Aspiring Champions Meet 16th-17th October 2021

Sharon Cox

Aspiring Champions Meet

LVLP - Lisburn

16th & 17th October 2021

The recent Aspiring Champions Meet at LVLP allowed Lisburn swimmers aged 13 and over to finally get back to competition in familiar surroundings. A strong team of 40 with a mix of ‘old heads’ and some novices at this level acquitted themselves with distinction and given everything that has been thrown at them in the last 18 months they should be very proud of their achievements.

The format of this meet departed from its predecessor, The Qualifying Meet, as now the swimmers would swim in their respective age bands (13-14, 15-16 and 17 & Over) scoring points towards an overall team total rather than earning medals for individual swims. This was further caveated as swimmers could only score points in 2 races meaning that every swim counted towards the overall team score. While this served as an interesting administrative undertaking, the reasons behind the change in format are commendable and the coaches are very interested to see how this develops going forward.

Getting back to the racing, we started with Relays which helped to get some of the cobwebs blown away and brought the team together as a group. Juniors and Seniors faced off against each other while some swimmers competed within their own squads - we hope to further blend the relays going forward.

Insofar as the individual swims, there were so many outstanding performances across the board and the results are a testament to this. While acknowledging the collective team performance it would be remise not to mention some notable swims.

Daniel Mulholland was arguably the standout performer for Lisburn breaking a couple of barriers over the weekend. His swim of 23.96 was his first under 24 seconds, his time of 59.15 was his first foray under 60 seconds for the 100IM edging out the returning Paul Cox and his time of 26.93 in the 50m BackCrawl was his first swim below 27 seconds and set a new club record, eclipsing the previous time set by Jamie Allison.

Jessika Robson also had a very impressive return to action winning the 800FC in a time of 9.25.90, winning the event overall (beating the boys too all while swimming an extra 100m)

Dylan Registe recovered from disappointment in the 100BF and a poor turn on the 50BF with a blazing finish to win the later in a time of 26.23.

Swimming is full of landmarks, going under 30 seconds on 50s, 60 seconds on 100s and 2 minutes on 200s to name but a few. Below is a summary of those who broke down some significant physical and psychological barriers while others came up just short.

14 year old Alfie S also showed a great turn of speed edging under the 1 minute barrier for the first time clocking an impressive 59.83 - he was also joined in the sub 60 club by team mate Seamus C returning from illness with a 59.94 of his own.

On the topic of breaking barriers, there were another 2 in the 17 & Over 100m Breaststroke with Deaten Registe and Daniel Mulholland clocking an impressive 1.09 and 1.07 respectively, however both trailed the ‘veteran’ Paul Cox who posted an impressive 1.06.08.

Rhianna Lawlor also edged below 30 seconds for the first time on her 50 FC with a time of 29.72 and showed a welcome return to form.

Sarah McCracken, Conor M, Adam C and Daniel E must go again as they were all agonisingly close to the elusive 60 second barrier - Sarah in the 100FC, and Adam and Daniel in both the 100BC and 100BF. With Daniel E chasing the 2 minute barrier in the 200FC, Conor M and Yzabelle P looking to under 30 in the 50BC and 50FC respectively things are well set up for next time.

Special mentions go to Patrick B, Niall McN, Lochlan G, Rebecca L, Kaitlin M, Erin McG and Lucas P who all stepped up to this higher level of competition and gave a great account of themselves.

Congratulations to the Lisburn City team which was as follows;
Patrick B, Ellie B, Siomha B, Seamus C, Fiona C, Emily C, Adam C, Andrea C, Paul C, Daniel E, Patrick F, Bryn F, Lewis F, Lochlan G, Matthew G, Aisha H, Cillian H, Alexis J, Toni J, Rhianna L, Rebecca L, Erin McG, Sarah McC, Ava McN, Niall McN, Sinead McQ, Kaitlin M, Daniel M, Conor M, Moya O’K, Yzabelle P, Noah P, Lucas P, Thomas P, Deaten R, Dylan R, Holly R, Jessika R, Alfie S

A huge thank you to all the parents who gave up their time and volunteered for duties, as without your support we cannot fulfil our obligations at each meet.

Finally, a massive thank you to the coaches who helped me and the swimmers through the weekend, your support, feedback and advice was invaluable - Blair, Josh, Peter, Paul and Fred - great job!

Stan Sheppard


Some photos from the above meet are available to view on the club webpage under Swimmers/ Parents and selecting gallery. You must be signed in as a member to view these.