The Irish Schools Swimming Championships, held recently at Leisureland in Galway, attracted a sizeable entry from all corners of Ireland as the Connacht region hosted a National competition for the second time this season. Three Roscommon schools were represented, and all three teams came home with something to show for their efforts. All of the girls train with Coman’s Swimming Club in Roscommon.
Swimmers were divided into Junior, Intermediate and Senior age groups and they had pre-qualified at regional level for races over 100m in all four strokes, and 200m Individual Medley. The National Finals also feature open age group 200m time trials in all four strokes and a 400m freestyle. The winners of each event were selected to represent Ireland at the annual WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England) International Schools meet, which this year will be held in Dublin on March 26th
To Castlerea Community School first, and Sarah Kelly will represent her country for the second year in a row following her victory in the junior 100m butterfly in a time of 1:07.45, only fractionally ahead of Dubliner Clodagh Flood (1:07.72). Sarah also made the final of the Junior 100m freestyle where she finished 6th in 1:03.72, and was invited in to the 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle time trials.
Despite taking silver medals in both of these events, 13-year-old Sarah was below par in the 200m butterfly as she was beaten by 17 year old India McGlynn from Dublin (2:21.55). Sarah’s time of 2:25.17 was six seconds outside her Connacht Senior Record. However, Sarah posted a short course personal best of 4:33.34 to finish second again behind another 13 year old, Ali Berry from Dublin (4:31.19). Lucy Madden was 14th in the intermediate girls 100m Butterfly in a new PB of 1:19.22, while Romy Madden was 7th in the senior girls 100m freestyle taking half a second off her PB to finish 0.38 of a second outside the Final in 1:02.24.]
Scoil Mhuire, Strokestown student Clare Geogeghan (17) was also among the medals, taking bronze in the open 200m butterfly in a superb PB time of 2:27.07. Clare had another PB in the senior girls 100m butterfly (1:08.40) when she reached the final, and bettered that time again as she finished 4th in 1:08.26. In the senior girls 200m individual medley, Clare had another PB of 2:33.71 and finished in 5th place.
The surprise result of the day came in the Senior Girls 4x50m Freestyle relay, with a young quartet from Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál (Convent of Mercy) Roscommon upsetting a very strong Athlone Community College squad to win bronze medals. Erica Delaney was joined by Intermediate swimmers Olivia Fullard, Sasha Hibbs and Leah Feane as the girls finished third in a very impressive 2:02.83. This was a magnificent result for the Convent squad, and delighted them and their large band of supporters. Olivia, Leah and Sasha were joined by Riona Delaney for the Intermediate Girls 4 x 50m medley relay where they finished 6th.
Earlier in proceedings, Olivia Fullard swam well in the Intermediate Girls 100m Breaststroke, finishing 9th in 1:25.00, and also posted 2:35.64 to finish 7th in the Intermediate Girls 200m individual medley. Sasha Hibbs had a personal best time of 1:07.97 to finish 19th in the Intermediate 100m freestyle, and Leah Feane was 13th in the intermediate girls 100m butterfly in 1:17.71.
All of the students wish to thank their School principals and staff for their support and the hoodies that they were presented with to recognise their achievement in representing their schools at All-Ireland level.
College enjoys swim success
The members of Athlone Community College Swim team achieved fantastic results at the weekend at the Irish Senior Schools Championships which were held in Galway.
Chloe Joyce won gold in the 100mt breaststroke, thus securing her place on the Irish Schools squad at the WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England) Schools Championships. This is Chloe’s first international cap.
Brendan Gibbons also secured his place on the Irish Schools squad for the second time. Brendan did so by coming second in the 200mt and 400mt freestyle and third in the 100mt freestyle. Chloe and Brendan will both represent their school at the WISE schools which will be held in Dublin on the 26th March this year.
Sionann O’Reilly Collins secured a place in three finals in her individual swims. She was 6th in the 100mt butterfly, 4th in 200mt backcrawl and 5th in the 100mt backcrawl. Darragh Joyce competed in the 100mt butterfly also had personal best swims in the 100mt and 200mt breaststroke, coming 6th in the final in the 100mt and 4th in the 200mt open breaststroke. Cian Warby swam well in his 100mt freestyle and backstroke events but was unfortunate not to make a final.
The school’s relay teams also achieved great success with the boy’s intermediate team winning a silver medal in the medley in a time of 2.01.35, while the winning time was 2.01.15.They also came fourth in the freestyle relay. The boys’ team were Ruairi Berryman, John Conlon, Cian Warby, Brendan Gibbons and Darragh Joyce. A special word of thanks must go to Ruairi Berryman who helped secure the team’s place from the Connaught qualifying stage.
The girls’ senior relay team were very unlucky not to secure a medal and were pipped to fourth place in both the medley and freestyle events. This was a wonderful achievement considering two of the girls are at junior level, one is intermediate and only one is actually a senior. The team members are: Katie Jameson, Michelle Gibbons, Sionann O’ Reilly Collins and Chloe Joyce.
All the swimmers are members of Athlone Swimming Club so a special word of thanks to Johnny Powell, their coach. Thanks also to John Joyce who was mentor for the relay teams. Congratulations and well done to all concerned.