2011 promises to be a great year for Irish swimming following upon the excellent performances in 2010 from Grainne Murphy, Sycerika McMahon, Barry Murphy and Melanie Nocher to name but four.
Here we bring you news of the Irish stars in action over the next 10 days;
United States: NCAA Championships
24-26 March, 2011
University of Minnesota Aquatic Center
Ryan Harrison will compete in the 200 yard and 500 yard Freestyle events. Ryan is currently ranked 1st in the 200 yard Freestyle (Friday) and 4th in the 500 yard Freestyle (Thursday). 21 years old Harrison hails from Eglinton, County Derry and is a Social Justice and Forensic Investigation major at the University of Tennessee.
He has been competing in swimming for the past 13 years. Swam at the World Student Games in Serbia in 2009 and was also a member of Ireland’s last World Championship squad. Irish record holder at 100, 200 and 400 metres freestyle. Finished fifth in the 200 metres freestyle final at the Charlotte Ultra Swim Grand Prix Meet against Olympic medalists’ Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Ryan’s goal is to make an Olympic final in London 2012.Set 4 Irish records in three days at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.
United Kingdom: City of Sheffield SC Premier Meet
25-27 March, 2011
Ponds Forge complex
Loughborough based swimmers Melanie Nocher, Lorna Cummins and Michael Dawson all compete at this event. At 23, Melanie is a ‘veteran’ of Irish swimming (though she won’t thank me for saying so!) having competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as in World Championships, Commonwealth Games, European Championships (Long Course and Short Course) and World Student Games
A backstroke specialist who has been competing in swimming for the past 10 years and is one of three Irish swimmers who competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Is 23 years old, studying sports science full time at Loughborough University in the UK, finished fifth in the final of the Women’s 200 metres backstroke at the European Short Course in Croatia in 2008. Melanie’s goal is to reach a final at the Olympic Games. She comes from Hollywood, County Down and swims at Ards SC when not at Loughborough University SC.
Spain: Spanish Open National Championships
31 March – 3 April, 2011
HPC-UL Swimmers Peter Clarke and Shani Stallard both compete in the Spanish Nationals in Madrid. Both swimmers are entered in the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke events. Both are members of the High Performance Unit at University of Limerick as are Grainne and Nuala Murphy.
Shani is the youngest – at 17 – of the Irish swimmers in action this month . A member of New Ross SC she comes from County Kilkenny and with Sycerika McMahon was a member of the small Irish squad at last year’s European Junior championships in Helsinki. She qualified for Helsinki at the 2010 Irish Long Course Championships in April. Her goals are to be the best that she can be and to qualify for more International and European meets in the future. At 17, another potential rising star of the future.
Here on SportsNewsIreland we will bring you updates on the teams performances as we receive them in the weeks ahead and will of course also have regular updates from the major events throughout the year inc the World championships in Shanghai for which events both Barry Murphy and Grainne Murphy have already qualified.