The final development gala of this season took place on Saturday 7th May in Larne Leisure Centre and Banbridge ASC had 21 swimmers aged 9 to 14 competing.
The coaches on the day were Doretta Rippon and Patrick Dougan, who as ever had words of wisdom and generally encouraged all the swimmers to give their best.
The young swimmers took home 21 medals, achieved nine qualifying times and two of which were Division Two times.
Many thanks to the BASC parents, who were also busy as usual, taking on their roles as stroke judges, turn judge, time keepers and gala secretary. Also many thanks to parents and supporters in the gallery, they were all in great form ready to support the BASC swimmers.
When it got down to the swimming 16 out the 21 swimmers entered all the events, making the long trip to Larne worth while.
The youngest included; Nine year olds, Noah Breen, Caelan McCracken, Pearse Rice, Ciara Daly, Edie McCusker and Megan Williams.
For Noah and Edie who recently turned nine – this was their first development gala and both provided that they were ready for the challenge.
Noah earned personal bests (PBs) in the 100IM, 100M Back and 200IM were he came fourth. He also swam to fourth place in the 100M Free - this is a really great achievement for someone so young.
Caelan and Pearse also swam 100IM, 100M back, 200IM and 100M Free, achieving PB’s and Pearse picked up two medals – silver in the 200IM in a time of 3.43.58 and bronze in 100M free in a time of 1.30.30.
The girls performed well also, Ciara swim in all four swims 200M free, 100M fly and 200M back and 100M breast, and came third in the 100M fly in a great time of 2.03.36, she also achieved PB’s in all her swims.
Megan Williams also had a good day swimming the same four events and achieved PBs in 200M back and 100M breast.
Edie McCusker swam well in her three events. She achieved PBs in 200M free and 100M breast, a good achievement for her first development gala.
The next group of swimmers included; 10 year old Bailey Breen, Daniel Crowe and Jack Dougan, Alana Burns-Atkin, Dia McCrory, Niamh McGeown and Holly McKibben.
Both Jack D and Bailey had one qualifying time before the start of the day and they were both hoping to add to these times (swimmers need three qualifying times to progress).
Bailey had a great day’s swimming as usual, earning PB times in all his strokes. He also picked up three medals, gold in 100IM and 200IM and silver in 100M free. His 200IM swim time of 3.22.18 was also a qualifying time.
Jack D also achieved PB times in all his swims, and picked up two silver medals in his 100IM and 100M back.
Jack D has also achieved his final necessary qualifying times to move on from development galas to qualifying meets.
Daniel Crowe also swam well in all four events; he achieved PB times in the 100M back in a time of 1.47.19 and 100M Free in 1.47.23.
The girls performed well too. Alana, Dia, Niamh and Holly all swam in the four female events – 200M free, 100M fly, 200M back and 100M breast and all achieved PB times.
Dia McCrory picked up two medals – silver in the 200M free in a time of 3.04.29 and gold in the 100M breast in 1.41.67 seconds. This is Dia’s first qualifying time and it’s also a division two time – a great achievement for Dia.
The 11 year olds competing were Sarah McEvoy and boys Senan Carr, Jack Lennon, Christopher Mahood and Peter McGrath.
Christopher and Peter both swam the 100IM and 100M back, Peter achieved PBs in both events.
Sarah, Senan and Jack L all already had two qualifying times each and all were determined to achieve finals times today to move on from development to qualifying meets and each did not disappoint.
Senan swam three events - 100M free, 200IM and 100M back. He picked up silver medals in both 200IM swam in a time of 3.16.78 and 100M back swam in a time of 1.19.21. Both these swims were also qualifying times. Senan also has two Division Two times achieved earlier in the year.
Jack Lennon swam in four events and his morning got of well coming first in 100IM and second in 100M back – this gave him his final qualifying time. He was determined to achieve more and came back in the afternoon to swim 200IM and 100M free.
In both these events he achieved more qualifying times and also came first in both events. He did especially well in his 200IM which he swam in a time of 3.07.25 which is a Division Two time.
He finished the day picking up four medals (3 gold and 1 silver), achieved three more qualifying times, one of which is a Division Two time – a great achievement for Jack Lennon.
Sarah McEvoy swam the 200M free in 3.06.39, 100M fly in 1.42.89 – a PB and 100M breast in 1.46.05 – this was her final qualifying time and she also swam to third place picking up a bronze medal.
Sarah will also be heading to qualifying meets with Jack Dougan, Jack Lennon and Senan Carr.
The 12 year old girls were Aishling Fusciardi and Oriana Thompson. Both girls swam 200m free, 100M fly, 200M back and 100M breast. Oriana achieved PBs in all her events.
Aishling also achieved PBs in 200M free, 200M back and 100M breast and picked up two bronze medals in 200M free swam in a time of 2.54.94 and 100M fly swam in 1.36.52.
Finally swimming was 14 year old Erin Smyth. She competed in 200M free were she swam to second place in a time of 2.43.20 and she picked up a gold in 100M fly swam in 1.25.42 – this is also a qualifying time.