THE ever intrepid swimmers from Lurgan Masters Swimming Club participated in their first gala of the season, the inaugural Open Masters Long Course Meet.
Held in the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin, the gala saw swimmers from all over Ireland compete in events in each stroke at 50m, 100m and 200m. The Olympic length 50m pool (twice the length of either Brownlow and Lurgan pools) was set to challenge local swimmers with only six weeks of the training season under their belts.
First to compete was Mark Judge in the 50m Freestyle, returning to the sport after a 16 year hiatus posting an impressive 31.83. Fred Harper went faster still and finished his event in 31.39 placing him highly within his age group. Fred went on to compete in the 50m Fly and earned the first medal of the day in his age group.
Catherine Hanratty the team coach, demonstrated she could ‘practice what she preached’ putting in solid times of 1:16.95 and 2:49.10 in the 100m and 200m Freestyle. Following suit in the same events Ciaran Hanratty bested his wife in the 100m but trailed behind in the 200m.
The performances of the day were yet to come though from Harry O’Hagan with two gold individual medals. His first gold was won in the 100m Freestyle (1:01.63 only two secs outside his short course best). His second gold was won in the 200m Individual Medley (2:49.82), a cracking performance in a very competitive age group at all Ireland Level. To top off the day he swam as part of the Men’s medley relay team and earned a bronze medal.
In conclusion the Dublin outing yielding a good medal haul for the local masters team.