Lo­cal swim­mers in top form at qual­i­fy­ing meet

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -

THE re­cent Con­nacht Qual­i­fy­ing Meet in Long­ford proved to be a very pro­duc­tive com­pe­ti­tion for the County Sligo Swim­ming Club team. With 29 Sligo swim­mers at­tend­ing the meet, in a to­tal of 119 in­di­vid­ual races, the Sligo team per­formed su­perbly, achiev­ing 26 podi­ums places and 85 per­sonal best times. In ad­di­tion, be­tween them, six of the Sligo swim­mers achieved 17 qual­i­fi­ca­tion times for the 2018 Ir­ish Open Short Course Cham­pi­onships which take place in Lis­burn in De­cem­ber. Fur­ther­more, a num­ber of the 29 Sligo swim­mers were com­pet­ing at a qual­i­fy­ing meet for the first time.

Fresh from his suc­cess at the 2018 Sum­mer Na­tion­als and swim­ming in the Boys 13-14 age group, 13-year-old Ro­nan Kil­coyne put in some out­stand­ing per­for­mances in Long­ford. Ro­nan was com­pet­ing in six events over the three days and re­turned with 6 gold medals, all new per­sonal bests (PBs). In ad­di­tion, all Ro­nan’s times were qual­i­fy­ing times for the Ir­ish SC Cham­pi­onships.

Ro­nan knocked a mas­sive 41 sec­onds off his pre­vi­ous best time in the 1500m freestyle event to fin­ish in a time of 17:32.30. Ro­nan’s best per­for­mance how­ever was prob­a­bly in his last race of the meet where in the 100m IM he swam a fast time of 1:07.36 to claim an­other Gold. His other gold medals came in the 200m IM, 400m freestyle, 400m IM and 50m but­ter­fly. An­thony Maher (17) com­peted in the Boys 15 & over age group and con­tin­ued his re­cent good form to claim medals in four of his six events, one gold in 50m breast­stroke and three sil­vers in 100m and 200m breast­stroke events and 100m IM.

An­thony achieved PBs in 5 of his 6 races. 12-year-old Ro­nan O’Con­nor com­peted in just the one event and was de­lighted to come away with a gold medal in the Boys 12 & un­der 100m freestyle in a time of 1:09.93, a 2.94 sec­ond PB. 16-year-old Pa­trick Mc­Part­lan just missed out on a cou­ple of medals when he fin­ished in 4th po­si­tion in the 50m but­ter­fly and 5th in the 100m IM, how­ever he was very happy that his times in both events were qual­i­fy­ing times for the Ir­ish SC Cham­pi­onships, par­tic­u­larly as it is his first time to qual­ify for this ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion.

Six­teen-year-old Car­rie Mc­Daid com­peted in the 800m freestyle event in Long­ford and claimed gold in an Ir­ish SC qual­i­fi­ca­tion time of 9:52.24. Danielle Far­rell (15) who medalled at the 2018 Sum­mer Na­tion­als back in July had an­other amaz­ing meet re­turn­ing home with three medals, 1 gold (1500m freestyle), 1 sil­ver (100m IM) and 1 bronze (100m but­ter­fly). Danielle took an amaz­ing 1 minute and 69 sec­onds off her 1500m freestyle time. She swam in four events in Long­ford and achieved qual­i­fy­ing times for the Ir­ish SC Cham­pi­onships in all four.

An­other Ir­ish SC qual­i­fier was 19-year-old Maeve Keaney who qual­i­fied in the 100m back­stroke, claim­ing a Sil­ver medal in the process. Swim­ming in the Girls 12 & un­der age group Li­adan Ruddy claimed a sil­ver and two bronze medals.

She won the sil­ver in the 100m back­stroke and the bronzes in 100m IM and 400m freestyle. Li­adan also got PBs in all five events she swam in, knock­ing nearly 41 sec­onds off her 400m freestyle time. Wik­to­ria Wein­ert (15) won a sil­ver medal in the Girls 15 & over 200m but­ter­fly, how­ever she also ob­tained Ir­ish SC qual­i­fy­ing times in the 200m but­ter­fly, 100m but­ter­fly and 200m IM.

Ciara Con­naughton-Jones (13) swam in 6 events in the Girls 13-14 age group and re­turned with 6 PBs and three medals; Gold in 800m freestyle, sil­ver in 200m breast­stroke and bronze in 100m breast­stroke.

Twelve-year-old Anna O’Con­nor swam in 6 events in the Girls 12 & un­der age group, and she also got PBs in all six events, as well as two medals; Gold in 100m IM and bronze in 800m freestyle when she took over a minute off her pre­vi­ous time. An­other 12-year-old who per­formed very well was Jane Bradley who achieved PBs in all six of the events that she swam in. Jane also won the sil­ver medal in her 100m but­ter­fly event, knock­ing 4.26 sec­onds off her pre­vi­ous time.

The club had many other ex­cel­lent per­for­mances over the three day meet where a num­ber of swim­mers fin­ished just out­side the medal po­si­tions. The other Sligo swim­mers com­pet­ing in Long­ford were Clodagh Bar­rett, Alan­nah Cunningham, Wik­to­ria Je­drol, Maria Lyons, Alice Mc­Part­lan, Keri Mitchell, Caoimhe O’Sul­li­van, Cliodha O’Sul­li­van, Rachel McManus, Jade Mur­phy, Adam Hunter, Max Hunter, Dylan Martin, Ed­ward McDon­agh, Orin Mitchell, Daniel Rat­ti­gan and Kayle Wa­jszczuk. Sligo’s Head Coach Ed­uardo San­tos was very pleased not just with the high medal tally, but also with the sub­stan­tial num­ber of Sligo swim­mers that achieved qual­i­fy­ing times for the Swim Con­nacht Short Course Cham­pi­onships which take place in Gal­way on 3rd and 4th Novem­ber and of course the six swim­mers who achieved ad­di­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tion times for the 2018 Ir­ish Open Short Course Cham­pi­onships which take place in Lis­burn in De­cem­ber.

Win­ner of four medals, An­thony Maher with his Mum Kate.

Ed­uardo San­tos with Ro­nan KIl­coyne, win­ner of six gold medals.

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