Laois Marlins recorded a strong start to the season taking an incredible haul of 20 medals at the Comorant Gala held at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.
Such was the strength of the young swimmers’ performances, they medalled in more than 60% of the events in which they competed, as well as five 4th places.
In the U12 Boys Events they broke all gala records by taking 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th places in the 50M Freestyle. Not surprisingly then the U13 relay team (Jordan Overton, Conor Donoghue, Ryan Flynn and Christopher Carew) had an easy win in the Final. The Marlins Boys also took 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the U12 Breaststroke, 1st, 2nd and 4th in the Backstroke, as well as 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th in the ‘Fly.
Seven year old Jacques Pretorius swam his first competitive gala to huge cheers of support from the stand as he came 4th in Backstroke and 6th in a very competitive Freestyle Final. His sisters Caitlin and Amy also swam very well, recording Personal Bests in all of their races.
Another set of swimming siblings, the Donoghues, swam superbly on the day, bringing home a total of nine medals. Eoin won gold in Breaststroke and Fly, Conor won gold in Relay as well as three silvers in Back, Free and Fly, while Ellen took gold in Breast and silver in Free and Fly, and in doing so shaved a total of sixteen seconds from her previous times.
Eleven year old Jordan Overton couldn’t have done better. Literally. As he won gold in all five of his events- Free, Fly, Back, Breast and Relay.
Ryan Flynn also recorded great times, taking gold in Relay and bronze in Free and Back. He narrowly missed out on a medal in Fly. Christopher Carew won gold in Relay, bronze in Breast and came a very close 4th in Freestyle. His sister Alice shaved almost seven seconds off her Free time.
Thomas Martin took bronze in Breaststroke. Sinead Quinn was denied a bronze medal in the Breastsroke by one hundredth of a second and finished a very strong sixth in Buterfly.
Team Manager Denis Donoghue said, “this was a great day for Laois Marlins. These kids swam with so much pride today and it really showed”.
See this week’s Leinster Express for more photographic coverage. Now on sale on Tuesdays