Glory for locals at first Aquasprint of the season

Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club had a superb start to the season with a strong win against Lisburn.

This was the first ever success against this large club and Banbridge ASC swam to glory in their home pool of Banbridge Leisure Centre on January 31.

Banbridge are in the First Division along with Lisburn, Ards, Coleraine and Bangor. With each of them very strong clubs, it is an equal battle.

Each competition has 40 separate events: 4 Medley Relays, one in each of the 4 age group, consisting of 2 girls and 2 boys, 2 backstroke events in each age group, 2 breaststroke in each age group, 2 butterfly events in each age group, 2 freestyle events in each age group and finally 4 Freestyle Relays, consisting of 2 girls and 2 boys.

In all the relay events, Banbridge were very strong and they succeeded in winning 7 out of 8 of the relay events which made a huge impact on the final score.

For many swimmers, this was the first time they entered a swimming competition. The new girls consisted of Megan Williams, Ciara Daly, Holly Hubert and Alana Burns-Atkins.

Also in the girls A group were young swimmers from last year who remain in the A group as their birthdays fall in 2006, Katie McFarlane and Holly McKibbin.

Katie had a super night’s swimming as she came 2nd in every event. Holly McKibbin was in her element with 3rd in breaststroke, fly and freestyle.

Megan was 3rd in breaststroke and 6th in backstroke. Ciara pulled off an excellent time in butterfly and both Holly Hubert and Alana achieved a 5th position, Holly in freestyle and Alana in backstroke.

The new boys in A group delivered a superb performance. Twins Bailey and Noah Breen did their parents proud with top 5 positions every time. Bailey was in excellent shape with 1st places in breaststroke, fly and freestyle and a 2nd in backstroke.

His brother also swam his heart out and achieved 3rd in fly, 4th in both fly and freestyle and 5th in backstroke. Pearse Rice swam superbly with a 2nd in breaststroke, 3rd in freestyle, 4th in backstroke and 5th in fly.

The group B girls showed their strength and experience with a fine display from Niamh McGeown, Sara McEvoy, Dia McCrory, Katie McCombe and newcomer Ellie Bingham. Niamh was 3rd in freestyle and 6th in fly. Sarah came 3rd in 3 events, backstroke, breaststroke and fly as well as a 5th in freestyle. Ellie came out in style with 4th places in backstroke and fly and 6th in freestyle. Dia had a good night with 4th in breaststroke and 6th in backstroke. Katie also achieved a 6th in breaststroke. Sara Calvert also swam in relays.

Group B boys came out in force, led by Ronan Quinn and Issac Forsythe. Their strong team mates included young Jack Dougan, Jack Lennon, Peter McGrath (all swimming from last year) and newcomers, Carter Bell and Christopher Mahood. Every event was won by this group.

Group C girls had a winning night as Rachel Blemmings won all 4 of her events and certainly set a high standard.

Group C boys were in excellent shape with Peter Bigley leading his team. He achieved 1st in backstroke, 2nd in freestyle and 3rd in fly.

Finally, to the Group D, the girls were a fine team with captain, Julia Knox taking the lead. There was stiff competition in this group from Lisburn but Julia still managed to secure 1st place in breaststroke and fly and 2nd in backstroke and freestyle.

The group D boys were led by captain Dawson Patterson, who came 2nd in backstroke, 3rd in fly and 4th in freestyle.

The final score was Banbridge 225 Lisburn 175

The next Aquasprint will be against Ards on March 6 in Newtownards.