Cork Swimming: Leesiders shine at Aspiring Champions Meet in UL

Cork swimmers were hugely successful at an action-packed event
Cork Swimming: Leesiders shine at Aspiring Champions Meet in UL

CORK SWIMMING: Tilda Lyons, Ruby Lyons, Beth McKnight, Ellie Newton and Hien Healy from Sundays Well Swimming Club at the Aspiring Champions Gala in UL recently. Picture: Frank Lynch.

CORK swimmer enjoyed great results at the recent Aspiring Champions Meet at UL.

Senan Harvey claimed the first medal for Mallow Swans Club with victory at 50m breaststroke 34.18. His clubmate Ciarán Heavin placed 6th. Harvey narrowly missed out on a second victory at 100m breaststroke 1:16.63, losing out to Ryan Ates, Dolphin 1:16.42. Ates doubled up over 200m posting 2:46.98 with clubmate Aidan McGrath in second 2:50.11. Harvey completed the podium with 2:53.26 and Vincent Leahy, Dolphin placed 4th. Harvey placed 3rd at 100m freestyle 58.70.

Noah Switzer, Dolphin had a battle on his hands at 200m freestyle but held out to clinch victory 2:08.74 ahead of Sean Bugler, SWSC on 2:08.80. Ben Merrigan was pipped at the wall by Jamie Flynn, Tramore, by just 0.14 seconds to place 4th 2:09.92. The boys shared the top two places at 50m freestyle with Switzer on 25.69 and Bugler on 26.76.

Merrigan was first home at 100m backstroke 1:06.29 with Bugler in 3rd 1:07.92. He had to settle for 2nd at 200m backstroke 2:22.96 and also placed second at 400m IM 5:10.65. Clubmate Ricky Fane placed 3rd at 400m IM 5:18.25 with Michael O’Driscoll, SWSC in 4th.

Switzer split the Blackrock duo Alex Barrett and Gearoid Mahon in the 100m butterfly. Barrett led the way on 1:04.79, Switzer on 1:06.67 and Mahon with 1:07.84. Barrett also topped the podium at 200m IM 2:28.70 with Switzer in 3rd 2:30.26.

Isabel Kidney, SWSC had some close victories for Munster at the recent Interpro finals and continued to deliver top class performances across a number of events. She led a strong Cork field at 100m breaststroke, with nine of the top 10 places shared among Cork clubs. 

Kidney was the comfortable victor on 1:18.20 ahead of Dolphin duo Michelle O’Shea 1:21.80 and Cara McCormack 1:21.93, Amy Lynch, Eva Harrington and Beth McKnight, SWSC placed 4th, 5th & 10th; Sofie Moloney, Blackrock in 6th; Anna Van Wijnen, Streamline in 7th and Alison O’Leary, Mallow in 9th.

Kidney had almost 4 seconds to spare 2:32.23 over clubmate Antonia Sech at 200m IM 2:35.96. She also won the 50m butterfly 30.75 but had to settle for third at 100m backstroke. Sech led an all SWSC podium, narrowly clinching victory 1:10.62 ahead of Laoise Deasy 1:10.80 with Kidney in 3rd with 1:11.51.

The Dolphin ladies reigned supreme at 50m breaststroke with Cara McCormack in pole 37.50, O’Shea in 2nd 37.66 and Katie Cunningham completing the podium 37.88.

Izzy McGrath, Dolphin was victorious at 100m butterfly 1:09.57 ahead of Sech 1:13.97.

The top four places were shared between SWSC & Dolphin at 200m backstroke. Laoise Deasy had five seconds to spare 2:35.42 ahead of Michelle O’Shea 2:40.85. The Well’s Jenna McArdle clinched third 2:46.67 ahead of Dolphin’s Evie O’Connell 2:46.87.

Fiorna O’Keeffe, Mallow claimed victory at 800m freestyle 10:15.85 ahead of McArdle on 11:15.69.

Holly Marx, Clonakilty led a Cork trio at 200m freestyle with victory on 2:24.79, Eva Harrington 2:25.81 and Fiorna O’Keeffe 2:25.98.

The race of the meet came on the final day in the senior final of 400m freestyle. Hannah O’Shea, Dolphin and Jessica Gannon, Limerick produced a classic. No more than 0.15 seconds separated the girls at any point over the 16 lengths. A loud cheer and round of applause greeted the girls at the finish when the scoreboard revealed they had jointly finished on 4:37.53. 

Anna Carroll, Dolphin claimed the third spot on 4:54.89. The girls had gone head-to-head on the previous day in the 200m freestyle when O’Shea was the victor 2:12.82. On that occasion, the battle was between Gannon and Carroll, with Gannon getting the edge 2:26.78 and Carroll on 2:16.91. O’Shea also claimed victory at 400m IM 5:18.15.

The ladies from SWSC claimed all three places at 100m backstroke with Sharon Semchiy first home on 1:06.87, Beth Nolan 1:07.90 and Penny Semple on 1:11.08. Dolphin’s Heather Fane prevented a second all SWSC podium when she clinched the third spot at 200m IM 2:32.33 ahead of Anna Feenan 2:33.07. The event was won by Semchiy on 2:27.57 with Nolan in 2nd on 2:28.68. Fane lifted the 200m butterfly, posting 2:33.32.

Semple was the victor at 200m backstroke 2:32.85 with Fane in 2nd 2:33.82.

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