Last weekend club swimmers, coaches and parents travelled to UL Sports Arena, Limerick to take on the swimmers from all over Ireland in this National Championships event. This event for some is the culmination of their season. For others it is the stepping stone to the Division 1 Age Group and Summer Championships.
As indicated in the headline our swimmers came home with numerous gold, silver and bronze medals from events ranging in distance from 100m to 400m and in all the regulation strokes, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly as well as the combination events of 400 and 200 Individual Medley.
Those Speeding Tickets! What are they? Well for some of our swimmers they were ubiquitous. You earn a speeding ticket at this event if you swim so fast that you are not only winning the event, but exceeding the qualifying time for the Summer Championships by such a margin that it is deemed that you are performing at Division 1 Level and thus you are issued with a speeding ticket, which is recognition of your achievement and your passport to the mid July competition.
This gala was an eye opener for all Sliabh Beagh swimmers and supporters. We went to the event in hope of getting into finals and picking up some medals. However by the end of this four day event, we not only had a few medals but we had loads of them, with nearly every swimmer attending picking up at least one medal. Personal best times were all over the place and those tickets, well they too were plentiful.
Standing back and observing it was evident that those with the best technique were generally in the medals. By technique we mean doing the strokes, the turns, the breakout from underwater and pacing the race. These are critical to maintaining speed throughout the race and ultimately means you are saving energy for the later part of the race. Those who are less efficient tend to dominate the early part of the race but eventually run out of gas and the efficient swimmer emerges as the winner. Fortunately many of our swimmers are very efficient or are working hard on this aspect of the sport. This is a result of natural talent and good coaching and great application by the swimmer. While results may be slow in coming in the early stage of a swimmers development, if you persist and develop the technique to its optimum level for your capacity, then your progress will be exponential.
The actual results from the gala are as follows.
Caragh Leonard had a very successful gala medalling in five out of her seven races and achieving her first Division 1 time.
200M Freestyle – 02.44.24 (PB)
100M Breaststroke – 01.33.85 – Placed 1st in Final.
200M Backstroke – 02.52.09 – reached Final and achieved Division 1 time.
200M IM – 02.57.81 – Placed 2nd in the Final
200M Breaststroke – 03.19.58 – Placed 1st In the Final.
100M Freestyle – 01.11.09 – Placed 3rd in the Final.
100M Backstroke – 01.21.03 – Placed 3rd in Final.
Caoimhe Leonard swam strong in all her races. She was delighted to get her first Division 1 time in the 100 Breaststroke and a gold medal in the 200IM.
100M Backstroke – 01.22.98 (PB)
100M Breaststroke – 01.30.19 – Placed 2nd in the Final and achieved a Division 1 time.
200M Backstroke – 02.53.71 (PB)
200M IM – 02.54.47 – Placed 1st in the Final.
200M Breaststroke – 03.21.42 (PB)
Allison Gorman swam well in all her races. This was her first time competing in the 200 Fly and she was delighted to take home a silver medal.
200M Backstroke – 03.04.03 (PB)
400M Freestyle – 06.01.56
200M Butterfly – 03.23.91 – Placed 2nd in the Final.
Cillian Mc Gahon had a busy weekend, achieving personal bests in all his races and taking home a bronze medal in the 200 fly
400M IM – 06.18.00 (PB)
200M Freestyle – 02.43.74 (PB)
100m Breaststroke – 01.38.45 – reached Final
400M Freestyle – 05.42.28 (PB)
200M Breaststroke – 03.31.58 (PB)
200M Fly – 03.05.55 – Placed 3rd in the Final.
Leon Campbell had a great gala having only recently achieved Division 2 times he swam out of his skin to achieve two Division 1 times and take home a gold and silver medal.
100M Breaststroke – 01.28.31 – Placed 2nd in the Final and achieved a Division 1 time.
200M Breaststroke – 03.16.93 – Placed 1st in the final and achieved a Division 1 time.
200M Butterfly – 03.19.46 – Placed 2nd in the Final.
Lorcan Roberts put in a solid performance with (PB) in all his races. He had a particularly strong performance in the 200 Freestyle.
100M Backstroke – 1.27.26 (PB)
200M Freestyle – 02.40.81 (PB)
400M Freestyle – 05.42.03 (PB)
Megan Mc Shane had a busy gala weekend competing in eight swims and blowing her competition out of the water finishing at times over a half a length ahead of the pack. Megan looks forward to Division 1 in two weeks time with an impressive seven division 1 times under her belt.
100M Backstroke – 01.17.04 – Achieved Division 1 time.
200M Freestyle – 02.36.53 – achieved Division 1 time.
100M Breaststroke – 01.30.71 – achieved Division 1 time.
200M Backstroke – 02.40.95 (PB)
400M Freestyle – 05.11.00 – achieved Division 1 time
200M Breaststroke – 03.02.40 – achieved Division 1 time
100M Freestyle – 01.07.63 – achieved Division 1 time
200M IM – 02.42.45 – achieved Division 1 time
Emer Sheridan This was Emer’s first division 2 competition and as always worked hard in her races. She just missed out on a division 2 time in the 100 Breaststroke.
200M Freestyle – 2.34.55
100M Breaststroke – 1.29.81
200M IM – 2.55.01
200 Breaststroke – 3.13.36
Finally well done to all our swimmers and coaches and we look forward with optimism to the final gala of the season in July but also to the new season, commencing after the summer break in September.