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 Kit.ie 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.