February 16, 2018

Swim Ireland’s McCullagh International Meet kicked off at the Bangor Aurora Leisure Centre today with swimmers preparing for the first major meets of 2018, the Irish Open Swimming Championships and Commonwealth Games in April. 

Ards’ Rebecca Reid, Mia Davison, Ellie McKibbin and Victoria Catterson secured the first record of the weekend when they broke the Irish Junior 400m Medley Relay Record. The four combined for a time of 4:26.56 claiming silver behind their Ards team mates.

National Centre Dublin (NCD) and Bangor swimmer Conor Ferguson took the first individual gold medal of the meet when he won the Men’s 50m Backstroke Final. The 18-year-old continued his preparations for the Commonwealth Games in April with a 25.62 second swim. In the women’s event, Kilkenny’s Maria Godden picked up her first medal of the weekend in 29.85 seconds ahead of Ards’ Rebecca Reid (30.25) and Dolphin’s Ellen Cassidy (30.78). 

As always, the 100m Freestyle Finals threw out two fantastic events. Bangor’s Jordan Sloan and Jack McMillan went first and second in the men’s event in 50.91 and 51.12 respectively while NCD and Kilkenny swimmer David Prendergast secured Bronze in 51.36.

In the women’s Final, 2017 World Junior Champion Mona McSharry collected her first of two gold medals in 56.94 seconds ahead of Rachel Bethel (57.71) of Lisburn and Maria Godden (58.25).

Just a short time later McSharry was back in the pool for the 100m Breaststroke where she touched home in1:08.42. NCD and Tallaght’s Niamh Coyne was just behind for silver in 1:09.75 while Aer Lingus’ Aisling Haughey took Bronze in 1:11.77.

In the Men’s 100m Breaststroke Final NCD and UCD’s Darragh Greene swam an impressive 1:01.92 to take gold ahead of Bangor’s Jamie Graham (1:04.23) and National Centre Limerick (NCL) and Limerick SC swimmer Eoin Corby in 1:04.32.

Brendan Hyland of NCD and Tallaght was pushed to the finish in the Men’s 200m Butterfly Final clocking 2:00.04 just ahead of NCL and Castlebar swimmer Cillian Melly (2:01.60). In the women’s final Templeogue’s Ellen Walshe topped the podium in 2:17.72 with Clodagh Flood, NCD and Tallaght second in 2:20.39 and Ards’ Amelia Kane (2:21.03) claiming Bronze.

Daniel Wiffen cruised to victory in the 1500m Freestyle Final. The Lisburn swimmer won gold in 16:13.67 ahead of team mate Jack Fleming (16:47.86) and Aer Lingus’ Andrew Meegan (16:51.57). In the women’s final Coman’s Jessica Gannon was the clear winner in 17:49.11, NCL and Limerick’s Edel Daly took silver in 18:14.23 with Mullingar’s Karla Cunningham (18:52.53) in third. 

The final individual event of the evening saw Templeogue’s Ellen Walshe collect her second gold of the night as the only swimmer under the 5 minute mark in the 400m Individual Medley in 4:58.58. Amelia Kane and Christine McFeely of Aer Lingus finished the podium in 5:05.21 and 5:15.94 respectively.

Bangor men and Ards’ women both collected double Gold in today’s relay finals. Bangor’s Conor Ferguson, Jack McMillan, Curtis Coulter and Jordan Sloan took Gold in the 800m Freestyle Relay in 7:52.09, while in the 400m Medley Relay Jamie Graham joined Ferguson, Coulter and Sloan for Gold in 3:51.57.

In the women’s events Ards’ quartet of Bethany Firth, Rebecca Reid, Scarlett Armstrong and Amelia Kane were first home in the 800m Freestyle in 8:44.98 and in the 400m Medley Firth and Kane were atop of the podium joined by Zoe Thompson and Emma Reid in 4:24.69.

Competition continues tomorrow through to Sunday.

Full Results available HERE.