Banbridge swimmers impress in close victory

BASC won this season’s second Aquasprint gala, securing a narrow 12 point win over Larne.

The opening event is medley relay for each of the four age categories. The teams shared the points with the home side winning Groups A and D and the visitors Groups B and C.

In the Group A girls, Sarah McEvoy stormed home in first place in her 25m backstroke and added another two first places in her breaststroke and free.

Katie McCombe also secured a first place in butterfly, adding second in free and third in back. Holly McKibben enjoyed her third place in butterfly. Niamh McGeown also swam in the very close fly finishing second place, securing top three spots for the girls in this event with less than 1/10th of a second separating them. Niamh also swam well in her free and Dia McCrory swam well in backstroke and free adding points for the team.

Group A boys also found themselves in a tight battle with Larne and Ronan Quinn secured second place in the first event backstroke. He then impressed further with solid victories in breast, fly and free. Jack Dougan added points in his three events back, breast and fly, as did Jack Lennon who swam in breast, fly and free. Peter McGrath secured third place in both backstroke and freestyle in a tightly contested age group, which would be seen throughout the gala.

Group B girls faced a tough challenge and Rachel Blemmings finished third in back and fly, second in front crawl and adding a solid swim in her breaststroke. Jennifer Morrow enjoyed a first place in breaststroke seeing off two Larne swimmers, and added good swims in her back and fly events.

Group B boys also found themselves in some tough races and impressed. Taylor Hill finished first in his opening backstroke, adding second in his breast and a good finish in his fly. The boys enjoyed a 1,2,3 in backstroke with Peter Bigley second and Sam Johnston third. Sam enjoyed first place in free and second in breaststroke. Senan Carr also took to the blocks in breaststroke and came home in third place. Niall McGeown swam well to secure third places in butterfly and free.

Moving on to the older swimmers and Group C girls did not disappoint. Julia Knox came home in second place in backstroke and then dominated with victories in breast, fly and also free in a new club record time of 13.78 seconds. Ruby McNiff also impressed with second in both breast and free with third in back and fourth in a very close fly event.

Group C boys faced tough opposition and Daniel Brown impressed in back with second place. Ryan Bigley and Dawson Patterson also swam well in backstroke with only a 1/100th of a second between them. Dawson added a solid swim in butterfly and secured third place in free. Adam Wilson enjoyed second place in fly narrowly missing out on top spot. Evan Calvert also added third place in breaststroke. James McKee also swam well in free.

Onto the final age group and with points tight these swimmers had to be at their best. Jessica Robinson took part in all four events and adding to her back, fly and free she stormed home in first place in breaststroke. Cailtin Kearney also swam well, adding points in back, breast, fly and free. Ellie Wright also recorded her four swims and secured second in both back and free, ensuring the girls added vital points to the home side’s tally.

In the Group D boys, James Whan got the home side off to a good start with first in backstroke. He also added a solid swim in breast and then finished his individual events with first place in fly and second in free. Patrick Doyle enjoyed his gala with third place in back and first in both breast and free. Declan McGeown fought off tough opposition and secured points in back and breast. Sam Burke’s fly and Ewan Campbell’s free rounded up the points tally for the boys.

This set up a grandstand finish in the freestyle relay events and with very few points in it, every race was hotly contested.

Group A swimmers took to the blocks and the freestyle got underway. BASC took victory in the first relay. Group B swimmers swam well and secured a second place. With only two races left, there were only a handful of points separating the teams. Group C swam home in an impressive first place and rounding off an exciting gala were the Group D swimmers, who also secured first place.

Final points tally Banbridge 206, Larne 194.

Next Aquasprint gala is Saturday 12 April at home to Coleraine.