Mallow Swans compete with distinction at National Division 2 Championships

Competition was high at the University of Limerick last weekend for the National Division 2 Cham-pionships, with 77 clubs from throughout the 32 counties participating in the four-day event. Mallow Swans, with a squad of 10 swimmers, made a big impression. The Mallow team got off to a fantastic start from day 1, with Jessica Harris, the youngest member of the squad at just 10 years of age, winning a gold medal in the enduring 800m free-style event, while achiev-ing impressive PBs (per-sonal bests) in all of her 6 events including the 100m breaststroke final. Jed Duane had an outstanding weekend, taking 1st place and gold in the 400 and 200m freestyle, with two outstanding swims crediting him with times that give the title of fastest at Division 2 level for these two events. He also achieved a PB in the 100m freestyle, breaking the one-minute mark for the first time. Rachel Murphy also had a fantastic weekend, winning both her heats in the 100 and 200m breast-stroke and securing her place in the challenging finals; her strong swim in both finals secured her gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m. Léan Duane swam the 200m individual medley with such deter-mination that she secured a two second PB and a place in the final. After excellent mentoring and advice from coach Deirdre Lenihan, Léan won a bronze medal in a very closely fought final. Jed, Rachel and Léan have now secured times to allow them to go forward to the most prestigious event in swimming in Ireland, the Division 1s in the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, starting on July 16th.

It was a great moment for the Mallow club to have three swimmers line up for the 200m breaststroke final on Sunday after a long four days, but sisters Tara and Rachel Murphy, and Orla Bowen, dug deep and had excellent swims, with Rachel finishing 2nd, followed by Orla in 5th and Tara in 7th. Orla and Tara also achieved PBs in their 100m breaststroke event. Killian Bolster fought off tough opposition to reach the 200m IM final, finishing 5th overall. He also achieved PBs in his other 3 events. Fionn Nee-nan, Sean Discombe and Kelda Minehane also had a very successful weekend, attaining very significant PB’s in all races.

It has been a long academic year for a lot of this squad juggling, exams and long hard training sessions. They should all be commended for their drive and commitment. We also congratulate Deirdre Lenihan for her excellent coaching over the weekend.