Monday 20 May 2019

Drogheda swimmers splash out on medals

Swimming: Louth community games finals

The Louth Community Games Swimming Finals took place in Aura Dundalk on Sunday and Drogheda Swim Club returned home with 16 individual winners - 10 more than 2017 and 2016, which shows the progress the club has made since formation in 2016.

Newest member Jessica Sweeney took the honours in the U-8 25m freestyle, while Cara Matthews, who medalled at last year's National Finals, won the U-10 freestyle. Dan Cojocaru, who is no stranger to the podium, stepped away from his preferred breaststroke to take gold in the U-10 freestyle, just holding off his teammate Cormac Grogan.

In the older-age freestyle, there were wins for Aoidhri McGroddy (U-12), Alex Woods (U-14) and Calum Gilchrist (U-16).

The day's first event, the butterfly, saw victories for Niall Browne (U-14) and Eimear Doyle (U-16), while Conor Lumsden (U-16) just edged out teammate Conor Browne for gold.

It was a double first for brother and sister Lewis and Amelia in the U-10 25m backstroke, while Anna Harvey (U-12) and Daniel McArdle (U-14) also placed first in the 50m backstroke. Lily Jordan and Emma Stoneman went head to head in the U-16 Girls backstroke, with Lily just getting the touch ahead of Emma.

Eleanor Bolger (U-12) was one of the most popular winners of the day when taking the 50m breaststroke title, but she had to do it the hard way, with Orlaith Crowley pushing her all the way to the wall. Conor Begley won the U-14 edition to continue his recent improvement.

All the winners now move onto the National Community Games Finals in the University of Limerick on May 26th/27th.

The previous day saw 10 DSC club members tackle the Sliabh Beagh Distance Gala in Monaghan.

Niamh McDowall-Connolly had a standout swim in the 200m backstroke (3.03.18) where she took 20 seconds off her PB.

Caoimhe Doyle picked up two more Division 2 times in the 200m breaststroke and IM, while Eleanor Bolger took five seconds off her 200m breaststroke and is just outside a qualifying time for the Leinster Division 1 gala in June. Conor Lumsden took nine seconds off his 200m backstroke best to get a consideration time for the Leinster Finals.

Aoidhri McGroddy, Eoin Lumsden and Niall Golden competed over 200m for the first time and performed very well, while Chloe Lennon and Eimear Doyle came away with new PBs in two events each.

Sean Black made the final of the 50m butterfly skins event and managed to hang in for two rounds against some very experienced swimmers.

From 24 swims, the group came away with 11 PBs and one silver and four bronze medals (Caoimhe 200m free, Conor 200m back and 200m IM, Sean 200m fly).

Drogheda Independent