Its only the 2nd of October and already the competitive season is in full flow.
Last weekend the club got off to a winning start in the Provincial Towns League (PTL) in a home fixture against Ballymena Swimming Club. Then this weekend the 1st of Swim Ulster’s Development galas took place.
The range of swimmer taking part in these meets went from some competing in their first ever meet to Irish and Ulster Champions.
More important than the great club win and the list of personal bests achieved (and medals won) is the manor of the swims. I have been head coach for a little over 3 years and saw more skills to be proud of, and from more swimmers, than at any other meet so far.
The willingness of the vast majority of our young athletes to sacrifice the ‘splash and dash’ in favour of higher skills and a long term gain was incredibly pleasing. It is always great to see the efforts of our coaching team start to pay off.
it is still very early days in a very big season for our club but it is a fantastic start.
Quite possibly the longest title for a Gala in the entire history of swimming 😕
A small team travelled from Larne to this 5 day competition in Dublin with only 7 athletes making the trip.
Danielle Hill, 2 weeks out from her focus meet, is using this as an opportunity for some long course work and racing tough off no rest. The 200Free in session 1 was 1st, making the final but electing to put in a 4k training set rather than race the final. There are much bigger fish to fry this month so watch this space.
The new format for this year say Mairead, Adam and Ben come down for 2nd session. All 3 racing 100BRS. Both Mairead and Adam putting in solid swims but it was Ben’s day with a huge PB in the heats to qualify for the final and taking a further full second off to claim the clubs 1st medal of the meet.
Danielle once again got the session off to a good start with the 50free (an event she holds the Irish senior Record for). An easy qualification for the final followed and then a very impressive 26.2 unrested was enough to once again claim the Irish title.
Adam and Ryan both swam the 100 fly with Adam producing a personal best performance before completing a tough double with the 200 BRS. While Ryan produced his fastest morning swim just missing a PB time.
Cal had his 1st experience of the Irish Age Groups with his 1500 free and did himself proud with a swim right on his PB time.
Arguably the 2 best swims of the day came from Ben again. The heats of the 200BrS saw a huge 8 second best time to qualify fastest for the 14/15 final. Not content with that the final saw him take another 4 seconds off to claim his 2nd Gold of the meet. The time of 2:29 was also comfortably inside the new Swim Ireland National squad time for his age.
The club now has, potentially, 3 swimmers on the national program for the 1st time in a few years.
Danielle was again 1st in the pool, the 50BC this time. The heat was saw her qualify in fastest position. The final in the evening and Danielle once again showed that she is the class act in Ireland in this event finishing in 29.0.
Adam, Ryan and Ben all contested the 200 IM with Ben progressing through to the final with another Personal Best performance. The final saw him improve once again finishing in 5th place.
Adam, recovering from tonsillitis, again had a tough double with the 100 Free to finish off his meet.
A tough day for everyone with Danielle completing a double, the 100 BC & FS, Ryan in the 200 FLY and Mairead travelling down for the 100BC.
Danielle finished a very close 2nd in the 100FS finishing very fast and only just missing out on the Gold, a 1st place in the BC almost making up for that disappointment.
Ryan kept his best swim of the week for the 200FLY qualifying 8th for the final and producing a best time to finish 7th.
With the focus on the Slovenian open in August, Danielle only planned to swim the heats of the 200 FLY and head home to finish off race prep. A 2:19 in the morning qualified fastest for the final in her fastest even heat swim – a very encouraging end to a tough week of racing.
Conor Brines made his 1st appearance of the week in the 50FLY and didn’t disappoint with a Gold medal taking the clubs total to 8 for the week (not bad with a team of only 7 athletes)
A team of 48 swimmers aged 8 to 17 made the short trip to East Belfast to compete in this duel style meet against Templemore SC.
With this meet coming just 6 days before the 1st Swim Ireland selection meet of the season we fielded a rotated team, giving an opportunity to swimmers to swim events theybwud notmally not compete in.
2 of our youngest age group had never competed at all before and were thrown in at the deep end (or…..1 of the 2 shallow ends in Avoniel Leisure Centre)
No diving for the A group and shallow dives for everyone else robbed us of the racing skills we have been working on but there were still some scope to show off a much improved underwater and turns level of performance.
The team spirit show by everyone was a highlight of the night and is becomig a hallmark of Larne PTL nights with the oldest swimmers staying on deck to cheer the smallest swimmers.
A fantastic night of racing and great fun Templemore 551
The change in the qualifying rules for Irish Age Groups saw a smaller than usual team of swimmers from Larne SC compete in the 1st qualifying competition of the year.
Those who did race did so real well.
The 1st session is always a long 1 with the 800 and 1500 both being contested. 6 girls and 1 boy from the club stayed in Lisburn until after 9pm to get a PB time.
Their wait was rewarded with a 100% strike rate. Anna & Amy C, Amy McC, Siobhan, Cher & Holly all produced life time bests while Cal had his 1st experience of the longest pool race in the Olympic program – the 1500 Free.
Day 2 got under way with PBS for Adam, Jan and Luke in the 200 IM and Siobhan, Holly and Ysabella in the 100 FLY to maintain the impressive run of PBs
More PBs for Adam and Jan followed in the 100 Free with bothe guys just missing out on breaking 60 seconds for the 1st time.
After Molly and Ysabella raced 50 fly, Jan brought the morning session to a close with another PB, in the 50 BC this time.
Session 3 and, back on Freestyle, the PBs kept coming with the boys 400FS and the girls 200, Chloe, Cher, Ysabella, Giulia and Cal all setting lifetime bests.
Call (again) also swam 200BRS just missing out on a PB while Dave (the rave) smashed his PB in the same event by 20 seconds.
The club has a bit of an iffinity with backstroke but they girls all topped up and carried on the clubs tradition with Gr8 PBs for Sienna (her 1st PB in a while showing that hard work always pays off) and Giulia (who took 12 seconds off her 100 BC time)
We seem of have found a new ‘ironman’ in Luke Calwell who completed his 1st 200Fly this afternoon and his last 50 was his quickest so there is loads more to come. Adam also swam to a solid PB in this event.
The sprint events brought the curtain down on day 2 of the winter qualifiers and Ysabella and Cher both swimming to significant PBs in the 50 free, Jan in the 50 BRS swam his 5th PB of the weekend and Sienna in the 100 IM proved that PBs are like buses, you wait ages for 1 then 2 come along together.
A big team of 28 swimmers travel from East Antrim to Blanchardstown in Dublin this week to compete in Swim Ireland annual season ending age group youth and open summer championships.
While 37 swimmers qualified for the meet the slightly later scheduling means that only 28 are able to travel.
It has been a long hard season that has seen the club represented at national level in Ireland and Scotland, (picking up numerous titles in both) as well as Internationally at European Juniors in Hungary (where again we brought home medals) and in London at European seniors. This has been a season that has seen the club start to grow into the high performing center towards which we are striving.
This weekend the youth and age group sections take centre stage….
Follow this blog to updates as we progress…..
What a way to finish the season!
A small team of only 3 swimmers from Larne Swimming Club headed to Limerick today to compete in Division 2 of the Irish Age Groups.
Holly Woodside, Siobhan Baine and Giulia Allen are all competing at this level for the first time having qualified through the Swim Ulster Regional meets.
While the team is one of the smallest travelling Junior Squad Coach Fiona Hillier, who travels with the team today, is confident they can have a great meet and finish their season on a real high.
We will keep updating this post with results once the girls start racing tomorrow.
A fantastic 1st day of racing for the girls with Giulia swimming to three PB times – 1 in each of the heats of the medley and the breaststroke and another in the final of the breast (where she picked up a bronze to go with her 4th place from the IM). Holly Woodside also swam 2 PB times in the breaststroke making the final and placing 6th.
Siobhan came real close to a lifetime best swim in her 1st race outside Ulster as well.
Well done girls can’t wait for the rest of the weekend
20 swimmers competed at the last qualifying gala of the year being run by Swim Ulster this season.
This was a long course meet and provided an opportunity for swimmers to achieve qualifying times for Irish Age Goups in the summer.
For some this was their 1st qualifying gala having graduated from the development series.
Four club members started the 800 free in the 1st session and every one of them recorded lifetime best swims and picked up the gold in their individual age groups. (Amy McCullough took an incredible 1 in 45 sec off her entry time)
There were 26 swims on the 2nd day of the meet spread across 2 sessions. 22 Personal Bests, 5 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze.
Special mention reserved for Luke Caldwell competing in his 1st Qualifying Meet and picking up a load of personal bests and a few medals.
39 swims 33 personal best time 7 gold 1 silver & 3 bronze. Yan Manilili took home a bag full of gold medals today and qualifying for Div 2 in almost everything (as well as keeping us entertained with his rapping…….that’s right RAPPING!!!!)
The skills on display across the whole team really impressed me. The commitment to working the underwater phase of the race was very commendible and while there is always room for improvement this is unrecognisable from a year ago.
Well done everyone on a great weekends work.
Next up we have the Aquasprint final and the Bangor open meet in June.