Day 3 Highlights
July 07, 2018
Saturday 7th of July
Swimmers returned to the pool for another afternoon of action at the UL Sport Arena. First up was the Girls 200m Backstroke, in which Grace Davison continued her winning streak by touching first in a time of 2.32.49 in the 11-12yrs final, shaving almost 5 seconds off her heat swim. Katie Macfarlane (Banbridge) and Ai Lin Sun (Tallaght) followed just behind Grace to claim silver and bronze respectively, both girls improving their swims from the heats. The 13 year old girls took to the blocks next with a great race across the pool in the final 50m. Caoimhe Farnan managed to get the win in a time of 2.40.41. It was a tight finish in the race for silver and bronze, in which Aimee Russell (Ballymena ASC) managed to edge forward touching in a time of 2.42.18, improving her heat time by almost 7 seconds! Erin Morrissey followed 0.49 seconds behind Aimee to grab third place position, Erin also progressed her time considerably from the heats by 5.21 seconds.
Lucy McKnight (Larne) stormed ahead in the 14yrs category in a time of 2.36.62, Eva Niskanen Moran (The Curragh Military SC) claimed the silver medal in a time of 2.38.01, with Holly Furlong (Asgard) bagging the bronze in a time of 2.39.13. The eldest girls saw some tough competition with Katie Dunne (St Fiacc’s) claiming another gold medal in an impressive time of 2.24.16, closely followed by Grainne O’Reilly (Trojan) and Pippa Mulhall.
The Boys 100m Butterfly finals were up next, opening with a tight finish between Evan Simpson (NAC) and Sebastian Berryman (Ards) in the youngest category final, both boys stretched for the win, however it was Simpson who managed to push on for to claim gold, touching in a time of 1.15.17, with Berryman just behind in 1.15.84. Daniel Crowe (Banbridge) touched first in the 13yrs Final in a time of 1.12.19. There was great racing taking place in the 14yrs age group final, in which Michael Keogh (Curragh Military SC) bagged his 3rd individual gold medal of the competition in the 14yr final winning in a time of 1.08.41 inching just ahead of his Curragh team mate Niall Burke who touched just behind in a time of 1.08.55. Scenes were very similar within the 15 & over age group final, in which it was a tight finish between Iarlaith Hayes Breheny (Kingdom) and Joshua Fortune, (Sligo), but it was Larlaith who claimed the gold in a 1.02.28.
The splash and dash, as it is often called, was up next in which girls across the age groups set up to go fast in the 50m Freestyle. Grace Davison returned to the pool to win yet another gold medal in the 11-12 age group final posting a time of 29.62. More gold medals were claimed by our fastest girls of the afternoon: Kristina McDonagh (Bluefin) 13yrs, Anna McGlinchey (Strule Dolphins) 14yrs and Maya Blanco Morrissey (NAC) posting the fastest time of the event in 28.18.
The Boys 400m Freestyle finished the individual finals of the afternoon and the boys were in fine form. Denis O’Brien (Limerick) came close to dipping under the 5-minute mark winning gold in the 11-12yrs final in a personal best time of 5.02.46. Sam Cahill (Askeaton) took a massive 14.43 seconds off his entry time to win the 13yr age group final in a time of 4.56.94. The 14yr age group final had a rush for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. The boys battled it out for the three medals and it was Louis Ryan (Leander) who claimed the gold in 4.45.27, with Cian Smith (Athlone) just behind, touching ahead of Michael Keogh in his last stroke to finish in 4.46.11 and Michael in 4.46.13 fresh out of his 100m Butterfly. John Moan (Newry & Mourne) became the 15 & Over champion in a time of 4.23.78 again closely followed by Alastair McKinlay (Templeogue) who touched second in a time of 4.23.81, both boys taking over 10 seconds off their entry time. Niall Kelly (Limerick) came in next to get the bronze medal in a time of 4.27.63.
The Curragh boys (11-14yrs) made it to the 1st podium for the 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay, posting a time of 2.13.68, with Athlone and Sundays Well coming in 2nd and 3rd. St Fiacc’s over 15’s Girls took the win in the 4 x 50m Medley Relay, coming in ahead of Castlebar and Sligo who took silver and bronze respectively.
We saw many medal winners from the previous two days of racing return to the podium this evening to collect more gold, silver and bronze medals, showing promising futures for these young athletes who are consistently improving each time they dive into the water! The Boys 200m Backstroke opened the evening of finals and the swimmers were ready for action! Leo Liu (Ennis) won the first gold medal of the evening in a time of 2.35.97 and did so in an incredibly close finish between himself and Michael Hussey (Galway) who touched just two hundredths of a second behind, picking up yet another top three finish of his competition. Hussey’s team mate Aleksandr McAleer touched closely after to claim bronze in a time of 2.36.87. Aer Lingus’ Luke Buckley put on a fantastic display of Backstroke to take the gold in the 13yrs age group final in an impressive time of 2.31.46. Michael Keogh (Curragh) was back in medal winning form after picking up a gold medal in the 100m Butterfly (14yrs) this afternoon. Keogh sprinted for the wall to claim the gold in a time of 2.28.33. The 15yrs and over final of the event was won in a time of 2.16.21 by Tallaght’s Adam Nolan, the 100m and 200m Champion of the competition looked to be getting stronger with each stroke as he took the win.
Grace Davison was back and hungry for more gold as she glided through the water to finish 1st on the girls 11-12yrs 100m Butterfly Final in a time of 1.10.84. The 13yrs age group final of the event saw a great race between Sarah Cosgrave (Castlebar) and Saoirse Dolan (Asgard), it was Cosgrave who touched first in a time of 1.14.21, with Dolan just behind in 1.15.69. Ballina’s Emma Hughes stormed for bronze just behind finishing in a time of 1.18.29. Leah Smith was the fastest girl of the evening across the event, the Breifne native took gold in the 15 & over final in a time of 1.07.10.
It was the boys turn for the splash and dash in the 50m Freestyle this evening, with an incredible amount of hard racing across all age groups. As you would expect there were plenty of close finishes, with swimmers fighting for pole positions. Sam Coveney (Sundays Well) posted the fastest time in the 11-12yr old category in a time of 30.15. Michael Keogh (Curragh) returned to claim his second gold of the evening in a time of 27.29 within the 13yrs age group final. The closest race of the evening however, had to be during the eldest category of the event, in which Jayke Morris (Claremorris), Cian Breslin (Claremorris) and James Logan (Ballymena) battled for the win, all posting 25 second times, however it was Morris who edged forward to become the champion in a time of 25.41.
The Girls 400m Freestylers were up next with our youngest winner of the night Alannah Mc Gahon (Sliabh Beagh) posting a time of 5.06.44 to take the gold in her age group. Lily Sheehy (Asgard) shone, being the only girl in the 13yr age group final to comfortably dip under the 5-minute mark in an impressive time of 4.57.79 claiming gold in her age group. The 14yr age group final showed a tight race in 400m terms with Barracuda’s Laura Fahy putting the pressure on Asgrads’ Hazel Bentley, however Bentley kept her cool and managed to touch first in a time of 4.55.89, with Fahy just behind in 4.56.49 and Mia McKinney (City of Derry) touching 3rd in 5.02.04. The eldest girls saw a fine performance from Tara McEvoy who comfortably won the open age group finishing in a time of 4.41.28, scraping 8 seconds off her entry time, next to the touch was Templeogue’s Laura Gleeson followed by Ellen Foran (Splashworld Sharks) who touched in 3rd.
The final event of the evening was the cheer inducing relays, where teams and supporters gathered to support their clubs. The Girls 11-14yrs 4 x 50m Medley Relay saw yet another fantastic display of racing, with another tight finish. It was very close between the gold, silver and bronze, with only 1.5 seconds separating the colours of the medals. It was the Galway girls who managed to claim the championship title however, touching first in 2.22.16 but not without a fight from Bangor who were just behind in second place in 2.22.67 and Coolmine managing to finish 3rd in 2.23.43.
The Boys 15 & Over 4 x 50m Medley Relay was the finishing performance of the evening and true to the theme, we saw another close finish between the team from Shark and Kingdom both touching in a 1.57. However it was team from Shark who stuck the gold touching just 10 hundredths in front of Kingdom in a time of 1.57.33. The boys from Sligo weren’t far behind coming in next in a time of 2.00.43 to claim the bronze medal.