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European Short Course Championships 2019

The European Short Course Championships happens every 2 years in December.

For Irish athletes it’s an opportunity to race against the very best in Europe without the pressure of funding or future team selection riding on your performance.

In a season that has Irish Olympic Trials, European Long Course and potentially the Olympics at the end of it, this may not be the most important meet if the year. It is however I vital opportunity to race and gives a nice mid season punctuation before transitioning to the long course season.

Team Larne had 2 athletes selected to represent Ireland on this meet.

Danielle Hill (50, 100 BC, 50, 100 FREE)

Conor Ferguson (50, 100, 200 BC)

The team travelled from Belfast on Monday the 2nd. A training session on Tuesday then racing started on Wednesday 4th.

Day 1

Danielle 100 BC

You really can’t ask for too much more than stepping up on the 1st morning and posting a best time. This is exactly what D did breaking the minute for the 1st time. This was good enough to qualify for the semi final and just missed the Irish record by 0.08.

In the Semi that afternoon, for me, she produced the swim of the week. Lowering the National Standard to a world class 58.6 just missing out on the final.

Conor 200 BC

This was a switch in focus for Conor this season and he recorded his fastest ever heat swim and 2nd fastest 200. Just missing out on a tough qualification as with no Semi Finals only top 8 progress.

Day 2

Danielle 100 FREE

The heats produced yet another personal best time for Danielle in what is her 4th choice event.

Conor 100 BC

Another great heat swim saw Conor record his 1st PB in this event in 2 years and break his own Ulster Senior Record.

Day 3

Mixed FS relay

Both Danielle and Conor has a day off from individual events with a warm up and paddle in the morning and the D was on the mixed Free relay with Shane Ryan, Jordan Sloan and Mona McSharry. Swimming on the 3rd leg she posted a 24.0 and helping the team secure a final place. This is the 1st national relay to qualify for a senior international final.

In the final the team placed 8th and while Shane broke the Senior FS record on the 1st leg Danielle again went 24.0 and the team broke the Irish senior record.

Day 4

Danielle 50 BC

Having broken the 50BC record 3 weeks ago at BUCS, Danielle swam the heats looking to move up the ranking list and progress to the next round. A time of 26.92 did just that breaking the Irish record again becoming the 1st Irish female under 27 seconds.

At European level the heats, semi and final of 50 events happen in the same day so it was back that night for the semi of the 50 back and an incredible swim of 26.74 smashes the new record and finished top 10 and just outside the final spots.

Mixed medley

Both Conor and Danielle were selected for this team with Conor on the lead of leg and Danielle on the glory leg at the end. Conor posted a seasons best and D once again produced a 24.0 to secure a final spot. In the Final the team once again broke the Irish Senior record.

Day 5

The last day of a long meet can be a tough one to get right with tired bodies and minds that are harder to focus so it’s important to stick to your routines and focus on the process.

Danielle 50 FREE

This record has been switch back and forth between D and Mona for about 2 years now. Each time they break it they lower it by a few hundredths. At BUCS D lowered Mona’s time of 50.03 to 25.00.

The heats saw Danielle produce a new mark of 24.7 to become the fastest female in Irish history and move thru to the semi final. As if that wasn’t enough she then produced an even better swim to lower the Irish standard to 24.44 agonisingly close to getting a 3rd swim finishing in a tie for 9th.

Conor 50 BC

The men’s 50 BC is always incredibly tight and in a blanket finish Conors time of 23.86 was just outside the top 16 places.

Mens medley relay

Conor is staking a claim for the lead out legs of the men’s medley events and will have done himself no harm at all touching in 23.66 (a new Ulster senior record and a time that wud have progressed to the semi final of the individual) helping the team of Darragh Greene, Shane Ryan and Jordan Sloan set a new Irish mark.

High drama in the last final of the week saw 3 teams disqualified and the Irish finish in 6th

Women’s Medley relay.

Danielle’s spot at the Backstroke lead off is secured and she delivered again with a great swim to help the team set yet another Irish senior record.

A fantastic week of racing and confidence building heading into the next block of work and heading to trials in April.

2 Athletes

7 Events

9 best times

7 Ulster records

5 Irish records (4 relay records)

3 semifinals

2 relay finals

#teamlarne

#wearelarne

BUCS SC Swimming Championships 2019

What a year 2019 has been for Danielle Hill. Coming off an incredibly strong end to last season the #teamlarne ambassador picked up exactly where she left off with her 1st competitive outting of the season.

The British University and College Sports Short Course Swimming Championships held this weekend ment that Danielle wasn’t able to compete in the Ulster Championships however she was able to test herself against higher standard of opposition in Sheffield.

Racing in both the 50 free and 50 back Danielle headed off to race ‘in season’ before resting to compete at the European Short Course in Glasgow in 2 weeks.

The morning heats were a challenging affair with a large entry meaning that the girls had no Backstroke ledges and the heats were alternating with the boys heats.

Having safely negotiated the heats Danielle proceeded to lower the Irish senior record in the 50BC to 27.12 knocking over a second off her own time and 0.8 of the pervious record.

The 50 free also produces a new standard for Irish swimming with a time of 25.00 (with a slightly dodgy finish 😁)

The 1st box firmly ticked now we move on to Glasgow in December

#teamlarne

War Memorial 2019

Every year on the 2nd Saturday in November the Ulster swimming community gather to remember those who gave their lives in WWI & WWII as well as other wars since.

Swimmers past and present take part in a Gala made up exclusively of relays.

It’s an opportunity to gather our club members together swim fast and mark the weekend with a show of respect.

While the winners podium was dominated by Bangor it is pleasing to see that as a club Team Larne was represented in all bar 1 final and where we fielded 2 teams both progressed to contest the final.

The sense of ‘team’ is growing without the club and it was great to see so many turned out in club kit looking fantastic, racing hard and supporting each other.

Hidden within the 2senior relays, probably going quietly unnoticed were the 2 swims of the night, both by Danielle who posted the 2 fastest times ever swum by an Irish female in the 50 free.

A fantastic night of racing by everyone and a brilliant way to raise the curtain on a very big season.

Irish S.C. Champs

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) 

Day 1

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.

Danielle Hill, 1st female under 29 sec 50BC

Day 2

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. 

#restisfortheweak

Sinead brought day 2 to a close with a PB in the final of the 100FLY

Day 3 

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

#teamlarne🏊

Hard work ALWAYS pays off

P