17 Fermoy swimmers qualified to swim at the Irish Age Groups National Division 2 Championships held in Limerick from July 11 to 14. Thirteen of our swimmers attended and represented Fermoy Swimming Club at this high level.
There were 900 plus swimmers at this event coming from all over the 32 counties, so competition was fierce and medals were highly prized.
William Verling was our first swimmer up, swimming a great 200m freestyle knocking 5 secs off his short course time. He then went into the 100m backstroke rather quickly after his 200m freestyle so did not have time to recover and where he learned the importance of a swim down.
Having guts of steel and a dogged determination, William came back the next day and swam a great PB in his 100m freestyle followed by his first ever 400m freestyle in which he achieved a very respectable time of 4.56.58. William finished off his gala with fast 50m freestyle in under 30 secs. Well done William.
Our next swimmer to perform was Jack Duggan, warming up with a 200m freestyle and then on to gain a blistering time of 59.01 secs in his 100m freestyle gaining PBs in both of these events. Jack then went on to compete in his favourite stroke, the butterfly. Swimming a 28.79 sec 50m butterfly put him in the finals. Even though this was a personal best he swam the finals even faster, hitting the timing pad at 28.61.
A great achievement at this level to make a final and even better improving your time in one. Jack finished off his meet with a blink of an eye 27.14 secs time in his 50m freestyle. Job well done Jack, especially when you are up against all the older swimmers at the age of 16. You did yourself proud.
On the blocks next was Zach Daniels-Howard, actually he was at the blocks as he was swimming 100m backstroke. Pacing himself well he swam a brilliant race knocking off 3.12 seconds off his time. With this time he made the finals, going in at 3rd fastest – could he win the first medal for Fermoy? Tweaking his transition to stroke and polishing up his turn with Coach Jackie, Zach was prepared to do battle. Boy did he do battle, much improved transitions and turns, and an even better turn, Zach pulled out a great swim knocking another 1.5 secs off his time and yes he did win a medal – not bronze but gold. Fermoy had their first medal in the bag, a massive achievement at this standard thanks to the courage and determination of Zach. Zach swam in the 200m backstroke later on in the meet and was just outside making the finals. Thanks for the gold Zach!
Ryan Ates swam next with a great swim in his 100m backstroke making 11th place. This meant that he was first reserved finalist – was anyone going to pull out and let Ryan have another crack at his 100m backstroke in the finals? Unfortunately for Ryan all 10 finalists turned up.
Disappointed not to be able to have another bite at the apple, Ryan was even more determined to make it in the 100m breaststroke. This he did with a cracking PB smashing his time and yes, making the finals in 4th place. I feel this is the worst position to finish on as you can nearly touch the medals. Ryan worked on his technique with Coach Jackie preparing for the finals hoping to improve that 4th place. Swimming so well, Ryan managed not only to smash another 2.5 seconds off his time – he also won a silver medal. Fantastic Ryan!
Next up for Fermoy was well-seasoned Sean Slattery. Swimming a 1.03.40 in his 100m backstroke he had knocked off 1.05 seconds and made the finals in pole position – could he hold his nerve and clinch that coveted gold medal? No problem for Sean who swam a great final knocking another 1.18 seconds off and hitting that timing pad first to take the gold.
Along with his buddy Jack, Sean is also rather partial to swimming butterfly so he joined Jack in the 50m fly. Once again Sean made the finals of this event. So Fermoy had 2 swimmers in the finals. Wow! Sean with his vast experience held his second place to win a silver medal to add to his gold with a great swim and improving his PB.
Sean also joined Jack in the 50m freestyle hitting 26.28 secs – a personal best. This will be Sean’s last competition for Fermoy Swimming Club and it is with sadness we see him go, but wish him all the very best for his future. He was a great role model for our younger swimmers and gave a shining example of how to train. We will sorely miss you Sean.
Kayla Whelan Klonowski was our next swimmer up swimming 100m backstroke gaining a very respectable time 1.20.18 – a personal best for Kayla. She swam a great 50m freestyle coming in on 31.22 gaining a place in the finals, where, although only a novice at 12 years of age, she manged to take off further milliseconds, a great achievement at this level! Kayla also improved her time in her 200m breaststroke, getting near to those very competitive finals. Well done Kayla. The future is very bright for this young swimmer.
Fiona Miao was our next swimmer taking part in the 100m backstroke and boy did she take part, swimming a fantastic race, hitting a great personal best and going into the finals in first place. Could she hold her nerve and win a medal – of course she could. Swimming a very well-paced race Fiona flew home to win the gold medal. What a great start Fiona.
Fiona’s second event was the 50m butterfly taking off 1.74 seconds she made the finals in second place. Fiona practised in the cool down pool holding her breath to do more strokes without breathing and discussing it with her Coach Jackie she was pleased with this approach. It paid off with hitting another PB and winning a silver medal.
Under the watchful eye of Coach Warren, Fiona swam a fantastic PB in her 200m backstroke gaining first place position in the finals. Yes, you have guessed it, she improved her time yet again to hold on to that first place and bring the gold medal home.
Next up was the 50m freestyle where Fiona swam yet another PB – not only in the heats but again in the finals – not quite gaining a medal position. Back to one of her favourite strokes, Fiona had been doing a lot of work in training with Coach Jackie to improve her pacing. All this work paid off with yet another PB and a gold medal. A well-deserved gala for Fiona going home with 3 golds and a silver clinking in her pockets, a huge achievement at this level.
Mary O’Donnell represented Fermoy next in the 100m backstroke followed by 200m backstroke and then 50m back. Although Mary swam well she found it hard to hit her times because she has had more important things to concentrate on lately. Mary has done her leaving cert this year and now works keeping our beaches safe, and will also be leaving Fermoy swimming club after many years. Just like Sean, Mary was a pleasure to coach and a brilliant example to all the younger swimmers with her positive approach to her training. I thank you for that Mary and wish you all the very best and will feel much happier flying in future years knowing you are looking after those planes.
Going from one of our most experienced swimmers to a novice, Amy Hawe was next up to swim, and swim she did, slashing her 100m free by 2.46 seconds. She then went on to her 50m freestyle where she knocked off 1.72 secs. Great PBs but that was nothing compared to her 100m butterfly – 3.01 secs taken off her time to make the finals. Swimming in final she took yet more milliseconds off – a great swim, well done Amy.
Annelies Kouwenberg was Fermoy’s next swimmer on the blocks competing in the 100m Free. A good swim saw Annelies gain a PB, not only in this event but also in the 50m freestyle which is so fast it is over in the blink of an eye. Well done Annelies.
Adam O’Grady took over the mantel for Fermoy with a great swim in the 100m breaststroke gaining a great PB of 4.67 seconds. Adam followed this with a further blistering 100m butterfly gaining yet another personal best of 2.63 secs. Final swim for Adam was the 200m breast where he also swam a fantastic pb time. Good day at the office Adam!
Sophie Baker swam in her 100m breaststroke and the 200m breaststroke being one of our younger swimmers to compete. Things don’t always go to plan and it gives me great pride to see swimmers take things on the chin and move forward. Galas are not just about personal bests and medals, it is more importantly about learning not only about swimming but also about yourself. Good girl Sophie.
Alice O’Donnell rounds off our swimmers. Just back from holidays I had my doubts about Alice’s performance, but she had assured me that she had been swimming a lot. Fair play to her – she blasted her 100m breaststroke time by 3.13 seconds and her 200m breaststroke by 4.31 secs. Well done Ali – we will let you have another holiday next year.
Well Fermoy Swimming Club is so proud of each and every one of you. A huge thank you has to go out to all you long suffering parents giving massive support to your swimmers, not only the early mornings but the long days at galas supporting your swimmers but also doing those many jobs which need to be done. Those parents who do such work behind the scenes running the club need a sainthood! Without you all there would be no club.
“I think Fermoy Swimming Club has done a cracking job throughout the year”
A big thank you to Coach Warren for all his coaching throughout the season and the help and support he has given to all the swimmers at the numerous galas.
I would like to say well done and thank you to everyone this year and I think Fermoy Swimming Club has done a cracking job throughout the year. Let’s move onwards and upwards to a successful and enjoyable 2019/2020 swimming season.
Jackie Power – proud Coach.
IRISH SUMMER NATIONALS
Meanwhile, training continues at a ferocious pace for Jack Duggan and Jodie Baker in the final run-up to the Irish Summer Nationals, which kick off in the NAC on Wednesday, July 24th. All at Fermoy SC wish you both the very best with your final prep and taper, and we will be cheering you on from Cork.