All posts by Claire

Sliabh Beagh ASC Glides to Victory


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.


Sliabh Beagh begin the 2024 Future Challengers series in fine form!

Round 3 of the Swim Ulster Future Challengers series took part last Saturday in Lisburn & seen 25 Junior swimmers from Sliabh Beagh get their 2024 series off to a fantastic start.

The first events up were the 100 & 200 Individual Medley with top three places in the 100IM were achieved by Evin Casey (1st /U10 Boys, Bronze USA Motivational Time Standard), Rian Lynch (1st /U11 Boys), Jacob McCabe (2 nd /U11 Boys), Chullain Rankin (1st /U12 Boys), Zach Mulligan (2 nd /U12 Boys) with promising personal best & first-time swims were posted by Nathan McQuillan, Mark McEntee, Eli Mohan, Darren Gillanders, while in the Boys 200IM Daithi Lynch (3rd /U12) raced to a new personal best & top
three finish.  In the Girls IM category, Cora McArdle finished third in the U10/100IM age group & earned herself a Bronze USA MTS, Hannah finished third in the U11 age group & Lily Deery finished third in the U12 age group.  Positive personal best & first-time swims were achieved by Sophie McMullen, Katie Farrell, Aoife Mullen, Adelle Fitzpatrick, Gracie May Davies, Eabha McMullen & Clodagh Connolly.

Event 2 was the Backstroke discipline was split between the 50,100 & 200 distances & again produced some fabulous swimming performances by the young Sliabh Beagh swimmers. In the Boys 100 event, top three finishes were achieved by Evin Casey (1st /U10, Silver USA MTS), Hugh Connolly (3rd /U11), while in 200 Backstroke sublime performances were set by Rian Lynch (1st /U11), Jacob McCabe (2 nd /U11) & Chullain Rankin (3rd /U12) with impressive personal best & first time swims were achieved by
Mark McEntee in the 50, Nathan McQuillan, Eli Mohan, Darren Gillanders & in the 200 Backstroke by Zach Mulligan.  In the Girls Backstroke, Cora McArdle made it two from two with another 2nd place finish & Silver USA MTS in the U10 age-group with team mate Sophie McMullen picking up a well deserve third place finish, while in the 200 Backstroke Hannah place 1st in the U11 age-group & earned her first Bronze USA MTS, with Aoife Mullen doing the same in the U12 age-group in exciting personal best times.
Encouraging personal times & first times swims were set by Katie Farrell (U10/50), Lexi Ronaghan (U11/100), Adelle Fitzpatrick (U12/100), Lily Deery & Eabha McMullen (U13/100) & Ellen Casey (U12/200).

The last individual event of the day was the 50/100 Butterfly with SB swimmers looking to finish the meet on a high beginning with the 50.  Top three places were achieved by Evin Casey (2nd /U10), Rian Lynch (2nd /U11), Jacob McCabe (3rd /U11), Daithi Lynch (2nd /100/U14) & Darren Gillanders (3rd /100/U14) with personal best & first time swims posted by Hugh Connolly (50/U11) & Eli Mohan (50/U12).  In the Girls Butterfly, top three finishes were achieved by Cora McArdle (3rd /U10) in the 50 & Lily Deery (1st /U14) & Eabha McMullen (2nd /U14) in the 100, while personal best & first time performances were achieved by Sophie McMullen, Katie Farrell (U10), Aoife Mullen & Gracie May Davis (U12) in the 50 Butterfly.

The last event of the evening proved to be an enthralling finale with Sliabh Beagh putting in four mixed 4X25, U12 relays of mixed ability & letting them battle it out with lead changing several times during the four legged race. This is in mind, Sliabh Beagh A (Aoife Mullen, Zac Mulligan, Evin Casey & Cora McArdle ) got their hand on the wall first, with Sliabh Beagh C (Chullain Rankin, Grace May Davies, Hugh Connolly, Lexi Ronaghan), second, Sliabh Beagh D (Jacob McCabe, Hannah McKenna, Eli Mohan, Sophie McMullen) third & Sliabh Beagh B (Ellen Casey, Rian Lynch, Nathan McQuillan, Katie Farrell) just behind in fourth place.

This brought to a close a very encouraging return to Open meet racing for the Junior swimmers for Sliabh Beagh swimmers after the extensive Christmas break & disruption to competition preparation due to cancelled training session as a result of the recent adverse weather conditions.   With the concluding Future Challenger Round 4 series to take place on the 2nd March, SB will very much look forward to pushing on with more racing tough performances once it comes around again.

Sliabh Beagh would like to sincerely thanks Team staff Inge Nysten, Eimear McMullen & Pearse McGuigan for their exceptional support work on the day to keep the team in a great place throughout the
duration for the competition.

Sliabh Beagh Junior swimmers perform superbly at the Ulster Minor schools!

The Swim Ulster primary schools held in the Aurora Complex in Bangor on Saturday 9th December proved to be a fantastic day out for all the travelling Sliabh Beagh swimmers who had the prestigious
honour of representing their schools at this year’s event.  With 24 SB swimmers representing 13 schools, all the competing swimmers did a wonderful job performing so well on the day.

In the morning session, first in the pool saw Sienna Ronaghan representing Gaelscoil Ultain Monaghan getting off to a brilliant start with a massive personal best in the Girls U9 50 Freestyle, while in the U10 age-group Anna McCaul from the Sharks squad & representing Gaelscoil Eois, Clones impressed in the same event with a great first time racing performance.  In the U10 Boys 50 Freestyle, there was sublime podium bronze & Irish Minor schools for Evin Casey who was representing All Saints NS, Castleblayney.  In the U9 50 Breaststroke, there was a gutsy final place swim & Irish Minor schools time qualification times achieved by Sienna Ronaghan dropped nearly two second to get her under the magic Irish QT, while in the U10 age-group Saoirse Breen representing Corracrin NS, Emyvale swam bravely to set a new best time in her first time at this level of competition. In the Boys U10 age-group, Evin Casey was on fire winning podium Gold & an Irish Minor Schools cut in a first class performance dropping three seconds to get his hand on the wall to claim Gold! In the U10 Girls 50 Backstroke, there was huge delight for Cora McArdle representing Scoil Mhuire, Magherarney who achieved a big personal best time, her first Ulster final & Irish Minor School Q.T, while Sophie McMullen representing Gaelscoil Ultain performed heroics in her swim with a five second personal best & Irish Minor schools Q.T. and Anna McCaul who posted another massive 28 second personal improvement swim in the same event! In the Boys U10 age-
group, Rian Lynch representing St Michaels NS Castleshane, was in top class form winning Gold & an Irish Minor schools Q.T in the 50 Backstroke & first time under 40 seconds. In the Girls U10 50 Butterfly age-group, there was more final delight for Cora McArdle who got a second Irish Minor schools Q.T. with a nine second personal best improvement from her entry time, while Sophie McMullen and Saoirse Breen raced to huge personal best times in the same event.   In the Boys U10 50 Butterfly age-group, Rian Lynch
made it a perfect double podium Gold winning the final in a personal best time and Irish Minor schools Q.T producing an awesome morning’s swimming at this level! In the relay events, the U12 team from Gaelscoil Ultain Monaghan made up of Lexi Ronaghan, Sophe McMullen, Sienna Ronaghan & Aoife Mullan had a dazzling race finishing tenth with a team that will have another year in this event in 2024!

The afternoon session for the 11/12 age-groups proved to be another session full of sublime individual & team school performances for the older swimmers from Sliabh Beagh.
In the Girls U11 50 Freestyle, there was a marvellous personal best, final place & Irish Minor Schools QT for Ellen Casey representing Scoil Na Gcailini, Castleblayney, while Adelle Fitzpatrick representing Gaelscoil Eois, Clones & Aiobheann Martin representing St Dympnas, Tydavnet swam blinders setting
huge personal best times from their entry times & in the U12 Girls age-group, Clodagh Connolly had an outstanding swim representing All Saints NS, Castleblayney.  In the Boys U11 age-group, Hugh Connolly representing All Saints NS, Castleblayney raced to a fast final & Irish Minor schools QT, while Mark McEntee representing Gaelscoil Ultain, Nathan McQuillan representing Latnamard PS, Monaghan & Turlough Hearty representing Gaelscoil Eois, Monaghan had tremendous 1 st time-out swims in the same
event. In the Girls U11 50 Breaststroke, Ellen Casey made it two personal best times & another Irish Minor schools cut when she dropped nine seconds to make Top 10 in her age-group, while Lexi
Ronaghan representing Gaelscoil Ultain, was also in great form with a five second personal best swim.  In the U12 age-group, Sophia Vergnano representing Royal School Armagh was in fine form with a top six final finish, setting a new personal best time and got her first Irish Minor school Q.T. of the day, while Clodagh Connolly produced another exciting personal best swim in the same event. In the Boys U11 50 Breaststroke, Hugh Connolly achieved another Ulster final & sneaked under the Irish Minor schools Q.T., while Mark McEntee swam a promising race as he debuted at this level for the first time! In the U12 age-group, Daithi Lynch representing St Michaels NS Castleshane posted a great final place achievement, in a personal best time & achieved an Irish Minor schools Q.T., while Colm Duffy representing St Mary’s Boys School, Monaghan set a nine second personal best performance in the same event. In the Girls
U11 50 Backstroke, there was double delight for Aoife Mullan representing Gaelscoil Ultain, Monaghan & Hannah McKenna representing Knockconan NS, Emyvale with both making the final & achieving Irish Minor schools QT’s & the added bonus with Aoife just getting her hand on the wall for a third place bronze podium finish with Hannah just behind in fourth position in a wonderful race for both SB girls, while Aiobheann Martin had a marvellous personal best swim in the same event. In the Boys U11 50 Backstroke, Jacob McCabe representing Scoil Mhuire Gransha, Clones had a blazing swim setting a new personal best, making the final & getting an Irish Minor schools Q.T. while Nathan McQuillan & Turlough
Hearty had encouraging first time swims at this level of competition in the same event. In the Boys U12 age-group, Chullain Rankin representing Edenmore NS, Emyvale dropped 4 seconds on his entry time with a personal best swim, made the regional final & achieved an Irish Minor schools Q.T in the process, while Colm Duffy had another big swim setting a new personal best in the same event. In the U11 Girls 50 Butterfly, Adelle Fitzpatrick stormed to an Irish Minor schools Q.T & personal best time by some nine seconds, while Aoife Mullan in same event made it two from two with a second Irish Minor schools Q.T. In the Girls U12 50 Butterfly, Clodagh McCabe Scoil Mhuire Gransha, Clones had a fabulous personal best performance, making the final & achieving an Irish Minor schools Q.T., while Daithi Lynch had a strong swim in the U12 Boys category & achieved an Irish Minor schools Q.T. The last individual event of
the day, the 100IM produced more exceptional performances with Hannah McKenna setting a new personal best time & top 10 finish achieving an Irish Minor schools Q.T in the process, while Lexi
Ronaghan got a fast touch finish to get her Irish Minor schools time in the same age group & event. In the U12 Girls age-group, Sliabh Beagh team mates Sophia Vergnano & Clodagh McCabe posted fantastic personal best times & Irish Minor schools Q.T’s. In the U11 Boys age-group, Jacob McCabe had another impressive personal best swim, top 10 place & Irish Minor schools QT, while Chullain Rankin completed his day’s racing with an encouraging swim in the U12 age-group.

This concluded an incredible day’s swimming for the Junior Sliabh Beagh swimmers representing their schools with such aplomb & excellence.  With a 90% personal best time achievement & some 16 swimmers achieving one or more Irish Minor schools Q.T’s this was an extra especial moment for the swimmer who can now look forward to stepping it up again & representing their schools & Sliabh Beagh with great pride & purpose at the Irish National Minor schools event on Saturday 23 rd March.