Every two years the sporting world get together to celebrate the summer universiade.
This summer the 29th univarsiade is being help in Taipei with athletes from all over the world travelling to compete for their country.
Larne Swimming Club ambassador Conor Brines (a student in Queens University Belfast) has beenot selected for the Irish team.
The team travelled to Taipei on Monday 14th August for a week aclimitisation before competition started on Sunday the 20th.
Conor is contesting the 50 and 100 FLY.
The 50 FLY up first on the Sunday and what an introduction to international competition!! Conor, entered in 17th place, qualified for the semi final but only after tying for 16th place and having a swim off!
A consistent few swims on day one saw him finish 12th and just miss out on a final swim.
Club ambassador Danielle Hill made the trip to Kranj in Slovenia to compete for Ireland in the Slovenian National Championships.
A new experience for coach and swimmer with temperatures at 34° when we arrived and set to soar over the next 4 days. The program for Danielle over the 4 days was at least a familiar one with the 50 and 100 double in both Backstroke and Freestyle.
To say that the environment was a new experience would be an understatement, no swim down pool, no ledges, temp at 40° on evening of 1st final.
However the meet was exceptionally well run and the competition pool itself was absolutely perfect.
Over the 4 events Danielle won 3 Slovenian open titles and picked up a bronze. The highlight undoubtedly being the Irish senior Record in the 50 free in the last event of the week.
The traditional Irish Long Course swimming season/ opener is always the Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala. This event recently elocated to Bangor Aurora from Limerick making it vertually a home meet for Larne SC
A team of 15 athletes, some competing at this level for the 1st time arrived in bangor after 25 weeks of work.
Finn Purdy got the event underway in the 50Bc swimming a PB time and Qualifying for the B final, about 5 minutes later he was back in action again in the 100FS where he swam a solid heat swim. Joining him in the FS was Ryan Lewis who got his meet off to a great start with a huge personal best and followed it up with another in the 200FLY just missing out on a second swim in the later.
Danielle Hill got her long cours sason off to a great start quailifying for both the 50 BC and 10FS finals within 5 minutes of each other.
The mens 100BRS was th last involvement for Larne swimmers on day 1 and Ben Woodside didnt disappoint. The 13 year old competing at this level for the 1st time raced to a lifetime best time and narrowly missed out on a second swim.
The 1st finals session set the bar for the rest of the week with Finn finishing off a great 1st day for him with a solid 50 BC, the Danielle took centre stage – 1st came the 50 BC and a new IRISH SENIOR RECORD now not only the only irish girl to break the 30 second mark but also the 1st to go under 29 posting time inside the commonwealth selection time (the only person to do so this season) the 100 FS (8minutes later) and she produced an stunning performance from the outside lane to claim a silver medal and a new Personal Best.
Saturday got underway with Conor Brines looking to cement his world university games time from last summer. we didnt have to wait long as he posted the qualification time in the heats – job done. Ryan also swam the 50 fly and while he was a little disappointed with the time his skills have greatly improved and, as he showed the rest of the meet, 1 swim doesnt define your meet.
Danielle was back in the pool in the 200FS easily qualifying for the evening session, but with other focuses for the meet we decided not to contest the final. She also raced the 1oo BC and again showed her class in this event by smoothly progressing to the final, Sinead also swam the 100 BC and posted a new PB time qualifying for the evening session.
Lorcan Gourley, not to be outdone by his sister raced to a huge lifetime best in the same event and got his reward with a place in the Bfinal (his 1st at this level)
The breaststrokers were up next in the 200. Erin Barr broke her duck and PB’d in the heats getting a chance to go again in the B final. There where PBs for Zoe, Giulia, David, Ben and Adam as well with Ben again narrowly missing a second swim.
Last but by no means least, Amy Barr completed her 800 FS just outside her best time
The 2nd day of finals had a lot to live up 2 but it didnt disappoint. Conor Brines lowered his Lifetime/best with a dominant performance in the 50FLY. Danielle Took silver in the 100BC in the 2nd fastest time she has ever swam. Lorcan and sinead also backed up their morning swims with really solid evening efforts. and the 4 x 100 FTR brought home and Ulster Silver medal to round off the day.
Finn was back in the pool on Sunday or the 50FS and again produced his best knocking several 10ths of his previous best. Danielle, again progressed to the evening session in this event, a feat she matched in the 200BC.
The 50 BRS and Erin showed her continued progress witha great swim while Chloe looked quite surprised to have qualified for the B final.
Ryan and Conor contested the 100FLY with Conor posting the fastest morning swim, Ryan had his 200IM 3minutes later (a very tough Combo) but posted 2 lifetime bests and 2 reserve slots. there is a lot more to come here i think.
Amy Barr (made us wait for ages for her 400FS, but it was worth it when she not only PB’d but also qualified for the evening session.
Last Session and as is often the case the best was left to last. Danielle produced 1 of the swims of the meet to break a 15 year old Irish Senior Record and become the fastest Irish female ever both long and short. Conor swamto argueably the other swim of the champs (though i am biased) with his 1st Irish Senior Record in the Long curse format smashing the 100Fly time.
Sinead, Chloe and Amy all produced great swims to round off their meet in style.
the very last swim of the championships saw the Girls MTR of Danielle, Erin, Sinead and Chloe claim a very impressive bronze medal.
Over the last 6 weekend Larne Swimming Club athletes have competed in 6 open meets, 1 schools meet, 1 club meet and 1 club time trial.
A lot of racing in anyone’s book
What better way to prepare for Christmas than with Ulster Championships?
A team of 21 swimmers competed for the club over the 3 days of racing in Bangor Aurora.
26 swims in the 1st session and 20 best times and 4 club records were set this morning
Anna Campbell 11-12 800 free
Chloe McKay 13-14 100 free
Giulia Allen 13-14 200 back (mairead O’Mahony was also under old time)
Lui Hurson 15 & Over 400 IM
The womens 100 free saw Danielle Hill continue to show how to swim fast 1st thing in the morning qualifying for the final in 3rd place with a very easy looking 57.3. D also easily qualified fastest for the 200 BC. So another busy night for the fastest female swimmer in Ireland ☺
Chloe and Amy Campbell both also chipped away at their PBs
The 400 IM next and Lui Hurson knocked over 10 seconds off his best to just miss out on the final. He did however make up for this disappointment in the 100 medley qualifying into 2 nights final in 2nd place with another great personal best.
The womens 100 breast was a little hit and miss with 3 PBs out of 5 swims. Most notably Mairead O’Mahony knocling over 4 seconds off her time. While in the men’s event Jan staked his claim for a relay place with a solid swim.
The men’s 50 Fly provided no shocks as new Irish Record holder dominated the heats setting up for hop0yefully anther cracking at his own record later with Ryan Lewis making it 2 Larne athletes through to the final. ZJ then lowered her time by 1.5 seconds in the same event making 2 PBs from 2 swims for bambi after the 100IM.
The 200 BC and again Giullia Allen led the way with an impressive 8 sec PB
The 800 Free and all 4 girls swam impressive best time Amy Campbell and Erin Barr both lowering their times by over 13 seconds.
Ryan and Jan brought the morning session to a close with 2 more best times in the 100 IM, Ryan joining Lui into the final session 2 night.
The Finals session on day 1 got underway with the 100 FS and Danielle continued her improvement in this event taking her time down by over a second to 55.81 picking up a silver medal.
Conor Brines continued his dominance of the sprint fly event with another Gold making him the Ulster, Irish & Scottish open championships. He also lowered the Irish senior Record by 0.05 to stand alone as the fastest Irish flyer. Also in this final was Ryan Lewis who, having posted a best time in the heats, showed that given an evening swim he can go faster again. Something he backed up in his 2nd final of the night the 100 IM.
It wasn’t long before Danielle was back in the pool in what some consider her best stroke, the backstroke, and again she swam to a lifetime best lowering the time she set at Irish Championships 2 weeks ago.
The last individual event was the 100IM and joining Ryan in the final was Lui, who having just missed out on the Junior title in the 400, made up for it with a huge swim of 60.1 to claim a bronze and the Junior title – his 1st medal since winning ‘best rainbow’ painting in PB
The 2 relays brought the session to a close with a Bronze for the Girls and a 4th for the boys.
Chloe McKay – 13-14 50 FS (Erin Barr also under old record)
Adam Mahood – 13-14 200BRS
The 2nd day of the Ulster Championships kicked off with the 200IM, and in her ‘fun event’ of the day Danielle qualified for the final, a feat she would match by qualifying fastest for bothe the 50FS and 100BC later in the session – a great mornings work.
Mairead and Amy Campbell continued to improve both recording best times.
The 100 Free next and Lui & Finn picked up where they left off last weekend by continuing to improve on the times the set in Edinburgh and Qualify for the final in the process. Finn doubled up on his finals with a new best time in the 50BC as well.
Jan, Adam and David all produced life time bests swims in the 200BrS while the girls had a mixed bag in the 50 with PBS from ZJ, Amy and Cher. ZJ getting in 2 a swim off for the evenings session but just missing out on a final place.
Arguably the best swim of the morning belonged to Conor Brines in the 100FLY recording another Irish senior Record to easily qualify fastest for the final. PBs for Ryan and Lui saw them just miss out on evening swims in the same event.
The 100 BC and joining Danielle in the heats was Mairead who finished off her day withe a solid race in the fastest heat.
The last swim of the morning belonged to Amy Barr in the 400FS, having PB’d in this event 2 weeks ago Amy swam to within 1/2 a second of her best.
A record stans for 13 years them falls twice in a week!!
Danielle got the finals session off to an incredible start with another Irish Senior Record in the 50FS winning her 1st Title of the night. She later backed it up with another PB in the 100BC to bring her titles count to 3 so far.
Finn and Lui continued their development into real competitors at this level with their 3rd final each of the weekend in the 100FS Finn stopping the watch under 54 for the 1st time.
In the very next race Finn is back again with the 50BC again posting the 2nd best time he has ever swum.
Conor Brines continues his incredible rise to the top of Irish swimming with a 52.08 Irish senior Record in the 100FLY.
The relays gave an opportunity for some of our younger girls to post a best time in lead off legs and Amy McCullough did just that as Danielle anchored the team to a close run 4th in the 4 x 200FTR
Ryan Lewis did the same in the 4 x 100 FTR with a 4 second PB as the boys split the Ards teams to win silver
The last race of the night, the Mixed Medley FTR saw the team of Finn, Danielle, Chloe and Conor double the silver medal count.
One day left. Surely it can’t get better
16 swims, 9 PBs, 3 club records, 7 finalists
Adam Mahood – 13-14 200 IM
Adam Mahood – 13-14 200Fly
Erin Barr – 15& Over 200 BRS
The last day of racing and the Men’s 200IM is up 1st with Ryan and Adam swimming lifetime bests, both boys would rep eat this feat in the 200 FLY later in the session.
Ryan continues to improve with 2 more finals meaning he has finaled in very event he has entered.
The womens 50 BC and once again Danielle was to the for posting a time 0.01 outside her own Ulster Senior Record qualifying for the final in both this and the 200FS.
Some of the younger girls stepped up to produce huge best times in the 200BrS especially Mairead and Giullia who each knocked over 10 seconds off.
Lui finished in a creditable 6th in the 400FS and finished the morning off with a PB in the 50 FS to make the final in this, a fun event for him.
1 more session 2 go and this run of 9 meets in 6 weekend will be over.
The 1st weekend in December has become the traditional weekend for the Irish National Short Course Championships.
Held in Lisburn each year this is the 1st opportunity for National level swimmers to sound out where they are in ralation to their end of season form.
With no qualification places up for grabs for either National age groups or International teams, the importance of this meet in the national calendar has deminished over the last few years making it a ‘swim through’ meet for the vast majority.
With their focus firmly elsewhere, a small team of only 12 athletes from Larne competed this weekend (21 had qualified)
Ryan Lewis opened up the proceedings with a PB in the 50 Free, a feat he matched half an hour later in the 100Fly. 2 PBs from 2 swims on day 1 cant ask for much more than that.
Chloe McKay and Amy McCullough both opened their accounts with PB swims in the 100 Free while Erin and Amy Barr got off 2 a solid start in the 100BRS.
Danielle, having complefed 45k in the pool this week and been in the gym last night, is truly unrested, but managed to make the final of the 50BC and the B Final of the 100 free.
Amy Barr rounded off the Morning session with another PB, in the 800 Free this time.
The Finals session on Day 1 and Danielle did what wmshe does best and raced incredibly well breakng her own Ulster Senior Record becoming the 1st female to go under 29 seconds.
She also swam a lifetime best on 56.99 in the 100 winning the B final comfortably.
The 2nd day of racing got underway with the womens 50FS and Danielle picked up where she left off the night before with the fastest time of the heats. Chloe McKay swam a lifetime best of 28.4 while Amy Barr repeated her best time again.
Ryan continues to progress in the fly with a 6 sec PB in the 200 just missing out on a final swim.
Sinead got her Irish Short Course up and running in the 100FLY qualifying for the finals session in the process.
Lorcan smashed his 50BC PB bypassing 29 seconds completely going from 30.e to a 28.8 and again just missed out on a final place.
Danielle completed her mornings efforts with a fastest qualifyer spot into the 200BC lowering her lifetime best in the process.
The morning session was brought to a close by Amy and Erin Barr and Amy McCullough who all produced best times in the 400FS.
Finals sessions and Danielle swims 50 FS and 200BC within 10 minutes of each other claiming a Silver and a Gold respectively, on both occasions matchingbher best times coming into the meet.
Sinead brought day 2 to a close with a PB in the final of the 100FLY
Last day of Irish Short Course gets underway with the 200FS. Amy McCullough and Amy Barr both produced small PBs and Danielle continued to show how competitive she is across a range of events even when racing (very) tired by qualifying for both the 200Free and the 100BC (posting the fastest hrat time in the later)
Amy and Erin Barr completed their Irish Short Course weekend with solid swims in the 200BrS whil Jan Manillili produced a 4 second best in his 1st ever meet at this level.
The last session in a tough week gets underway with Danielle deciding to compete in both the 200FS and 100BC.
If your gonna finish you may as well finish strong and that is exactly what Danielle did this weekend. 2 silver medals in the final session first a 6 second PB in the 200Free missing out on the Gold by less the 2 tenths of a second in a fantastic race with Lisburns Rachel Bethel then 8 minutes later a 2nd silver coming in the 100BC.
A fantastic weekend of ‘racing tired’ from the whole team.
Next week we travel to the Scottish SC in Edinburgh
This weekend sees Danielle Hill travel to Scotland to race in the annual REN 96 open meet in Paisley just outside Glasgow.
Actually she is really going to visit Louise (her sister) who is in Uni in Glasgow…..but what else would you do on a trip to Glasgow but get up and race?
Racing tired is the purpose of the competition, a lot of events (11 – yes ELEVEN) in 2 days at the end of a tough 12 weeks of training. No rest just……Race.
If you want to see how Danielle gets on keep checking Facebook and here for updates and photos. Day 1
Some tough racing with events (most of them events D doesnt normally do) packed close together & off the back of 12 weeks of hard work and no rest.
Il let D have the last say on how she has got on at this meet. a tough weekend of racing and a meet i suspect we may support as a club in the future
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!