Marlins last the distance at Leinster Gala

Sixteen members of the Laois Marlins squad made the rewarding trip to the NAC swimming centre for the Leinster Distance Gala last week.

Sixteen members of the Laois Marlins squad made the rewarding trip to the NAC swimming centre for the Leinster Distance Gala last week.

Distance Galas focus on events ranging from 200 metres up to 1500 metres (the swimming equivalent of the marathon!).

The gala provided a number of our swimmers the opportunity to swim new events competitively for the first time, with Valera Zaharovs, Nicole Turner, Euginia Melnikova, Zara McMahon, Sadhbh Kenny-Carroll, Christian Kenny-Carroll, Carolina Kucinskas, Grace Hayes and Sean Donoghue all adding new events to their ever growing swim repertoires.

On the day itself there were outstanding performances from a number of Marlins with Christopher Carew achieving an IAG Division 1 time for the 200m Breaststroke, adding this to his other IAG Division 1 qualifying times for the 100m Breaststroke and the 100m IM.

Ian Heffernan achieved two Personal bests on the day, with the most notable of these being in the 200m Free where he achieved a leinster Division 1 time. Next in the pool was Zara McMahon who yet again excelled at the breaststroke and achieved an IAG Division 2 qualifying time in the 200m event.

Other notable performances on the day came from Iseult Bracken who set two personal bests in the 200m Free and the 400m IM and Jordan Overton who achieved 7th overall in the men’s 200m IM – setting a new PB in the process.

Later that day Jordan returned to the pool to achieve overall silver in the men’s 1500m Free – an outstanding achievement and a name to remember for the future. Tyler and Toni Dolan continued their progress in the pool with Tyler delighted by her new PB in the 400m Free.

Well done to all Marlins for staying the distance!


Laois Marlins recently held their annual awards night to pay tribute to both their Senior and Junior swimming squads. The Marlins had a hugely successful year in 2014 with many of their swimmers representing the club at local, regional and national level.

In total 11 swimmers qualified for IAG Division 2 Championships which took place in June 2014 at UL.

On the night itself certificates of achievement were presented to all Division 2 swimmers with Zara Mcmahon, Sinead Ni Chuinn, Ailbhe Ni Chuinn, Tyler Dolan, Toni Dolan, Mick Carroll, Ian Heffernan, Thomas Martin, Christopher Carew, Jack Rouget and Ryan Flynn all being honoured for their excellent achievements.

Furthermore, seven swimmers qualified for the biggest championship held at national age group level, that being the IAG Division 1 championships held in July 2014 at the NAC, Dublin. On the night certificates of achievement for this major competition were presented to Eoin Donoghue, Conor Donohue, Ryan Flynn, Thomas Martin, Matthew Doyle, Jordan Overton and Christopher Carew.

One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the Swimmer of the Year awards to the outstanding male and female swimmers in both the senior and junior squads. Ian Heffernan took home the award for senior male squad swimmer, Toni Dolan for senior female squad swimmer, Daniela Klerauskaite for junior female squad swimmer and last but by no means least Valera Zaharovs for junior male squad swimmer.

In addition two special achievement awards were presented to two of our junior members, Conor McMahon and Roisin Bracken, whose dedication to training and fun nature made them worthy recipients of the awards.

At the IAG Division 2 Championships at UL in June 2014, the U-15 Freestyle relay team won the clubs first National 2 Gold Medal ahead of city teams from Limerick, Dublin and Cork.

The club was proud to present the overall swimmer of the year award to the combined team of all four swimmers who brought National Gold home to Laois. Christopher Carew, Ryan Flynn, Thomas Martin and Jack Rouget made up the proud relay team and graciously received the prestigious prize presented by head coach Irina Dawson and chairman Derek Flynn.

Laois Marlins chairman Derek Flynn congratulated all the recipients on their achievements and said how proud the club are of all the swimmers that represent the club at every level and wished all the swimmers continued success for the 2015 season.

The Committee and Coaching staff of Laois Marlins would like to pay a warm welcome to our 13 newest members. We would like to wish Nikita, Evelina, Jennifer, Shauna, Lucy, Matthew, Eimear, Sadhbh, Eoghan, James, Aoife, Anna & Dominykas all the best for the future and look forward to helping them become the best Marlins they can be. We would also like to express our thanks to their parents for allowing their sons & daughters the opportunity to join one of Laois’ fittest families.

We would also like to extend best wishes to Jordan Overton & Nicole Turner who are due to compete in the prestigious Dave McCullough Trophy in Bangor in late February. This swim meet attracts world class swimmers from around the British Isles who are actively looking to knock off those precious milli-seconds that will qualify them for the main British & European summer events.

Finally, if your child or teenager likes to swim in their spare time, but you don’t know what the Laois Marlins are all about, why not pop down to the viewing area at the Portlaoise Leisure centre between 6pm and 8pm on Friday evenings and watch Irina, Padraig and the team put the Marlins through their paces and see if it’s for them.