A Wave of Victories: Banbridge Year 8 Swimmers Excel

At the recent Swim Ulster Schools’ Cup and Championships, held on December 9, 2023, at the Aurora Swimming Pool in Bangor, eight talented Year 8 students from Banbridge Academy showcased their exceptional swimming skills.  Despite challenging weather conditions outside, these young athletes remained focused and delivered outstanding performances in the pool.


The female swimmers from the Academy were particularly impressive.  Lucy Skelly completed the 50m Freestyle in 42.37 seconds and the 50m Breaststroke in 53.65 seconds.  Ava Dunbar also excelled, swimming the 50m Freestyle in 43.73 seconds and the 50m Breaststroke in 57.58 seconds.  Hollie Jennings stood out with her performance in the 50m Freestyle, clocking in at 32.42 seconds and securing 5th place overall.  She also competed in the 100m Individual Medley, finishing in 1:24.55, earning 8th place overall and qualifying for both events in the Irish Minor Schools Finals in Dublin.


In the boys’ category, the Academy had three participants in the 50m Freestyle. Eli Huston achieved a new personal best of 36.75 seconds, securing 12th place.  Finley Harrison recorded a time of 38.42 seconds, taking 14th place, and Daniel Mills was close behind with 38.46 seconds, earning 15th overall. Furthermore, Eli Huston clinched 5th place in the 50m Breaststroke with a time of 45.29 seconds, qualifying for the Irish Minor Finals. Finley Harrison also qualified for Dublin, finishing 7th in the 50m Breaststroke in 47.07 seconds.  In his second individual event, the 50m Breaststroke, Daniel Mills posted a time of 52.50 seconds.  Darragh Jardine excelled in the 50m Backstroke, earning a silver medal with a time of 38.48 seconds and securing a spot in the Irish Minor Schools’ competition.  Victor Fratescu also participated in this event, finishing in 54.12 seconds.  Darragh Jardine later competed in the 100m Individual Medley, placing 6th with an Irish Minors’ Finals qualifying time of 1:27.


The Academy’s relay team, comprising Victor, Finley, Daniel, and Darragh, performed brilliantly in the freestyle medley, winning a silver medal with a time of 2:40.54.  Despite a strong lead in the medley, they faced disqualification due to an early start.


We wish all the swimmers the best as they prepare for the Dublin finals in March and the Swim Ulster Senior Schools’ Cup & Championships in February 2024.