Three-day Leinster Long Course Open

After a drought of Galas in recent times, the 2022 Gala calendar jumped into life with a three-day Gala for Swan Leisure Swim Club’s High Performance Squad. This event was the Leinster Long Course Open. Objectives included PB’s, Medals, and securing Division 1 & 2 qualifying time along with qualification for the McCullagh International.

With a Friday start meaning time out of school, all athletes arrived energised for the three days ahead. 15 swimmers registered but, as these things sometimes go, unfortunately lost one ahead of
the gala and had one retirement during. Representing Swan, we had – Hisham, Finn, Juliette, Ruby, Chloe, Mary, Aisling, Alannah, Dan, Kate, Amy, Ryan, Ella & John.

Seeing Vlad take the warm-up was a welcome sight, and at last we were underway at a gala again. The NAC looks particularly impressive on these Long Course days. The calibre of simmer was high, with an expanded entry seeing teams from Munster and Connacht also participate. Most sessions had 500+ participants, peaking on Saturday and Sunday at 800+ entrants. Even Irish Olympian Brendan Hyland lined out for a couple of events. So, how would our team measure up?

Day one had a mix of 400’s, 200’s and 50’s. Right from the start it was clear our swimmers were on form. Through the day we saw PB’s set, and medals won. The day was rounded off with the 4 x 100m Freestyle relay (Mixed). The team of Mary, Kate, John and Ryan delivered some superb splits to take Silver and ensure we all left the NAC looking forward to the next day’s competition.

Into Saturday, and we had a day busy day involving all strokes of 50’s to 400’s and even the mammoth 1,500M Freestyle undertaken by Ruby. As the day went along and times came in it was again clear that individual and team goals were being achieved here.

Last thing on Saturday came the 4 x 100m Medley relay (Girls). This really was an epic race. Our team were up against some real high-potential young swimmers from across Ireland. Portmarnock stormed into an early lead that really looked insurmountable. Screamed-on by their teammates on the bank Juliette (backstroke), Amy (Breaststroke), Chloe (Butterfly) and Alannah (Freestyle) dug so deep and displayed huge heart to deliver a memorable comeback win. Each set some simply fantastic splits for what was an epic race and ended day two with a bang!

Sunday again saw a busy schedule produce medals, PB’s and a growing list of qualification times. While most tackled a well-earned lunch, Juliette and Ruby tackled the 800m in the mid-afternoon session. The club came together again for another successful gold medal relay performance in the 4 x 100m Freestyle relay (Amy, Mary, Chloe and Alannah).

Congratulations to all our swimmers!

It was a successful weekend for swimmers and coaches alike, and a very special thank you to Vlad, Raine and Amy for supporting the swimmers across the weekend. The work you are putting in is
bearing fruit!

Final shout-out then to all parents who helped out with their Officials duties and especially to all the parents who crammed to get their credentials sorted in time so that we had ample Team Manager qualified support across the weekend.

Go Swans!



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