Just two weeks after the Gerry Ryan Invitational gala, County Sligo swimming Club made the journey back to the 50m swimming pool at the University Arena, Limerick. Along with head coach, Eduardo Santos, fourteen Sligo swimmers made their way to Limerick to compete in this two-day Connacht/Munster Qualifying Meet. For a number of the Sligo swimmers, this was their first time to compete in a 50m pool.
This regional competition was an opportunity for the swimmers to achieve qualification times for entry to the Connacht Long Course Championships, the Irish Division 2 National Competition and the Irish Summer LC National Championships.
Competing in the Connacht category, Sligo Swim Club had a total of fourteen podium finishes over the course of the weekend. Competing in the male 14 & over age group, Anthony Maher had a successful gala winning gold in the 200m breaststroke, silver in the 100m breaststroke and silver in 200m IM. Anthony also qualified for the Irish Division 2 National Competition in all three events.
Killian Langton (13) won one gold and one silver medal in the male 12-13 age group, with a win in the 50m freestyle and a second-place finish in the 100m breaststroke. Killian also qualified for the Irish Division 2 National Competition in a total of four events.
Competing in the female 14 and over age group, Wiktoria Weinert (15) won a fine gold in the difficult 400m IM event, however more importantly, her time of 5:47.24 was fast enough for her to qualify in the same event in the Irish Summer LC National Championships, which is the highlight of the Irish swimming calendar. Wiktoria also won a bronze medal in the 100m butterfly.
Ciara Connaughton-Jones (13) won a total of four medals, claiming silver in the 200m breaststroke and bronzes in 200m backstroke, 200m IM and 100m breaststroke, while also qualifying for the Irish Division 2 National Competition.
Despite being ill over the course of the gala, Danielle Farrell still managed to come home with two gold medals, in the 100m and 200m freestyle races while Caoimhe O’Sullivan won the bronze in 100m breaststroke.
A number of other Sligo swimmers achieved qualifying times for one or more events in the Irish Division 2 National Competition. These were Liadan Ruddy, Tara Walsh, Alice McPartlan, Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Maria Lyons and Anna O’ Connor. The other Sligo swimmers to compete in Limerick were Penny Lee, Ella O’Donovan and Grace Kehoe. This concluded a very positive meet for the team Sligo swimmers and the club would like to sincerely thank all the team staff for their work supporting the swimmers over the two days.
Next up for the club is the 2018 Dave McCullagh International which will take place in the Bangor Aurora Leisure Center, Bangor from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th February. Everyone involved with County Sligo Swimming Club would like to wish the seven swimmers from the club the very best of luck at this major gala. The swimmers competing are Jade Murphy, Carrie McDaid, Dannielle Farrell, Ronan Anderson, Eoin Anderson, Ronan Kilcoyne and Odhran O’Hara.