July 26, 2018

Irish Summer Nationals continued at the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin today with more impressive swims from our young swimmers, many now with multiple medals after just two days of comeptition.

Day 2 saw our first Irish Record when UCD swimmers Kate Kavanagh, Andrew Moore, John Higgins and Erin Riordan combined for a time of 4:01.87 in the Mixed Medley Relay, breaking Aer Lingus’ record of 4:03.63 set during the Irish Open in April.

The second finals session had started with the splash and dash 50m Freestyle finals for both boys and girls. Bangor’s David Thompson posted today’s fastest time clocking 23.14 to take 17&O gold. National Centre Limerick’s Diarmuid Sutton claimed the 16-year-old title in 25.20 while Castlebar’s Sam Rennick was first in the 15-year-old age group in 25.68. 13-year-old Oisin Tebite of NAC won his age group in 26.25 and Kilkenny’s Aidan Cook picked up his second gold medal of the week in the 14-year-old age group in 25.87.

Banbridge’s Julia Knox continued her impressive form with her third gold of the meet in the girls 15-year-old 50m Freestyle final coming home in 27.08, for the 16-year-olds Maria Godden claimed gold number two in 27.01. In the 17&O age group UCD swimmers Riordan (25.94) and Kavanagh (26.59) raced to gold and silver respectively. Trojan’s Aisling Rowlands added to 200m gold in the 12-13 age group touching in 28.02 while NAC’s Ciara Williams topped the podium for the 14-year-olds in 27.71, joined by Toronto’s Ellie Babatsikos who took commemorative gold in 27.28.

Ards’ Matthew Hand added gold medals three and four to his haul with wins in the 12-13 100m Butterfly (1:04.28) and 200m Breaststroke (2:40.71). After his 50m Freestyle win Sam Rennick returned to top the podium in the 100m Butterfly with a time of 59.61. National Centre Limerick’s Jeremy O’Connor won his first gold of the meet in the 16-year-old age group in 57.36. Liam Custer of Sundays Well won the 14-year-olds Irish title in 1:02.70 and National Centre Limerick’s Cillian Melly added to his 400IM gold topping the 100m Butterfly 17&O podium in 55.37.

In the girls 100m Butterfly Ards’ Tarryn Barr swam a best time of 1:07.83 to take 12-13 age group gold. Barr’s Ards team mate Ellie McKibbin collected the 14-year-olds gold in 1:04.92 while Emma Reid, an Ards club member training at the National Centre Dublin, won 17&O gold in 1:01.58. For the 15-year-olds Lisburn’s Andrea Cox topped the podium in 1:06.69 while Templeogue’s Robyn Lynch placed first in the 16-year-old age group in 1:04.69 with commemorative gold going to Toronto’s Honor Brodie Foy in 1:03.00.

Niamh Coyne continued to impress tonight dropping below 2.30 for this first time in the 200m Breaststroke 17&O final clocking 2:29.38. Julia Knox touched in 2:34.91 for her fourth gold medal with Otters Jena MacDougald upgrading her 100m Breaststroke silver to 200m Gold in 2:42.81. Galway’s Alison Gibbs took her second gold in the 14-year-old age group adding 200m to her 100m Breaststroke title in 2:45.92. The swim of the night in the 200m Breaststroke came from 13-year-old Ellie McCartney, winning her third gold medal in an impressive 2:38.58, only Knox and the 17&O medalists posted faster times.

In the boy’s 200m Breaststroke both Ben Woodside (Larne) and Eoin Corby (NCL) added to their 100m wins. Woodside in the 15-year-olds touched in 2:23.98 and Corby (16) in 2:19.36. Dolphin’s Liam Doyle claimed the 17&O title in 2:18.47 while NAC’s Euan Maguire led the Irish swimmers in the 14-years final in 2:41.95, Toronto’s Charlie Skalenda (2:36.33) won commemorative gold.

Earlier today Ella Carroll (13) collected 1500m Freestyle gold in 18:34.31, knocking a massive 42 seconds off her entry time. Comans Jessica Gannon won the 14-year-old age group in 18:06.51. Lara McEvoy had today’s fastest 1500m Freestyle time touching in 17:50.65 for 17&O gold while National Centre Limerick’s Edel Daly touched in 18:14.69 for 15-year-old gold.

In today’s other relay event Ards’ team of Tarryn Barr, Matthew Hand, Ellie McKibbin and Adam Barnes combined for 12-14 age group gold in 4:32.86

We asked our NPD to give us his top three 'Picks of the Day from the Finals, and these are his choices after Day 1 and Day 2:


Day 1

  • Niamh Coyne (National Centre Dublin) in the 100m Breaststroke - for a beautifully structured and controlled swim, with an outstanding back 50
  • Brian Desmond (Kilkenny) in the 200m Freestyle - classy stroke and wonderful to see stroke length and big kick maintained through the last 50m
  • Matthew Hand (Ards) in the 100m Breaststroke - great timing in this stroke and he held his rhythm through the full 100. One to watch for the future

Day 2

  • Aisling Rowlands (Trojan) in the 50m Freestyle - classic sprint freestyle technique and scary how fast she could be if she breathed less in this event!
  • Liam Custer (Sundays Well) in the 100m Butterfly - he may not have won the event but he showed great smooth technique and no sign of fading right to the wall
  • Ellie McCartney (Enniskillen) in the 200m Breaststroke - a National Squad consideration time from Ellie, one year earlier than projected in this event with a storming back 100 for close to even pacing across the two halves