Six swimmers from Sliabh Beagh earned the right on the clubs second overseas swimming trip this season to compete at the exciting Stuttgart International swim meet, Germany on the 24/25th June. With a competition that boasted over 50 teams competing with some 15 overseas teams from Ireland, Egypt, the UK, Swizterland, Austria and Ukraine as well as Germany the competition was certainty an International swimming event!
Day One started off superbly with Edvardas Zumaras posting personal best times in the 100 Freestyle, 50 Butterfly and won an excellent bronze medal in the 100 Backstroke in the sixteen age-group in his first International swimming meet outdoors. Sean Greenan, as the youngest member of team had a great first day at the level of meet finishing in best time in the 100 Freestyle finishing eighth in the U15 final, while in the 100 Backstroke he placed an agonising fourth place and in the 200 Individual Medley he had another brave swim after a long day at the pool in the extremely warm 30 degree heats placing fifth in the event. New swimming recruit Hayden James, brought great synergy and excitement to the Sliabh Beagh team being on his first International swimming meet placed 8th in the U16 100 Freestyle, set a new personal best in the 50 Butterfly and placed in the top eight in his age-group in the 100 Backstroke having to navigate the absence of swimming pool roof lines whilst racing outdoors was new experience for him to master. Darragh Hughes was competing in Stuttgart for the third time and with this level of previous experience he finished seventh in the 17 and older age group 100 Freestyle, placed fifth in the 50 Butterfly and finishing off his day with an excellent second place and silver medal podium in the 50 Breaststroke and brought a close to a rewarding day of racing for Darragh. Rebekah Gillis started of the meet in positive fashion with a sixth place in the 17 and older age group 100 Freestyle and fourth in the 100 Backstroke, & was in fantastic form battling hard for a well earned bronze in the 50 Butterfly and finished off her day of racing with a sublime first place finish and first gold for the team in the 50 Breaststroke. Aiobhin MacCinna, was another swimmer on her first outing in Stuttgart at this level of competition and didn’t disappoint with strong performances in the seventeen and older age-group finishing fourth in the 100 Freestyle and 200 Individual Medley, seventh in the 50 Butterfly and fifth in the 100 Backstroke. Evardas posing proudly with his Bronze MedalDarragh proudly showing off his Silver MedalRebekah sporting her Bronze Medal
Despite the searing temperatures in Stuttgart on Day Two, Sunday continued to be a fantastic day of swimming for the Sliabh Beagh swimmers with best times, final swims and podium places aplenty. First up was Darragh Hughes who got his hand on the wall for welcomed third place and bronze in the 100 Breaststroke that included cash prizes for those swimmers placing in the 100 metre finals! Darragh also placed fourth in the 100 Butterfly and gave great coaching and personal encouragement to the other team members in his leadership position as Team Captain. In the U15 age-group which proved to be very competitive, Sean Greenan was continuing his exceptionally consistency placing fourth in the 100 Breaststroke and finished top eight in both the 50 Freestyle and 200 Freestyle. Edvardas Zumaras again was having a big meet finishing third and touching for bronze in the U16 200 Backstroke as well as placing tenth in the 100 Butterfly, ninth in the 50 Backstroke and top eight in the 200 Freestyle to finish off a very rewarding sequence of performance for him. In the same age-group, Hayden James had a confidence boosting swim in the 200 Freestyle winning his heats and finishing fifth overall, and had a tremendous personal best swim in the 50 Freestyle and put in a strong performance in his last event of the meet, finishing eighth in the 100 Butterfly. A determined swim by Rekekah Gillis guaranteed her a third podium of the meet and second place and silver in the 100 Breaststroke. In the 50Freestyle, Rebekah had a brilliant swim placing fourth, while in the 50 Backstroke and 200 Freestyle she raced to creditable fifth place finishes in both events. Aiobhin MaCinna had started off with a solid ninth place in the 50 Freestyle and then had a great performance in the 100 Butterfly finishing third and winning bronze and then backed it up with another brilliant swim in the 200 Freestyle picking up another bronze medal and finishing third. With a fourth place finish in the 50 Backstroke for Aiobhin, this brought to a close a very successful meet for her as well as the other competing Sliabh Beagh swimmers.
This was a brilliant meet from start to finish and every swimmer gave a great account of themselves through very aversive conditions of 30 degree heat and long competition days. The Sliabh Beagh swimmers were great ambassadors to themselves, the families, the club and their country and worthy representatives at the level of competition. A big thanks to Eamon O’Hara, who despite being in retirement kindly stepped in to support the team with his sublime coaching support. A special thanks to Team chaperones Helen Hughes and Kim Greenan who gave support with the team logistics over a very demanding weekend of competition and finally, to Team Manager Sylvia Gillis who did a phenomenal amount of background work planning and sourcing in advance of the trip to make sure the travelling Sliabh Beagh team got the best support possible to make the whole experience for everyone as successful as it was.
Now the team will look forward to going back to training and preparing with four weeks of quality training as they look to make a splash at the last swim meet of the season at the Irish Summer Nationals in beginning on the 26th July.
Darrah managed to convince the Edgyptian Head coach to trade tops!Showing off our stylish t-shirts!Hayden ButterflyMoney voucher for Darragh!Sean chilling after his race!Sean!Always time for a quick selfie – Thank you for all your support in Stuttgart Sylvia, Helen, Kim and Eamon!