Ellie McCartney was once again in wonderful form as she retained her four Irish titles at the Irish Summer National Finals as well as picking up an additional silver medal.

Indeed, the championships were a big success for the Enniskillen Lakelanders club as they returned home with ten medals, including seven Irish titles with new club member Cora Rooney securing two gold medals while Ben Lynch also came home with an Irish title.

There was 12 Lakelander swimmers who made the trip to the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin for the climax of the national age group swimming calendar.

Ellie McCartney (14), competing in her fifth Irish National finals, took her National medals tally to a staggering 17 in total. The Irish Squad Member continues to dominate the Breaststroke events in her age group with golds in the 100m and 200m races, where in the 200m event she finished no less than 10 seconds ahead of her nearest rival. She again showed her dominance in the Medley events with golds in the 200m and 400m races, adding personal best times in both. Then in the ultra-competitive 100m Freestyle she added her fifth medal, a silver and another PB of 1:00.69. Ellie swam strongly in the 200m Freestyle and the 100m Backstroke and on the final day she smashed the 10-minute mark to finish seventh in the 800m Freestyle. Five national medals from this event crowns a great year for the 14-year-old local star who surely has a stunning future in the sport she loves.

Cora Rooney (14) has integrated seamlessly into her new club having only joined the Lakelanders in July. She came away from the Nationals with two gold medals in the 100m and 200m Backstroke events, and was extremely happy with her 200 IM race where she made the final and added a further bronze medal, moving up from eighth place. Cora also had a strong swim in the 200m Freestyle achieving a place in the finals and finishing in eighth place with another PB.

Ben Lynch (16) competed in five events with the 200m Freestyle kicking off his Nationals where he progressed to the final, finishing in tenth place. On Friday, Ben put in a storming swim to gain a silver medal in the 1500m Freestyle, his first national medal. The following day, he narrowly missed adding a bronze in the 400m Freestyle swimming well to progress to the final with a 3 second PB and an extremely close finish in fourth place. He gathered his strength for one last push on the final day making another final in the 200m Backstroke. Ben however saved the best for last, and romped home with a 6 second PB in the 800m Freestyle sealing a fantastic finals with his first Irish gold.

Lewis McCartney is now in the Open category and qualified for four events. The 16-year-old finished just outside the top 20 in the 200m Breaststroke and matched his PB in the 100m Breaststroke. He also came close to his best ever times in the 100m and 200m Backstroke on the final two days and importantly left the meet happy with his performances.

Molly Johnston (14) made her debut at the National finals with a strong swim in the 100m Breaststroke on Wednesday and then in her next event, the 200m Breaststroke she again impressed with another strong swim just short of her PB. She came away from the event excited to have competed with the best in the country and looking forward to next season’s potential.

Anna Mc Dade (12),was the youngest female Fermanagh swimmer making her debut at National level. Undaunted, she swam at her PB in 100m and 200m Breaststroke, finishing a very respectable 19th and 15th respectively. A great experience for Anna to take into next season.

For 12 year old Frank Buchanan, Lakelanders youngest swimmer this was his first competition at national level. In the 100m Backstroke he posted a strong personal best swim placing him top 20 in Ireland and bagged a further PB in the 200m Backstroke combating his nerves to take more than a second off his previous best time and rank 15th in the country. Frank is quite rightly looking forward to the 2019/2020 season.

Isobel Lannon (13) qualified for six events plus two relays in her first National finals took on the challenge with endeavour. In the100m Backstroke Isobel maintained her time and then in the 200m Backstroke she found her speed and knocked a second of her previous best.

Her progress in pace and skill showed in the 400m Freestyle with two second PB a theme which continued into the 200m and 100m Breaststroke with further large personal bests swims and a first reserve for a final in the 100m. Isobel left the event with strong hopes for the 19/20 season.

Emilie Reihill (13) seemed to really enjoy the event with a calm approach to her first national level event helping her to achieve PBs in both of her individual events with strong swims in the 50m and 100m Freestyle where she moved into Irish top 20 in her age group. A fitting end to a very successful season for Emilie, who now looks forward to next season.

Ciosa McConnell (13) made her debut at the National Finals. In her first event, the 100m Breaststroke on Wednesday she produced a strong swim close to her entry time. On Thursday she was determined to put her nerves behind her and performed well with a very focused swim in the 200m Breaststroke where she finished with an impressive 6.06 second PB. A great experience for Ciosa to take into next season.

Oisin McManus (16) returned to the scene of his medal wins of previous years with a new PB in the 200m Freestyle and despite making a final in the 400m Freestyle, had to pull out due to lack of fitness. He enjoyed his time at the nationals not least for the welcome and best wishes of many old friends and left with a renewed commitment to returning to full fitness in the 2019/20 season and more successes in the future.

Kealan McShea (17) had four swims in his first year in the difficult 17 and older category. He produced strong swims close to his PB’s most notably finishing in 15th place in the demanding 400IM.

Alongside individual races the Lakelanders also competed in three relay events. In the Boys 15&over 400m Freestyle, the relay team of Kealan McShea, Ben Lynch, Oisin McManus and Lewis McCartney finished in 12th place. Whilst in the Girls 12-14 400m Freestyle, Emilie Reihill, Anna McDade, Isobel Lannon and Ellie McCartney performed well to secure 14th place. The Girls 12-14 400m Medley Relay team of Isobel Lannon, Molly Johnston, Ellie McCartney and Emilie Reihill secured a 13th place finish. The three relay teams were entered in a pool of strong local and international teams, however being one of the youngest teams in both events, they have many years left to prove themselves.