Pictured l-r; Alan Vaughan, James Monaghan, Caolan McCauley and Darragh Summerville.
A school relay team from Creevy National School near Ballyshannon is the toast of the county this week having won the All Ireland Minor Schools’ Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.
Three of the four boys, James Monaghan, Darragh Summerville and Alan Vaughan and another 4th Class pupil Lauren Foy swam personal bests in individual events before the relay swim on Sunday morning that claimed the title.
The winning school relay team was: Alan Vaughan, Caolan McCauley, Darragh Summerville and James Monaghan.
School Principal, Aoibheann Kelly (left) and Karen Summerville (teacher) pictured with pupils from Creevy NS. School, Ballyshannon, winners of the All-Ireland Minor Schools relay swimming championships at the N.A.C. Dublin.l-r; Alan Vaughan, James Monaghan, Caolan McCauley and Daragh Summerville. Also pictured is Lauren Foy who took part in the individual events. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD 160217 Creevy Swimmers TG2
National Aquatic Centre
The cream of the crop in terms of schools from across Ireland, north and south, were bidding for glory in the magnificent setting that is National Aquatic Centre in Dublin but with two seconds to spare, the water wonders from Creevy hit and held the front, the final finishing times telling their own story: Boys 10 and Under 200 Metre Freestyle Relay - 1st place Creevy National School - 2:36:03; 2nd place Gaelscoil Athlone, - 2.38.34; 3rd place Willow Park School, Dublin -2.41.01.
On the day Creevy were second fastest going into the final. They were lined up in lane 5 swimming against 8 other schools from all over Ireland. They all swam exceptionally well and won the gold medal by over two seconds winning comfortably in the end much to the excitement of the team and their supporters.
School Principal, Ms Kelly commented: “The whole school community is so proud of the boys and their outstanding achievement. We were delighted when they won Gold at the Ulster Finals in October and we are absolutely over the moon that they were able to top that performance by nearly 20 seconds to win Gold at National Level at the weekend. It’s not every day that we have All-Ireland Champions in our midst. These talented boys worked very hard with their coach Kieran Summerville over the last number of months and have shown great dedication.”
Swimmers from from Creevy NS. School, Ballyshannon pictured with their fellow pupils at the school.
She added: “They worked extremely well together as a team and the training week in week out paid off, with all members of the team improving their times. There was great excitement in the school on Monday morning, over 200 pupils and staff assembled in the hall to give the boys a hero’s welcome.
“The whole school watched a replay of the relay on the big screen in the hall and the excitement was palpable. After a post swim interview with the swimmers it was clear that this day will be a wonderful memory for the boys and their families for years to come.
“I would like to thank one of our teachers, Mrs Karen Summerville, for coordinating the swim team here in school and to Kieran Summerville for coaching the pupils for both the individual events and the team relay. Three of the four boys, James, Darragh and Alan and another 4th Class pupil Lauren Foy swam personal bests in individual events before the relay swim on Sunday morning. A special thank you also to the children’s parents who support this event in many ways; by all accounts it will take them some time to get over the excitement of the weekend in Dublin.”
She added, Creevy National School has a strong history of promoting swimming and water safety and has a close relationship with Marlins Swimming Club, Ballyshannon Leisure Centre, Irish Water Safety and the local Surf Lifesaving Club and we are delighted that these partnerships have produced such talented swimmers.
Coach Kieran Summerville with the team in the National Aquatic Centre.
Coach Kieran Summerville said he was “ incredibly proud of the boys for swimming so well on Sunday. They all trained extremely hard for this event since last September and I was delighted to see that all their hard work and dedication paid off.”
Giving their reactions to the Democrat, the relay team members summed up the sense of joy at their magnificent victory :
James Monaghan: “There was a great atmosphere at the National Aquatic Centre, and it was my first time swimming there. I was petrified but very proud to represent my school.”
Caolan Mc Cauley: “It was very nerve-wrecking but I was excited at the same time. It was my first time swimming in an All-Ireland final. My family were there to support me and there was lots of shouting and cheering. It was just like the Olympics.”
Darragh Summerville: “I usually take part in swimming competitions as an individual but it was brilliant to be on a team with my friends this time. It was great having my Dad as our coach because he won lots of All Ireland medals when he was young and he knew how to get us to swim our best.”
Alan Vaughan: “The race was very intense and scary; I wanted to do my team proud. I was swimming last but the boys had given me a good lead and I was able to hold on to it to win.”
The message "Swim Fast Creevy" says it all - and they did!!!