Dolphin’s Merrigan grabs an impressive medal haul at UL meet

Dolphin’s Merrigan grabs an impressive medal haul at UL meet

Sunday's Well Swimming Club's Lily Olden, Izzi Harte and Faye Carroll enjoy a break at the Aspiring Champions Gala at UL. Picture: Cliona O'Connor

THE recent Aspiring Champions meet in UL was also very successful for Luke Merrigan, Dolphin. 

Swimming in the Junior category, Merrigan won gold at 400m freestyle 4:34.29 ahead of Vincent Kopczynski, SWSC 4:39.48 and Donnacha Leane, Dolphin 4:43.10. He also secured gold at 200m breaststroke with a comfortable victory 2:48.65 ahead of the SWSC duo, Thomas Bugler on 2:54.52 and Kopczynski in third with 2:57.83. Merrigan lost out on a third gold at 100m backstroke 1:07.94 when SWSC’s David O’Leary powered to the wall with 1:07.92. Tadhg O’Brien completed the podium with 1:09.76. Merrigan added a second silver at 200m IM.

O’Leary made it a backstroke treble when he added victories at 50m 31.45 ahead of O’Brien on 32.42 and Bugler on 33.08 and at 200m, 2:28.10, with Bugler in 2nd on 2:30.45 and James McIlroy, Dolphin in 3rd with 2:34.53.

Kopczynski was very impressive over the challenging 200m butterfly. He had over six seconds to spare 2:35.13, over club mate Dylan Gunn 2:42.41. Donnacha Leane was very close behind with 2:42.69 for third. Kopczynski also impressed at 400m IM posting 5:29.07 to take the victory ahead of clubmate Liam O’Driscoll 5:33.63 in second place. O’Driscoll was victorious at 800m freestyle touching on 10:04.45.

The Junior 50m freestyle final produced a nail biting finish with Gunn in pole on 28.65, Sean Turner, Streamline, Cobh in 2nd with 28.75 and Ben Coleman, Dolphin in 3rd with 28.94. Gunn also had a close battle at 100m IM when he held off the chasing Tadgh O’Brien 1:13.84 to claim victory with 1:13.04. Coleman completed the podium with 1:14.79.

Just one second separated the Dolphin duo Aoibhe Moroney and Elin Manson in the 400m IM final. Limerick’s Lucy O’Brien was very strong throughout and impressed with 2:27.14 to win gold. Moroney posted 2:47.96 with Manson on 2:48.96 for 2nd & 3rd respectively. Moroney added bronze at 400m freestyle 4:58..84 in an event which saw the Limerick star the comfortable victor with 4:44.18.

Orna Higgins, Dolphin collected a full set of medals in the backstroke events with victory over 50m 32.88, silver at 200m 2:28.50 and bronze over 100m 1:12.11. She was joined on the podium on each occasion by Carrie Harrington, SWSC. Harrington’s victory came at 200m, with a four second margin 2:34.65, silver over 100m 1:11.65 and bronze at 50m 33.39. Higgins also picked up a silver medal at 50m butterfly 33.33 with Liadh Boeg, Mallow in 3rd with 34.84. Boeg improved to silver over 100m butterfly posting 1:19.65 holding off the chasing Rachel Barry, Dolphin on 1:19.65 for 3rd place. Barry also collected a silver medal over the challenging 400m IM touching on 6:02.87.

In the Intermediate category, Alex Barrett, Blackrock topped the 100m butterfly podium with over a second to spare 1:01.20 on his nearest rival, Noah Switzer, Dolphin 1:02.71 with Gearoid Mahon, Blackrock in 3rd with 1:04.65. Switzer posted 1:58.63 to claim silver at 200m freestyle with Barrett in 3rd on 2:02.81. Switzer claimed gold at 50m freestyle 24.81 and at 100m IM 1:03.69. He had two further silver medals at 100m freestyle 52.50 and at 50m butterfly 26.98.

Sean Bugler, SWSC topped the 50m backstroke podium 28.81 with Gearoid Mahon in 2nd with 31.88 and Charlie Duggan, SWSC completing the podium on 31.91. He also topped the 200m backstroke podium touching on 2:18.20 with Eanna Garvey, Mallow in 2nd with 2:27.79. Bugler also won two silver medals in the distance freestyle. He posted 4:17.90 over 400m and 9:02.70 over 800m.

Eva Harrington, SWSC posted sub 2:20 to win gold at 200m freestyle 2:19.70. Fiorna O’Keeffe, Mallow, was 2nd with 2:21.17 and Laoise Deasy, SWSC in 3rd with 2:23.20. Harrington also topped the 50m free podium 28.57 ahead of clubmate Jenna McArdle on 29.09. Harrington added silver at 50m butterfly 32.62. O’Keeffe added two silver medals over the distance freestyle with 4:55.53 at 400m and 10:13.72 over 800m.

Amy Hawe was the only medallist for Fermoy when she lifted gold in the 100m butterfly 1:12.44.

The big winner in the senior category was Hannah O’Shea, Dolphin with victories in 100m & 200m freestyle, 200m IM & 400m IM and silver at 100m butterfly. Sprinter, Sharon Semchiy, SWSC was victorious at 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke. She also won silver at 100m backstroke and bronze at 100m freestyle.

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