Day 4, Session 14
July 08, 2018
The Girls 800m Freestyle finished the morning heats on this final day of racing at IND218. The athletes were dropping huge time off their personal bests in the pool this morning, swimming from strength to strength per 100m. First up we had Alannah McGahon (Sliabh Beagh ASC) take almost 16 seconds off her entry time to become the 11-12yrs 800m Freestyle Champion in a time of 10.36.45. The girls touching next to claim silver and bronze considerably improved their times also, with Ai Lin Sun (Tallaght) taking almost 11 seconds off to finish second in 11.02.67 and Enniskillens Isobel Lannon claiming third in a time of 11.05.11 reducing her time by an incredible 24.28 seconds. Lily Sheehy (Asgard) was crowned the 12yrs 800m Freestyle Champion touching in 10.53.59. Hazel Bentley (Asgard) was back in medal winning form as she dived into an impressive personal best by 15 seconds and almost breaking the 10-minute barrier by touching in 10.00.56 to become the 14yrs 800m Freestyle Champion.
The afternoon finals began with the Boy 200m Individual Medley and we saw some familiar faces on the podiums once again. Sebastian Berryman from Ards Swimming Club took 6 and a half seconds off his heat swim to become the Boys 11-12yrs 200m IM Champion in a time of 2.41.53. Airidas Pocevicius from Laois Marlins was close behind touching in second in a super swim of 2.43.27 and Matthew Moan (Cookstown) managed to keep Limericks' Denis O'Brien off his toes by touching 0.08 seconds ahead to claim third position.
Spectators experienced another tight finish between 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Boys 13yrs 200m IM Final. Luke Buckley (Aer Lingus), Jake Whelan (St Fiacc's) and Cormac Donnellan (Glenalbyn) came head to head down the final 50m, but it was Buckley's Freestyle that managed to edge just ahead to take the gold in a time of 2.42.25, Whelan touching in 2.42.72 and Donnellan in 2.43.38 after some fantastic racing. Michael Keogh (Curragh Military) returned to claim his 5th individual gold medal of his competition. Michael took over 5 seconds off his heat swim to touch first in the 14yrs old age group final in a time of 2.26.46. with David Duane (Mallow Swans) and Odie Melia (Tuam) touching in second and third. The 15yrs and Over Final had a tight finish between 1st and 2nd with Templeogue's Luke De Lacey and Anthony Maher (Sligo) racing for pole position. De Lacey came out on top however, touching just 0.05 seconds ahead in a time of 2.18.48.
The Girls 200m Breaststroke was up next with Grace Davison claiming her 7th Gold medal of her competition in the 11-12yr old age group final. Grace touched in a time of 2.56.32, ahead of Gillian Murphy (Galway) and Izzy McGrath (Dolphin) who touched in second and third. Chloe O'Flynn (Dolphin) was the girl for gold in the 13yr old age group final finishing in a time of 3.05.44, taking almost 2 seconds off her heat swim to become champion. In the 14yr old age group final it was Rowan Walsh who excelled taking a massive 7 seconds off her heat swim to touch first in 3.03.09, but not without a fight from second place positioned Gabija Isajevaite (Titan) who finished just 0.67 seconds behind and Kiera Williams (Banbridge) who finished third in 3.04.18. Emma Begley (Tuam) was the fastest girl of the afternoon in a time of 2.50.56 winning the 15yrs & Over age group final. Emma was followed by Abby Wall (Clonmel) and Hazel Coen, (Castlebar) who claimed silver and bronze.
The Boys 15 & Over 50m Backstroke was the final individual race of the afternoon in which Ethan Comerford (Tallaght), Evan Welby (Shark), Mark Ryan (Limerick) and Niall Kelly (Limerick) took to the blocks and all improved their heat times. The race was close as you would usually expect in these 50m sprints, but it was Ethan Comerford who reached the wall first in a time of 29.60, closely followed by Welby in second and Ryan in third.
The final event of the afternoon was the exciting 11-14 yrs Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay. The boys and girls of each team, gathered at their blocks and were ready to race. Mixed relays always bring about a special atmosphere and today was no different! When it came to the final meters of the race it was down to the team from Bangor, Dolphin and St Fiacc's. It was clear that Bangor were in the lead as the flags approached, as they did indeed finish in gold position, there was then the fight for silver. With just 0.02 seconds between the teams, it was Dolphin who sought the silver, with St Fiacc's just a hairs length behind for bronze.
July 08, 2018
The distance boys were also in action today with lots of gutsy pacing during the 800m Freestyle event. All top 3 finishers within the 11-12yrs and 13yr old age groups touched in 10 minute swims, but it was Aleksandr Mc Aleer, (Galway) who touched first in the youngest age group in a time of 10.16.42 to claim gold and Bangor's Samuel Wright who touched first in the next age group with 10.26.77. Michael Keogh (Curragh Military) showed no tiredness from his weekend of top finishes as he stormed down the final 100m of this distance event to gain another Championship title within the 14 year old age group final in a time of 9.28.12. Niall Kelly (Limerick) dropped an enormous 14.61 seconds off his entry time to post the fastest 800m of the competition, winning the 15 & Over age group final in a time of 9.06.28. The final session of the competition came to a close this evening here at the UL Sport Arena. It was the Girls 200m Individual Medley that kicked off first, in which Grace Davison closed her Division 2 campaign with another gold medal within the 11-12yr old age group final, that makes a total count of 8 individual Golds for the Ards swimmer, who comfortably took the win in a time of 2.35.25 in the opening race of this evenings finals. Lily Sheehy (Asgard) was also back in fine form to win the 13yr old age group final of the event in a time of 2.41.85. The swimmers in the 14 year old category had a tight race on their hands with Cathy O'Sullivan (Waterford), Hazel Bentley (Asgard) and Holly Furlong (Slaney Sharks) all hungry for the race. It was O'Sullivan who touched first however, in a time of 2.40.46 bettering her morning swim by almost seven seconds to become the 200m Champion. It was then a tough finish between Bentley and Furlong who touched just 0.13 seconds between each other with Bentley sneaking second in 2.42.62 and Furlong in third. StFiacc's Katie Dunne, who has had a great competition so far, winning the 100m, 200m Backstroke and Freestyle returned to post the fastest time of the 200m IM event winning in a time of 2.29.53, Dunne's teammate Ciara Harrington claimed bronze in 2.33.51 and it was Trojan's Grainne O'Reilly who touched in silver position in 2.32.86.
Next up it was the Boys 200m Breaststroke, in which Benji Cummings (Riverdale Otters) claimed another medal touching first in a time of 3.05.82 within the 11-12yr old age group final. The race for second was close to call, but in the end it was Jack Delany from Claremorris who pipped Darragh Hughes for the silverware. Marcus O Raghallaigh (Aer Lingus) showed an excellent display of Breaststroke stretching far away from his competitors across the 13yr old final, dipping well under 3-minute mark to take the gold in 2.57.40. Calum Gilchrist (Drogheda) comfortably took the win in the next age group up touching first in 2.51.79. With second and third being separated only by 0.13 seconds, Kenmare Bay's Hiudai Hayes touching just ahead of Boris Iakimov (Tuam). The 15 & Over's Finalsaw another battle with the boys coming in very close together at the touch. William Staunton (Claremorris) managing to take the win in a great swim of 2.37.24, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Sligo's Anthony Maher, Michael McNamara wasn't far behind coming in third place with a time of 2.38.97.
The Girls 15 & Over 50m Backstroke was up next, with Dani Cunningham gliding for gold and touching first in a time of 32.16, improving her heat swim by 1.18 seconds. Grainne O'Reilly (Trojan) swam a great race to come in close behind in second place, with Templeogues Arianne Courtney touching in third.
The 15 & Over Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay closed this action packed weekend of swimming with yet another nail bitingly close race! Gold, Bronze and Silver went to third teams who probably equally deserved the Gold, all touching in times of 2.04! However when it came to the last stroke, it was a matter of who pushed that inch further and today that was the team from Claremorris, who bagged the gold in 2.04.07, with the teams from Kingdom and Sligo just behind in second and third.
A fantastic weekend was had by swimmers, officials and supporters alike, the performances show great potential for next season and we hope that everyone enjoyed their time in Limerick, well done to all!
July 08, 2018