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.