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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.

Sliabh Beagh host exceptional cluster event!

Sliabh Beagh hosted their annual Winter Cluster swimming competition with great aplomb last weekend in the Coral Leisure Centre, Monaghan. With some ten clubs travelling to compete from as north as City of Derry to as south as Drogheda, with 200 swimmers competing in over 20 events with over 600 entries over the weekend, the meet provided an exceptional exciting competition for all those in attendance.
Sliabh Beagh got off to a cracking start on Saturday evening in the distance session with Owen Fitzpatrick in the U12 age-group and Katherine Ryan in the U16 age-group showed great character taking on the 800 Freestyle and with both winning Gold medals in their first time outing in the longer event challenge.  The 400 Freestyle was the second event of the evening and Sliabh Beagh swimmers did not disappoint with inspiration swims and endeavour from all the competing swimmers which for most was their first opportunity to
compete in this event. In the Girls U10 age-group, Hannah McKenna and Lexi Ronaghan made it a one/two with Gold & Silver, while in the Boys U10 age-group Hugh Connolly had a very balanced pace swim winning Gold, while Rian Lynch finished second, Evin Casey third and just behind Jacob McCabe place a commendable fourth. In the Girls U12 age-group, Lily Deery placed second and Sophia Vergnano placed third in a very competitive race, with
Clodagh McCabe, Eabha McMullen, Ellen Casey and Aoife Mullan all having super first time swims at the level.  In the boys U12 400 Freestyle, Sliabh Beagh made it a one-two-three with Egan Hearty, Daithi Lynch and Chullain Rankin all taking podium honours respectively, with Zac Mulligan and Colm Duffy just behind posting excellent first time 400 performances. In the U14 age-group there was bronze place finishes for Riya George in the girls category
with Ridas Zelvys, Matthew Mohan and Charlie Duffy made it a Gold, Silver and Bronze in the boy’s category, while promising first time swims were achieved by Ellie Mulligan, Aoife Duffy and Darren Gillanders. In the Boys U16 age-group Sean Greenan and Edvardas Zumaras won silver and podiums respectively with Kristupas Januskevic outside the medals but posted a massive forty second performance best time, while in the Girls 17 and over age-
group Aisling Duffy and Hannah Sheridan placed first and second with important confidence boosting first event races.   This brought to a close a rewarding first session of racing and for Sliabh Beagh an exciting start into a very busy Sunday.

Sunday’s racing brought great return for Sliabh Beagh against some serious visiting teams with the 13 and over age-group events, first up in the morning session. In the 13/14 age group, there was a silver podium achievement for Riya George (100Butterfly) and a bronze places for Justas Jurusas (100Backstroke). In the 15/16 age group,
there was Gold place finishes for Katherine Ryan (100Breaststroke) and Sean Greenan (200Freestyle), while silver medals places were achieved by Sean Greenan (100 Backstroke, 200IM and  100Butterfly) and bronze medal finishes for Edvardas Zumaras (100Backstroke), Katherine Ryan (100Butterfly) and Kristupas Januskevic (200Freestyle). In the 17 and over age-group there was podium finish Gold for Hannah Sheridan (100Backstroke),
Aisling Duffy (100 Butterfly), Adam Lynch (200IM and 200Freestyle), Darragh Hughes (100Butterfly), silver place
finishes for Hannah Sheridan (100Butterfly), Aisling Duffy (200Freestyle) and Darragh Hughes (200Freestyle) and
bronze podium finishes Aisling Duffy (100Backstroke) and Hannah Sheridan (200Freestyle).   In the 4×50 mixed Freestyle events, there was a well earned silver place for the Sliabh Beagh A team of Justas Jarusas, Ellie Mulligan, Ridas Zelvys and Riya George, while the B team of Matthew Mohan, Emma McKenna, Charlie Duffy and
Aoife Duffy earned a well deserved bronze medal finish.

After the excitement of a very busy morning session, the Sunday afternoon’s racing was anticipated to be just as invigorating with the 9-12 year old swimmers bringing their own high level of energy and buzz.  Leading the way with Gold podium performances in the U10 age-group by Hannah McKenna (50Butterfly, 100IM and 100Freestyle), Rian Lynch (50Backstroke) and Evin Casey (50 Breaststroke) and in the U12 age-group by Owen Fitzpatrick (50Backstroke, 50Butterfly, 100IM and 100 Freestyle). Silver place finishes were achieved in the U10 age-group by Lexi Ronaghan (50Breaststroke), Hannah McKenna (50 Backstroke), Jacob McCabe (50 Backstroke), Hugh Connolly (100IM and 100 Freestyle) and Rian Lynch (50Butterfly). In the U12 age-group there was silver place finishes by Clodagh McCabe (50Backstroke), Egan Hearty (50Backstroke, 100IM, 50 Butterfly and 100 Freestyle) and Daithi Lynch (50 Breaststroke. Bronze medal finishes were accomplished in the U10 age-group by Evin Casey (50Backstroke), Jacob McCabe (100IM), Rian Lynch (100 Freestyle) and in the U12 age-group by
Clodagh McCabe (100IM, 50 Butterfly). In the last event of the meet the 4×50 mixed freestyle, Sliabh Beagh got their hand on wall in the U10 age-group, with the A claiming Gold with a team made up of Rain Lynch, Lexi Ronaghan, High Connolly and Hannah McKenna, while the U10 B team won bronze in a tight race against a very
spirited Drogheda B team made up of Evin Casey, Cora McArdle, Jacob McCabe and Sienna Ronaghan. After the excitement of the U10 event, the U12 event proved to be as exciting with the Sliabh Beagh A team of Owen Fitzpatrick, Clodagh McCabe, Egan Hearty, Lily Deery winning a nail-biting finish against a very determined
Drogheda A team, while the Sliabh Beagh B team made up of Chullain Rankin, Sophia Vergnano, Daithi Lynch and Eabha McMullen won bronze in a magnificent team effort.  This concluded an exceptional Sliabh Beagh hosted Winter Cluster competition for all the home and visiting swimmers, with loads of new personal best performances and experiences being achieved over the weekend.

This success could only have been achieved by the incredible organisational support of all the Sliabh Beagh executive and general committee and volunteering parents, Swim Ulster/Leinster officials, the travelling visiting clubs team staff, our category winner sponsors Swim and lastly, Coral Leisure Centre whose commitment in supporting Sliabh Beagh with hosting such a enjoyable cluster club competition has been critical to the success of the event
and competitive swimming in Monaghan.