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)
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.
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!
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.