Ards Open Gala Report – Saturday 16th May 2015

Twenty six swimmers travelled to Newtownards on Saturday 16th to compete in the Ards Open Gala. The first session kicked off with the younger swimmers aged 9 and under. In this session we saw some excellent racing and a display of great skills from everyone who competed. Although swimming in under 9 category, Luighseach Murnaghan is only 7 and has another 2 years left in this age group. She showed excellent form in all of her swims. Finishing in the top six 7 year olds in all 4 races- Luighseach is definitely showing potential for the coming years. Keep training hard Luighseach! Zoe Martin and Zoe McKelvey were swimming in their first open gala and there were great swims all round. Zoe Martin again only 8 and has another year left in this age group had 4 great swims, shaving up to 5 seconds off 3 of her PBs. Great swimming Zoe – keep working hard in training. Zoe McKelvey had excellent swims in all 3 of her races, and shaved 7 seconds of her previous 25m Backstroke time. All three of the girls showed how much their technique has improved from the start of the year. Tremendous swimming girls!

The swimmer of this session must go to Amy Hunter, aged 9, with a total of 5 PBs out of 6 swims. Amy made all 4 finals in the 25m events, showing her potential in all four strokes. Amy worked extremely hard in all her races and came away with a gold in the 25m Back, 25m Breast and 100IM and a silver in the 25m Butterfly and 25m Freestyle. To top of her amazing morning of swimming, Amy walked away with Top Under 9 Female Swimmer of the meet. Superb swimming Amy! Well done!

Altogether in the morning session there were 16 swims, and an impressive 14 PBS. Well done everyone!!

The second session started on time this year! This session was for 10-11 year olds to compete over 50m and 100m events. City Of Belfast were represented in this session with 22 swimmers.

Seventeen of the COB swimmers kicked off this session with the 100m IM. Fifteen of these swimmers finished with PBs. Special mention to Madeline, Louise and Lily who has massive PBs (37secs, 34secs, 22secs respectively). Theo Falls also came away with a PB and a bronze medal. Great work Theo!!

The next event up was the 50m Free, again our swimmers executed some fantastic swims and showed great potential in this event. There were 13 PBs overall, including: Zoe Magee (6 secs), Matthew McKelvey (10 secs), Ethan Mowbray (10 secs) and Nicolas Sanchez (10 secs). Felix Skelton also had a PB in this event, in his second the 6 events he swam in this session. Ellie Falls and Michael Montgomery both made the final in the 50m free and both finished a strong swim in 5th place- great swimming Ellie & Michael! Well done! A big congratulations also to Emma Snowden and Betsy Brittain in their first open swimming gala, both who came away with excellent PBs!

Next up was the 100m Breaststroke. Again we saw a number of good swims in this event. Some excellent breaststroke on show; Lily, Jacob and Matthew Mawhinney all showed great potential in this event and came away with good PBs.

50m Butterfly was the next event up and 3 swimmers from COB reached finals. Jericho had a great swim and narrowly missed out on a medal finishing in 4th place. Theo and Ellie Falls both had excellent swims in the 50m Butterfly finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Again great PBs in this event from Lily, Matthew Bunn, Matthew Mawhinney and Caoimhe Cox. Keep up the excellent swimming!

Jericho Balgos stole in the show in the 100m Backstroke coming away with a PB and his first bronze medal in an open competition, showing great technique and excellent stamina! Ellie Falls just missed out on a medal finishing 4th– keep up the hard training both of you.

Next race was the 50m Breaststroke, some great swims again in this race. Zoe Magee showed that her had work in training is paying off by setting a new personal best of over 10 seconds. Excellent swimming Zoe! Caoimhe Cox, Clara Hamilton, Jacob Martin and Matthew Mawhinney also swam great races and all set news PBs.

Twins Theo and Ellie Falls were on form again in the 50m Backcrawl showing grit and determination after a number of swims Ellie achieved yet another final spot finishing her last swim with a good PB and just missing out on a medal finishing in 4th place. Theo swam a great swim with another PB and coming away with the gold medal! Excellent work! Ameila McGuigan was on form in the 50m Backcrawl winning her heat by more than 5m and a great PB. Well done. There were a number of other PBs in this event with Lorcan Murnaghan having a great swim beating his previous time by nearly 5 seconds.

The final individual event up was the 100m Freestyle. There were a number of great races after the long day with Louise Carey, Matthew Mawhinney, Caoimhe McDonnell, Ameila McGuigan and Ethan Mowbray coming away with PBs by 12seconds, 9 seconds, 14seconds, 11seconds and 15seconds respectively. This was Michael Montgomery’s last race of the day also, after competing in 7 events! He had a brilliant swim, and even after the other races came away with a 3 second PB. Everyone keep training hard.

After a very long meet lasting over 10 hours, City Of Belfast came away with 108 PBs, 27 top 6 places and 10 medals. Finally well done to all swimmers and a massive thanks to all parents who helped out throughout the day.

Eimear & Dara

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