The Irish Age Group Division 2 Championships is one of the top swim meets in the Irish calendar for young swimmers. This Championship takes place in June, at the University College of Limerick Sports Campus. This meet is a Level 4 Short Course Gala, meaning the times achieved here can qualify these young swimmers for the National Short Course Championships later this year.
Laois Marlins Swimming Club had a very strong squad of swimmers attending this year, not only did it have the most qualified swimmers of any year so far, but they all achieved qualification with very competitive times.
Of the 19 swimmers who qualified, 17 swimmers took part in the Championship, 11 girls and six boys. Collectively and individually these young athletes achieved incredible results, Laois Marlins squad as a unit took part in 63 Individual swims achieving 45 Personal Bests, making 20 finals and winning a total of six National Medals: two gold, one silver and three bronze.
Starting with the Girls Amy Bergin (14) had a super gala, of her seven swims she had five amazing PB’s and made four finals: the 400m IM, 100m Butterfly, 100m Breast Stroke and 200m Breast Stroke. She took the Bronze medal in a very tough race, the 400m Individual Medley.
Lucy Brennan (14) had a total of 10 swims, she achieved eight super PB’s and made three finals, finishing just outside the medals in the 100m Breast Stroke, 200m Breast Stroke and 800m Freestyle.
Orla Colley (12) made her first appearance at the IAG’s participating in the 100 Back Stroke, she gave a super performance to finish with a strong PB. Toni Dolan (16) had three swims, she made the final in the 400IM and achieved 2 PB’s in the 100m and 200m Breast Stroke.
Sophie Igoe (11) made her debut at the IAG’s in the 50m Freestyle, she gave a great performance staying very close to her Personal Best. Lena Kaminska (12) also made her IAG debut, she had four swims achieving two PB’s in the 100m and 200m Back Stroke, making the final in the 100m back stroke and finishing in 8th Place.
Caoimhe Moore had eight swims with three personal bests, making three finals, finishing with a massive PB of over 6 seconds in 400IM to finish in 6th place, while also finishing in 8th place in the 100m Fly.
Sadhbh Moore (12) had one swim in the 50m Free, putting in a fine performance to stay very close to her PB. Katie O'Connor (11) made her debut to the IAG's with two events, the 50m Free and 400m Free, she achieved PB's in both with an excellent display in the 400m Free achieving close to a 12 second PB.
Daniela Ryan (14) participated in the 200m Back Stroke and gave a fine performance achieving a new PB. Jessica Zhigulskaya (14) also made her IAG debut in the 100m Free and 200m Back Stroke, achieving a PB in 200m Back.
For the boys, Sean Donoghue was in great form in his four events, making one final and achieving three PB’s as well as a bronze medal in the 400m IM. Sam Farrell (14) made his debut at the competition, and he did it in style with four PB’s. He reached two finals, the 100m & 200m Back Stroke, taking gold in the 100m Back and silver in the 200m Back - achieving Division 1 times in both swims.
Kuba Krawczun was also in top form, of his seven swims he achieved a whopping seven PB’s to reach five finals. He took the gold medal in 100m Free, achieving a Division 1 time in the process. Kuba also took the bronze medal in the 200m Individual Medley, again achieving a Division 1 time, while finishing just outside the medals in the 400m Free and 200m Free.
Cian Nugent recorded a PB in the 100m Free. Ignat Samuchov (11, the youngest of the boys competing for Laois Marlins, had a busy season and qualified in six swims. Ignat gave strong performances throughout the competition, achieving PB’s in the 50m Free, 100m Back and 200m Individual Medley. Last but by no means least, Valera Zaharovs achieved super PB’s in both his swims and made the final in the 100m back stroke, in which he finished in 9th position.
This was a hugely successful year for Laois Marlins at the Irish Age Groups Division 2 Championships, the club is now looking forward to a successful winter season ahead.