The Leinster Open Qualifying Gala was the first opportunity of the 2017-18 national swimming calendar where entrants could achieve qualification times for Irish National Divisions 1 & 2. 
The Enniskillen Lakelanders decided to head to the Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre for a change to try and achieve times for the July event along with the Dave McCullagh, Ulster Youth Open and Irish Open.
Oisin McManus took part in ten races over the weekend and achieved Irish Div 1 qualification in the 200m Freestyle, 200m IM and 100m Backstroke on his first evening. 
The following day he continued with Div 1 qualification in the 100m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle. The final day of the event saw Oisin tackle his two toughest races yet, the 200m Butterfly and 400m IM, and here again he achieved his seventh IAG Div 1 qualification time in the 400IM. Altogether a good event for Oisin with decent results to motivate him for the months of training ahead of the Irish Age Group Finals in July.
11 year old Isobel Lannon,competing under 12yrs, entered seven events at the Leinster Open. Her first day saw her achieve three Qualifying Times in the 400m Free (5.59.04), the 200m Individual Medley (3.05.88) and finally a strong swim in the 100m Breaststroke achieving her first Irish Division Two time of 2018. 
Sunday afternoon proved another successful days swimming - notably in her first ever 200m Breaststroke smashing her second Irish Division Two by 6 seconds after carefully following her coaches advice. Izzy went on to place first overall in the 200m Freestyle and finally in one of her strongest events and encouraged by the senior Lakelanders cheering her on she took her third Irish Division Two of the weekend with a fantastic PB of 3.04.30.
Kealan McShea (15) attended two days of the meet returning home with four PBs and three Division 1 Qualifying Times. In the performance section on Friday evening he swam to 12th place in both the 100m Backcrawl and 200m IM achieving two PBs and his first Division 1 times of the season in both events. On Saturday Kealan swam a total of five events most notably achieving a 21 second PB, a Division 1 time and first place in the Qualifying section in what is a new event for him the 200 Breaststroke. He finished off his weekend with second place and another PB in the 200m Freestyle Qualifying section.
Lewis McCartney, also 15, has had many ups and downs over the last 12 months but finished the event on Sunday night on a massive high. With Sunday being the last day for qualification for the Dave McCullagh Memorial competition Lewis and the Coach decided to give the 50m Freestyle one more try as part of the 100m Freestyle. Lewis blasted the first 50m of the 100m event in a time to 26.84 - inside the qualification time for the Dave McCullagh, Irish Open and Irish Summer Nationals. Lewis also finished in first position in the 200m Backcrawl in the Qualifying section with a new PB of 2:32.27 – just outside the QT. Another three PBs were secured leaving him in a great position as the qualification season begins.
This was Cora Cassidy’s second time at a Long Course event and the first time in the National Aquatic Centre. 
Cora was swimming 50m Breaststroke and thoroughly enjoyed the experience coming fifth in her heat with a 2 second Personal Best time.
Anna McDade also attended the event and swam two new PBs.
These gala opportunities are vitally important for Fermanagh’s competitive swimmers to give experience at the higher level along with club mates and the Coaches. There’s a busy few weeks ahead with the PTL followed by the Swim Ulster Spring Meet and Swim Ireland Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala to name but a few.