Cork swimming: Mallow, Dolphin and Blackrock clubs shine at New Ross

New Ross Invitational was a Swim Ireland recognised qualifying meet for Irish Age Groups Division 2
Cork swimming: Mallow, Dolphin and Blackrock clubs shine at New Ross

The Mallow swimming team enjoy a break between sessions at the New Ross Invitational Gala. Picture: Deirdre Cunningham.

THREE Cork clubs travelled to New Ross for the Club Invitational recently. 

New Ross secured a level 3 Licence, so it was a Swim Ireland recognised qualifying meet for Irish Age Groups Division 2, which will be held in July.

Noah Switzer of Blackrock stamped his authority on the 100m freestyle when he set a Munster U14 Record at the Munster Short Course Championships in November 2021. 

Switzer put on another display at the freestyle events in New Ross with a comfortable victory at 100m 55.07, just outside his record time, but almost three seconds clear of his nearest rival, Ben Merrigan, Dolphin on 57.79 for second. Switzer posted 24.96 at 50m to secure a second victory, again ahead of Merrigan on 26.54.

Merrigan, however, displayed his prowess across a range of strokes with victory at 100m 1:02.82, and 50m backstroke 29.53. He led a strong Dolphin quartet at 100m IM posting 1:05.36 to win ahead of Aidan McGrath 1:08.89. Clubmates Jamie Murphy and Adam Spillane placed 4th and 8th respectively. Ben also had a 4th place finish at 100m breaststroke 1:19.13, an event which saw his clubmate McGrath claim the top place on 1:16.96.

McGrath made it a double with victory at 50m breaststroke 35.21. He led a strong team with five clubmates in the top ten. Jamie Murphy, Ewan Coleman, Ryan Higgins and Luke Merrigan in 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th respectively. Jack Bugler, Mallow placed 6th. It was a very competitive field, only .54 seconds separated Coleman in 5th 38.43 from Merrigan in 10th 38.97.

Lexi Dunne led the way for the Dolphin girls with an impressive 1:04.11 for victory at 100m freestyle. Victoria Roche, Mallow claimed 3rd on 1:08.00. Dunne added victory at 50m butterfly 33.19 and at 50m breaststroke 37.17 where she was joined by clubmate Shauna Murphy in 3rd 39.54 at 50m breaststroke.
Dunne led a strong Cork field at 100m IM with seven of the top 10 places shared between the Dolphin and Mallow clubs. Dunne topped the podium with 1:13.47 with Murphy again in second 1:15.96. Daisy O’Toole, Mallow completed the podium 1:20.34. Ruby Swinburne and Sophie Comerford placed fifth and ninth with the Mallow duo Anna Sheehan and Victoria Roche in 7th and 8th respectively. Shonagh Ferriss, Blackrock took the 10th position.

Dunne also won the 50m freestyle 29.46 but was pipped into second place at 100m butterfly 1:17.17 by Abbie Byrne of St. Fiach’s Carlow 1:13.27, 5 years her senior.

Daisy O’Toole, Mallow was victorious at 50m backstroke 35.72 but had to settle for 2nd over the 100m distance 1:16.22.

In the Junior age group, Rene Malley, Dolphin claimed five victories from all five of her events. The most impressive was her 2:50.75 at 200m freestyle, touching ahead of clubmate Ava Kenneally on 3:10.44 in second. Malley led a strong Dolphin field at 50m backstroke 39.84 with Kenneally in 3rd 42.68 and clubmates Bella Kiely, Roisín Brannigan and Clodagh Martin in 6th, 8th and 10th respectively. 

Malley and Kiely also shared the 50m breaststroke podium Malley on 44.15 and Kiely in 3rd with 49.08. Malley’s other victories came at 50m butterfly 37.36 with Kiely just missing out on a second bronze 46.59 and at 100m butterfly 1:30.76.

Kiely and Martin also featured in the 100m breaststroke with Kiely in pole position on 1:47.37 and Martin in 3rd with 1:52.00. Clubmate Kate McCormack placed 6th overall.

Caoimhe Cosgrove, Mallow claimed the top spot at 50m freestyle 34.77 ahead of Ava Kenneally, Dolphin on 36.13. The Dolphin duo Brannigan and Martin placed 5th and 9th. Keneally had over one second to spare when she claimed victory at 100m backstroke 1:33.70 and added a second silver at 100m IM 1:35.38, with teammates Brannigan and Martin in 8th and 9th respectively.

Lev Lobanets, Blackrock earned three victories on the day, at 200m freestyle 2:58.51 where he was followed home by Cian Vaughan, Dolphin 3:01.54. Lobanets also lifted the 50m free 35.00 with Vaughan in 3rd 37.74. 

His third victory came at 50m breaststroke 52.07 when he was joined by clubmate Henrikas Janisionis on 53.50 for third. Janisionis improved his placing to 2nd over the longer 100m distance 1:59.35. Clubmate Rian Ferriss was the victor at 100m backstroke 1:40.01.

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