Super weekend for swimmers

Kilkenny Swimming Club had a fantastic weekend in both Irish and international waters.

Kilkenny Swimming Club had a fantastic weekend in both Irish and international waters.

The club got off to winning ways in the Leinster Winter Championships, which were held at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. David Prendergast and Jess Stallard were to the fore, producing a number of outstanding swims. David won five gold medals in the Open and Youth section, finishing first in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and the 200m freestyle, as well as the 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke. The haul ensured he finished the championships with ten gold medals in total.

Jess Stallard went one better than her clubmate, scooping six gold medals over the weekend. Competing in the Open and Youth section, Stallard finished first in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events. For good measure she also won gold in the 200m Individual Medley (IM), bringing her championship medal total to 12.

Kate Walsh and Megan Fitzgerald also swam up a storm between them. Both girls were in flying form, Kate winning a bronze medal in the 100 IM against some strong competition. She also finished fourth in the 100m butterfly, just narrowly missing out on a medal. Megan Fitzgerald won a bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke and finished sixth in the 200IM. Both were delighted with their performances and are worth keeping an eye on as stars of the future.

The fantastic form continued through the weekend with Brendan Neary, Mike Healy, Calum Maher, Eimear Conroy, Aoife and Ciara Corr all putting in great performances.

Meanwhile in Eindhoven, the Kilkenny Swimming Club had Colm Dowling and Shani Stallard in action. Both performed with distinction in Holland, with Stallard swimming in the 100m and 200m breaststroke finals. She also just missed out on the Irish senior record of 231.05, swimming the final in a time of 231.20.

Stallard will continue her international adventures when she and Jane Roberts compete at the European Short Course Championships. The finals will be held in Szczecin, Poland, from December 8 to 11.