Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club sent a record 29 swimmers to the first Development meet of the season.
It was held in Newry’s excellent new pool, only opened since the springtime. It was able to facilitate eight lanes of swimmers, which really helped to speed up the sessions and make the day run smoothly.
Of course, without the help of all the Banbridge ASC parents on the poolside, it would have been a more stressful day.
The club marshals included Tom Farson, Oonagh King, Alison Lennon and Lynsey Bell. Lorraine and Gina were doing their roles of referee and starter and coaches Geraldine, Pat and Doretta were on poolside all day, encouraging the swimmers to reach their full potential.
Ronan, Jodie, Jessica, Rachel, Sorcha and Clodagh all have now achieved three qualifying times to proceed to the Qualifying Gala in Lisburn from 18th until 20th December. Jodie McMullen still holds on to her Division One time in 100m breaststroke, which is a huge achievement for a 10 year old.
Three of othe Banbridge ASC boys made Division Two times- Ronan Quinn, Issac Forsythe and Senan Carr. Ronan made a third qualifying time which moves him out of Development Galas but he also achieved his Division Two time in 100m butterfly.
Joel Milligan, his predecessor may be the only other swimmer from our club to proceed to Division Two with a fly time before other times. Ronan won gold in this event and silver in 200m freestyle, taking off 24 seconds. He took off 32 seconds in 200m backstroke and came fifth.
Issac won this event, also taking off 32 seconds. He came third in the 200m freestyle, taking off 25 seconds. Issac needs one more qualifying time to move onwards to the Qualifying Galas. Senan swam a mega swim in the 100m breaststroke, taking off 30 seconds and making a Division Two time. He needs two more qualifying times to proceed to the qualifying galas in 2016.
The McMullen sisters, Jessica and Jodie, recently joining Banbridge from the Armagh Swimming Club, made quite an impact at this gala.
Both girls now have five qualifying times each, moving them on to the next level. Jodie made a Division One time in 100m breaststroke, last summer at Division Two and luckily she remains in the same age group and can hold on to her time for the 2016 Division One competition in Dublin in July.
Jodie won three gold medals in Newry 100m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 200IM along with silver in 100m backstroke. Jessica achieved two silver medals in 100m backstroke and 200IM as well as a bronze in 100m freestyle. Well done, sisters!
Rachel Allenby had a great day’s swimming as she achieved three qualifying times in the one swimming meet. She qualified in 100m backstroke, 200IM and 200m breaststroke. She also gained a bronze medal in her backstroke.
Sorcha Boersma achieved two more qualifying times which moves her on to the Qualifying Galas. She swam well in the 100m freestyle and 200m breaststroke. Clodagh McGrady was in the same boat as Sorcha, needing two more times and she achieving this. She qualified in 200m breaststroke and 200IM.
The boys who achieved some qualifying times included, Jack Lennon, Lawson Morrow and Taylor Hill. Jack and Lawson both made qualifying times in 100m breaststroke. Taylor Hill came incredibly close in two events to making qualifying times and thankfully did succeed in 100m breaststroke and won a silver medal. He also won a bronze medal in the 100m fly.
Sarah McEvoy achieved a qualifying time in the 200m breaststroke and came fourth in this event. She also came fourth in the 100IM. Sarah will hopefully get two more times in the next Development Gala in January.
The same goes for all of Banbridge’s other swimmers who took part in this meet. There were a lot of personal best swims that should encourage everyone to keep training and to keep giving their best.
The Banbridge girls included Erin Burke, Alana Burns-Atkins, Ciara Daly, Charlotte Farson, Dia McCrory, Niamh McGeown, Holly McKibbin, Erin Smith and Megan Williams.
The boys included Carter Bell, Bailey Breen, Sam Burke, Jack Dougan, Tom King, Caelan McCracken, Matthew McKee and Pearse Rice.
Well done everyone and happy training!