Cora McArdle – Scoil Mhuire, Magherarney.
Ellen Casey – Scoil Na Gcailini, Castleblayney.
Chullain Rankin – Edenmore NS, Emyvale.
Sophia Vergnano – Royal School, Armagh.