The second annual Swim Ulster Schools Cup and Championships took place over the weekend. With hundreds of swimmers and heats accommodating thousands of entries at the Bangor Aurora many parents and teachers were kept busy throughout the two days.
On the Saturday Morning the youngest students participated with Enniskillen Royal Grammar School being involved for the 1st time. Sophia Williams, Ellie McCartney and Matthew Dolan all represented the newly amalgamated establishment at 12 years & Under. Sophia Williams swam to a new PB in both the 50m Freestyle and the 50m Backcrawl – finishing in the top 20 in the latter event. Matthew Dolan finished as 1st replacement for the final with a PB in 50m Fly and qualified for the final of the 100m Individual Medley with a Irish Minor Schools Qualification Time. Ellie McCartney qualified for the final of the 50m Breaststroke and the 100m IM. The ERGS pupil then swam a terrific final with a new PB of 37.62 but was pipped to the Gold Medal by just four tenths of a second picking up the Silver Medal. Ellie also competed well in the 100m IM finishing 4th in Ulster and qualifying for the Irish Minor Schools Championship in both the IM and the Breaststroke.
Day 2 saw Jason and Josh Man along with Kealan McShea and Lewis McCartney take to the pool. As a first year Ellie McCartney was eligible to swim in the 12- 14 section. Jason & Josh also swam in this age group both competing in the Breaststroke and Freestyle. Jason swam to great PBs in both events and Josh registered a 6.5 second PB in 100m Freestyle. Ellie (age 11) was swimming in the 200m IM against some swimmers up to 3 years older and managed to finish 13th over all. Once again she pulled it out of the bag in the 100m Breaststroke to reach the final and finish 4th behind three 14 year olds in a new PB of 121.46.
During the afternoon the swimmers aged 15-16 on 31st August next year took to the pool. Kealan McShea finished 13th in the 100m Backstroke with a new PB and had a top 20 finish in the 200m IM. Lewis McCartney swam into a second reserve position in the 100m Breastroke with a new PB of 1:21.46 as well as competing in the longest race of the weekend the 400m Freestyle finishing 9th overall in the Open competition from 7 – 17.
The new school was well represented at its first ever schools gala and swimmers returned home with one Silver Medal, two Irish Schools’ qualification and many new personal bests.