The top Ulster competition for age group swimmers took place last weekend in Bangor’s 50m pool with local swimmers excelling.
The Ulster Age Group Championships attracts only the elite of swimmers aged 17 and below who have gained a qualifying time for this top flight event.
Coleraine Swimming Club’s highlight of the weekend was a double Ulster Championship title for Molly Curry (13) who won her age group 100m breaststroke for the third year in a row and 200m breaststroke for a second year in a row.
Molly, who is currently on the Ulster Performance Squad and Irish Youth Squad, had to show grit and determination to retain both her titles. She narrowly missed a British ASA Nationals qualifying time last weekend and will go to the Irish Nationals in Dublin in a few weeks time with the focus of achieving a British time so she can compete in Sheffield.
Shannon Baird (12) competed in the 100, 200 and 400m freestyle and 100 and 200m breaststroke.
She reached top 10 placings in Ulster in all her chosen events securing a bronze medal in 100m breaststroke when she took nearly two seconds off her previous personal best.
Matthew Curry (11) competed in the two different distances in his preferred breaststroke. He won bronze medal in the boys 100m distance with a new personal best taking nearly four seconds off his previous best time. He also was placed in the top 10 for his 200m race.
Other swimmers from Coleraine who competed and gained top ten placing were: Albert Dallas - 15yrs (9th 200m & 7th 100m backstroke), Catherine Davidson – 14yrs (9th 100m breaststroke), Martin Fiala – 12yrs (8th 200m Freestyle, 7th 100m & 9th 200m backstroke, 10th 200m breaststroke and 9th 200m individual medley), Finn McEwan – 14yrs (6th 100m breaststroke) and Niamh McGarry – 11yrs (9th 100m breaststroke).
Congratulations to the rest of the swimmers from Coleraine who managed to achieve a qualifying time to compete at this event – Millie Dallas, Jake Ilsley and Paul Richmond who all swam very well and achieved many PBs.
Coleraine also had a few relay teams competing. There was a boys U12 team comprising of Jake Ilsley, Matthew Curry, Tom Curry, Martin Fiala and Paul Richmond. These boys came seventh in the medley relay and sixth in the freestyle.
The girls U14 relay team consisted of Millie Dallas, Molly Curry, Catherine Davidson and Shannon Baird. They came a very respectable sixth in a large field of female teams.
The Coleraine swimmers did their club and themselves proud and thanks must go to those parent volunteers who helped run the gala without whom the Swim Ulster structure would collapse.