Swimmers impress at southern meets

Patrick McNiff
Patrick McNiff

WHILE a lot of students were starting their school holidays with a little chill time, seven swimmers from Banbridge ASC and their long suffering coaches were still training hard in the pool for the Division 1 Age Group Championships, which took place in The University Arena, Limerick from July 6-8, and the Irish Youth Championships which took place at the NAC in Dublin from July 12-15.

The standard at these meets is fierce. Swimmers need to be realistic about their expectations and what represents a good performance as in many of the age groups they are competing against likely future Olympians!

Over the weekend there were 30 swims, 16 PBs and six finals swum. In all there were 9 top 10 finishes including the events which were heat declared and the relays.

Jenny Wilson made the final in her 100 fly event, finishing in an impressive 5th place with a time of 1.10.47. She also played her part in the Medley relay team, along with Allyce Nixon, Poppy Robinson and Elli Robinson. The girls swam a strong and determined swim against very stiff competition ,finishing 7th in a time of 2.17.70.

Graham Stevenson had a super weekend and took massive times off his swims. In the 1500 free he swam a 30 second PB finishing in a time of 18.43.00, and he also swam a 13 second PB in his 400 IM, which he swam in 5.43.30.

Poppy Robinson swam PBs in three out of her five events, taking two seconds off her 200 IM time (2.48.18), and the same off her 100 freestyle (1.07.61).Her sister Elli swam a strong 400 free ,finishing in 5.27.34, a massive 17 second PB.

Allyce made finals in 100 and 200 breaststroke events. She finished ninth in the 100 in a time of 1.26.12 and 10th in the 200 in 3.11.43.

Patrick McNiff competed in six events and finished 8th in 400IM in a time of 5.47.00, a 20 second PB, and 10th in 400 freestyle in 5.06.13, a 7 second pb. He made finals in 100 and 200 breaststroke, 200 IM and 200 freestyle. He finished seventh in 100 breaststroke in 1.27.99, ninth in 200 breaststroke with a time of 3.09.03, eighth in 200 IM in 2.42.91 and eighth in 200 freestyle in 2.24.45.

Everyone involved enjoyed the weekend and thanks to the parents who kept the food and drinks coming all weekend.

In the Youth Championships at the NAC Cameron McDonald had a fabulous weekend of pb’s. He swam a nine second PB in the 400IM prelim finishing in 5.05.44, and took a further five seconds off this in the final, his time being 5.00.73.This super swim meant he ended up in sixth place.

He also made the final in 100 fly finishing in 6th place with a time of 1.01.05 and a three second PB over his seed time. Furthermore he had an 11 second PB in his 200 IM event where he made the final. Cameron made a two second PB in both of his other events, the 200 and 100 freestyle.

Megan McKenna competed in four events over the weekend. She swam a four second PB in her 100 freestyle, swimming a time of 1.03.66, which made her 1st reserve for the final.

Patrick Morgan competed at the gala in three events, the 50 fly, 100 fly and 50 freestyle. He had a 0.34 second PB in the 50 fly and a one second PB in the 100 fly, making the final in this event and finishing in ninth place in 1.03.66.

Special thanks go to coach, Big Davy who gave up his time and accompanied both sets of swimmers to the Championships.

Year on year the number of swimmers qualifying for Division Two, Division One and Youth Championships has increased. This is down to the hard work of the swimmers and the dedication and commitment of the coaches in implementing their training programmes.

Everyone is now ready to take well deserved rest and recharge the batteries before next season starts.