Four new Irish Records were set as the Irish Short Course Swimming Championships got off to a flying start in Lisburn.
Mona McSharry confirmed her place as Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer by breaking her own 50m Freestyle Record in Antrim.
McSharry cracked a new time of 25.03 seconds in her morning swim, knocking three hundredths of a second off the previous record she had set just weeks ago. The 18-year-old went on to take gold in the final in 25.22.
The 50m Freestyle was the first of two titles for McSharry as the Marlins swimmer also took gold in the 200m Individual Medley in 2:12.76
Another impressive teen was also in record breaking form. Jack McMillan of Bangor broke Andrew Bree’s 2003 Irish Senior Record (1:58.42) and Brian O’Sullivan’s 2013 Irish Junior Record (2:01.94) in the 200m Individual Medley Final.
The 18-year-old collected gold in 1:58.36 to top the podium. Coincidentally, Bree was commentating on the race and happily presented McMillan with his gold medal.
There were further records from Bangor SC and Kilkenny SC in the 200m Freestyle Relay Finals. McMillan was joined by Jordan Sloan, Curtis Coulter and David Thompson to combine for a time of 1:29.84 breaking Ards’ 2015 record. UCD (1:30.30) and National Centre Limerick (1:31.17) also dipped under the record for silver and bronze.
In the women’s event, Kilkenny’s quartet of Maria Godden, Niamh Ahearne, Lucy Harte and Naomi Trait broke the three-week-old Ards junior record of 1:49.24, touching in 1:48.18. They finished third overall as Aer Lingus’ Catriona Finlay, Aisling Haughey, Lisa Cooke and Hannah McMenamin took gold in the event in 1:46.43.
Dolphins Alfie Kelly claimed the first title of the night in the 1500m Freestyle Final in 15:30.09. That race was followed by a brilliant battle between Rachel Bethel and Victoria Catterson for the 800m Title. Bangor’s Bethel won out in the end touching in 8:49.32 with Catterson home in 8:51.39.
Another battle ensued right away as team mates at the National Centre in Limerick Cillian Melly and Finn McGeever went head to head in the 200m Butterfly Final. Just .15 of a second separated them in the end with Melly winning out in 1:59.06 while McGeever clocked 1:59.22.
National Centre Dublin’s Rory McEvoy dominated the men’s 100m Backstroke Final. The Ennis native topped the podium by over three seconds touching in 53.12. It was a much closer affair in the women’s final as just .10 of a second separated gold medallist Maria Godden (1:02.15) of Kilkenny and Ards’ Rebecca Reid (1:02.25).
Cookstown’s Calum Bain won the Men’s 50m Freestyle Final in an impressive 22.22 seconds followed by Bangor’s David Thompson (22.61) and National Centre Dublin’s Robbie Powell (22.63).
A team of five senior athletes are in China this week as they prepare for the World Short Course Championships. Niamh Coyne, Brendan Hyland, Conor Ferguson, Darragh Greene and Shane Ryan will all be in action from Tuesday (11th) in Hangzhou.
Results Day 1
Men 1500m Freestyle: 1st Alfie Kelly Dolphin 15:30.09 2nd Daniel Wiffen Lisburn 15:35.38 3rd Andrew Meegan Aer Lingus 15:52.57
Women 800m Freestyle: 1st Rachel Bethel Bangor 8:49.32 2nd Victoria Catterson Ards 8:51.39 3rd Edel Daly National Centre Limerick 9:13.12
Men 200m Butterfly: 1st Cillian Melly National Centre Limerick 1:59.06 2nd Finn McGeever National Centre Limerick 1:59.22 3rd Cadan McCarthy National centre Limerick 2:02.72
Women 200m Butterfly: 1st Amelia Kane Ards 2:15.20 2nd Ellie McKibbin Ards 2:22.05 3rd Jessica Gannon Comans 2:22.96
Men 100m Backstroke: 1st Rory McEvoy National Centre Dublin 53.12 2nd Sean Scannell National Centre Dublin 56.27 3rd Ronan Anderson National Centre Limerick 56.60
Women 100m Backstroke: 1st Maria Godden Kilkenny 1:02.15 2nd Rebecca Reid Ards 1:02.25 3rd Bethany Firth* Ards 1:02.43 3rd Kate Kavanagh UCD 1:03.40
Men 50m Freestyle: 1st Calum Bain Cookstown 22.22 2nd David Thompson Bangor 22.61 3rd Robbie Powell National Centre Dublin 22.63
Women 50m Freestyle: 1st Mona McSharry Marlins 25.22 2nd Erin Riordan UCD 25.37 3rd Danielle Hill Larne 25.84
Men 200m IM: 1st Jack McMillan Bangor SC 1:58.36 ISR IJR 2nd Alan Corby National Centre Limerick 1:59.66 3rd James Brown Ards 2:01.47
Women 200m IM: 1st Mona MCSharry Marlins SC 2:12.76 2nd Niamh Kilgallen National Centre Dublin 2:13.36 3rd Rebecca Reid Ards 2:18.83
Men 4x50m Freestyle Relay: 1st Bangor 1:29.84 ISR 2nd UCD 1:30.30 3rd National Centre Limerick 1:31.17
Women 4x50m Freestyle Relay: 1st Aer Lingus 1:46.43 2nd Ards 1:46.58 3rd Kilkenny 1:48.18 IJR