THE national finals for the Minor Schools (Primary Schools) took place at the National Aquatic Centre.
Eglantine Girls School, Douglas claimed the National Title in the 10&Under 200m medley relay. The team, Ella Power, Olivia Cummins, Kate Caldwell and Alexandra Egar combined to touch on 3:16.15 and held off a strong challenge from the girls from Scoil Iognaid, Galway 3:16.50. The girls had to settle for silver in the 200m freestyle relay. They stopped the clock on 2:53.61 losing out to Ballyholme Primary School, Bangor, Co. Down who touched on 2:51.72.
On an individual level, Alexandra Egar claimed the National Title in the 9-year-old 50m butterfly 44.83 and collected bronze at 50m freestyle 37.98. Pippa Costello of Watergrasshill National School won that 50m freestyle when she posted 37.68. Costello claimed a second National Title with victory at 50m backstroke 42.37. Robyn O’Callaghan, Our Lady of Lourdes, Ballinlough placed 7th in that backstroke final.
Another to claim a National Title in this age group was Síofra Carroll, Scoil Naoimh Eoin at 50m breaststroke, 51.40. Panna Sipos, from Midleton Educate Together placed 8th in that final. Aoife Song, Beaumount Girls, placed 6th in the 50m butterfly. Paddy Costello, Scoil Eoin placed 9th in the 50m backstroke final and Cian O’Donoghue, also from Scoil Eoin placed 8th in the 50m butterfly.
Adam Kozak, Scoil and Spioraid Naoimh, placed 5th in the 10-year-old 50m breaststroke final. The boys from Bunscoil Rinn an Chabhlaigh, Cillain Turner and Thomas Anglim placed 9th in the 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke finals, respectively. Eoin Manson, Gaelscoil Ui Drisceoil, placed 6th in the 50m backstroke final.
St Anthony’s Boys School, Douglas, placed 2nd in the 200m medley relay. The team, Charlie Barrett, Jack Caldwell, Harry Canty and Tadhg O’Dowd also collected bronze in the 200m freestyle relay. Both relays were won by the team from Holly Park NS, Dublin. The senior boys relay team from St. Anthony’s, William Egar, Euan Wolfe, Sonny Barrett and Ruairi O’Sullivan collected double bronze in the medley and freestyle relays.
Barrett had sustained a broken thumb in the days leading up to the National Finals which ruled him out of his individual events, but he bravely battled it out for the team in the relay events. The boys from Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil, Luke O’Hlarlaithe, Eoin Manson, Rian O’Dugain and Caoimhín O’Murchu, placed 7th in the 200m freestyle relay.
Egar collected bronze in his individual swim at 50m freestyle in the 11-year-old category, 32.58. He also placed 6th overall in the 50m butterfly 40.43.
The race of the day took place in the boys 12 year old 100m IM final. Little separated the top three throughout the race, with all three finishing in times sub 1:18. Garvan Gillard, Gaelscoil na Duglaise placed third on 1:17.73. The race was won by Anton Nieuwoudt, JFK Memorial School, Limerick 1:17.46 with Campbell Smyth, Coleraine Grammar School in 2nd with 1:17.53. Gillard got his moment to shine when he was first home at 50m butterfly, to claim the National Title with 32.89.
Lev Lobanets led another impressive race in this age group, in the 50m freestyle. The top three all swam sub 30 seconds. Lobanets improved by 0.34 seconds from his preliminary swim to claim the National Title on 29.16 holding off the chasing Lucas Nian, Killester, Dublin on 29.26. Nian had been the fastest qualifier into the final and he too improved from his preliminary swim, but Lobanets dug deep on the final 10m into the wall to clinch the title.
Fraser Prue, Campbell College, Belfast completed the podium on 29.79. Lobanets qualified for the 50m breaststroke final, but opted not to swim. Killian O’Callaghan, Model School, Dunmanway placed 9th in that 50m breaststroke final 44.47.
The Eglantine girls senior relay team, Jenny McGrath, Rachel McGrath, Sophie Sheehan and Isobel Sheehan placed 11th in the 200m medley relay and 12th in the 200m freestyle relay.
Finn Read, Gaelscoil Uí Riada placed 5th in the 50m backstroke 39.87, dipping under the 40 second barrier for the first time. Claire Bradley, Ballygarvan National School, narrowly missed out on a National medal when she placed 4th in the 50m butterfly 37.59.