As temperatures were rising across the country last week, four Enniskillen Lakelanders made the trip to Limerick for Swim Ireland’s Summer National Division Two Competition.

Joining 770 swimmers from 98 clubs the five-day meet took place at the University of Limerick Sports Arena.

This was the first Summer National event since 2019 and there was a great buzz around the venue, creating a fantastic atmosphere for competitors and coaches alike.

The youngest Lakelander to compete was Kate McDade (13), competing in five events in the 14-year-old age category.

With newfound form in Freestyle, Kate swam to three PBs in 50m, 100m and 200m events. A PB in the 100m Breaststroke secured a place in the final, where a 3.5 second PB on her entry time saw her finish in an impressive fifth place.

Kate approached the 200m Breaststroke with focus and determination; swimming a five-second PB in the heats, Kate progressed to the final.

An awesome swim in an exciting and tightly fought final race saw her knock a staggering nine seconds off her entry time, winning a well-deserved bronze medal.

Overall, a hugely successful competition for the young Lakelanders debut at national level.

Hayden James (15) competing at this level for the first time, had a truly fantastic championship.

Starting his meet with the 200m Freestyle, he produced a PB qualifying for the final, where he again improved his time to finish eighth overall.

Day two saw Hayden swim in the highly competitive 50m Freestyle event, earning a PB and finished 14th overall.

Hayden competed in two events on day three – the 100m Freestyle where he produced a SC PB, placing him 13th, followed by the 100m Backstroke, where although he missed out on a place in the final, he earned yet another PB, again placing 13th.

Competing in the 400m Freestyle event, Hayden knocked a whopping eight seconds off his previous time, making him the third-fastest 15-year-old, earning himself a well-deserved bronze medal.

His final event was the gruelling 800m freestyle event. Hayden stuck to his race plan and was rewarded with a fantastic time improvement of 10.88 seconds to secure the second-place finish and silver medal.

He has reaped the rewards of his efforts and commitment over the past ten months in training, with these results in Limerick.

Kiril Chursin (16), also competing at National level for the first time, gained great race experience across his three events.

Competing over three days, Kiril performed well in the 100m Breaststroke event, swimming to his PB to finish in 14th place. Kiril followed this with a SC PB in the 50m Freestyle improving his best SC time by 0.7 seconds.

In his final race, Kiril again produced a new SC PB, taking 2.15 seconds off his SC time.

With an increased focus on race preparation and strategy, Kiril has learnt many new skills which he will put to good use in next seasons swimming.

Emilie Reihill (16) used her training and experience at previous Nationals to take the occasion in her stride, performing well at this meet with six events across five days.

In her first event Emilie produced a good swim to secure a SC PB in the 100m Breaststroke, before swimming to a SC PB in the 200m Freestyle.

This was enough to secure a spot in the final, where Emilie took on board advice from Coach Ben and improved on her performance in the heats to PB again and finish in seventh place.

Day two saw Emilie compete in the very competitive 50m Freestyle; with the slimmest of margins separating the competitors Emilie was pleased to again produce a SC PB, finishing in 22nd place.

Day three saw the heat declared winner 400m Freestyle event, with Emilie again swimming to a new PB and finishing in fifth place.

Day four was the turn of the 100m Freestyle with Emilie again swimming to a new SC PB in a very competitive race, securing a spot for the finals. Once again in finals, Emilie tweaked her race plan and was rewarded with another PB and a ninth place finish.

Emilie’s final race of the meet was the 800m Freestyle on day five – a gruelling race but especially difficult at the end of a long meet. Emilie again swam to a new SC PB and eighth place finish.


Head Coach Ben Wiffen praised the swimmers’ efforts over the five-day meet: “This event has been my favourite event this year with a great atmosphere. I would encourage anyone who qualifies to attend this event in future years.

“Our swimmers have performed well over the meet, focusing on improving their race preparation skills and gaining great race experience. Qualifying for finals and taking home three National medals is a great reward.”

Gala Secretary and Team Manager for the event, Michelle Reihill, said: “These swimmers have been training hard over the season and this success is testament to their improvement and dedication in the pool.

“All swimmers and parents are also grateful to the Sponsor, The Lough Erne Resort, for providing their Summer National event T-Shirts.

“Special thanks is reserved for Enniskillen Lakelanders’ Head Coach Ben Wiffen for his support and guidance throughout the season and during the five days of the event.”