February 18, 2018

Mona McSharry continued her impressive form as the 2018 McCullagh International came to a close today in Bangor. The 17-year-old twice broke the 50m Freestyle Irish Senior Record and brought her medal tally to six gold overall.

Swimming in this morning’s heat, the World Junior 100m Breaststroke Champion, knocked three hundredths of a second of Danielle Hill’s 2017 record of 25.85. In this evening’s final, the Marlins (Ballyshannon) swimmer smashed that time taking .25 of a second off her heat time to set a new standard of 25.60 and claim her fifth gold medal of the weekend. Just minutes later, McSharry was back in the pool for the 50m Breaststroke (31.42) where she collected gold number six to finish the weekend. 

In the Men’s 50m Breaststroke Final National Centre Dublin (NCD) and UCD’s Darragh Greene completed a clean sweep of the Breaststroke events winning gold in 28.30 while Commonwealth Games bound Calum Bain claimed the Men’s 50m Freestyle Final in 23.06.

Ards relays collected yet another Irish Record and claimed two further podium places. With the 400m Mixed Medley Relay being swam for the first time at a national meet it was the team in the silver medal position of Paddy Johnston, Jack Angus, Rebecca Reid and Victoria Catterson who set the first Irish Senior and Junior Record in the event clocking 4:10.45, while their team mates Bethy Firth, Morgan Berryman, Emma Reid and Conor Munn took the gold medals in 4:09.02. 

Mullingar’s Darragh Hughes won the first of the day’s age group finals. The 14-year-old touched in 2:26.57 in the 200m Individual Medley taking gold ahead of Ards’ Bradley Fon (2:27.01) and NAC’s Euan Maguire (2:27.45). Hughes and Maguire then returned to the podium to collect boys 200m Breaststroke medals; Ards’ Matthew Hand took the gold in 2:46.99 with Hughes clocking 2:47.19 for silver and Maguire 2:48.11 for bronze.

The first of the girl’s finals saw Marlins Cora Rooney win a closely fought 200m Freestyle Final, touching in 2:16.35 ahead of Limericks Ella Carroll (2:16.63), while Leander’s Mollie McAlorum (2:18.08) took bronze. Rooney then went on to top the podium in the girls 200m Backstroke Final clocking 2:28.63, McAlorum taking bronze once again in 2:35.68 and Dolphin’s Heather Fane silver in 2:34.49.

Both Conor Ferguson and Maria Godden completed golden hat tricks in the weekends Backstroke events today. Ferguson added 200m Gold to his 50m and 100m in 2:00.08 ahead of NCD team mates Rory McEvoy (2:05.24) and Sean Scannell (2:08.04). Kilkenny’s Godden picked up her third Backstroke gold in a best time of 2:16.96, Ellen Cassidy (2:21.10) and Ellen Walshe (2:22.75) winning silver and bronze.

Brendan Hyland added to 200m Butterfly gold with victory in the 100m event. The NCD and Tallaght swimmer was the clear winner in 53.94, National Centre Limerick (NCL) and Castlebar’s Cillian Melly took silver in 55.53 with Calum Bain third in 56.09. In the women’s event Templeogue’s Ellen Walsh claimed her third gold medal of the meet in 1:00.91 ahead of Emma Reid (1:02.07) and NCD and Tallaght’s Clodagh Flood (1:03.23).

NCL and Mallow Swan’s Cadan McCarthy, having won 400m Individual Medley silver on Friday, went one better in the 200m event to claim the gold medal in 2:08.08, his team mate at the NCL Alan Corby was second in 2:09.24 with Mark Walsh third in 2:10.76. Rebecca Reid knocked an impressive 11 seconds off her heat time to win the women’s event in 2:20.43. Niamh Coyne collected her fourth silver medal of the weekend in 2:23.09 while Maria Godden was third in 2:26.66 to bring her impressive medal tally to three gold and four bronze.

Limerick’s Zac O’Connor won the final age group event of the weekend when he came home in 2:26.66 in the 200m Butterfly Final. The podium was completed by Templeogue’s Oscar Randles (2:26.92) and Ards’ Dominic Allen (2:29.79).

Jack McMillan was the only swimmer to break four minutes as he took 400m Freestyle gold in 3:58.49 to take a comfortable win over NCL and Limerick’s Finn McGeever (4:04.57) and Lisburn’s Daniel Wiffen (4:08.72). The final event of the weekend saw Rachel Bethel add to her 200m Freestyle Gold with a win in the 400m event in 4:18.41.

The last presentation of the evening saw Ards Swimming Club collect the Dave McCullagh Trophy for their outstanding team performance across the three days of competition.

Next up for Irish swimmers is the Irish Open Swimming Championships and Commonwealth Games in April while a number of senior national squad members will continue their preparations ahead of those events at the Edinburgh International Meet March 1st – 4th 

Full Results available HERE.