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Hill has Larne buzzing

By David Kelly

Danielle Hill will be looking to hit top form again when the Irish short course championships start tomorrow morning. The 16-year-old was left frustrated by her performances at the Ulster championships a fortnight ago, but coach Peter Hill - no relation - has no doubt the Commonwealth Games swimmer will start finding her best form in the Laganvalley Leisureplex this weekend.

"Danielle wasn't feeling the best during the Ulsters, it was just a case of refuelling differently and now she is getting right back on track," said Hill, whose Larne club is buzzing thanks to the performances of Danielle, Conor Ferguson and Conor Brines.

"Danielle has moved from being a junior athlete to a senior athlete and that means more gym work so we just had to make sure that she was getting enough protein in her diet and carbs - but not sugary carbs.

"So now that is sorted, we can focus on getting her ready for the Dave McCullagh Memorial meet in Bangor next year where she will be looking to get the times needed to qualify for the European junior championships, which this year are being held in Hungary.

"Both Danielle and Conor Ferguson have the times for the European juniors but they have to do them again in the qualifying period.

"I'm obviously hoping that they go well at the Irish champs this weekend but it's all part of a process towards the Dave McCullagh so they won't have rested for this weekend."

Coach Hill has also been delighted with the recent rise of Conor Brines, who at the Ulster championships set a new record for the 100m butterfly.

"Conor is 19 and it's only now that he is doing eight sessions a week and we are seeing his true potential," added Hill.

"Last year he had been working with the juniors, teaching but now he has really dedicated himself and the hard work is paying off."

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