Twenty-four SWSC swimmers competed in last weeks Irish Age Groups and Summer Nationals in the 50m pool in the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Individual age groups were 12/13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 and older. The latter age group was particularly competitive with for example Danielle Hill and Mona McSharry setting Irish Senior records (Danielle’s 50m Back would have made a World Championships Semi Final!). Relays were 14 and under and 15 and over. All but two SWSC swimmers had achieved Division 1 times; the others Laoise Deasy and Peter Higgins were drafted to swim in relays (they were great). The meet was highly competitive with German and Danish Senior teams, and excellent swimmers from for example Hamilton Aquatics and Ealing. Our swimmers, other than those recovering from the Leaving Certificate (Luc Galland and Sharon Semchiy) were given a single aim “swim personal bests!” They responded magnificently!
Out of 100 swims over five days, 63 were PBs-including morning heat swims. This is the highest proportion of PBs at this competition in recent years. Photographs of medallists have already been displayed on this website, as has a recording of the club records broken. Munster records are currently being investigated.
Looking through the results (listed elsewhere on this site) four individuals stand out:
• Lauren Farr won several 12/13 medals (see photos below) competing in seven individual finals. Probably her most impressive performance was in the 200m Backstroke where she won by more than five meters and took 7.8 sec off her entry time recording 2:26.82.
• Ellen Lee won 14 year medals and swam a great 1:06.00 to take an emphatic win in the 100m Fly.
• Paul Higgins swam four finals in the 16 year age group winning two medals. The best of these was a 1st place in the 100 Fly in 58.76.
• Perhaps best of all were the Breast stroke performances by Andrew Feenan. Coming second in the very tough 17 and over age group he recorded a time of 2:20.91. He has progressed almost five seconds in this event since February!
Other great swims, looking at final places and/or major time improvements (using an alphabetical list and with apologies for anyone not mentioned) included:
• Laoise Deasy who swam in three relays, with Lauren and Rachel Farr and Ellen Lee, two of which won bronze medals, and reduced her 200m Freestyle by 12.15 sec in leading off the 14 and under 800 FR.
• Anna Feenan who made six finals in the 16 year age group and took 8.85 sec off her 400m Freestyle.
• Michael Feenan who made two 15 year finals and took 6.06 sec off his 200m Breast stroke.
• Marc Galland who swam three finals in the highly competitive 14 year age group and took 5.49 sec off his 400m Freestyle.
• Beth Nolan and Aoife O’Shea who each made two finals in the 17 and over and 16 year age groups respectively, with two of Beth’s swims being Club Records (see below).
• Luke O’Sullivan’s 1:58.9 in the 17 and older 200m Freestyle.
• James Ryan who made three 16 year age group finals and reduced his 200m Backstroke by 3.98 seconds.
• And Sharon Semchiy who made two 17 + finals and looked great for the first half of her races (looking forward to seeing you get your fitness back after the LC Sharon).
Coupled with excellent relay performances, and good swims from Sean and Cian O’Riordan, Rory Lee, Drew and Suzy Lynch, Penny Semple, Illan Wall and Rowan Walsh; this made for a great meet for SWSC!
Multiple best times and two club records from our three girls swimming in the Scottish Open Nationals with the Munster Squad!
Despite being in the middle of heavy training for the Irish Summer Nationals, our three elite swimmers Anna Feenan, Ellen Lee and Beth Nolan performed very well at the Scottish Open Nationals last weekend. In this long course meet Anna had two PBs in the 100m F/c and 200 IM, Ellen improved her PBs in four events (100m F/c, 50m & 100m B/c, 100m Fly), while Beth had six PBs (50m F/c, 50m B/c, 50m & 200m Br/s, 50m & 100m Fly). In the Breast stroke events Beth broke two club records-the 50m which had been held for a decade by Lorna Cummins and her own 200m record set in January. In the latter event Beth also qualified for the B final in this highly competitive Open meet. Well done girls!
Observations on the 2019 Long Course National Championships
These Championships were held over five days in the NAC Dublin at the end of March. There were World Class swims from Darragh Greene (100 & 200 breast stroke), Brendan Hyland (200 fly), Shane Ryan (100 back), Jordan Sloan &Jack McMillan (200 free) and Niamh Coyne (100 breast stroke). The most prominent visitor was Hanna Miley from Scotland. The previous European Champion and fourth place winner in the last two Olympic Games in the 400 IM is now 30, and still swimming well. She gave a master class in race preparation and won a large number of events.
The only downsides were the absence of relays and the lack of a club points competition. I believe that both of these issues are vital in fostering team spirit and will be raising their omission at the upcoming Swim Ireland AGM.
SWSC had 12 swimmers at this meet including Para brothers Sean and Cian O’Riordan. Both qualified for this summer’s Para World Championships and Sean in particular swam a great 400 free, beating the QT by four seconds. The team achieved 24 personal best times and reached 27 Senior or Youth (female 17 & U; male 18 & U) finals. All of their times are listed elsewhere on the website. Podium positions were reached by Andrew Feenan (3rd in the Youth 100 breast stroke), Ellen Lee (3rd in the Youth 50 back); Beth Nolan (3rd in the Youth 100 back & 200 breast stroke) and Aoife O’Shea (3rd in the Youth 400IM).
Beth also broke the SWSC record in the 100 breast stroke, and Paul Higgins swam under the minute for the first time in the 100 fly. (The first Irish Senior man to break the minute for the 100 SC fly was “Chalkie” White in Douglas in 1978). Special mention goes to Luc Gallant and Sharon Semskiy who competed despite being in the final stages of Leaving Cert preparation. Together they swam in four Senior finals.
So what did I, as a Sport Scientist, particularly note?
- The best swimmers had a much more organised and extensive warm-up routine both on land and in the pool, than SWSC swimmers. They also had a much more vigorous pre-start routine (as exemplified by Hanna Miley) and did much more warm down swimming.
- They are more powerful from extensive land work and more flexible in the shoulders, lower back, hips, knees and ankles.
- They combine great conditioning with superb technique (see free daily GoSwim videos).
TFC 8 April 2019