There were many happy faces at the Westport Swimming Gala last Sunday as Sligo’s junior team made waves achieving the highest number of medal winners of the tournament. The team returned home with 8 first place, 10 second place and 6 third place positions. The vast majority of Sligo’s team achieved personal best times (over 80%!) in their combined 76 swims, a hugely encouraging figure for the club. Sligo was pitched against Westport, Claremorris, Ballina Dolphins, Ballina Swim Club and Castlebar Swim Club in a 50m Gala of all four strokes and a freestyle mixed relay. “It was a brilliant performance from the Sligo team” commented a delighted Head Coach Eduardo Santos, “the club performance could not be better!”.
In top form at the event was Cliodhna O’Sullivan (12-13 category) who came 1st in breaststroke, Fly & Freestyle and Anna O’Connor (U11) who came 2nd in both Backstroke and Breaststroke. Ellen Hunter and her sister Lauren (U11) performed superbly in all their races, with Ellen coming 2nd in Fly, closely followed by Lauren in 3rd place. Ellen also came 3rdin Freestyle. Vikoria Jedrol (14+), who has been consistently performing well in recent years achieved 2nd place in Backstroke and Fly, and 3rd in Breaststroke. Rachel McManus was strong in the 12-13 age group winning her Backstroke race and achieving 2nd in Breaststroke. Other mentionable swimmers were Jane Bradley (U11), 2nd in Freestyle, Jessica Greer (12-13), 2nd in Fly, Aoibhin McGlinchey (U11), 2nd in Breaststroke, and Cliona Walker (14+), 3rd in Backstroke.
In the boys category, Mark Bradley (U11) won the Freestyle, while Edward McDonagh (12-13 category) won the Backstroke. Mark also came 3rd in his Backstroke, while Edward achieved 2nd in the Fly. Martin Viglas (14+) also achieved 2nd in Fly in his age group. The relay teams went all out for a strong Sligo finish with the mixed team of Cliodhna O’Sullivan, Matthew Ryan, Edward McDonagh and Wikoria Jedrol winning the 12 and over 200m Freestyle Relay and the U11 team taking 2nd place in the same distance, with team members Martin Viglas, Jane Bradley, Mark Bradley and Lily O’Grady.