Following a successful Irish National Division Two Competition in Limerick for Fermanagh’s up and coming younger swimmers, next week sees Enniskillen Lakelander’s Senior and TAG swimmers head for Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre, sponsored by local companies: Belmore Court & Motel plus Western Brand NI limited, for the climax for the age group season, the Irish Summer National Finals.

Eleven Lakelanders have put in the long hours of training and achieved the times needed at qualifying events throughout the 2018/19 season to reach this level – six of them swimming at National Finals for the first time.

Together with their younger clubmates in last week’s Division Two finals, the sheer number of swimmers qualifying at this level shows the progress of the Lakelanders in recent years.

Local and national star Ellie McCartney returns to the Championships for the fifth time, four at the top level, with the hope of retaining one or more of her Irish National titles.

The 14 year old is swimming a variety of strokes and distances including her favourites; 100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 200m Individual Medley. On top of this Ellie will swim the 100m Backstroke and 400m IM for the first time at the championships as well as 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m Freestyle.

Isobel Lannon (13) makes her debut at the Championships where she will compete in six events. Izzy will swim in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke, 400m Freestyle, 200m Individual Medley, and the 100m and 200m Backstroke. Izzy has trained hard all year and is keen to show what she can do at this level.

Anna McDade (12) is the youngest female swimmer attending as she makes her debut at National level to compete in her favoured stroke in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke events with the determination to continue to improve her recent fantastic swimming form.

Molly Johnston (14) also makes her debut at the Championships to compete in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke events. Molly is keen to continue her progress and show her improvement since last year’s Division Two event.

Emilie Reihill (13) is another who will swim at National level for the first time to compete in her favourite events the 50m and 100m Freestyle events. Emilie is looking to build on the experience gained at Ulster level this year with the determination to continue to improve her swimming form.

14-year-old Ciosa McConnell makes her debut at the National Finals to compete in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke events keen to continue her progress and is looking forward to putting her hard work at training in to practice in a great end of season competition.

The Lakelanders girls will also participate in two relay teams over the five day event, the Female 12-14 Freestyle and Medley Relays.

Frank Buchanan (12) makes his debut at the NAC as the youngest Fermanagh swimmer to compete in the National Finals. Frank will swim the 100m and 200m Backstroke events with the determination to continue his recent progress at Ulster level.

Ben Lynch, 16, has had a great season in 2018/19 with lots of podium finishes at Ulster level, he now travels to Dublin to contest his favourite stroke, Freestyle, at 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m lengths as well as the 200m Backstroke and he is keen to translate his Ulster achievements into national success.

Lewis McCartney (17) is in his prime for Age Group Swimming and will participate in 100m and 200m Breaststroke plus the 100 and 200m Backstroke. Having already hit gold and silver at Ulster level in 2019, Lewis is looking forward to another successful national competition.

Oisin McManus (16) will also return to the scene of his 2016 and 2018 1500m Freestyle golds to contest two events the 200m and 400m Freestyle. Having missed a lot of the 18/19 season through illness Oisin is looking forward to his return to the pool and the buzz of the national finals.

Kealan McShea, fresh from his medal success at the recent Mary Peter’s event in Bangor, and with an all Ireland Surf Life Saving gold medal achieved in 2018, has entered four individual events: 100m Breaststroke, 100m Backstroke and 200m and 400m Individual Medley. The 17 year old has seen his hard work pay off in the 18/19 season and is hoping for more success over the Championship.

The Senior Boys will also compete in the 400m Freestyle and Medley relays seeking to regain their form from previous years when they achieved podium success.

Lakelanders Head Coach Aaron Rickhuss congratulated all swimmers on their success in qualifying.

“It’s a pleasure to coach these athletes and to see them achieve at national qualification. Swimming is a sport that requires serious dedication and discipline and I’m thrilled to see this amount of Fermanagh swimmers who have what it takes to reach this level. We’re all looking forward to a great event.”