Jack McIntyre Wipes 4 Seconds off Irish Senior Record as Summer Nationals Get Underway in Dublin
July 24, 2019
Swim Ireland’s Irish Summer National Championships got underway at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin today. With 993 swimmers from 126 clubs competing across 5 days of competition for age group titles.
The first evening finals of the day was the Boys 100m Breaststroke. Bangor swimmer Austin Williams touching in on a time of 1:15.16, while in the 14 year olds Matthew Hand (Ards) held his lead at the 50m mark touching in a comfortable 1:10.90. Saulius Uoka (Templeogue) took the gold along with a commemorative medal for Hamilton Aquatics Dubai and another comfortable win for Larne swimmer Ben Woodside in a time of 1:04.62. It was the final swim of the event that raised the heart rates of spectators in the stands in a blitzing 17 & over event. It was a tight top finish, with Olympian Nicholas Quinn (Castlebar) taking the gold in a time of 1:01.99, followed closely by NCL’s Liam Doyle 1:02.84 and two commemorative medals for Germany.
It was almost a replay of last year’s Summer Nationals with 3 repeat gold medallists claiming the top spot again for a consecutive year. A win for Ards in the Girls 100m Breaststroke with Grace Davison touching in at 1:18.02. 14-year-old Enniskillen swimmer Ellie McCartney was first home in her age group in 1:12.59, after winning the same event in her age category at last year’s Summer Nationals. Similarly, National title holder Alison Gibbs (Galway), dominated the 15yr olds with clubmate Emma Murphy not far behind. Julia Knox (Banbridge) clocked 1:14 flat for the 16 yr olds gold while National Record holder, Mona McSharry topped the podium in 1:08.39 in the 17yrs & over.
The Girls 200m Freestyle event had an exciting start with the top 3 medals places separated by just 4 tenths of a second with Cork swimmer Lauren Faar (Sundays Well) touching in ahead of Moya O Kane and Rosie Whitten. Aisling Rowland of Trojan eased into the gold in an impressive time of 2:07.93 and Hannah O Shea (Dolphin) in the 15 year olds took the win, both national title winners last year took the podium for a second year in a row. Naomi Trait of Kilkenny in won the 16 year old in a time of 2:06.89, while in an eventful 17 & Over, Denmark visitors Helena Bach and Amaile Mortensen touched in first. With Victoria Catterson taking home the gold to Ards in a time of 2:03.08 followed closely by fellow European Junior Swimmer, Maria Godden (2:03.44).
In the Boys 200m Freestyle events Conor Fitzgerald (2:07.92) came out on top in the 12-13 years, while Finn O’Neill of Trojan built upon his previous success at this event winning gold in the 14 year olds. Coolmine’s Danny Morgan clinched the gold with the top 4 places touching in within .4 of each other, Saulius Uoka taking the silver and Jack Cassin Dolphin for the bronze. Kilkenny swimmer, Brogan McAviney was the only one to break under the 2 minute mark in the 16 years (1:59.77) and in the 17&O group, last year’s winner UCD’s Dean Power was pipped at the post by Finn McGeever (NCL) who took the gold in a time of 1:52.55 along with two Commemorative medals for Denmark’s Mikkel Gadaard and Marcus Svendsen.
Both Jack Cassin and Matthew Hand returned to the podium for a second time today after their 100m Breaststroke medals to take gold in the Boys 400m Individual Medley. Hand showed his willingness and endurance when touching in 4:54.51 in a gripping final 50 metres to edge out Ronan Kilcoyne (Sligo) 4:55.97. Enniskillen James McClure edged out the visitors from Poland and Dubai in the 12-13 year olds, while Jack Cassin (Dolphin) and Adam Wilson (Banbridge) claimed gold in their age categories. The highlight of day 1 of the Championship came in the 17 & Over race. It’s not every day you have an Irish Senior Record broken by 4 seconds, and to have it broken by two swimmers in one race makes for exciting racing! Previous record held by Brendan Hyland (4:27.45) was smashed by Cillian Melly (NCL) 4:24.27 who took silver and the new Irish Senior Record holder is Castlebar swimmer Jack McIntyre in a fantastic 4:23.36.
Having already graced the podium (excuse the pun) Ards swimmer, Grace Davison claimed her second gold in the Girls 400m IM in a comfortable lead of over 7 seconds. Ellie McCartney (Enniskillen) and Hannah O Shea did the same in their age categories taking their second gold medals of the day. Katie Garrity (Trojan) and Dara Tuinstra (Asgard) coming out on top in their races.
The first of the evenings relays was the Boys 400m Freestyle Relay with Denmark and Germany taking the top two spots to win themselves commemorative medals in both the boys and the girls relay finals. The Danish boys breaking their National record in a time of 3:19.29. Limerick taking the gold with NAC awarded silver and Ards bronze. While the girls event, Denmark and Germany also took the top to spots, with Ards taking the gold, Aer Lingus and Kilkenny also picking up team medals.
This morning's relays were won by Killian O'Loughlin Brophy 12-14 year old relay with Austalian and Canadian visitors taking commemorative medals in the Boys 800m Freestyle. This was followed by the Girls 400m Freestyle Relay that went to Trojan swim club in a time of 4:08.18. Coolmine's clocking a time of 4:02.51 to bag themselves a gold with commemorative medals for Hamilton Aquatic Dubai.
Competition continues tomorrow through to Sunday.
Full results available HERE.