THE national Aquatic Centre was the venue for the Irish long course national swimming championships which were held over four days recently.
Kilkenny swimming club had five swimmers in action in the gala which is one of the highest senior competitions in Ireland. This is the gala where swimmers hope to achieve qualifying times for many international competitions coming up over the next few months.
It was a special day for 14-year-old Jane Roberts who qualified in the 100m backstroke in a time of 1.05.61 to claim a place on the Irish team to compete in the European junior LC championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
Jane had one of the biggest smiles on her face and she lit up the arena when she looked up at the clock and realized she had achieved the qualifying time. In the water with her were Olympians Aisling Cooney and Melanie Nocher.
Jane came in 5th overall in the final. She is one to watch in the future.
Colm Dowling swam in three finals. He won and was crowned national champion in the 50m backstroke in a season best time of 26.92. Colm went on to swim in the 100m backstroke where he was piped for gold in a very close finish.
Colm swam the 200m individual medley later and finished in the bronze medal position which was a good solid performance from him.
Colm and David Prendergast were picked to represent the Irish team in the Celtic Tri-Nations at the end of the month in Wales. This is a great honour for the boys as there are only 16 on this team between male and female swimmers.
David competed in the 200m backstroke and finished in 5th place in the A final. He then swam in the 100m freestyle and came in 6th in the A final in a time 0f 53.14. This was a personal best time.
The final was won in 52.03 with only splits between the swimmers. David also swam in the B final of the 200m freestyle and won.
He made the A final of the 400m freestyle and came in 9th place, which brought his weekend to a successful conclusion.
Also swimming for the Kilkenny club were Kate Walsh and Hannah Read. They swam in several races and produced some fine personal best times. They gained valuable experience in a very high quality senior competition.
Coach John Duffy was very pleased with how the swimmers performed.