Julia Knox led a successful Banbridge team at the Swim Ulster Age Group & Youth Long Course Championships last month.
She bagged no less than eight gold medal at the beautiful Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex in Bangor while Bann’s other 26 swimmers also enjoyed success under coaches Graham Knox and Fiona Cleland.
The event began with the youngest competitors Isaac Forsythe and Ronan Quinn at just 10 years of age, giving their all to break club records of which many were won over the weekend!
Ronan won a silver medal in 200m butterfly, which is a gruelling event but Ronan almost made it look easy. That was a Division Two time and he matched that feat in 400IM, coming seventh. He also came seventh in 100m fly and is one second off Division One in this event. That takes his total to seven Division Two times.
Isaac made Division Two in 200m backstroke.
Bann’s youngest female swimmers include Ellie Bingham and Jodie McMullan. Ellie made Division Two in 100m backstroke with a new PB.
Jodie is holding Division One times from last year in breaststroke and she really excels in this stroke as she has also made the times for the next age group up. She won silver medals in both 100m and 200m breaststroke.
Niall McGeown, one of the 11 year olds, achieved a bronze medal in 400IM while also reaching Division Two. Niall now has five Div Two times and will be chasing more before Limerick at the end of June.
Senan Carr showed off his skills in breaststroke as he achieved two Div Two times. He is now set for Limerick as is a Matthew McKee, who made Div Two in 100m and 200m backstroke.
Finlay Wright made a second Div Two time in 200IM and he already has his time in 100m fly.
Finlay, Niall, Adam Wilson and Dawson Patterson were unstoppable in the relay events as they won silver in the Under 12 200m Medley Relay and bronze in the 200m freestyle relay.
Adam was swimming superbly as he now has five Div One times - not bad for a young 12 year old. Those are in 100m breaststroke, 200m fly, 400m free, 400IM and 1500m free. He also medalled in four of these events as well as two relay swims.
Daniel Brown swam two backstroke events and is so close to his Div Two times that he will surely make them in the next gala. Dawson Patterson is well in control of his events as he has five Div Two times.
Rachel Blemmings, at 12, excelled in Bangor with personal bests in every event. She medalled in 200m breaststroke, winning a silver and she now has at least six Division One times.
Julia Knox was the star again. She won no less than eight gold medals in 100m freestyle, 100m fly, 200m freestyle, 200m fly, 200IM, 400M freestyle, 400IM and 800m freestyle.
She was also awarded bronze for being placed third Ulster Swimmer and Ulster Junior Champion.
She now has qualified for seven events at the British Age Groups which will take place in Sheffield in the summer. She has now turned 13, Davey Wilson is training her and she has a great future ahead of her.
Jessica McMullan made three Division Two times and gained personal bests in her backstroke events. Aidin Quinn was in great shape and made finals in every event. She now has five Div Two times in 100m & 200m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 400IM. Kathryn McGrath, also still 12, achieved Div Two in 200m backstroke.
Declan McGeown, 13, is training hard but hasn’t quite made Div Two times. He is getting closer and the hard work will pay off eventually.
Jack Bingham had a fabulous weekend, winning seven medals. He came first in 400IM, second in 100m & 200m fly, 100m & 200m breaststroke, third in 100m backstroke and sixth in both 100m free and 200m backstroke. He was on top of his game with nine PBs, eight Div One times and seven medals.
Ruby McNiff now has eight Div One times, adding the 200m breaststroke to the list, with eight seconds off her time.
She can now go comfortably to Dublin in July with qualifying times in 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle as well as the 100m and 200m backstroke and 200m breaststroke.
Maeve Cleland now has at least six Div One times in 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle along with 100m backstroke and 100m fly. She medalled in the 800m freestyle in Ulster Age Groups.
Becki Pinkerton is another strong 13 year old with several Div One times in 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m backstroke, 200IM and 400IM.
Becki’s 14 year old brother William achieved lots of PBs. He has excellent Div One times in 100m and 200m breaststroke.
Christopher Morrow swam many PBs and bagged four Div One times in 100m breaststroke, 100m fly and 100m free as well as 200m breaststroke.
Alex Donnelly achieved Div One in 100m breaststroke while Aaron Brown made a final in 100m backstroke.
Kate Allenby came third in 100m backstroke. She has Div One times in 100m free, fly and backstroke, 200m free, 200m backstroke and 200IM. Finally, Ross Johnston made top 10 in all four of his events and has Div One in both backstroke events.
The next chance to get those Division One or Two times will be at the Summer Qualifying Swim Ulster gala in Bangor from 20th to the 22nd May.