Third place finish for swimmers

Louise McDowell


Louise McDowell

Kilkeel Swimming club attended the Final Gala on Friday 7 June in the Aquasprint Forest Feast league.

The Gala was attended by Phil Kelly from Swim Ulster and Deirdre Burns from Forest Feast who kindly sponsor and support these events.

As Kilkeel, Alliance and Mid Ulster finished top three in their league, they had to meet in a neutral venue to swim against each other for the final finishing place in this seasons Division five final.

The Gala got off to a roaring start and all three teams were all battling to touch the wall first. It was Alliance who showed strength in the Medley Relay’s winning three out of the four, giving them a lead on points going into the individual events. Kilkeel were swimming great and picked up a few first and second places however just not enough. Their Backcrawl and Frontcrawl have improved immensely and were beginning to narrow the gap. Mid Ulster were very strong in the Breaststroke however Alliance had their strength in the Butterfly and Relays.

With Tensions high going into the Frontcrawl relays, all three teams were hoping to gain as many points as possible. Kilkeel’s A group swimmers won the first Relay giving the spectators something to shout for, Alliance took the B and C groups and Mid Ulster won the last Relay. Overall this was a very competitive gala and everyone waited to hear the results. Unfortunate for Kilkeel they were third with 243. Second was Mid Ulster with 279 points and the overall winners were Alliance with 318 points. The team Captains from all three clubs spoke very well and were then presented with their medals.

Swimmers on the evening were

A Girls: Leah Mc Clean, Clarice Cassidy, Alice Cunningham & Ruby Graham( getting 2nd place in all individual races)

A Boys: Cian Doyle, (1st in Freestyle and 2nd in Butterfly, 3rd in Backcrawl), Josh Donnelly(3rd in Butterfly & 3rd in Freestyle), Mathew Mc Cartan, Tymek Kulczewski and Jack Rodgers amd Jack Loughran.

B Girls: Darcy Napier (3rd in Backcrawl), Ellie Cousins and Hannah Murnie.

B Boys: Callum Cassidy(2nd butterfly), Jack Stevenson (1st in Breaststroke and 2nd in Backcrawl)

C Girls: Xyleena McClean(Three 3rd Places), Holly McCullough, Lucy Smitham and Lillie Ella Curray.

C Boys: Sean Loughran(2 nd Freestyle) & Adam Morris.

D Girls: Hannah Donnelly(1st in B/Crawl, 3rd B/Stroke and 3rd in Freestyle),

Laura Hannah (1st in Butterfly & Freestyle and 2nd in B/crawl), Aoife Grant and Robyn Boyner

D Boys: Callum Magorrian, Cameron Eakins.

Congratulations to those swimmers in the club who swim up a category to facilitate the team’s performance and age groups and all who had P.Bs on the day. You are all a credit to your club and families.

A word of thanks to all who contributed to helping in any way in the smooth running of the gala, those who travelled to support the team. A lot of preparation is involved in organising the Gala and your help is greatly appreciated.

The team captains for the gala were Aoife Grant and Cameron Eakins who both finish Aquasprint Gala’s now along with Hannah Donnelly, Robyn Bonner and Laura Hanna. We wish these swimmers every success in future swimming and hope they continue to compete in individual events.

It was early start for Laura Hanna who was travelling to Magherafelt on Sunday morning. Laura has been selected to attend the talent development technical endurance training. This is a step further on the competition pathway for competitive swimmers, this is a remarkable achievement.

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