This end of season all Ireland Championship took place last weekend in the University of Limerick over three days. Sliabh Beagh ASC had eight swimmers who had achieved qualifying times which enabled them to attend this gala. This prestigious competition saw 520 swimmers from all four provinces compete for a few coveted places. It’s with this knowledge that our swimmers achievements should be measured. Eight swimmers took home 15 medals with 42 personal best times. The swimmers attending were as follows.
Lorcan entered a number of events over the weekend and he got the Gala rolling in great fashion by placing 2nd in the grueling 1500m freestyle event. He swam a very well paced race and achieved an excellent PB of over a minute along with a Div 1 qualification time. Lorcan went on to claim another silver medal at the championships in the 400 IM against a group of strong competitors. Overall he had some great swims and was unlucky not to make more finals as he was in a very tough age bracket of 12/13yr old boys with Lorcan only turning 12.
Sean who is only back to swimming this season after a year out did remarkably well to get the qualifying times to reach this level of competition. He had two solid swims in the 200m freestyle and the 100m backstroke events which he finished in the top 10. It’s great to see Sean back in the water and with more good work next season he sure will be back to his original best.
Mathew swam in the freestyle and breastroke events at these championships. At only 10yrs of age he swam very well to make the final of the 100m breaststroke as he was swimming against older boys. He performed well in his other events and picked up some pb’s but most importantly he gained some valuable experience for the coming year. Mathew has set himself up well to win medals at these championships next season.
Jamie who was up against some very stiff competition had 3 great swims in the 100, 200 & 400m freestyle events. He picked up 3 pb’s and swam a very impressive 400m freestyle race to finish in the top 8 of his age grouping. Jamie’s age group has certainly got stronger over the years and the times he achieved at this national competition would surely have seen him claim a medal or two from previous years.
Cillian had a very busy weekend at these championships as he competed in 11 events. These events covered all the strokes and distances where he excelled at most. Along with achieving pb’s in all his races he made numerous finals and claimed 2 gold medals in the 200m breastroke and the 200m IM events. He collected 3 silver medals in the 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle & the 400m freestyle events along with 2 bronze medals in the 100m freestyle and the 100m butterfly events. He showed great courage, determination and skill throughout the weekend to overcome a couple of disappointing errors in earlier swims to produce 3 remarkable performances on the last day of the competition. Cillian also achieved qualifying times for the Division 1 championships.
Caoimhe competed in the backstroke, breastroke and Individual Medely (IM) events at these championships. She showed that it is in breastroke where she really excels by reaching the finals in both the 100m & 200m events. In the 200m final she finished 7th with a great performance however it was in the 100m final where she really delivered. She went into this final as the 7th fastest qualifier and showed pure grit and great determination to claim a bronze medal along with a division 1 qualification time.
Emer swam in 7 events over the weekend reaching 3 finals in the 100m & 200m breastroke and the 200m backstroke events. She finished 6th in the 100m breastroke final and 8th in the 200m backstroke final. It was in the 200m breastroke final where she claimed her first national medal. She battled hard for the gold but was just narrowly beaten, ending up with a very impressive silver medal and a fantastic 5 sec pb from her original entry time. She also achieved a qualifying time for the prestigious Division 1 championships which are held in July each year.
Allison had a fantastic weekend in Limerick and produced some top class performances. She competed in the freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and Individual Medley events. She achieved massive pb’s in some events, achieved Div 1 qualifying times and made 5 finals. It was in these finals where Allison really delivered. She displayed excellent qualities in winning 3 gold medals in the 200m freestyle, 200m IM and the 200m butterfly events along with a silver medal in the 100m butterfly event. In all her medal winning swims she attacked them from the very beginning and never let up, which was great to see.