Castlebar swimmers had an enjoyable day out in Tuam, Co. Galway recently, and there were plenty of excellent personal bests to be proud of. Con Doherty took silver in the 400 meter freestyle with a time of 4:34.73, while Jamie Murphy just missed out on a podium finish in his age group, and Conor Melly and Mark Dervan came within split seconds of each other. Ronan Dervan earned a place in the final of the 100m butterfly, while older sister Louise took bronze in her age category for the same stroke. Edel Egan swam an impressive 1:08.85 in the 100m freestyle to take gold, while Niamh Breslin just narrowly missed out on a medal with a great time of 1:17.94.
The next Castlebar medal of the day went to Aisling Grady, who swam the 100m freestyle in 1:07.33 to take bronze. Also representing Castlebar in that stroke were Caoimhe Hennigan, Laura Fahy, Siofra Horan, Paula McDonagh, Niamh Heneghan, Nicola Connelly, Aoibheann Hennigan, Siofra McHale and Megan Coen, and there were some great personal bests for many of the girls. The 100m freestyle also turned out to be a winner for Jamie Murphy, who took bronze in the 100m with a time of 1:10.98, while Conor Melly had a time of 1:12.24 in his age group. Sean O'Connor also swam the 100m freestyle in 1:21.14. There was another bronze for Castlebar in the boys 16 & over age group, with Con Doherty swimming the 100m freestyle in 1:01.55.
Edel Egan swooped her second gold of the day in the 400m freestyle, with an amazing 5:06.40, and she was followed to the finish by team-mates Siofra Horan, Paula McDonagh, Laura Fahy, Una Togher and Siofra McHale. Louise Dervan swam 5:01.82 in her age group in the same stroke. For the boys, Sean O'Connor also competed in the 100m backstroke, while Mark Dervan reached the finals, and Con Doherty took bronze. There were two more 100m backstroke bronzes for Edel Egan and Niamh Heneghan in their age groups. The 100m breaststroke also proved productive for Jamie Murphy and Mark Dervan, who took silver and bronze in their respective age categories. Ronan Dervan and Conor Melly also swam well in this stroke. Final Castlebar win of the day went to Siofra Horan, who took a silver medal for her impressive 1:26.40 in the 100m breaststroke.
Meanwhile, six Castlebar swimmers travelled to Lisburn, Co. Antrim, before Christmas for the Irish Short Course Championships. Sara English swam in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and the 100m and 200m individual medley; Louise Dervan swam in the 50 m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and the 100m and 400m IM; while Sinead Mylette competed in the 50m, 100m and 200m fly, 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and the 100m IM. For the boys, Killian Dervan took part in the 200m backstroke, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m and 400m IM; Cillian Melly competed in the 100m and 200m fly, 400m and the marathon 1500m (or 60 lengths) freestyle; and Eoghan Grady swam in the 100m, 400m and 1500m freestyle, and the 100m and 400 IM. Although there were no medals on the day, there were some fine swims and personal bests for the swimmers.
After a much abbreviated Christmas break, during which many swimmers took part in intensive training camps, the weekly training is back in full swing, with many competitions on the calendar for the next few months.