Two different sets of hopefuls headed north on the weekend of 17th and 18th of April in search of different goals as there were two galas held in the region.
On Saturday evening, April 17th, the Graded Gala team took a trip to Carrick-on-Shannon where Carrick Fins hosted their first ever event.
Ten members of the ‘A’ Squad made the short journey to Longford on Sunday April 18th for the Connacht Age Groups Division II Gala, an event designed to give swimmers a last chance to qualify for the Irish Age Groups (IAG) Division II, IAG Division I and Irish Open Youth/Senior Championships in a short course format.
The youngest member of the team, Mikey Moran, had an outstanding day achieving two QTs for IAG Div II in the 11-12 age group, for 100m backstroke (1:24.89) and 200m freestyle (2:41.31). This remarkable nine-year-old has achieved something that only the very best in the country have achieved before him, namely qualifying for IAG Division 2 despite being too young to actually compete in the 11/12 year old section!
Girls 13-year-olds saw the Div II team gain another new companion for the big event when Sasha Hibbs qualified following a time of 2:37.77 for 200m Freestyle. There were three competitors in the Girls 14 year old section, with two of them already assured of a place at IAG Div II, Emma Ryan, swam 3:09.41 for 200m IM, 1:39.22 to finish 6th in her 100m breaststroke and 1:42.80 for 100m butterfly.
Lucy Madden’s consistent season continued in Longford as she finally got a reward for her efforts in a very competitive age group, taking two well-deserved silver medals. Lucy now has QTs in all four strokes for IAG Div II, putting her in a strong position to do very well at National level.
Olivia Fullard had a magnificent day, taking the first of three gold medals in the final. 14-year-old Darragh Bailey was looking to add to his freestyle swims at IAG Div I, and he made a good effort at the 200m Individual Medley, where he improved by eight seconds to a personal best of 2:41.12, coming to within 3.5 seconds of his QT. There were two 15-year-olds competing. Erica took gold in the 200m IM in 2:51.40, a personal best, and was 5th in her butterfly final in a time of 1:27.98. In the Boys 15 year old section, Rhys Connolly achieved a personal best of 2:18.48 for 200m freestyle. Finally, the eldest member of the team, 16-year-old Romy Madden was also in Longford to try and add to her list of swims for the Youth/Senior championships. She had only three options available, and came home with three personal bests, two gold medals and one silver. Romy then swam the 100m butterfly final as a solo time trial needing to break 1:12 to earn her Youth/Senior Championships QT for the event, a powerful last 25m ended with her touching in 1:11.99 and producing a smile as wide as the pool itself to greet the only QT of the day for Coman’s at IAG Div I or Youth/Senior Championships standard.
Comans SC wish Clare, Romy and Sarah good luck for this week’s Irish Long Course Championships at the NAC.