Once again , it was Ireland’s up and coming Junior swimmers who ‘stole the show’ at the University of Limerick’s 50m Arena swimming pool, during the final day of the annual Dave Mc Cullagh Memorial Gala, and first International qualifier of the year.
The meet, which is run every year in honour of Dave Mc Cullagh – former Director of Swimming for the Irish Amateur Swimming Association – ran from Friday to Sunday. The Dave Mc Cullagh Memorial trophy was presented at the end of the competition, to Templeogue Swim Team (formerly coached by Mc Cullagh), who outperformed all other club’s over the three day meet.
Aer Lingus star Conor Turner, nephew of Ken Turner who is a former Irish International swimmer and holder of the current 21-year standing 800m freestyle Irish short senior course record, achieved his goal in the 800m freestyle race, swimming inside the European Juniors qualification time in the event and also taking gold in a time of 8.29.35.
Also booking their tickets to the European Juniors in Serbia was New Ross’s Shani Stallard, who clocked a new personal best in the 200m breaststroke final, also taking gold (2.33.63). Sycerika Mc Mahon rounded off an exceptional meet, winning the 400m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 200m Individual Medley events and dipping well inside the European Junior qualification standards in all three.
2008 Olympian and UCD student Aisling Cooney swam a strong 100m backstroke final tonight and finished 3 seconds ahead of second place Emma Cassidy of Sunday’s Well. Cooney’s winning time of 1.03.24 qualifies her for the World University Games in Shenzhen, China which take place from 14-19 August 2011. Undoubtedly though it is McMahon’s performances which will again make the headlines this week.
The 15 years old Portaferry swimmer, who is trained by former Olympic coach Bobby Madine at the Leander Club in Belfast and attends the Strathearn School in Belfast first came to the attention of the Irish swimming public when she won one silver and two bronze medals at the European Olympic Youth Festival in Tampere,Finland in 2009.
Her training regime includes six 2-hour early morning pool sessions, to which she travels some 30 miles to get to each morning. The young swimmer who leaves her home at 4.30am every morning to be on time for training, has been competing in swimming since she was 7 years old.
Day Three Results:
Men’s 800m freestyle: 1st C. Turner Aer Lingus 8.29.35, 2nd C. Bryan Ennis 8.29.81, 3rd S. Stacey NUI Maynooth 8.40.67.
Men’s 400m freestyle: 1st S. Stacey NUI Maynooth 4.07.29, 2nd B. Cahill Ennis 4.09.15, 3rd C. Donnelly Leander 4.11.50.
Women’s 400m freestyle: 1st S. McMahon Leander 4.22.06, 2nd N. O’Sullivan UCD 4.24.85, 3rd B. Carson Lisburn 4.26.56.
Men’s 50m freestyle: 1st P. Laffin Sunday’s Well 24.82, 2nd C. Coulter Ards 25.05, 3rd K. Mc Glade Galway 25.22.
Women’s 50m freestyle: 1st N. Murphy Templeogue 27.08, 2nd D. Ryan Galway 27.46, 3rd S. Mc Grath Galway 28.13.
Men’s 100m backstroke: 1st K. Burdis Portmarnock 57.78, 2nd C. Dowling Kilkenny 59.79, 3rd B. O’Sullivan NAC 1.01.77.
Women’s 100m backstroke: 1st A. Cooney ESB 1.03.24, 2nd E. Cassidy Sunday’s Well 1.06.41, 3rd K. Kychgina Templeogue 1.07.26.
Men’s 200m breaststroke: 1st P. Clarke Limerick 2.22.54, 2nd N. Quinn Castlebar 2.25.02, 3rd P. Duffy St. Paul’s 2.27.96.
Women’s 200 breaststroke: 1st S. Stallard New Ross 2.33.63, 2nd A. Kelly-Byrne Tallaght 2.54.09, 3rd E. Staunton Galway 2.54.42.
Men’s 100m freestyle: 1st C. Coulter Ards 53.31, 2nd J. Martin Templeogue 54.65, 3rd A. Matthews Lisburn 55.17.
Women’s 100m freestyle: 1st S. Mc Mahon Leander 57.84, 2nd N. Murphy Templeogue 58.21, 3rd D. Ryan Galway 58.69.
Men’s 200m Individual Medley: 1st N. Wynn St. Paul’s 2.09.22, 2nd C. Dowling Kilkenny 2.13.31, 3rd P. Duffy St. Paul’s 2.14.01.
Women’s 200m Individual Medley: 1st S. Mc Mahon Leander 2.18.79, 2nd S. Mc Grath Galway 2.28.93, 3rd D. Clegg Templeogue 2.29.53.
Men’s 100m butterfly: 1st P. Duffy St. Paul’s 57.64, 2nd P. Laffan Sunday’s Well 58.67, 3rd D. Graham Ards 59.29.
Women’s 100m butterfly: 1st A. Cooney ESB 1.03.57, 2nd S. Smith Limerick 1.03.72, 3rd I. Mc Glynn ESB 1.04.89.