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.
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)
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
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!