December 15, 2017

Records continued to fall at the Irish Short Course Championships in Lisburn this evening with Ellen Walshe, Cadan McCarthy and Relays from Ards and Athlone setting new Irish standards.

Templeogue’s Ellen Walshe broke the 50m Butterfly Irish Junior Record twice today. The 16-year-old posted a time of 27.67 in this morning’s heats to break Emma Reid’s 2014 record (27.77), she then went on to break it again in this evening’s final clocking 27.55 behind Reid of Ards on 27.16.  National Centre Dublin’s s Clodagh Flood won her second medal of the championships with bronze in 28.33.

National Centre Limerick (NCL) and Mallow Swans swimmer Cadan McCarthy was another in record breaking form as he stormed to victory at the 400m IM Final in an Irish Junior Record time of 4:20.28.  His time was a 6 second improvement on his morning swim and a 15 second PB on his entry time.  There was a battle royal behind McCarthy, with NCL’s Mark Walsh and Sligo’s Ronan Anderson fighting for the remaining podium places.  Walsh clinched silver by just two hundredths of a second from Anderson 4:30.15 and 4:30.17 respectively.

Two further records were set during the Mixed Freestyle Relay Finals by Ards and Athlone. The Ards team of James Brown, Conor Munn, Emma Reid and Rebecca Reid set a new Irish Senior Record of 1:38.26 to claim gold while Athlones Robbie Powell, Ellen Flaherty, Rebecca Lowe and Andrew Carey took silver in a new Irish Junior Record 1:40.13.  Bangor’s Jack McMillan, David Thompson, Gemma Kane and Sarah Davidson won bronze in 1:41.07.

Spectators raised the roof with the top three at the men’s 100m Freestyle final on a blanket finish, all sub 50 seconds.  Kilkenny’s David Prendergast, the new National Champion touched on 49.74 just ahead of NAC’s Brian O’Sullivan on 49.79 with David Thompson completing the podium clocking in at 49.81.

In the women’s final Niamh Kilgallen continued her excellent form at these championships when she claimed her third National Title, the comfortable winner on 55.12.  Niamh was very close to breaking a 22-year-old Irish Senior Record, missing out by just 0.25 seconds.  Lisburn’s Rachel Bethel added 100m silver to her 800m from day one, touching on 56.22 while Bethany Firth won commemorative bronze in 56.51 and Kilkenny’s Maria Godden national bronze on 57.04.

Dolphin’s Liam Doyle held off Norway’s Thomas Fardal to retain his National Title at 100m Breaststroke in 1:02.40, Fardal just behind on 1:02.53.  James Brown added silver in 1:02.78 to his gold at 200m IM from day one and European Youth Olympics teamer Eoin Corby, NCL, completed the podium 1:04.48.

With news filtering through to Lisburn of Mona McSharry’s qualification for the European Final, Tallaght’s Niamh Coyne and Niamh Kilgallen went head to head for the National Title.  Matching each other throughout the four lengths, Coyne snatched victory clocking 1:07.32 and denied Kilgallen a 4th Title 1:07.81.  Trojan’s Martyna Szmagara posted 1:11.71 to claim bronze.

The ladies 1500m Freestyle delivered a new National Champion when 13-year-old Jessica Gannon of Comans Swimming Club in Roscommon touched on 17:20.13, holding off NCL’s Edel Daly (17:32.07).  Bronze went to Lara McEvoy of Aer Lingus in 17:36.05.

Spectators were treated to a classic in the men’s 50m Butterfly Final with NAC’s Brian O’Sullivan (24.32) holding off the 2016 Champion Conor Munn of Ards by just 0.08 seconds to claim the National Title and his second medal of the evening.  City of Belfast swimmer Michael Hewitt posted 24.91 to win bronze.

The podium for the ladies 400m IM had a familiar look about it as Ellen Walshe retained her National Title for the third successive year, touching on 4:45.74.  Julia Knox added to her medal haul with silver in 4:52.72 and Rebecca Reid added bronze to her growing collection in 4:59.71.

Competition in Lisburn continues tomorrow through to Sunday. Full results from competition can be found HERE.