Gala Round up December to January 18

Rose Bergin

The last Gala of 2017 for Laois Marlins was held at the Watershed, Kilkenny at the beginning of December.  Fourteen swimmers competed at what was a very competitive gala. There was a gold, silver and bronze medal for Sadhbh Moore, who had a great evening swimming PB’s on her three 50m swims.

Samuel Bourke-Carey and Caoimhe Moore both won a silver medal in the 100 Breaststroke and Fionn Cuddy won a bronze medal in a PB time for the 50m Back.  Ignaut Samuchov, Anna Murphy, and Tara Ann Tuite all produced PB’s in the 50m events and gained some valuable experience at an away gala. Aoife and Ella Cuddy both swam 100m events for the 1st time and did a brilliant job achieving some good times. Ben Wall PB’d in the 100 Breast & Cian Nugent in the 100 free both narrowly missed out on medals, as did Niamh Ryan and Zara McMahon in what was an extremely competitive gala.


From the 1st January 2018 swimmers can achieve qualification times for the Leinster Division 1, and the Irish Age Groups (IAG) Division 1 & 2 Events later in the summer.

The first Gala of 2018 was the Leinster Graded Development Gala, this gala is for swimmers aged 10 and over and is held at the NAC in the Short Course (25m) pool format, it is slower than times, so it is ideal for novice swimmers to gain more experience of a larger event and for more experienced swimmers to improve a slower stroke.



All swimmers at this Gala get a coloured wrist band according to the time they have swum for each event.  Thirty-one Laois Marlins entered what was an extremely successful gala for the club. Congratulations to Cian Nugent, Airidas Pocevicius, Eve Tarpey, and Sadhbh Moore, who all made Leinster Division 1 & IAG Division 2 Qualification times.

Nora Alastal, Lucy Brennan, Orla Colley, Katie Donoghue, Daniela Ryan, Ben Wall and Conor Menendez all had a successful day swimming several PB’s. Sisters Eimear & Orlagh Gildea achieved large PB’s in the 100 Breaststroke and both swam 100 Back for the first time with fast times. On her first trip to the NAC Zoe Holland had some great swims and gained invaluable experience at a provincial Gala. Sinead Larkin swam a PB in her 50 Breast stroke & 2 good times for new swims in her other races. It was great to see Grace Hayes one of the senior members of the squad back in the pool competing again. The largest PB of the day went to Noah Murphy who took 16 seconds off his 100m Breast stroke time.


One week later the Leinster Open Qualification Gala was held at the NAC, in the Long Course (50m) pool format. Held over 2 ½ days this event prepares swimmers for the summer long course championships and gives an opportunity to make qualification times. This event is open to swimmers over the age of 10 who have achieved qualification times. Twenty-three Laois Marlins swimmers attended the gala.

For Amy Bergin, Orla Colley, Sadhbh Moore, Katie O’Connor, and Kate Redmond, it provided an invaluable experience of competing in a 50m pool for the first time. There were PB’s for Scott Overton, Ben Wall, Conor Menendez, Kuba Krawczun, Sam Farrell, Lucy Brennan, Grace Hayes, Katie Donoghue and Daniela Ryan.

Congratulations to the swimmers who qualified for events at the Leinster Division 1 and IAG Division 2 summer championships Samuel Bourke-Carey, Toni Dolan, Sean Donoghue, Caoimhe Moore, Valera Zaharovs, Eve Tarpey, Airidas Pocevicius, Cian Nugent and to Nikita Bondarevs who qualified for the Leinster Division 1 and the IAG Division 1 Summer Championships.


The final Leinster Qualification meet was the Distance gala held at the beginning of February in the NAC again with the 50m (LC) pool format. Nine swimmers attended this gala and there were some large PB’s on the day. Niamh Ryan gained her first experience of competing in the 50m pool format.  Kuba Krawczun had some amazing swims knocking almost 57 seconds off his 400m Freestyle and Samuel Bourke-Carey took nearly 32 seconds off his 200m Breast stroke time.

This was the final Leinster Qualification gala and ended what had been a very busy few weeks for the club with some brilliant performances in the pool all round.  A big thanks to the coaches Padraic, Valerie & Joe for keeping up with the busy gala schedule and being so supportive to the swimmers.