Swim Ireland’s Irish National Division Two Championship took place last week at University of limerick’s Sports Arena.

A record number of 864 swimmers from 96 clubs in Ireland competed over four days at this fantastic venue, with 3,195 individual events and 180 relays over the course of the competition.

As is now commonplace, Enniskillen Lakelanders Swimming club were in the thick of the action with four swimmers attending this prestigious championship. Eimear Magee, Jamie Lannon, Coara Cassidy and Tom Buchanan.

Eimear Magee (15), competing at this level for the first time had a truly fantastic championship. Having opted to concentrate solely on swimming this season, Eimear’s effort and commitment over the last ten months certainly reaped the rewards in Limerick

In her first event, the gruelling 200m Butterfly, she produced a great personal best (PB) swim by four seconds to qualify for the final, where she once again produced a new personal best swim by a further two seconds and finished second to secure the silver, her first all Ireland swimming medal.

Indeed her time also ensured she now qualifies for the Irish Short Course championships next season.

That same afternoon, Eimear took part in the 200m Freestyle where although she missed out on a place in the final she took a massive five seconds of her personal best time. Eimear returned on Saturday for the 100m Butterfly. In the heats she continued with her good form with another personal best time by two seconds securing a place in her second final. Once again in the final Eimear gave it everything and took yet another two seconds of her personal best as she finished just outside the medals in fourth place. In each of her five swims over three different events Eimear secured a personal best time which is not only a testimony to her dedicated approach to training but also showed the benefits of the training approach and schedule of head coach Aaron Rickhuss.

Under swim Ireland rules Jamie Lannon (11) would be too young to attend a Division One competition so was competing against the best 11-year-old swimmers in Ireland in seven events over the four day meet.

No stranger to overcoming adversity Jamie marshalled his nerves and started his first competition with a consistent swim over the 200 Freestyle and a six second short course PB in the 100m Backstroke opening his first championship with a confident display.

On the second day Jamie placed top 13 with another PB in the 100m Freestyle and then qualified for the 100m Breaststroke final smashing the heat swim with a 13 second personal best.

Jamie carried this form into the final, placing sixth overall in the dual age category (11-12 year old) where despite not achieving a medal, Jamie was thrilled to become the second fastest 11 year old 100m Breastroker in Ireland. Jamie continued to achieve in Saturday’s heats, gaining two new PB’s lowering his 100m Butterfly and 400 Freestyle times by six seconds. Followed by a great final swim in the 100m Butterfly.

Jamie walked away from the arena on Saturday as the second fastest Irish 11 year old in the 400m Freestyle and third fastest in the 100m Butterfly.

On the final day Jamie finished off his brilliant week with a five second PB in in the 200IM heats, just missing out on a place in the final.

Normally more comfortable swimming long course (50m) competitions, Jamie faced this challenge with a mature determination and showed his versatility in his achievements in all strokes over the weekend. Jamie was proud to consistently achieve short course personal bests and impressively place top three in Ireland in his age group in three events.

Having had a taster for Division Two last year in a relay event, this was Cora Casssidy’s first opportunity to swim in a national level event as an individual. Up first for Cora (13) was the 200m Backstroke where she impressed with a very skilful race. Cora then showed super determination to swim a new PB in the 50m Freestyle, just moments after finishing the 200m Backstroke. Safe to say Cora finished her season off with some fantastic swims at her first national competition.

The Lakelander’s youngest swimmer at the Division Two finals, Tom Buchanan celebrated his recent 11th birthday by competing at his first national finals. Up and coming Tom made his national debut swim in the highly competitive 50m Freestyle. Tom had a fantastic heat gaining a personal best as well as soaking up the experience putting him in good stead for future competition.

Lakelander’s Chairperson Sara Lannon, hailed the local swimmers saying: “Eimear, Jamie, Cora and Tom are an excellent example of the calibre of athletes in the Enniskillen Lakelanders. These young swimmers have consistently put in the hours of disciplined training and commitment it takes to achieve in their sport, which is evident in their success over the weekend. The Lakelanders are very proud of these young people.”

Head coach Aaron Rickhuss added his praise, commenting: “It’s been an awesome Division Two Championships for everyone, well done to Jamie, Cora, Tom and Eimear. This Division Two Championships has been a real eye opener in regard to our up and coming athletes. For some swimmers, this was the highest level of competition they were eligible for this season and they certainly showed fantastic drive and determination producing some fantastic results. This competition has set these swimmers up with great confidence for next season, once they’ve had their very well deserved break.”