A terrible beauty is born’

On Easter morning, a dedicated cohort of masters’ swimmers rose to bravely face the Distance Event challenge. Athletes from as far as Sligo, Mullingar, Dublin, Belfast, Newtownards, Newry, Banbridge and Omagh descended on Monaghan town to compete in the inaugural Sliabh Beagh ASC Distance Gala. The host club themselves were excellently represented. The great expanses of the eight hundred and fifteen hundred metre races confronted all participants. Some had many years’ experience of competing in the gruelling distance events. Indeed, the participants included Irish record holders and international representatives. For others however, this was their maiden voyage into the great unknown. What followed was a build-up of lactate, which will live long in the muscle memory.

From the outset, all competitors attacked the competition with a tenacious spirit. Their enthusiasm, determination and positivity were evident as they drove themselves forward, metre by metre, length by length. As the distances fell, the efforts rose, until the final strokes touched home. Many of the travelling swimmers brought supporters with them and all in the gallery supported the efforts in the pool with applause and appreciation for their effort. The results of the gala are as follows;

800m Freestyle

Emily Madden 13:04.31
Conor Comiskey 11:45.81
Alexandra Germain 12:12.90
Eimear McKenna 11:34.59
Caoimhe Quinn 11:46.81
Ciaran Deasy 10:54.16
Ciaran Whelan 14:07.10
Sinead Madden 18:36.18
John O’Hanlon 11:57.97
Mary Bramley 14:15.77
Cath Cunningham 13:06.49
Tim Fagan 14:37.68
Shane O’Doherty 11:14.85
Dympna Morris 10:12.87
Alannah Leonard 09:51.03
Ciaran Hennessy 10:19.16
Richard Yamin-Ali 10:53.46
Charlotte Reid 10:38.00
Sean McKenna 10:28.78
Oran McGee 10:58.12
Jamie Sheridan 10:56.75
Nathan Shields 10:20.56
Deiribhle Coll 09:49.10
Shauna McGahon 10:27.70
Orla Young 11:18.78

1500m Freestyle

Natalie McLean 20:45.00
Mary Bramley 26:00.78
Niall McCarville 25:28.94
Claire Smith 29:18.92
Cornelia Connolly 26:23.10
Ciaran Whelan 27:25.51
Shane O’Doherty 21:38.12
Helena Barlett 21:11.94
Ciaran Hennessy 19:40.44
Ross Delaney 17:07.67
Patrick McKenna 18:30.69
Ciaran Deasy 21:18.46
Deirbhile Coll 19:05.78
Cliodhna Delaney 18:32.69
Alannah Leonard 18:40.67

In this new departure for the Sliabh Beagh Club, the results of hard work and commitment were reflected with quality performances by all competitors. The Gala itself was excellently coordinated. Particular appreciation must go to Una McGee, who managed the catering and refreshments, Mr.Frank Stevens, who martialled the officiating of the competition, Mickey West who provided the music and to David Moore, for providing the Coral Leisure Centre swimming pool and facilities.

Congratulations to all competitors, coaches and families who participated in the event.         

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