Locals in medal haul

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The Masters Swimmers of Lurgan scooped a haul of medals at the biggest gala of the year in Lisburn last weekend.

Francie McAlinden was the first to swim in the 100m individual medley and came home in 1:20.97 to claim the bronze. More bronze medals were added by Fred Harper and team coach Catherine Hanratty in the 200m freestyle, with Catherine beating her PB for the event. Ciaran Hanratty and Turlough O’Hagan went one better in the same event to win silver.

The first gold of the day was won by Sean Lavery who completed a personal medal haul of four gold individual medals in 200m free, 100m free, 50m free and 50m freaststroke.

Francie McAlinden won gold in breaststroke in both the 50m and 100m and bronze in the 50m butterfly.

The backstroke events saw Mark Judge and John Callaghan competing in the 50m and 100m events, in the 50m they returned times of 34.81 and 32.42 respectively with each winning their age group. Abigail McConville won silver for her efforts in the 100m backstroke while in the mens 100m event Mark won gold again although John was beaten into second place.

John followed up this event with the swim of the day in the 100m freestyle, with 58.82 John broke his lifetime best (from his previous best set 17 years ago at age 16). This claimed the gold medal and earned the entrance criteria for the Irish Development squad. Also winning medals in the freestyle events were Sarah Adams and Claire Magee.

The last event was the toughest event of them all: 400m freestyle, Lurgan’s Catherine and Ciaran Hanratty along with Fred Harper. Good swims saw Catherine and Ciaran bag bronze medals.