Twenty-eight swimmers from Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club made their way to the Spring Meet in Bangor from 12th to 14th February.
Bangor’s beautiful new Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex was the venue for the Swim Ulster long course Qualifying gala.
Despite three swimmers from Banbridge having to pull out due to sickness, there was still a strong local team at the event.
Ten-year old Jodie McMullen had a wonderful weekend, medalling in all five events that she entered.
She won gold in 400m freestyle and silver in 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200IM. Four of these events she achieved Ulster Age Group times and a Division 2 time in 200IM.
Ronan Quinn, another strong ten-year old swimmer, also medalled in five events. He won gold in his favourite event 100m butterfly, silver in 100m freestyle and 200IM and bronze in 100m breaststroke and 200m freestyle.
He also came 4th in 400m freestyle and 6th in 200m breaststroke. He achieved personal bests in all seven events.
Ronan now has three Ulster Age Group times and these are also Division 2 times. Well done Ronan!
Issac Forsythe, also ten years old, had an excellent time in 400m freestyle and won bronze. He already has a Division 2 and Ulster Age Group time in 200m backstroke which is one of his best events.
Issac took 20 seconds off the 400m freestyle and 14 seconds off 100m breaststroke.
Moving up the age groups, Sorcha Boersma, an eleven-year old, swam an excellent 200IM and took 12 seconds off her previous time. She also had a 2 second pb in 200m backstroke.
Niall McGeown, also eleven, had an impressive performance in the tough 800m freestyle on Friday night in which he won gold. He also won silver medals in 200m breaststroke, 200m freestyle and the gruelling 400IM, which he swam so well.
Niall achieved two Division 2 times in 200IM and 200m freestyle and he had a 12 second pb in 200m breaststroke.
Finlay Wright won a bronze medal in his first attempt at 400IM and did it in an excellent time.
He took 29 seconds off his pb in 400m freestyle and made an Ulster Age Group time. He also took 5 seconds off 200m freestyle and made another UAG time.
Taylor Hill came so close to getting a Division 2 time in 100m breaststroke. He is only 1 second off. He took 3 seconds off 100m fly and a big 11 seconds off 200m freestyle.
Lawson Morrow had excellent pb’s in 400m freestyle where he took off 10 seconds and 14 seconds off the 200m freestyle.
The final 11 year old boy Tom King had a great pb of 15 seconds in 200m freestyle and 8 seconds off 100m breaststroke.
Banbridge’s 12 year old girls included Julia Knox who only swam one event as she has several Irish and British times under her belt.
She won gold in the 1500m freestyle with a fabulous time of 18:38.87. Ruby McNiff came in second in this event with another great time just missing a Division 1 time. She also achieved a silver medal in 200m backstroke and took 2 seconds 200m breaststroke.
Kathryn McGrath came 3rd in the gruelling 1500m event. Jessica McMullen was in great shape as she achieved at least 6 Ulster Age Group times.
Clodagh McGrady attended her first qualifying gala and began work on her personal best times. Rachel Blemmings achieved silver medals in 800m freestyle, 400IM and 200m backstroke. Rachel Allenby took 15 seconds off her personal best in 400m freestyle and she swam a brave 800m freestyle.
Adam Wilson, at 12 years of age swam a difficult 200m fly and won a silver medal for his effort in a sub 3min time. He just missed a Division 1 time in this event but made Ulster Age Groups in all his events.
Dawson Patterson swam 5 events including the 800m freestyle and has UAG and Division 2 times in all of these.
Daniel Brown swam several bests in 100m and 200m backstroke and achieving UAG’S as well 8 seconds off 400m freestyle and 7 seconds off 200m freestyle.
The 13 year old swimmers included Maeve Cleland, Becki Pinkerton and Caitlin Kearney.
Maeve only swam the 1500m freestyle and was awarded a silver medal for her performance. Becki came in just behind her in 4th place.
Caitlin had a great weekend achieving Division 2 for the first time and in 2 events, the 800m freestyle and 100m freestyle. As the swimmers get older the times are harder to reach and Caitlin did it. She also achieved UAG times and was very close to Division 2 in several events.
The 13 year old boys included Jack Bingham and Declan McGeown. Jack swam an exhausting 12 events at one meet and won 2 silver medals and 3 bronze medals.
He had a massive 21 second pb in 200m breaststroke, 5 seconds in 400m freestyle and 4 seconds in 200IM.
Declan swam an excellent 800m freestyle as well as achieving many personal bests including 7 seconds off 100m and 200m freestyle.
Fourteen year old William Pinkerton swam 2 events, the 800m freestyle which he did in an excellent and 100m freestyle in which he knocked off 2 more seconds.
Christopher Morrow was awarded a bronze medal in 100m backstroke and had many personal bests throughout the meet. He took 10 seconds off 200m backstroke, 8 seconds off 400m freestyle,6 seconds off 100m backstroke and 5 seconds off 200m freestyle.
Fifteen year old Aaron Brown was 4th in his 200m backstroke and he took off 4 seconds. He also took an impressive 10 seconds off his 200IM.
Finally, the club’s oldest swimmer at the meet was 16 year old Ross Johnston and he took one second off both 200IM and 100m freestyle. These are also Division 2 times.
Well done to all swimmers. The next big, important gala is the Ulster Age Groups in April so the best of luck to you all.
Thanks to coaches who attended the gala, Graham, Fiona and Geraldine. Thanks also to parents doing officiating especially timekeeping, marshalling, recording, medals, turn and stroke judges and referee and starters.