DOLPHIN Swim Club rebranded their inter-club gala to honour their late president, hereinafter it will be known as the Eddie Campion Dolphin Open.
The event made a return to its previously normal slot in October, after a four-year sojourn later on the Munster Swim Calendar.
The rebrand also introduced new, top-quality medals, which were very well received by the Campion family and all participants. Eddie’s son, Billy, was present in Mayfield on both days to present medals.
The Open is the only event on the Munster calendar to offer 50m Skins finals and as previously, these proved to be the highlight of the three day meet. The Girls 50m freestyle skins produced a dead heat in the semi-final, a phenomenon not previously witnessed by the referee.
The format of the skins dictated that the Men’s final had to take place before an announcement could be made regarding the procedure for continuing with the girl’s event. All three athletes then re-swam the girl’s semi-final, with Lexi Dunne, Dolphin, eliminated on the rerun. Hannah O’Shea, Dolphin went on to win the final with Sharon Semchiy, SWSC, in 2nd place.
The men’s final was won by Charlie Cassidy, who led an all-Dolphin trio to the final placings, Noah Switzer in 2nd and Ben Merrigan in 3rd.
Antonia Sech, SWSC, gave an outstanding performance in the 50m backstroke skins finals to claim ultimate victory, swimming from Lane 5, ahead of Laura Killen, Dolphin and Beth Nolan, SWSC.
The Dolphin men dominated all the skins finals with Charlie Cassidy claiming his second victory at 50m backstroke, ahead of Ben Merrigan and Noah Switzer. Neddie Irwin was the victor at 50m butterfly narrowly edging out Charlie Cassidy who looked primed for a third successive victory. David Carroll completed the podium. It was a family affair in the 50m breaststroke with Ewan Fane victorious and younger brother Ricky in 3rd. Ryan Ates completed the podium.
Sharon Semchiy held off a chasing Hannah O’Shea in the 50m butterfly final with Heather Fane, Dolphin in 3rd place. There was another close battle in the girl’s 50m breaststroke with home favourite, Lexi Dunne narrowly losing out to Beth Nolan, SWSC in a nail-biting finish. Michelle O’Shea, Dolphin was 3rd.
The overall Best Club of the Meet Award was never in doubt, with the hosts fielding the biggest team at the meet and had some exceptionally strong performances from a number of individual club members.
All the individual awards went to Dolphin athletes. Charlie Cassidy won the Best Senior Male swimmer. In addition to his two victories in the Skins finals, Cassidy also secured an additional six gold. He had three seconds to spare at 400m freestyle 4:13.18 ahead of the SWSC duo, Sean Bugler 4:16.42 and Michael O’Driscoll 4:26.25. He was the only one sub 2 minutes over 200m 1:59.29 with club mates Noah Switzer 2:02.59 and Ben Merrigan 2:08.79. He posted 56.45 to win over 100m free with Merrigan in second 58.07 and the Well’s Balint Szatmari completing the podium with 59.17.
Cassidy was the comfortable winner at 100m butterfly 1:01.27 with Ryan Ates in 2nd with 1:08.58 and Louis Flynn, Blackrock in 3rd on 1:09.52. The Dolphin trio dominated the 200m IM final with Cassidy in pole on 2:16.26, Merrigan 2nd with 2:19.77 and Ates 3rd with 2:27.16. Cassidy added victory at 100m backstroke 1:07.27 ahead of Mallow’s Eanna Garvey 1:08.78 and Roan Gilli, Dolphin in 3rd with 1:12.20. Cassidy had to settle for silver at 200m backstroke 2:14.63. The final was won by Eddie Irwin 2:09.76 with Merrigan completing the podium for the home club with 2:16.41.
Lexi Dunne won the Best Junior Female and Best Overall Swimmer of the Meet. Dunne topped the podium at 100m breaststroke 1:18.42. Caoilinn O’Connor, SWSC was second with 1:20.67 and Shauna Murphy, Dolphin placed third on 1:21.52. Dunne claimed double gold at the IM events with 2:32.94 over 200m, Murphy was second on 2:38.86 and O’Connor 3rd with 2:42.23. Dunne posted 1:10.50 over 100m with clubmate Orna Higgins in 2nd 1:12.95 and Murphy 3rd on 1:14.44. Dunne added the 100m freestyle to her haul touching on 1:03.28 with Aoife Gardiner, SWSC in 2nd, 1:04.40 and Higgins in 3rd with 1:08.06. Dunne added two silver medals at 100m backstroke and 200m breaststroke.