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Saturday 7 December 2019

Local swimmers strike gold at gala

Last month Dundalk SC's less experienced competitive swimmers took to the blocks for the first time this season at the Glenalbyn Swimming Club gala on the 28th October in Dublin and there was plenty of local medal success when Hugo Friel took Gold in the U9 25m Fly and 25m Free and Silver in the 50m Free event.

Shyne Kasozi also took two Golds in the U8 25m Back and 50m Free. There was Silver and Bronze for Roonald Univer in the U8 25m Free and 25m Back and there were new Personal Bests for Emily Coyle across her busy schedule in the U9 25m Fly, 25m Free, 25m Breast, 25m Back and the 100m Individual Medley. Maebh Mullen also took a silver in the U9 25m Backstroke.

The following weekend was the Leinster Short Course championship which are the pinnacle of the provincial short course season and are only surpassed nationally by the Irish Short Course Championships in December.

Some of the cream of Irish swimming were in action alongside our local talent including many Irish National Record Holders and Darragh Greene who became Ireland's first swimmer to go inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification time at the 2019 FINA World Championships as he set a new Irish Record in the 100m Breaststroke in Gwangju, South Korea.

One of the highlights of the weekend was when Evelyn Donnelly took to the starting blocks alongside Junior Olympic Silver Medalist and 2020 Olympic hopeful Niamh Coyne in the finals of the 16&Over 100m and 200m Breaststroke. Evelyn put in some impressive performances posting PBs in both events but ultimately Coyne proved the stronger and took the gold medal on both occasions. Evelyn also competed in the 50m Breaststroke final and again posted a PB performance in the event, this time also securing a qualification time for the prestigious Irish Short Course Championship next month.

Evelyn will be joined in the Short Course Championship by Eliza Logan, following her very impressive display in the final of the 15&Under 50m Butterfly. Eliza secured a Leinster Silver medal for Dundalk in the event when she recorded a new personal best time. Eliza also appeared in the final of the 50m Backstroke providing the Club with one of a host of top 10 finishes.

Dundalk 'Flyers' were again in action in the final of the Boys 17&Over 50m Butterfly event when both Patrick Harmon and Donal Carty were both unlucky to finish outside the medals in 4th and 6th places following posting new PBs.

Patrick also positioned 4th in the 200m Breaststroke but he soon secured a second Leinster Silver for Dundalk in the 17& Over 400m Individual Medley (IM) and also appeared in two more finals over the weekend.

Eoin Harmon made it a fourth Butterfly final for Dundalk when he competed in the 16&Under 50m event and there were two further top 10 finishes for Rebekah Friel in the 15&U 800m Freestyle and 400m IM plus there were a host of PBs by all of the Dundalk Swimmers in what was a very competitive championships.

Last weekend the Dundalk Swim Team were again in action at the NAC Swim Club Short Course Gala and the team took home a hatful of medals at the event.

Conor Goss secured a Gold, Silver and Bronze at the event when he secured 1st place in the 10&Under 200m Backstroke, 2nd in the 200m Freestyle and 3rd in the 200m Breaststroke while Evelyn Donnelly did likewise in the 15&Over 50m Fly, 50m Free and 100m Breaststroke.

Meanwhile Jake Logan took a silver in the U12 200m Breaststroke and two bronzes in the U12 50m and 200m Freestyle events. Julia Von Collier landed a hat-trick of Bronzes in the U12 50m Free, 50m Fly and 100m Breaststroke while Eliza Logan secured two Golds in the U14 100m Butterfly and 100m Backstroke events.

Rebekah Friel finished second in the 200m Butterfly event while Patrick Harmon secured Bronze in the 15&Over 100m Breaststroke as did Maebh Mullen in the 10&Under 50m Backstroke.

There were also personal best times for Eanna Finnegan (50m Free), Cedric Saaveda (100m Free and 100m Back), Emily Coyle (50m Breast) and strong performances from Dylan Gilmore, Eoin Harmon, Faye O'Rourke, Sean O'Rourke, Amy McEvoy, Amelie Friel and Hugo Friel.

The local club now turns its attention to Evelyn Donnelly and Eliza Logan's appearances at the Irish National Short Course Championships in mid December ahead of the start of the Long Course season in January 2020 when all the Club's swimmers will be hoping to secure qualifying times for some of the key events through the season including the Leinster Long Course Championships, Irish Open Championships, McCullagh International Open and the Irish Summer Nationals (Division 1 & 2).

The Club are always on the look out for the next generation of Dundalk swimming talent and are particularly interested in hearing from parents of children aged 7-12 who have completed the Aura Swim Academy and two sessions of Lane Coaching (or equivalent standard) or swimmers who have some competitive swimming experience.

For enquiries or further details contact Paul at SwimClub.Dundalk@gmail.com.

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