Banbridge ASC came away from the Aquasprint A final with bronze medals earlier this month.
They travelled to Bangor Aurora for an exciting final at the end of the Aquasprint season.
They were competing against the mighty clubs Ards and Bangor. Both of these clubs train regularly in this pool so their young swimmers are used to the high blocks and deep water.
All three teams arrived in their club colours, Ards in green, Bangor in blue and Banbridge in red. They were covered in war paint, had on silly hats and wigs and the atmosphere was electric.
The Group A Medley relay team in the fastest lane consisted of Thomas Evans, Lauren Burns-Atkins, Katie McFarlane and Noah Breen. They took four seconds off their previous time. Group B were Megan Williams, Bailey Breen, Ciara Daly and Pearse Rice. They took six seconds off their personal best.
Group C were Ellie Bingham, Jodie McMullen, Ronan Quinn and Isaac Forsythe. They took four seconds off. Group D were Clodagh McGrady, Rachel Blemmings, Niall McGeown and Peter Bigley, who were five seconds quicker. Both Groups C and D came second.
The backstroke events were up next, beginning with the Group A girls. Katie McFarlane came second. Maya Forsythe and Katie Smith also swam backstroke. Group A boys saw Noah Breen, Ben Wilson and Thomas Evans fight for their positions.
Group B girls had Ciara Daly, Alana Burns-Atkins and Megan Williams in Bann’s top three places. Group B boys had Bailey Breen, Pearse Rice and James McMullen in Bann’s top three. Group C girls saw Ellie Bingham in third place overall and Jodie McMullen in fourth. Sarah McEvoy also swam backstroke. Group C boys had Isaac Forsythe, Ronan Quinn and Carter Bell positioning in that order.
Group D girls had Rachel Blemmings in second overall and Sorcha Boersma in fourth. Jenny Morrow also swam backstroke. Finally in Group D boys, Finlay Wright and Peter Bigley were second and third while Matthew McKee also swam backstroke.
The breaststroke events began with Group A girls Katie McFarlane, Lauren Burns-Atkins and Katie Smith taking to the blocks. Group A boy swimmers were Noah Breen, Thomas Evans and Cathal Hill.
Group B girls were Ciara Daly, Holly McKibbin and Megan Williams. Group B boys had a strong finish with Bailey Breen in second. Pearse Rice and Caelan McCracken also swam breaststroke. Group C girl Jodie McMullen won her breaststroke event by the skin of her teeth. It was an impressive finish. Dia McCrory and Sarah McEvoy also swam this event.
Jack Lennon swam for Group C boys and came third. Ronan Quinn and Carter Bell also swam. Group D girls saw Rachel Blemmings in second and Jenny Morrow and Sorcha Boersma also swam. Group D boys were led by Senan Carr in second, followed by Niall McGeown and Taylor Hill.
The next event was the exciting butterfly event with Group A girls taking to the block again and Katie McFarlane bringing in another second. Edie McCusker and Aine McGrady also swam fly.
The boys A Group were led by Noah Breen and followed by Ben Wilson and Cathal Hill. Group B girls saw Ciara Daly, Holly McKibbin and Megan Williams take to the water. Group B boys had Bailey Breen, Pearse Rice and James McMullen giving their all in the fly races.
Group C girls had Jodie McMullen in third with Ellie Bingham in fourth and Sarah McEvoy in eighth. Ronan Quinn was fourth for Group C boys and Jack Lennon and Jack Dougan were fifth and seventh. Group D girls had Rachel Blemmings in second. Clodagh McGrady and Jenny Morrow also swam fly. Group D boys saw an excellent swim from Peter Bigley in 2nd and Finlay Wright in fourth.
In the freestyle individual events, Group A girls, Katie McFarlane, Edi McCusker and Lauren Burns-Atkins swam excellent times. Group A boys saw Noah Breen, Cathal Hill and Thomas Evans give their best. Group B girls had Alana Burns-Atkins, Ciara Daly and Megan Williams in the line-up. Group B boys included Bailey Breen who was second. His team mates were James McMullan and Pearse Rice who also pulled off impressive times.
The top three Group C girls were Jodie McMullan, Ellie Bingham and Sarah McEvoy and for the boys, Ronan Quinn, Isaac Forsythe and Jack Dougan. The Group D girls were very focused and Sorcha Boersma swam a fabulous race, coming in second with Rachel Blemmins on her heels. Finally, Peter Bigley swam out of his skin, finishing first, followed by Finlay Wright and Niall McGeown.
The freestyle relays were the last four events out of 40 and Banbridge pushed it to the limit. Edi McCusker, Thomas Evans, Noah Breen and Katie McFarlane swam for the A group. Alana Burns-Atkins, Ciara Daly, Pearse Rice and Bailey Breen swam for the B group. Ellie Bingham, Isaac Forsythe, Ronan Quinn and Jodie McMullan were the C group and Sorcha Boersma, Niall McGeown, Rachel Blemmings and Peter Bigley finished off the events for the D Group.
It was an honour for Bann to swim in the A final and it was all thanks to the wonderful swimmers, coaches and parent/volunteers.
The club send thanks to Geraldine, Patrick Dougan, Lee Galloway, Colin McMullan and Jenny Wilson for their hard work and support at the gala.
The next big gala is Division Two in Limerick. As many as 17 swimmers have qualified, including nine year old Katie McFarlane who bypassed all the development galas and went straight to Division Two.