Fourteen swimmers from Enniskillen Lakelanders Swimming Club travelled to the Bangor Aurora 50 meter swimming pool for the Swim Ulster Easter Qualifying Gala on the weekend of 9th/10th/11th March.
This mid season gala was a great opportunity for Fermanagh swimmers to gauge their competitive progress against athletes from clubs across the Ulster region. And indeed the club and coach can feel very heartened with the huge haul of medals, personal best times and regional/national Division 1 & 2 qualification times achieved across all age groups and swimming strokes.
Oisin McManus from St Michaels College, travelled to Bangor having already qualified for the Irish Div 1 finals in 7 of his 9 scheduled races. His goal therefore was to improve his times and if possible add another 2 x Div 1 times. Straight into action in the 800m Freestyle, Oisin finished a comfortable 9 seconds inside the IAG qualifying time and took his 1st Gold medal of the weekend. On Saturday morning he kicked off with the 200 Medley and posted a 1.8 second personal best time and his 2nd gold medal. This was followed by a strong swim in the 200m Backstroke that netted a further Bronze medal. After lunch he put in a storming swim in the 200m Breaststroke to gain a 14 second PB, another gold medal and his 2nd Irish Div 1 time to take his IAG tally this season to 9.
On the final morning Oisin put in another strong swim in the 400IM to maintain his entry time and secure his 5th gold, then after a short rest he lined up with 3 other senior Lakelander swimmers for the 100m Breaststroke, where he knocked half a second of his previous time and secured his 6th Gold of the meet. In the closing session of the event Oisin competed in the 200m Freestyle where fatigue from 3 days of competing was starting to set in and he finished just outside the medals, and finally in his 100m Backstroke, he regained some strength to come finish somewhat stronger with a respectable time and a Bronze medal.
Ben Lynch, 14 swam in 8 events over the weekend returning home with silver medals and division one times in the 1500m free and 400m free with new pbs of 31secs and 6 secs respectively. He also won bronze medal in the 50m fly.