Castlebar Swimmers Progress at Nationals
The ‘older’ generation of Castlebar Swimmers were in action last weekend in the National Aquatic Centre in
Dublin where they competed in the Irish Youth & Senior Open Championships. The event took place from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 July in what is deemed the pinnacle event of the season for these swimmers, a season which began early last September.
Five swimmers in total travelled: Deirdre McGauran, Sara English, James Sweeney, Padraic Rocliffe, and James Caulfield.
Day 1 saw four of the five in action. The first event, the Open 50m Breast-stroke saw the two James’s competing. Both of them did very well with James Sweeney qualifying for a semi-final in a personal best time. James ended up swimming in the final later that day where he finished a wonderful 8th place.
Next up was the 200m Freestyle that saw all four swimmers competing on the day in action. Deirdre, James, Padraic and James all swam to their times or lower. However none of them progressed beyond their respective heats in what is a very competitive event.
The last swimmer in action for the day was Padraic Rocliffe in the 100m Backstroke. He performed well and qualified for the youth (u18) final. In the finals he swam to his time and finished in a well deserved eighth.
All in all, good start to the competition.
Day 2 kicked of with the biggest and most competitive event in swimming, the 100m freestyle. This saw four swimmers in action. Padraic was first up out of the men. He performed well swimming to a finish time just off his personal best. Next up was James Caulfield who also swam well and finished just off his lifetime best. To complete the men’s line up, James Sweeney swam a very impressive race to finish with a new personal best. In the women’s event Deirdre McGauran competed very well achieving close to her time. However such is the competitiveness of the event, none of the swimmers progressed further than their respective heats.
To finish the heats session James Sweeney swam in the 100m Breast stroke. Here he qualified for the Youths final in 6th place. In the final later in the day, although not swimming to his best James managed to improve his position to finish 5th overall.
Day 3 was a mixed day for the Castlebar Swimmers. Unfortunately due to illness Deirdre had to retire from the competition, while James Caulfield was on a rest day, with none of his events scheduled for today. However in the pool, Padraic was in action in the 50m Backstroke where he swam well to book a place in the open semi-final. Later in the day he swam the semi-final, and although it was an impressive race he finished just short of the final.
Padraic along with his teammate James Sweeney were in action in the 400m Freestyle, where they both swam well. Padraic swam to his time while James lowered his time by 5seconds. However neither progressed beyond the heats in this gruelling event.
Day 4, the final day of the competition saw Sara English join the three men in the pool.
In the first event of the morning, the 200 individual medley she swam well to earn her a place in the final. In the men’s event the two James’s were in action, both being placed in the same heat to add a bit of rivalry. They both performed well with James Sweeney just making the final, while James Caulfield just lost out. Sara and James Sweeney went on to the evening finals sessions to finish in 7th and 8th respectively.
For the two James it was a case of out of the water and down to the other end of the pool, where they joined teammate Padraic for the Men’s 50m Freestyle. This saw all three Castlebar men pitted against each other in what was a very fast heat. They all swam well however none progressed beyond the heats stage.
In the final event of the morning Castlebar had one swimmer in action in the Men’s 200m Breast stroke, in James Sweeney. James had a really full day however again managed to make a final where he ended up in 7th place. This brought to an end what was a very long but enjoyable four days of competition.
What a year…………. For Castlebar Swimming Club
The National swimming championships at Abbotstown in
Dublin brought to an end yet another year in swimming, one which has proved a defining year in Castlebar Swimming Clubs history. As a team they are always building, and this starts at the tender age of 6 or 7 years when children first enter the water for their swimming lessons. Great credit must be given to the teachers of the classes, both past and present, as without them Castlebar Swimming would not be where it is today.
The year was also a very successful year on the medal front for the club with numerous medals won at all levels. From Club Gala’s to national competitions, even now international competitions, Castlebar will always be up there competing and challenging the very best.
None more so than our own Nicholas Quinn who recently took part in the Youth Olympic Competition in
Finland, and is this week competing in
England at the British Youth Championships. Nicholas is also a member of the Team 2012, where he has gone on numerous training camps in both
Ireland and abroad. The ultimate aim however is London 2012, which is now just around the corner.
This year was also a land mark year for the club in that 9 of their swimmers jetted off to
Malta for a training camp. This was only the second time since the turn of the Millennium that the club has gone on a training camp abroad, and it proved very enjoyable and successful as is evident from the recent success stories.
For these success stories a special word of thanks is due to Head Coach Marian English, and Juniors Coach Joe Moran. The dedication they have to the cause is beyond words. The time and effort required in coming to training, writing up sessions, and attending competitions far surpasses any other sport. Their encouragement and attention to detail is what enables Castlebar Swimmers to achieve their full potential. The swimmers come and go however the coaches are still there!!! Everyone within the club would like to extend their deepest gratitude to both
Marion and Joe and we look forward to them returning to their respective posts in September for yet another season of swimming.
So that is it the end of swimming for all of a month before it is back into it all again. The Club would like to wish all of it members who sat exams the very best of look with their results in the coming month. A special word of thanks must also go to the Castlebar Swimming Club Committee, the Castlebar Swimming Pool Staff and all those involved in allowing the talents of the swimmers of Castlebar to flourish. Enjoy the break everyone and see you all back refreshed and ready to go again in September!!!!!