Thirty-two Laois Marlins swam for their club at the St Fiacc’s Gala in Carlow, returning home with great PBs as well as a massive haul of 31 medals.
They competed against swimmers from Killkenny, Portarlington, Slaney and Carlow swim clubs.
It was a particularly exciting gala for seven young swimmers - Cathal Byrne, Roisin Bracken, Valera Zacharov, Kurt Dinneen-Carroll, Aoife Flynn, Caoimhe Moore and Colin McEvoy- who swam in their very first gala.
Jack Rouget took gold in 50m back and silver in 100m free, as well as relay silver. Jacques Pretorius took silver in 50m back, bronze in 50m free and relay. Conor MacMahon won the 50m fly , came second in the 50m free and breast and third in relay. Ross Doyle took bronze in 50m breast and back. Christian Carroll took bronze in 100m IM. Michael Spillane won the 50m fly and took silver for relay.
Ryan Flynn won four bronze, in 100m free, 100m fly, 100m breast and relay. Christopher Carew took home five medals – gold in 50m and 100m breast, silver in 100m fly and bronze in 200m IM and relay.
Ellen Donoghue brought home three silver medals, 50m breast, 50m back and 50m fly. It was gold, (50m back), silver, (50m free) and bronze, (50m breast), for Zara MacMahon. Grace Hayes won the 50m fly and took bronze in the 50m free.
Iseult Bracken took silver in 100m fly while Eugenia Melnikova took bronze in the same event. Cliodhna Mollloy narrowly missed out on a medal in the 50m back, as did Sinead Ni Chuinn in the 100m breast.
Sean Donoghue and Cathal Byrne took silver in relay, while bronze relay medals went to Padraic Spillane, Valera Zacharov, Cathal Byrne and Niamh Ryan. Ben Wall, Molly O’Brien and Colm Nealon were delighted to record PBs.
There were some exceptional performances in terms of personal bests for the Marlins at the Carlow Gala. Daniela Klerauskaite shaved an amazing 21 second in 100m breast. Ross Doyle shaved 10 seconds in 50m free, as did Ellen Donoghue in 50m back. Sadhbh Kenny-Carroll also shaved off 10 seconds in 100m back. Amy Pretorius shaved almost 10 seconds in 50m breast. Jacques Pretorius shaved 11 seconds off in 50m free and eight in 50m back.
Christian Kenny-Carroll shaved off a combined total of over 12 seconds. Ryan Flynn improved 16 seconds while Christopher Carew shaved a combined total of 30 seconds from three events.
Club Chairman Kevin Bracken, who attended the Gala said. “Watching our swimmers compete here in Carlow made me feel so proud. All the hard work they put in at training week-in, week-out is clearly paying off.
“This was a hugely important Gala for our club, where success came on many levels- for some of our senior swimmers in getting qualification times and for many of our junior swimmers in recording their first ever official times.
“In Laois Marlins every member is of equal importance. As much delight is taken in a swimmer mastering a technique for the first time as a swimmer taking gold in a top level Gala.”