Great times by our overseas member Clare Custer!

The second part of the new format Summer Nationals, for swimmers of 15 and over, was held in NAC Dublin from July 26 to 30. There were 33 qualifiers from SWSC, all but two of whom travelled. Nearly half of all 151 swims were Personal Bests (see detailed results on Swim Ireland Live Timing and Meet Mobile).

Relays are the best indication of team performance and at this competition were Senior only (open to all age groups). Particularly notable were our women’s 4 x 100 freestyle and medley relays. The same team of Beth Nolan, Isabel Kidney, Sharon Semchiy and Ellen Lee won both of these events, and also was third in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. This continues the long tradition of prominence in these events at National level by our women. In the 4 x 100 medley relay, the team mentioned above set Club and Munster records in finishing first in Ireland. This may be Beth Nolan’s last appearance in these events since she is quitting full time training. She has been a great representative for SWSC, both in National individual and relay events throughout the last decade, and we wish her, and Anna Feenan, who has also retired from full time training (and in particular was excellent in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay), well in the future. In addition, the relatively young men’s relay representatives are now featuring in the top 10 teams and this bodes well for the future.

Several SWSC swimmers also won medals in individual events. Sean Bugler was first in the 17 800 free and second in both the 17 400 and 1500 free. Andrew Feenan was third in the 19 and over 200 breast stroke. Michael O’Driscoll was third in the 17 800 freestyle. Isabel Kidney, who was Echo swimmer of the month for July, was second in the 17 100 breast stroke and third in the 17 50 free and 200 IM. Izzy McGrath was first in the 17 100 fly (in a four second improvement from her entry time) and third in the 17 100 back stroke. Antonina Sech, who is spending the 2023/24 season in the premier swimming school the Mercerburg Academy in the USA, was first in the 16 200 back and second in the 100 backstroke. Finally Sharon Semchiy won the 18 & over 100 and 200 fly, where she has finished on the National podium for several years. Others making A finals were David O’Leary in the 15 age group, and Ellen Lee, Grace Lynch and Beth Nolan at 18 and over.

Also in July, our overseas member Clare Custer, based in the Sarasota Sharks in Florida and coached by Brent Arckey, recorded a series of excellent times in the longer freestyle events in one of the Futures Meets in the USA. Clare, who all will recall performed so well in the 14 Age Group at last year’s Irish Summer Nationals, went 4:25.46 for 400, 8:58.4 for 800 and 17:03,07 for 1500 free (LCM). All of these times would have won all age groups in this year’s Irish Summer Nationals.

Tom Cross – August 2023

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