Friday, September 30, 2005

PTL vsCoB Oct 8th

The next PTL gals will be against City of Belfast on 8th October, 2005 at Larne Leisure Centre. Warm-up at 6pm.

The following day Larne swimmers will be among those taking part at the Stroke Development meet at the Grove.

Records tumble at Larne Sprints

Records tumbled at the 21st Larne Sprints last weekend in Larne Leisure Centre.

Once again spectators, swimmers and coaches alike saw records fall thick and fast as some of Ireland's top swimmers treated the packed gallery to some thrilling racing.

In the youngest 10 to 11 year age group, the Ards duo of Sycerika McMahon and Curtis Coulter took the overall girls' and boys' trophies, with both swimmers winning three out of four of their respective races.

Sycerika won the breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle events and came second in the backstroke where she was pipped into second place by Larne's up-and-coming Charlotte Hall.

Charlotte was second overall, also winning a silver medal in the Freestyle to add to her gold in the backstroke.

In the boys' section, Curtis won the backstroke, butterfly and freestyle races and, again, it was a Larne Swimmer, Mark Wylie, who took gold in the other event, this time the breaststroke.

Mark also took silver in the butterfly final.

Curtis won the overall award with 21 points, with Mark close behind with 17 points.

Another of Larne's young stars, Gary Andrews, took third place overall in this age group with 12 points, landing a silver medal in the freestyle.

In the 12 to 13 year age group, the girls section was won by Bangor's Jodie Falls with 17 points. Larne's Sarah Moore was fourth overall, taking silver in the butterfly event.

The boys' section was won convincingly by Jordan Leckey of Lurgan with 23 points, winning both the backstroke and butterfly events, while Larne's Matthew Harkness was third overall, winning a silver medal in the freestyle and a bronze in the backstroke finals.

It was in the 14 to 15 year age group where the fireworks really started with six records being broken, twice in two events.

In the girls' section, the crowd was privileged to see the best two swimmers in Ireland at this age, Chelsey Wilson of Enniskillen and Laura McDonnell of Cormorant (Dublin) battle it out for the overall trophy.

It all came down to the last race in the Section, the freestyle final, where Chelsey won decisively, smashing Omagh's Sharon Dougherty's eighteen year old record in the process with a time of 27.81 seconds.

Chelsey also set a new record mark of 31.14 seconds in the backstroke event, where she showed that she will soon be challenging City of Belfast international star Melanie Nocher's record.

In the butterfly event, Laura McDonnell, the Irish Junior Record holder, smashed Sharon Dougherty's other record dipping under the 30-second mark in 29.91 seconds.

Larne's Eimer Black and Ciara Campbell swam well to reach the backstroke final finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Eimer also made the freestyle final, finishing sixth in that race. Rounding out a trio of Larne finalists was Laura Wylie, who was sixth in the breaststroke.

The Larne Club dominated the boys' section of this age group, with Shane Traill taking the trophy with 22 pints, from Conor Leaney with 19, followed in third place by Wilson Logan with 11 points.

Once again this one went down to the wire with Shane winning the freestyle in a new record time of 25.51 seconds to secure the trophy, adding to his three silver medals in the backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly events.

Conor won the backstroke and butterfly events and was runner-up in the freestyle, while Wilson took gold in the breaststroke and bronze in the freestyle.

In the 16 years and over age group, City of Belfast's international Melanie Nocher took the title with wins in the backstroke, butterfly and freestyle events, in the process breaking her own backstroke record with a time of 31.03 seconds.

Larne's Caroline Gordon struck gold in the breaststroke and was sixth in the freestyle final.

Larne also took bronze in the breaststroke event through Niamh Gilmore, while runner-up in the group with 16 points was Cormorant's Niamh McDonnell, Laura's big sister.

In the boy's section, it was more of a men's contest with some great swims from the older men. Eighteen year old Malcolm Kerr from the Warrender Club in Edinburgh, a regular and very welcome visitor to the Sprints, showed how he has matured into one of Scotland's best young prospects by taking the overall title with wins in the backstroke and Butterfly events.

Malcolm broke Larne's Commonwealth Games swimmer Andy Reid's 1988 record with a time of 26.01 seconds and was only seven hundredth's of a second outside Andy's backstroke record.

In the breaststroke race, ex international Mark Craig, now swimming with the Templemore Club showed that he is still in fine form with an impressive swim of 31.80 seconds.

Larne's Johnny Niblock took gold in a thrilling freestyle race in a time of 24.69 seconds, just pipping Malcolm Kerr, who swam 24.91 into second place.

There were also medals for Larne's Andy Hunter, who took silver in the butterfly, and Nick Browne, who won a bronze in the breaststroke, rounding off another excellent Sprints meet for the home Club.

A worthy footnote is the performance of Bangor's Alan McMullan, who swam a very respectable time of 28.37 seconds in the freestyle event. However, his time is also a new Ulster Masters record, for Alan is all of 52 years young and still producing top class performances, a shining example to all young swimmers that this a sport for all ages.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Back in the pool for PTL and Larne Sprints

Larne Swimming Club's new season is well underway, with training at full tilt from the very smallest in the 'wee' pool to the premier squad swimmers. And no sooner are we in the pool training, that competitions begin.

On Saturday 17th September our PTL Squad are off to Ards for the first competitive fixture of the season. Good luck to the swimmers, and we'll post the result as soon as we have it!

And the following Saturday, 24th September, it's the Larbe Sprints. More details to follow!