ON Friday February 1, a group of young children between 7 and 11 years of age, with their parents and coaches, headed to Newtownards.
For the girls, the new swimmers included, Jennifer Morrow, Sorchas Boersma, Kevina Burns and the youngest swimmer, Niamh McGeown. Rachel Allenby, Ellie Wright and Jami Wilson were also new to the team. For the boys, the swimmers included, Finlay Wright, Daniel Brown, Ryan Bigley, Taylor Hill, Ben Farson and the youngest boy, Ronan Quinn.
Ards were very strong in the relays and Banbridge only succeeded in coming in 2nd in these events. However, here is a list of the brave swimmers who swam their hearts out. For the A team swimming in the order: backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke and frontcrawl, were, Jennifer Morrow, Sam Johnston, Taylor Hill and Sorchas Boersma. Also swimming this relay were Zoe Kilpatrick, Ronan Quinn, Rachel Allenby and Finlay Wright.
For the B team the medley swimmers were, Ryan Bigley, Dawson Patterson, Julia Knox and Ruby McNiff. In another lane were Dane McCullough, Aidín Quinn, Zoe Kilpatrick and Daniel Brown.
For the C team the swimmers included, Lauren Armstrong, Patrick Doyle, James Whan and Caitlin Kearney. In another lane were also, Declan McGeown, Jessica Robinson, Rebecca Pinkerton and Luke Milligan.
For the D team the 3 teams of swimmers were, Jessica Robinson, Luke Milligan, Jami Wright and Daniel Kilpatrick; Sophie Mount(captain of the girls team),William Pinkerton, Harry Farson(captain of the boys team) and Ellie Wright; and Ryan Armstrong, Harry Dougan, Eimear McMullan and Charlotte Farson.
At this stage of the night the swimmers were ready to do their individual events. First up was the group A girls backstroke. Sorchas Boersma, Jennifer Morrow and Kevina Burns achieved 3rd, 4th and 5th. Group A boys swam an even faster pace but the competition was tough and Niall McGeown, Ronan Quinn and Taylor Hill brought in 3rd, 5th and 6th.
Group B girls, Julia Knox, Ruby McNiff and Aidín Quinn produced 2nd, 4th and 5th. Group B boys achieved 2nd, 5th and 6th and these swimmers were Dawson Patterson, Dane McCullough and Daniel Brown.
Group C girls upped the pace and at last a 1st place from Banbridge with Lauren Armstrong taking the lead. Caitlin Kearney came in 4th and Rebecca Pinkerton, 5th. Group C boys, James Whan, Patrick Doyle and Declan McGeown , pushed hard and came in 2nd, 5th and 6th.
Group D girls, Sophie Mount, Charlotte Farson and Eimear McMullan, scooped 3rd, 4th and 5th.Group D boys tried hard and carried off a 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
The next event was the breaststroke. The A girls were triumphant with Jennifer Morrow’s 1st place and Sorchas Boersma and Niamh McGeown produced 5th and 6th. The A boys also were delighted with a 1st from Sam Johnston and 5th and 6th from Taylor Hill and Niall McGeown.
Group B girls swam well and Julia Knox, Ruby McNiff and Aidín Quinn succeeded in getting 2nd, 4th and 5th. The B boys,Dawson Patterson, Dane McCullough and Daniel Brown, claimed a 2nd, 4th and 6th.
Group C girls, were striving hard and Jessica Robinson, Rebecca Pinkerton and Caitlin Kearney were very successful with an excellent 1st, 2nd and 4th. The C boys, Patrick Doyle, James Whan and Luke Milligan maintained a good 3rd, 4th and 5th position.
Group D girls, Sophie Mount, Ellie Wright (swimming up an age group) and Eimear McMullan continued with a 3rd, 4th and 6th. The D boys also did well with a 1st from William Pinkerton and a 4th from Daniel Kilpatrick and a 5th from Harry Dougan.
The exciting butterfly event took place next and Jennifer Morrow successfully led her group of A girls with a superb 1st place and Sorchas Boersma and Niamh McGeown followed her in 4th and 6th. The A boys butterfly was exciting with 3 seven year olds swimming their hearts out. Young Ronan Quinn did us proud with a 3rd place as did Taylor Hill in 5th and Niall McGeown in 6th.
The B girls group in butterfly consisted of Julia Knox, Zoe Kilpatrick and Rachel Allenby. Julia successfully achieved 1st place and the other two fought hard and brought in 4th and 5th. Group B boys, Dawson Patterson, Dane McCullough and Daniel Brown pushed hard and claimed 3rd, 4th and 6th.
Group C girls, led by Rebecca Pinkerton, Lauren Armstrong and Caitlin Kearney swam well in 2nd, 3rd and 5th place. Group C boys, James Whan, Patrick Doyle and Declan McGeown swam good times in 3rd, 4th and 5th.
Group D girls, Sophie Mount and Eimear McMullan came in 3rd and 5th. Group D boys, Harry Farson, Harry Dougan and William Pinkerton fought bravely and achieved 2nd, 5th and 6th.
The final individual event of the night was the frontcrawl. Group A girls didn’t hesitate and again Jennifer Morrow was back in the pool. She swam really well and came in 3rd. Sorchas Boersma and Kevina Burns finished the race in 5th and 6th. Sam Johnston, Ben Farson and Finley Wright thundered down the pool in fast times that almost beat their own B boys times.
Group B girls, Julia Knox, Ruby McNiff and Zoe Kilpatrick put in a great effort and Julia finished 1st and her team mates, 4th and 5th. Group B boys, Dawson Patterson, Daniel Brown and Dane McCullough, achieved a 2nd, 5th and 6th.
Group C girls, included Lauren Armstrong who won another 1st place and her friends Rebecca Pinkerton and Caitlin Kearney came in 4th and 5th. Group C boys, Patrick Doyle, James Whan and Luke Milligan, finished in 3rd, 4th and 6th place.
Group D girls, Sophie Mount, Ellie Wright and Eimear McMullan, swam their best and finished in 3rd, 4th and 6th place. Group D boys, Harry Farson, Ryan Armstrong and William Pinkerton, pushed to their limit and claimed 2nd, 5th and 6th.
Finishing off the night, the freestyle relay times got ready. Ards had been strong throughout the night and their freestyle relay teams were no exception. Ards won all 4 relay events again. However our young swimmers still gave it their all. The following swimmers made up the A teams:
Rachel Allenby, Aidín Quinn, Ronan Quinn and Ben Farson made up one team, Jennifer Morrow, Niall McGeown and Sam Johnston made up another and Niamh McGeown, Kevina Burns, Taylor Hill and Finly Wright made up another.
Two freestyle relay teams made up the B teams: Dawson Patterson, Dane McCullough, Ruby McNiff and Julia Knox and Daniel Brown, Dane McCollough, Zoe Kilpatrick and Aidín Quinn.
Two freestyle relay teams made up the C teams: Caitlin Kearney, James Whan, Patrick Doyle and Lauren Armstrong and Declan McGeown, Luke Milligan, Jessica Robinson and Rebecca Pinkerton. The D group had 3 freestyle teams: Declan McGeown, Jami Wright, Jessica Robinson and Daniel Kilpatrick; Ellie Wright, Sophie Mount, William Pinkerton and Harry Farson; and Charlotte Farson, Eimear McMullan, Harry Dougan and Ryan Armstrong.