Swim Ulster Schools Cup and Championship – Friday 9th February 2024, in Bangor

Swim Ulster Schools Cup and Championship – Friday 9th February 2024, in Bangor
On Friday 9th February, 27 swimmers from Banbridge Academy represented the school at the Ulster
Schools’ Cup Championship. There were a record number of entries for this gala and the format was
changed to accommodate. It was a long day for the swimmers, parents & volunteers with some people taking
part in both the morning and evening sessions.

For the first time 5 different local swimming clubs were represented by the 27 swimmers from Banbridge
Academy, Banbridge, Lurgan, Portadown, Newry and Lisburn. It was great to see them come together and
show excellent team spirit. They all swam amazingly well, cheered each other on in the individual swims and
got behind the relay teams.

The schools gala is broken up into different age groups with the team cup represented to the team in each
age group that scores the most points. In the last two years of this competition Banbridge Academy has won
at least one team cup, so we were hopeful of bringing home more silverware.
Swimming for Banbridge Academy in the different age groups were:

Girls 12-14 Sophie Black 100 Backstroke, 100 Free & 400 Free
Victoria Burns 100 Breaststroke & 100 Backstroke
Charlotte Huston 100 Backstroke & 100 Breaststroke
Hollie Jennings 100 Breaststroke & 100 Freestyle
Rebecca Lane 100 Fly & 200 IM
Lucy Skelly 100 Breaststroke & 100 Free
Maddy Sole 100 Backstroke & 200IM
Rose Turley 100 Breaststroke & 100 Free
Zofia Witczak 100 Breaststroke & 100 Free
Girls 15-16 Samantha Burns-Atkin 100 Breaststroke & 200IM
Tara Kennedy 100 Backstroke & 100 Fly
Cara Magee 100 Fly & 100 Free
Nancy McCusker 100 Backstroke & 100 Breaststroke
April McFarlane 100 Backstroke & 100 Free
Girls 17-19 Ciara Daly 100 Breaststroke
Sarah Macauley 100 Backstroke & 100 Fly
Hannah Marshall 100 Backstroke & 100 Free
Edie McCusker 100 Backstroke & 100 Free
Anna McKernan 100 Fly & 100 Free
Boys 12-14 Finlay Harrison 100 Breaststroke & 100 Free
Eli Huston 100 Backstroke & 100 Breaststroke
Darragh Jardine 100 Backstroke & 200IM
Daniel Mills 100 Free
Boys 15-16 Ross McCombe 100 Breaststroke and 200IM
Boys 17-19 Zachary Black 100 Breaststroke & 200IM
Adam Ewart Medley and Free Relay
Henry Niblock 100 Fly & 100 Free


Overall, from these Banbridge Academy swimmers there were:
Personal Bests – 14
Due to the numbers this year there were no finals, and so swimmers had to perform at their best in the heats
to see if they would finish with a medal. The standard of swimming was excellent, with tight races and some
swimmers just missing out on higher places by the slimmest of margins.
Out of the individual swims, the following swimmers came away with medals:

Sophie Black 1st – 100 Backstroke
Zachary Black 1st – 100 Breaststroke
Samantha Burns-Atkin 2nd – 100 Breaststroke
Tara Kennedy 3rd – 100 Backstroke
Anna McKernan 3rd in 100 Fly

The relays were very exciting, and our teams performed well.

● 2nd in Girls 12-14 200 Medley Relay Team was Sophie Black, Rose Turley, Rebecca Lane, Hollie

● 1st in Girls 15-16 200 Medley Relay Team was Sophie Black, Samantha Burns-Atkin, Tara Kennedy,
Cara Magee.

● 2nd in Girls 15-16 200 Free Relay Team was Cara Magee, Nancy McCusker, April McFarlane, Tara

Interpro Team
Qualification for the Ulster Interpro Team requires being placed in the top two of the event for the specific age
group. This is a significant achievement and means that anyone selected will be representing the school at
Regional level against other Irish provincial teams later this season. Those selected for the team are:

● Sophie Black
● Zachary Black
● Samantha Burns-Atkin

Overall Awards
Finally, the team cups are awarded on points, to get points swimmers need to finish in the top ten of their
individual events. This year it was the turn of the 15-16 year old girls to bring home the silverware. This is the
first time Banbridge Academy has won this cup and the third year in a row that Banbridge Academy has
brought home a team cup. The girls in this age group all swam well and all contributed.
A big well done to: Samantha Burns-Atkin, Tara Kennedy, Cara Magee, Nancy McCusker and April