December 17, 2017

Swim Ireland’s Irish Short Course Swimming Championships concluded in Lisburn this afternoon with a further five Irish Records added to the eleven already broken this weekend. Irish swimmers in Lisburn and Copenhagen have broken a total of 29 Records in the last five days!

The concluding session of the four days in Lisburn delivered a new Irish Junior Record in the first final of the evening.  National Centre Limerick’s (NCL) Finn McGeever posted a new standard of 8:05.42 at 800m Freestyle, shaving 32 seconds from his previous best to finish second behind Aer Lingus’ Andrew Meegan who regained the National Title, last held in 2015, when he clocked in at 8:02.57.  The 2017 champion, Nathan Turner also from Aer Lingus, had to settle for third on this occasion in 8:15.19.

Jack McMillan broke his second Irish Junior Record of the Championships clocking in at 1:46.32 to add the 200m Freestyle National Title to his 400m title from day 2.  There was a fierce battle behind him for the remaining places with Kilkenny’s David Prendergast clinching silver on 1:49.48 ahead of Athlone’s Robbie Powell in 1:49.67.

Once again the relays did not disappoint, closing out the championships with three further records.  The ladies were up first for the 200m Medley Relay and Ards team of Rebecca Reid, Mia Davison, Emma Reid and Victoria Catterson ensured the Ards relay success was maintained and set a new Irish Senior Record of 1:55.01.  Aer Lingus’ team of Caoimhe Quinn, Aisling Haughey, Melanie Houghton and Hannah McMenamin put in a brave challenge only to lose out by 0.39 seconds in 1:55.40 for silver.  The Templeogue quartet of Leah Martin, Robyn Lynch, Ellen Walshe and Cara Osing claimed bronze, their time of 1:59.71 a new Irish Junior Record.

The Ards men’s Medley Relay team of Paddy Johnston, Michael Dawson, James Brown and Conor Munn made it 6 relay titles out of 6 for the club and set yet another Irish Senior Record in the process of 1:40.94.  They were followed home by the team from Bangor (1:42.59) and Limerick (1:44.47).

Aisling Haughey, Aer Lingus picked up her first National Title of the meet when she was the clear victor at 200m Breaststroke in 2:27.16.  Niamh Coyne who was crowned champion over the 50m & 100m distance took silver in 2:29.91, while Martyna Smazgara of Trojan collected her second bronze in 2:36.64. 

In the men’s final it was young European Youth Olympic swimmer Eoin Corby of NCL who stormed to victory posting 2:17.25.  Sligo’s Eanna O’Hara was second in 2:22.65 with Bangor’s Mark Stoops in third 2:23.50.

Maria Godden continued her impressive form in the Backstroke events.  After her record breaking performance over 200m on the penultimate evening, she held off the chasing Rebecca Reid of Ards to touch in 29.32 at 50m with Reid just behind on 29.37 in a tight finish.  Caoimhe Quinn, Aer Lingus completed the podium in 30.09, her third bronze of the meet.

NAC’s Brian O’Sullivan returned to the podium to claim his 4th National Title in as many days, cruising to victory in the 50m Backstroke Final in 24.94 ahead of NCL’s Alan Corby in 26.07 and Paddy Johnston of Ards in third on 26.16.

Ards swimmer Victoria Catterson collected her third National Title at the Freestyle events when she added the 200m title to her 800m and 400m Freestyle victories.  Catterson posted a time of 2:00.34 to take the title ahead of Maria Godden on 2:01.96 with Julia Knox in third 2:02.75.  All three girls were regulars on the podium over the championships.  On form Niamh Kilgallen who missed out on an ‘A’ final place posted an impressive 1:59.10 to win the ‘B’ Final.  Kilgallen was the only swimmer under two minutes.

Next up for Irish swimmers the McCullagh  International Meet in Bangor in February, the first long course meet of the season.