Marlins to the fore at Graded Gala

Laois Marlins medalists at the Leinster Graded Gala, Roisin Bracken, Katie Donoghue, Sadhbh Kenny Carroll, Emma Rouget, Nicole Turner and Iseult Bracken.
Laois Marlins continued their winning ways at the weekend when twenty swimmers competed at the Leinster Graded Gala in the National Aquatic Centre.

Laois Marlins continued their winning ways at the weekend when twenty swimmers competed at the Leinster Graded Gala in the National Aquatic Centre.

For the Leinster Graded Gala, all swimmers compete in grades from one to seven, determined by the swimmer’s previous best time. All Marlins were promoted to higher grades, and 13 medals were picked up along the way.

Despite competing against Leinster’s top swimmers, some as old as 20, 15 year old Marlin Jordan Overton, swam his way into the top grade in three events - 100M Free, 100M Breast and 100M Butterfly.

Also leading the way for his club was Ryan Flynn (14) securing a second IAG Division 1 Qualification Time in 100 Breast, and coming within 0.15 of a second for a 100 Back Stroke Division 1 QT. He recorded strong PBs in both events, and took bronze in the 100 Breast.

It was a fabulous gala for 13 year old Iseult Bracken, who, according to her Dad Kevin ”swam like she never swam before”. The talented swimmer shaved an amazing nine seconds off her 100 Free and 13 seconds off in the 100 Breast Stroke. Sinead Ni Chuinn also swam a great 100 Free, recording a four second PB. She also shaved four seconds off in the 100IM.

It was also a great gala for siblings Katie and Sean Donoghue. Katie ((9) recorded a very strong time in her first ever 100 Free, and a great PB in 50 Breast. Sean (12) shaved an incredible total of 17 seconds off his four events, and took bronze in the 100 IM. He was particularly pleased to break 1.20 in 100 Free.

The McMahon siblings also shone on the day. Nine years old Conor continued in his record breaking ways, and picked up two silver medals and one bronze. Zara recorded strong PBs in all three events 100 Free (-5), 50 Breast (-2) and 50 Back (-2) .

Another set of talented siblings- the Kenny Carrolls- put in fine performances at the gala. Sadhbh won bronze in 100 Free and 100 Breast. Christian shaved off nine seconds in 100 IM and also PBd in 100 Fly.

Toni Dolan won two gold, recording PBs in 50 Bfree and 100 Back. Her sister Tyler took bronze in 50 Free recording a strong PB.

It was also a great gala for Jack Rouget who PBd in all of his three events, and took bronze in 100 Free. His younger sister Emma had a great gala too. With a six second PB Ben Wall broke 1.20 in 100 Free.In probably his best ever gala the talented swimmer also shaved off six seconds in 50 Breast.

Nine years old Valera Zaharovs continued to impress recording strong PBs in all of his three swims. Roisin Bracken swam a great 100 Free as did Jake Bickerdike.

And last, but certainly not least, Laois Marlins Paralympics Irish Development Squad member Nicole Turner, put in fabulous provincial performances, shaving 11 seconds off her 50 Breast time and recorded a strong PB in 50 Free as well.