The Longford ‘A’ gala, held on November 6th last, was the final competition in a series of regional events for the top performers of Coman’s Swimming Club, and the last regional gala before the Connacht Short Course Championships.
13 members of the ‘A’ squad made the short journey to the Mall Complex to swim 400m individual medley and 100m butterfly and freestyle races for boys and girls in 11 and Under, 12-13, 14-15 and 16 and over age groups.
400m IM for boys began the programme, where Darragh Bailey swam a huge personal best (PB) of 5:35.42 in one of swimming’s hardest disciplines to finish 5th in the boys’ 14-15-year-olds section.
Butterfly was next on the list with the girls taking to the pool first. Roisín Campbell was a creditable 14th (1:45.36) in the under 11 section with her first competitive 100m butterfly swim, having shattered the ‘A’ time for 50m recently. In the 12-13-year-olds, there was yet another powerful performance from Sarah Kelly, who won the gold medal in a short course PB of 1:06.17, the fastest female time of the day. The 14-15 year olds gave another set of strong performances, with Olivia Fullard 4th in the final in 1:15.95 having qualified in a PB of 1:13.62 from her heat swim. Leah Feane was first reserve for the final (7th in 1:17.76), Lucy Madden was 8th in 1:19.50, Sasha Hibbs finished 12th in 1:26.81, Tymora Freeman-Stannett 13th in 1:27.06 and Emma Ryan was 21st in a PB of 1:31.93. The 16 and overs brought more medal success, with Clare Geogeghan winning the silver in 1:10.89 (1:10.05 in the heats). Erica Delaney also made the senior final and was 5th in 1:25.83, improving her entry time by over a second.
The boys had mixed fortunes in their fly swims. Mikey Moran made the final of the U11 boys 100m butterfly, finishing 4th in a big PB of 1:29.86, having clocked 1:32.22 in his heat. In the 12-13 section, Kevin Lannon was 26th in 1:37.00 in his first attempt at the ‘A’ level for this event, while Darragh Bailey improved his PB to 1:10.68 in the 14-15 age group to finish 9th.
Eight of the Coman’s girls took on the gruelling 400m Individual Medley, and Sarah Kelly was again the outstanding female performer of the day, shattering her short course PB as she romped to another gold medal in the 12-13 year olds age group in a stunning 5:13.66. Olivia Fullard won the bronze medal in the 14-15 year olds 400m IM in a PB of 5:38.95, showing good form ahead of the National Short Course Championships. Leah Feane was 5th in another good PB of 5:58.10, Lucy Madden finished 9th in 6:08.19, Sasha Hibbs was 10th in 6:09.87, and Tymora Freeman-Stannett was 12th in 6:22.22. In the Senior section, Clare Geogeghan won the bronze medal in 5:36.44, while Erica Delaney was 4th in 6:11.28.
100m freestyle brought the day to a close for the boys, and Mikey Moran reached his second final of the day, where he finished 6th in the under 11 section in 1:14.39, another PB for the promising youngster. Kevin Lannon also had a PB performance in the 12-13 year olds event, improving by over three seconds to 1:13.54 to finish 24th, and Darragh Bailey swam 1:03.42 to finish 12th in the 14-15 age group.
Sarah Kelly again stole the freestyle headlines when she won her third gold medal in the 12-13 age group in another best female time of the day, 1:01.40 which shaved 0.2 of a second off her recent short course PB. None of the 14-15 year olds qualified for the freestyle final, Olivia Fullard fared best with an 9th place finish in 1:08.11, Sasha Hibbs was 10th in 1:08.12, Lucy Madden had a PB of 1:09.74 in 15th place, a return to her best form following a long lay-off from the sport. Tymora Freeman-Stannett,(19th in 1:10.82) Leah Feane, (20th in 1:10.83) and Emma Ryan (21st in 1:11.56) were also locked together in the middle of the pack. Clare Geogeghan and Erica Delaney both made the Senior freestyle final, where Clare, having achieved a PB of 1:03.66 in her heat, won the silver medal in the final in 1:03.88 to cap another good series of results. Erica was 6th in 1:11.82, unfortunately below her best this time around.
There were bronze medals for the girls 14-15 year olds 4 x 50m freestyle relay team, Olivia (30.80), Tymora (32.34) Emma (32.21) and Leah (31.42) taking the team home in a total time of 2:06.77.
The Irish Short Course Championships come to the Connacht region this week when they are held at Leisureland, Galway from November 18th -21st. Coman’s SC will be represented by Sarah Kelly, Olivia Fullard and Clare Geogeghan, while Romy Madden misses out due to injury.