Sixteen year old Dearbhail McNamara won the Irish Title in the 200m Breaststroke in a European Senior Championships qualification time on the final day of swimming at the Irish National Championships in Dublin.
McNamara, from Westport Swimming Club, had qualified earlier this year for the European Junior Championships and swam a lifetime best of 2:32.95 in the final to make the senior time and will be Ireland’s youngest squad member on the team of eight swimmers. Dan Sweeney and Nicholas Quinn battled it out in an exciting men’s final with Sweeney getting the touch just ahead of Quinn (2:17.68) in 2:17.20, both had previously qualified for European Championships in the event .
Antoinette Neamt cruised to her fourth Irish Title in as many days in the Women’s 1,500m Freestyle Final. Neamt, who had already won the 200m, 400m and 800m Freestyle events this weekend, was a full minute faster than silver medallist Lisa Comerford (17:54.58) of UCD finishing in 16:54.80, while Ali Berry from Aer Lingus took Bronze in 17:55.78.
Neamt’s teammate at the Swim Ireland NAC Performance Centre Brendan Hyland also picked up his fourth National Title adding to Gold medals in the 400m Freestyle, 50m and 200m Butterfly. The 19 year old finished the championships with a win in the 100m Butterfly in 54.52 seconds, just .02 of a second off his Irish record. UCD’s Shauna O’Brien claimed the title in the women’s event for the second year running in 1:02.23.
Andrew Meegan came agonisingly close to European Championships qualification in the Men’s 800m Freestyle Final. Meegan’s winning time of 8:09.84 was just .34 of a second off the qualification time for the Championships in Berlin in July. Brendan Gibbons took home Silver behind Meegan for the second time this week in 8:20.99, a personal best time for the Athlone swimmer.
Adding to victories in the 100m Backstroke, 200m Backstroke and 400m Individual Medley this weekend Danielle Lowe of Great Britain, who is swimming for Aer Lingus, touched first in the 200m Individual Medley Final in a time of 2:15.03 with the National Title going to UCD Swimming Clubs Shani Stallard in 2:21.58. Lithuanian swimmers Danas Raysys (2:03.30) and Povilas Strazdas (2:06.55) were the first home in the men’s event while 17 year old James Brown of Ards claimed the National Title in 2:07.82.
50m Backstroke victory went to Galway Swimming Clubs Kate Kavanagh in 30.57 seconds while Jordan Sloan of Bangor won the men’s event in a Commonwealth Games nomination time of 26.36.
In the championships final event Curtis Coulter and Melanie Houghton added to their 100m Freestyle Titles with wins in the 50m Freestyle Final. Coulter secured Gold in 23.23 seconds while Melanie Houghton was just outside the Irish Record of 26.02 touching in 26.07.
Swimmers will now focus on preparing for International Meets this summer including European Junior Swimming Championships, Commonwealth Games, IPC European Paralympic Swimming Championships and European Swimming and Open Water Championships.
Full Results – Final Day:
Men 800m Freestyle Final: 1st A Meegan Aer Lingus 8:09.84 2nd B Gibbons Athlone 8:20.99 3rd C Turner NAC 8:33.99
Women 1500m Freestyle Final: 1st A Neamt Tallaght 16:54.80 2nd L Comerford UCD 17:54.48 3rd A Berry Aer Lingus 17:55.78
Women 200m IM Final: 1st D Lowe Aer Lingus 2:15.03 2nd S Stallard UCD 2:21.58 3rd B Carson Lisburn 2:23.44
Men 200m IM Final: 1st D Rapsys Lithuania 2:03.30 2nd P Strazda Lithuania 2:06.55 3rd J Brown Ards 2:07.82
Women 200m Breaststroke Final: 1st D Lowe Aer Lingus 2:30.81 2nd D McNamara Westport 2:32.95 3rd N Kilgallen Claremorris 2:38.36
Men 200m Breaststroke Final: 1st D Sweeney Sundays Well 2:17.20 2nd N Quinn Castlebar 2:17.68 3rd P Grigali Lithuania 2:21.54
Women 50m Backstroke Final: 1st K Kavanagh Galway 30.57 2nd T Dunne Ballina Dolphins 30.78 3rd Sinead Mylett Castlebar 31.55
Men 50m Backstroke Final: 1st J Sloan Bangor 26.36 2nd D Rapsys Lithuania 26.45 3rd D Prendergast UCD 27.00
Women 100m Butterfly Final: 1st D Lowe Aer Lingus 1:01.44 2nd S O’Brien UCD 1:02.23 3rd G Kane Bangor 1:03.02
Men 100m Butterfly Final: 1st D Margev Lithuania 54.43 2nd B Hyland Tallaght 54.52 3rd J Brown Ards 57.32
Women 50m Freestyle Final: 1st M Houghton Aer Lingus 26.07 2nd G Weaver Trident 26.96 3rd A Hyland Invictus 27.43
Men 50m Freestyle Final: 1st C Coulter Ards 23.23 2nd J Rogozin Lithuania 23.40 3rd M McCarthy UCD 23.65