The Loreto Letterkenny school swimming team had three outings during the year.
The first trip was to the annual Loreto Swimming Gala in the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin on 5th November. A 6am start for swimmers with Loreto Letterkenny competing against fourteen other Loreto schools from around the country. We had competitors in Under 14, Under 16 and Over 16 sections. The Under 14 team of Ellen Doherty, Bronagh Gilroy and Aoife G Conaghan swam very well with Ellen qualifying for the finals of the freestyle and narrowly missing the medal placings. The Under 16 team of Niamh McHugh, Emma Tracey, Aoife McDermott, Niamh Cannon, Katie Kilcoyne, Julia Checkelnitskaya and Emma Harvery all competed very well with Niamh McHugh and Niamh Cannon qualifying for the finals of their respective strokes. Niamh McHugh won a bronze medal in the butterfly. Niamh McHugh, Emma Tracey, Niamh Cannon and Emma Harvey competed very well in the relay event.
The Over 16 team led by Emily Greenan with Mairead McDermott, Megan McNelis, Louise Hannigan, Catherine Thompson and Eilis Doherty did our school proud. Emily Greenan, Mairead McDermott, Megan McNelis, Louise Hannigan and Eilis Doherty qualified for the finals of their respective strokes with Emily taking gold in the backstroke and both Mairead and Eilis winning medals also. Emily, Megan, Eilis and Mairead were the members of the relay team who put up the best and most exciting performance of the day only to be pipped into second place in a thrilling finish. The team finished in a very creditable fifth place overall.
The second trip of the season was to the Ulster Grammar Schools competition in Bangor Leisure Centre on 20 November. Only ten swimmers were available to travel on the day. The standard was extremely high but all competed very well against their northern counterparts. Mairead McDermott qualified for the final of the 50m backstroke and came fourth in the final. The Junior freestyle relay team came ninth out of twenty four teams competing on the day.
The third trip was to the Ulster Secondary Schools competition which was also held in Bangor on 8 January. Only junior and intermediate swimmers competed as the senior section was held on the previous evening. Unfortunately we had no finalists in this competition but all competitors swam very well.
On behalf of all swimmers I would like to wish Emily Greenan all the best in her Leaving Certificate examination in June. Emily has competed for the school at so many swimming competitions during her six years here at Loreto and brought back many trophies to the school.
I would also like to thank all swimmers who represented the school at these competitions. They were a pleasure to travel with and really did themselves and the school proud.
A special word of thanks also to Bernie McNelis, parent, and Charlie McNamme, bus driver who were so supportive and accommodating.