Liam Custer after his Irish Junior record breaking victory in the 800m Freestyle in the 2022 Nationals with (L-R) Richard Cassidy, Head Coach; Iryna Semchiy, Secretary and Tom Cross, Chair
We are delighted that Liam Custer, our outstanding overseas swimmer, has been selected for Irish Junior European (EJC) in Romania in early July and European Long Course (ELC) Championships in Italy in August, via his performances at the Spring Nationals in April. At that meet he won the 400 IM and 800 Freestyle, both in Irish Junior record times, and was second in the 200 Butterfly. (As reported earlier, he also won the 1500 freestyle at the Nationals.)
As club members know, Liam is based in Florida and swims with Sarasota Sharks under coach Brent Arckey. He is finishing High School and has been awarded a scholarship to Stanford University this autumn. His maternal grandfather comes from Carrigaline and his maternal grandmother is also from Cork, and he has opted to swim for Ireland Internationally. (Incidentally his gran uncle Jim Cogan was our water polo goalkeeper in UCC in the late 1960s.)
Liam joined SWSC several years ago and has travelled over to Irish National competitions in most of the intervening years, where he has performed very successfully. We wish him every success in these events. He is a great inspiration to all our swimmers.
Liam’s younger sister Clare has recently also joined SWSC and intends to compete in this summer’s Nationals, where she will specialise in the longer events. Their club in Sarasota has a 50m outdoor pool which I visited in 2019. This facility, together with an excellent training programme under coach Arckey, has enabled them to produce the silver medal winner in the Women’s 400 IM in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Our most successful current female swimmer Sharon Semchiy flew to Florida on June 1 to train for three weeks with the Sarasota Sharks. This is a great opportunity for Sharon to improve in her events but will also serve as a prototype for future planned training exchanges between SWSC and Sarasota. We look forward to her talking to the rest of our swimmers on her return.