THE Eddie Campion Dolphin Open lived up to expectations, producing a number of exciting, closely contested finals.
The senior girl’s 200m IM final saw the top three all posting sub 2:26 second times. Sharon Semchiy, SWSC touched first on 2:25.27. Club mate Beth Nolan was hot on her heels with 2:25.42 and Hannah O’Shea, Dolphin completed the podium on 2:25.74.
Just two-hundredths of a second separated the top two in the Junior girl’s 100m backstroke. It was the hosts, Rene Malley who clinched the victory on 1:21.46 with the Well’s Cara O’Farrell on 1:21.48. Dolphin’s Roisin Brannigan completed the podium with 1:24.20. There was another close contest in the 13-14 100m backstroke. The event was dominated by the host trio, Orna Higgins in pole on 1:10.57, Lexi Dunne in 2nd with 1:10.71 and Shauna Murphy completing the set with 1:11.25.
Noah Switzer, Dolphin, claimed the top place in the 14-15 100m backstroke final 1:05.66. There was a battle royale behind for the remaining places, but Ricky Fane, Dolphin 1:06.58 held off the chasing David O’Leary, SWSC 1:06.62.
In the Junior boy’s 100m IM, Dolphin’s Luke Merrigan touched first on 1:09.89 with Phelim Hanley, Blackrock claiming second 1:10.03 marginally ahead of Thomas Bugler, SWSC 1:10.69. Merrigan also topped the 100m freestyle podium touching on 1:01.03. Bugler was second on that occasion 1:01.93 with Liam O’Driscoll, SWSC completing the podium with 1:04.64.
Sharon Semchiy was the top performer for neighbours, SWSC with four victories and four second place finishes across the three days. She won the 50m butterfly skins final and was second in the 50m freestyle skins final.
Aoife Lyons of Celtic Waves, Limerick was third on 2:47.02. Semchiy also claimed the 100m butterfly crown in a much closer contest 1:05.59 with O’Shea hot on her heels with 1:05.94. Heather Fane, Dolphin completed the podium with 1:08.53. Her silver medal performances came at 100m & 200m freestyle and 200m backstroke.
Antonia Sech was also impressive for Sundays Well. Of particular note, was her victory in the 50m backstroke skins. She dug deep to qualify through the rounds and held off Lauren Killen from Dolphin, four years her senior, in the final. The effort took its toll on the young swimmer resulting in elimination from the first round of the 50m freestyle skins final.
Sech had individual victories 100m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 200m IM. She had two seconds to spare 2:32.30 in the 200m IM final with Dolphin’s Michelle O’Shea in second with 2:34.38. Sech had a powerful swim over 200m backstroke, posting 2:23.03 to claim victory ahead of clubmate Sharon Semchiy2:25.86 with Heather Fane, Dolphin in third on 2:28.31. She topped an all SWSC podium at 100m freestyle 1:02.61 with Eva Harrington 2nd on 1:03.19 and Jenna McArdle 3rd with 1:04.67. Sech also added bronze at 400m freestyle 4:43.13.
The relays also provided some closely contested finals, which greatly added to the amazing atmosphere. The boys 12-14 medley teams from SWSC and Dolphin set the scene for the relay action in the first relay of the meet. The Well’s team, David O’Leary, Thomas Bugler, Dylan Gunn and Liam O’Driscoll combined to post 2:05.76 to clinch victory ahead of the Dolphin team, Tadgh O’Brien, Luke Merrigan, Donnacha Leane and Ben Coleman, 2:05.97. The Blackrock team, Conal Gillard, Darren O’Connell, Garvan Gillard and Phelim Hanley placed third 2:17.90.
The Dolphin quartet, Alexis Spooner, Lexi Dunne, Orna Higgins and Aoibhe Moroney proved too strong in the girls 11-13 medley with an impressive 2:12.67. SWSC team, Poppy Nolan, Caoilinn O’Connor, Cara O’Farrell, and Aoife Gardiner placed 2nd on 2:23.14 with Dolphin ‘B’ team Emma Bugler, Megan Cowhey, Rene Malley and Madison Casey in third on 2:25.67.
The girls 14-15 medley relay produced another nail biting finish. The SWSC quartet Carrie Harrington, Amy Lynch, Antonia Sech and Jenna McArdle touched on 2:11.31 to edge out the local girls Shauna Murphy, Katie Cunningham, Ruby Swinburne and Mary Cassidy into second place with 2:11.95. The SWSC ‘B’ team placed third.