Last weekend saw the Bangor Swimming Club Open and Junior Long Course Meet take place in the 50m Aurora Complex.
The event had two sections, 12 and Under and Open. The Enniskillen Lakelanders had 11 swimmer taking part; Seven under 12 and the other four in the Open category. They returned with 10 Medals, almost 50 Personal Bests and qualifying times for Division 1 & 2 along with Ulster Age Group Times, Ulster Qualifying Times and Dave McCullagh Times.
The Love sisters Natasha (15) and Caitlin (12) had a superb weekend coming home with six medals – two gold, three silver and one bronze, eight new personal bests, four division one qualifying times, four division two qualifying times along with Ulster Age Group and Dave McCullagh Qualifying Standards for gala later in the year.
Day one saw Natasha compete in 100m breaststroke and 200m backstroke. Natasha made the finals in both events finishing seventh in breast but stormed to first place in the 200m backstroke in a time of 2.32.56 – a new long course PB.
Caitlin swam 200m backstroke in a heat declared winner event finishing in second place with a new PB and Division 2 qualifying time. Caitlin made the finals for both 50m and 100m breaststroke with two new PBs and a division two qualifying time in 100m breaststroke. Day two saw Natasha compete in 50m and 100m backstroke where she took two silver medals despite being under the weather.
Caitlin competed in four events taking a well deserved bronze in the gruelling 400m individual medley with a new PB and Division 2 qualifying time. She made the finals of the 100m butterfly, her favourite event, where she took gold following this up with two fourth places in the 50m, butterfly and 50m backstroke. Caitlin showed what a versatile swimmer she is with four Division 2 qualifying times in four different strokes.
The McCartney family also returned from Bangor with great success. Three medals, two silver and one bronze, 12 personal bests, two Division 1 qualifying times and 2 Division 2 qualifying times along with Ulster Age Group Qualifying Standards.
Ellie McCartney, aged 9, was competing against other swimmers aged up to 12 years old and excelled herself with an enormous 14 second PB to achieve her first Irish Age Group Division 1 in 100m breaststroke as well as gaining a bronze medal. Ellie followed this up with another strong swim to take silver in the 200m breaststroke. Her long course time of 3.09.79 reflected a second Division 1 time – an extraordinary feat for a 9-year-old. In the 50m breaststroke Ellie made the final and finished fourth overall. She also qualified for the final of the 100m butterfly by dropping 17 seconds of her PB and finished fifth overall.
Lewis McCartney (12) had recently achieved his three Swim Ulster Qualifying Times and had set his sights on the Irish Division 2 competition in Limerick in June. In his first race of the event his dropped almost seven seconds off his Ulster Qualifying Time to achieve his Irish Division 2 Qualifying Time and make the final. Lewis finished the 50m breaststroke in second place to take silver. He also made the final of the 200m breaststroke and the 100m freestyle with new PBs in all strokes. Lewis finished the day with new PB of 5.49.65, in fifth place and a second Irish Division 2 time in the gruelling 400m freestyle.
Oisin McCaffrey McManus is now competing at the highest level in an age group where he is up against boys who are a year older than him. In the 200m back stroke, Oisin easily achieved his Irish Age Group Division 2 time with a swim of 2:56.63 to take the bronze medal. He achieved another Division 2 time in the 200m freestyle and a fifth position overall but he saved the best till last with the 100m backstroke. In the heats Oisin initially took three seconds of his PB to take second place and book his place in the finals. Then two and half hours later in the finals Oisin took a further two seconds off his PB with a time of 1:20.99, to take silver overall.
Sorcha Lavelle (13) competing in the 13-year-old and over age group category achieved three Ulster Age Group Times and a Division 1 time. On day one Sorcha swam the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1.31.90 achieving a six second PB. She followed this up with a fantastic 400m freestyle swim winning her heat in a time of 5.18.20 again with a seven second PB.
On day two Sorcha competed in the 200m breaststroke and 50m butterfly and qualified for the finals that evening.
First up was the 200m breaststroke final where she just missed out on a medal in a time of 3.09.25 and achieved her second Division 1 Qualifying Time for the Irish Age Group Championships to take place in Dublin later this year.
Niamh O’Kane travelled to Bangor on Sunday afternoon and after winning all four heats she competed in at the South West Minor League in the Lakeland Forum on Sunday morning. The first of her three swims in Bangor saw her easily achieve her sole Bangor objective of getting her Irish Age Group Division 2 time in the 100m butterfly in 1:25.84 seconds, knocking 2.5 seconds of her previous PB. She secured a 4th place finish overall in the heats and her place in the 100 Fly final in the process. Niamh also competed in the 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly, again securing her place in the finals late on Sunday evening where she narrowly missed out on a podium finish.
On day one Rachel Evans secured her Division 2 qualifying time for Limerick 2015 in the 200m individual medley and came within 0.35 of a second of another Qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke.
Laura McCaffrey returned to the Aurora for the second time to compete in three events – 50m and 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly. She made the finals for all these events with new PBs and finished 5th, 6th and 4th place respectively. Laura also achieved the elusive third Swim Ulster Qualifying Time and an Irish Division 2 time in 100m Freestyle helping her to progress her competitive swimming.
Only 1 year after joining the Enniskillen Lakelanders Kealan McShea competed in a 50m pool for the first time at the Aurora and had a successful day. As well as reaching the 100m freestyle final with a new PB he achieved his goal of getting his third Swim Ulster Qualifying time and moving into the next level of swimming competition. He also had a PB in the 200m backstroke.
Caitlin Martin got two PBs and qualified for Ulster Age Group championships for 200m backstroke.
Rhiannon Dolan was attending her first Long Course Gala and finished the day with PBs in 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.
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