Eamon O’Hara Swimming Gala

Prize winners at the Coleraine Swimming Club Eamon O'Hara Club Gala Finals. (s)
Prize winners at the Coleraine Swimming Club Eamon O'Hara Club Gala Finals. (s)

Last Saturday night Coleraine Swimming Club held its annual club Eamon O’Hara Gala in what was a thrilling night at Coleraine Leisure Centre.

This is the main club gala event of the year with all ages taking part from age 6 – 18.

The heats had taken place earlier in the week allowing only the top six competitors for each event in each final. As usual family and friends filled the pool spectator areas and the atmosphere was exciting as for many of the younger swimmers this was their first ever gala finals.

The races were all keenly fought and many races were extremely close with only tenths of seconds separating the top three places.

On the night two new records were set, one for male the current Club Captain, James Richardson when he broke his own over 16 Individual Medley record set in December 13th. Molly Curry also broke the U12 50m Breaststroke record.

After all the races were complete the trophies and medals were awarded to first, second and third and finalist Commemorative ribbons to those in fourth, fifth and sixth place.

There were also the following special awards handed out. The Pauline Larseen Award for the boy and girl with most points in the PTL Galas: Albert Dallas and Hannah Gellately.

The Endeavour Award to the Boy and Girl who have consistently put in the effort and work without achieving the success the effort has deserved: Andrew King and Roisin McMorrough.

Most Improved, given to the boy and girl who have shown the most improvement in times over five competitive events, ie 50m BC, 50m BR, 50m FLY, 50m FC and 100m IM: Max McClarty and Molly Curry.

Aquasprint Rosebowl, awarded to the boy and girl Aquasprint that has contributed most to the Aquasprints, in attitude, morale, dependability, commitment etc, specifically not performance based: David Kennedy and Catherine Davidson.

Swimmer of the Year, awarded to the outstanding boy and girl in the Club – James Walton and Charlotte Anderson.

Meanwhile, after last year retaining their position in the Top (A) Division Coleraine Swimming Club’s Provincial Town League (PTL) team has won the first two galas of the 2014/15 season.

In October they convincingly beat Dungannon at a home gala with a points difference of 202 points.

This excellent run of form continued into last weekend when the team again hosted a home gala against a very strong Templemore Swimming Club team.

This promised to be a very competitive gala however in the end once again the very strong Coleraine team beat their opponents by 160 points.

This was an excellent and unexpected result. Perhaps showing everyone how good this current Coleraine PTL team really is.

They have now won their first two competitive galas in the Division 1 league this season and with only two more galas to come (against Larne and Banbridge) they are hoping for a strong finish to perhaps get a top three position in Ulster.

At this gala there were also several Coleraine Club records broken.

Martin Fiala set a new record for U10 Backstroke taking 0.93secs off and Molly Curry, the Current U11 Ulster 100m breaststroke Champion, broke the long standing U12 50m breaststroke record set by Olympic and Commonwealth games swimmer Emma Robinson.