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
A 30 minute flight out of Belfast and the team are in Edinburgh to race at the Scottish Short Course Nationals. This is a notoriously fast early season meet and the whole purpose of travelling is to race faster in the heats than in the Irish Nationals last week.
1st up on the 1st day is Conor Brines in his 1st competitive outting of the season. The 100 fly produced some incredibly fast swimming and Conor swam a solid race to place 4th going into tonight’s sessions.
Then Danielle produced her fastest ever morning swim in the 50 Back to qualify for the B final.
Finishing off the morning heats Danielle raced the 100 Free swimming a time half a second faster than this time last week.
The swimmers outside the top 40 entered athletes complete their heat swims in the afternoon session. Lui Finn and Ruairi all started their meet off with the 50 Free. both Lui and Finn swam PBs and clocked times that would have placed them in the mornings faster heats.
Lui’s second swim of the session was the 400FS and a huge 10+ second PB saw him once again post a time that placed him 29th overall, an improvement of 15 placeso.
Session 3 (finals day 1)
What a 1st night of finals this was, Danielle recovered from a slight error in her 50 BC to post a very respectable time. Then Conor Brines stole the show with an incredible Irish Senior Record in the 100 FLY becoming the 1st Irish person to break 53 seconds.
Danielle continue to show progression from last week’s Irish short course in both her events qualifying for the 50 Free final and the 200 BC within 10 minutes of each other.
Conor swam his ‘fun event’ the 200Fly producing a best heat swim and Qualifying for the evenings session in the process.
Finn, Lui and Ruairi were back in action again with the 100 FStreet for them all and Finn in the 50 BC & Lui in 200 IM.
The forward momentum Lui has experienced in recent times continued with the 200 IM entered on a long course converted time of 2:15.6 Lui produced a huge PB to swim to a 2:13.1
The men’s 100 free was next and both Lui (53.9) & Finn (54.5) improved significantly to continue the steady progress they have shown this season
Session 6 (finals day 2)
The Finals session on day 2 and, after taking on the advice from the sport NI physio we only had Danielle’s 50 free to look forward to.
It was worth the wait.
In 2003 Julie Douglas (now johnston) set the Irish Record for the 50FS making it one of the older records on the books. (It is also the 2nd oldest Ulster record) putting together an almost textbook swim D.iesel got her hand on the wall in 25.64 seconds shaving 0.01 off Julie’s mark and in the process becoming the fastest Irish female in history.
What a swim!
The last day of racing and Danielle (200Fly & 100 BC) & Conor (50FLY) both back in the pool.
Conor picked straight up fromantic here he left off in the 100 with comfortably the fastest qualifying time for tonight’s finals smashing the Ulster Senior Record in the process posting a time of 23.6
Danielle was next up in the 200FS and she didn’t disappoint posting a time of 2:02 nearly 4 seconds faster than the heats this time last week qualifying for her fourth fin all this weekend.
There is plenty of time to rest when your dear so 10 minutes later and Danielle is back in the pool in the 100BC, unrested, 10 minutes after her 2nd best 200FS and she produces her a lifetime best 61.6, qualifying for her 5th final of the weekend. #nornironlady
The whole reason for coming to Scottish Nationals was to step up and race hard in the morning session. I think this weekend, and in particular this last morning, shows that even tired, in full training #teamlarne🏊 athletes show they are ready, willing and able to do just that.
Lui and Finn completed their weekends racing with the 200FS & 100BC respectively.
Lui’s 200 free saw him break 2 min barrier or he 1st time destroying it posting a 1:57.0 while Finn also finished the weekend with a PB in his 100BC (63.7)
Session 9 (finals day 3)
Last session of the meet and again Larne had representation in the form of Conor Brines in the 50FLY and once again he rose to the occasion and produced a phenomenal swim to take the Gold in a time of 23.38 equaling the Irish senior Record held by Barry Murphy.
Unfortunately Danielle wasn’t able to compete in the last 2 finals of her weekend due to flight times home.
Thank you Scotland for a fantastic weekend of racing. so we’ll organised and welcoming we will definitely be back.
From the 28th – 31st April 396 swimmers from all over the world converged on the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin for The Irish National Swimming Championships.
Larne SC sent a small contingent of 4 swimmers hoping to make some waves in the meet.
Danielle Hill and Conor Ferguson start things off today with the 100 BC, an event that neither swimmers is a stranger to(both are Irish Junior record holder in this event)
The heats in the morning saw both easily qualify for the semi finals later with easy, both qualifying in 2nd place Danielle qualifying as the fastest Irish swimmer.
The semi finals saw both swimmers improve on their heats and qualify for the finals.
Heats on Day 2 and Danielle was the only Larne swimmer involved cruising to her best ever morning swim to qualify for the semi final of the 100 Free. In the finals session the sparks really started to fly with Danielle stepping up and qualifying for the final of the 100 FS before Conor went in the 100 BC. The roof lifted off the building as the crowd roared their support for him and it so nearly paid off as he came agonisingly close to qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games missing out by 0.05 of a second. Danielle followed him up in the same event once again proving her dominance in the backstroke events by winning her 1st Irish title of the weekend.
Day 3 and Conor Brines and Lui Hurson joined the party. Lui swimming his 2nd fastest 400FS before Conor posted his fastest ever morning swim in the 100 FLY.
Our very own Iron Lady stepped up again and cruised to the 200 BC final.
The finals session on Day 3 got underway with Conor Brines in the semi of the fly. He continued his incredible rise this season posting a new Ulster senior record and showing that he is the form swimmer in Ireland on this event.
Danielle claimed her 1st 100 FS Irish title and her 2nd of the meet in a new personal best time but wasn’t finished there as she swam completed the days swimming with her 3rd title out of 3 entries in the 200 BC.
1st up on the last day of the meet was Lui in the 200IM out in lane 9 in the last heat he swam to his entry time in a solid performance at his 1st Irish LC Nationals.
The #Nornironlady stepped up with 50FS and 50 BC within 5 minutes of each other. The short turnaround proved to be no problem as Danielle set about qualifying as the fastest Irish swimmer for both events.
The last session of the meet and Danielle again sets the tone with back to back semi finals in BC and FS making the final in both.
The last 3 events of the meet saw Danielle go in the 50 BC making is a #fantastic4 with another Irish Title. Next up Conor Brines in the 100 FLY and he repeated the result from Dave McCullagh with a silver medal behind national record holder Breandan Hylands (his 1st medal at a national level in this event). Danielle brought the curtain down on a great meet for the club with the fjnal of the 50 FS not quite 10 minutes after the 50 back finished with a credible 4th placed finish.
Larne may well have only travelled with a small team to this meet but our strike rate was incredible
4 Irish titles
1 Irish Senior Record
2 Ulster Senior Records
1 Ulster Junior Record