The annual Swim Ulster schools gala took place in Bangor on the 15th and 16th of October and the Newry swimmers turned out to represent their respective schools. Saturday morning saw the younger swimmers take to the blocks and they started off in style with young Charlie Magill claiming gold in the under 9 back crawl and silver in the freestyle. Darragh Quinn followed this with a bronze in the under 10 freestyle. Both boys also qualified for the Irish Minor Schools finals to be held in Dublin in February. Sarah Mc Nally also qualified for the finals in the back crawl. St Ronan’s relay team made up of Charlie magill, Tom Magill, Rio Loughran and Corey Loughran secured an excellent silver in the relay event also qualifying for the Irish Schools final in Februaury.
Saturday afternoon saw the 11 and 12 year olds on the blocks. Amy Hunter took gold in the butterfly and silver in the back crawl. Liam Og Mathers took bronze in the back crawl and made the finals of the IM. Tara Haffey, Rachel Kelly and Lewis Gray all made the finals of the butterfly and IM. Lewis achieved 2 qualifying times and Tara achieved 1. All five swimmers qualified for the Irish Minor finals in all their strokes and Carly Mc Cartney qualified for the finals in the back crawl.
Sunday was the turn of the secondary and grammar schools. Shea Rafferty took 4th place in the butterfly and made the final of the freestyle, Aimee Burns made the final of the back crawl and Alexander Marfunin made the final of the breaststroke. Our Lady’s relay team came 4th in the Medley relay while the Sacred Heart relay team came 5th in the freestyle relay.
All the swimmers from Newry swam amazingly well and achieved a massive tally of personal best times much to the delight of their coaches.