SWIMMING: Lakelanders Amateur Club making big waves

Ellie McCarney of Enniskillen Lakelanders Amateur Swimming Club.
Ellie McCarney of Enniskillen Lakelanders Amateur Swimming Club.

The Enniskillen Lakelanders Amateur Swimming Club may be relatively small in comparison to other clubs in Ulster but the young members continue to punch above their weight.

The 2016 Ulster Youth and Age Group Championships returned to the Aurora Swimming Pool in Bangor and gave swimmers the opportunity to compete against their peers as well as clubs from the rest of Ireland and England.

Thirteen swimmers from the Lakelanders entered the competition and the event took place over three days with heats in the morning and finals in the late afternoon.

Last year Ellie McCartney won the Ulster Age Group 9-11 year old title in 200m Breaststroke aged only nine and was due to return with the hope of defending this title. The youngest of the Lakelander swimmers, Ellie won the 100m Breaststroke final by four-hundreths of a second to seal Gold and become Ulster Champion.

On the last day of the event Ellie swam a strong race and led from the start, winning the final by four seconds. The 10-year-old also won Bronze in 200m IM and rounded off the weekend finishing fifth in Ulster in the 200m Freestyle.

Sorcha Lavelle also had a superb weekend, competing in five events over the three-day meeting and finishing in the top three in each event.  

Her first event was the 100m Breaststroke when she came away with a silver medal and also a new PB. Next up was the 800m Freestyle heat with Sorcha finishing third for a well deserved bronze medal.

On day two the 200m Individual Medley and the 400m Freestyle were held and Sorcha again made the finals, winning bronze in both events before finally finishing off with the 200m Breaststroke on day three, easily making the final and winning another bronze medal. 

Orla Keaveney, 12, is based in England and competes for her home Lakelanders club on a regular basis. Her first event was 100m Freestyle when she qualified for the final and finished as fifth in Ulster.

In the 200m IM Orla swam to another PB by 9.5 seconds and was placed fifth in Ulster. Orla secured a Bronze medal in the 400m Freestyle with a five-second PB in the final and in the 400m IM she once again placed fifth.

She won another Bronze medal in the 200m Breaststroke with another fantastic PB and finished off her weekend with a sixth place in the final of the 200m Freestyle.