February is the half-term month and the time for the annual Templemore Minor Gala!! The 4th edition of this event, which was hosted at the Lisburn Leisureplex on 17 February 2019, attracted more than 500 swimmers from all the Province. CoB has a traditionally strong entry list to this event, which is a nice check-point for the state of form of swimmers from J1 all the way up to Age Squad.

This year’s edition matched the expectations, and saw a great, solid performance of CoB’s swimmers across all the entered events.

The morning kicked off with four absolute debutants! Chantelle Chirimanzi, Niamh Kenny, Isabella Kiliokaitis and Logan Nutt ventured out to their first open competition, and what an impression they made. Keen and nervous at the same time, they stepped up to a great performance, displaying good technique, fast starts and finishes. Well done to them all!

The impressive racing of the most junior swimmers were followed by solid performances by Beth Doherty, Darya Dultseva, Alexander Hale and Conn Rush in the 200m IM. Darya secured a Silver medal in her age group, touching 10 secs under her PB. The strong state of form of Darya was crystallized by the 50m FC event, where she swam 4 secs under her PB, securing Gold.

The mid-morning session started with strong performances in the 100m BS by Alexander Hale (4th in his age group) and Sara Paternostro (4th in the 10 yo Girls group with a 4secs PB) and got even better with the Bronze medals won by Claire Allen and Alexander Hale in the 50m BF.

At this stage, the kids were ready to rumble, and it was a sequence of PBs and top performances!! Thomas Price kick-started a stellar afternoon with a Bronze in the 100m BC, doubled by yet another bronze medal for him in the 50m BS. Claire Allen swimming in this event was no less impressive, and worth her second Bronze medal for the day. Clearly, CoB’s breaststroke swimmers were on fire! The 11 yo Girls group was literally dominated by the Club, with 4 girls in the first 5 spots: Amy Cummings Bell, Kate Kane, Chloe Young and Maeve Whelan all achieved impressive PBs securing Gold, Silver, Bronze and a strong 4th place, respectively, while the 13 yo Girls group saw Zoe Martin secure a Bronze medal with an impressive 6 secs improvement to her best time.

The 100m BF event saw Bea Cross getting the edge over her competitor to achieve Gold, a result that was first duplicated by Alexander Hale, who won the 11yo Boys 50m BC event, and then narrowly missed by Thomas Price, who touched in 2nd place within the 12yo Boys group at only 68 hundreds of seconds from the Gold. Sophia Young (Bronze, 12yo Girls 500m BC) and Darya Dultseva (Gold, 14yo 100m FC) closed a very successful Templemore Minor Gala for CoB.

Overall, out of the Club’s 94 entries, our swimmers achieved 62 PBs, witnessing in the best possible way the sterling results of their training, and giving a token of their potential.

CoB is grateful to Templemore ASC for hosting this hugely successful event, and to Coaches Hilary Idzikowska, Sophia Cross and Gavin McGucken for attending a very long and tiring event and successfully leading the team. Last but not least: well done to all the swimmers!!!

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