Sligo swimmers take home huge medal haul
SLIGO SWIMMERS made a splash at the National Acquatic Centre for the annual NUIM Christmas Cracker Gala, taking Gold, Silver and Bronze in multiple swims.
When the boys 12 and under stepped up to the blocks for the 100 metre backstroke they set personal records and achieved Gold and Silver places for Sligo. Conor Melvin swam a staggering 120.14 achieving Sligo's first Gold medal. He was closely followed by Eoin Anderson who swam a personal best to achieve the Silver.
In the nine and under girls 50 metre breaststroke every Sligo swimmer achieved a personal best. Just eight years old, Cliodhna O'Sullivan swam a remarkable 54.78. Danielle Farrell and Ella O'Donovan also broke personal records in their breast stroke sprints.
The 100 breast stroke for 12 and unders was an edge of the seat race as Caoimhe O'Sullivan smashed her record nearly achieving a division time with a 138.51, more than a five second personal best. In the boys event Eoin Anderson sped through the waters earning a Silver medal for Sligo in a time of 133.88.
In the 50 metre 9 and under girls freestyle Zoe Melvin achieved a 13 second personal best. In the same event for the boys under 12, Conor Melvin swam Sligo to yet another Silver medal achieving an additional personal best and Eoin Anderson achieved another medal earning Bronze. A short while later Melvin again swam Sligo to another Gold in the 100 butterfly in 128.04. Terri Kelly swam the same event for girls earning a respectable 146.55.
Bronze for Sligo came again from Naoise Scott Ryan's 100 free in 122.48. She was followed by Maria Lyons who swam it in 131.22, an eight second personal best and an official B time! Scott-Ryan again achieved a Bronze medal in the 50 metre butterfly.
The boys 12 and under 100 free gave Sligo swimmers the chance to demonstrate their strength. Adam Higgins swam a 1.13 earning Sligo another Bronze while teammate Dylan Martin swam an impressive 128.31.
The morning session finished off with a series of relays that had hundreds of spectators standing and shouting for their respective teams. Easily the most gripping events of the day the Sligo teams demonstrated their tenacity and strength. The boys 12 and under Sligo team of Dualtagh Holmes, Adam Higgins, Eoin Anderson and Conor Melvin achieved Gold medals in both the 200 IM relay and the 200 Freestyle relay leaving many exuberant for the day. The second boys squad comprised of Niall O'Donovan, Rowan Elliott, Adam Rattigan and Dylan Martin showed their strength and speed finishing both events respectably for Sligo. In the ten and under relays the Sligo girls squad achieved Silver in the 200 IM relay with Rachel Martin, Sarah Melvin, Maria Lyons and Naoise Scott Ryan. For many on the second girls team it was their first time to participate in a relay event. Zoe Melvin, Ella O'Donovan, Danielle Farrell and Cliodhna O'Sullivan inspired all in the Acquatic Centre as the youngest team there with inimitable determination and style. They had the biggest cheer of the day.
The afternoon session saw Sligo's more senior swimmers step up to the block. In the 100 breast David Woods sprinted across the 100 metres in a time of 130.92. Roisin Shaw achieved a 5 second personal best in the 100 IM in a time of 127.19.
Aisling Durey followed swimming her first competitive IM in a time of 140.02. In the boys 100 IM Evan Kelly was the first Sligo swimmer in with a time of 118 .48. David Rattigan had a remarkable event swimming over a seven second personal best in a time of 133.58. In the 50 breast Sebastian Wheeler improved his time by an astonishing 14 seconds finishing in 52.26.