CITY of Derry swimmers produced some excellent performances at the recent Ulster Age Group and Youth Long course swimming Championships held at the new Aurora Complex in Bangor.
The young swimmers performances were all the more creditable as they had just two run-outs in the new 50 metre pool in Magherafelt and with the warm-up starting in Bangor at 8.30 a.m. each day they had to leave Derry at 6.30 each morning.
Indeed, the urgent need for championship facilities in Derry has never been more clearly demonstrated.
In her last year in these Championships 16-year-old Una Casey swam a very impressive 16 lengths to take the gold medal in the 800 freestyle.
Another good swim in the 400 Free netted her a silver medal.
Una teamed up with Eva Spencer, Hannah Gee and Niamh O’Raw to take a bronze medal in the Senior Medley Team relay whilst Maria Cooley replaced Hannah in the Freestyle Team relay to add another bronze for the team.
In the junior age groups both Kate Parlour and Cara Gilliland were impressive with Kate taking a silver medal in the Girls 13-year-old 200 backstroke and a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke whilst Cara secured a bronze medal in the breast-stroke in the same age group.
The Derry club’s 16 and 17 year old boys had an excellent Championship.
BEST PERFORMANCE TO DATE
In the 400 freestyle Gavin Loughrey produced his best performance to date with a very well paced race in which he led up the last length only to have victory snatched from him over the last five metres.
In the breaststroke events Darryl McGlinchey was in great form swimming with terrific determination in the preliminaries and finals to collect bronze medals in both events.
Daniel Doherty, whose preparation was erratic for various reasons, was only entered in two events and he secured bronze medals in both the 100 fly and 100 free.
Darryl and Gavin teamed up with Cormac Gillen and Callum O’Brien to finish in bronze medal position in the Medley Team Relay whilst Jordan Brady-James replaced Callum in the Freestyle Team Relay to take another bronze medal.
Other swimmers who qualified for the championships were - Clare Gillen, Bronagh McDermott, Ayesha Garvey, Eadaoin O’Raw, Bronagh Hinds, Ciara Sheedy, Ellie Smyth, Caolan Donnelly, Paul Chandler, Dean Gallagher, Conor Morris, Dylan Hegarty and Ruairi McWade.
All-in-all it was a very good performance by the City Swimmers considering the difficulties these youngsters have to overcome with lack of long course facilities and the distances they have to travel to the Championships
The next outing for the City of Derry swimmers will be at the Short Course Antrim Open Championships which will take place in Lisburn in early May.