IRISH Youth & OPEN Championships – DAY 1 – Girls on Podiums
With some 29 visiting international TEAMS from France, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UK, Scotland, the Netherlands, Latvia the Irish National Youth & OPEN Championships is a spectacle of swimming this weekend.
Irish Athletes will be hard pressed to make OPEN finals with Junior and Youth competitions throwing up some very interesting competitive scenarios for the athletes to cope with.
Templeogue have 20 athletes competing in the National Senior championships this year and Day 1 proved to be a solid start for the TEAM.
The meet started with sprint Breastroke event with Niamh Bryson competing in one of her favoured events, having won this event at the Irish National SC championships in November 2010, she delivered a strong heat swim, to qualify for the semi-final where she delivered an excellent swim to qualify herself for the final. Tonight she finished as the 2nd placed Irish athlete but was definitely the fastest home based IRISH swimmer in the event. A national silver medal for her effort, was added to her smiles for delivering a good 2nd final swim in the 15Yrs 200FC this evening where she finished in 4th place.
In the Mens 200FC, Daniel McGrane-Maher opened his account for the weekend with a great PB swim to build on his improvement in the Irish Age Groups 2 weeks ago. McGrane-Maher was closely followed by Jonah Clegg, who swam a strong effort, but was just outside his best. Clegg was to be followed by Oisin Phean, Michael Devitt & Brian Feighan who swam strongly to see Devitt produce an excellent new PB, Feighan and Phelan producing seasons best swims. John Martin was quite a way off his best performance, as he continues to prepare for British Youths next week, while Tiarnan Murphy delivered a great PB for himself as part of his prep for his meet in the UK. Graham Field also raced strongly to deliver a season’s best swim, while Shane Faul, fresh from a return from his Coventry base, qualified for the final but was outside his best in this evenings swim.
In the Girls 200FC, Alison O’Driscoll delivered her best swim of the year so far in her heat, while Saoirse Bryson produced a swim to equal her big PB result from the Irish Age Groups. Eva Barrett also produced a solid effort in the heats to get herself back in to racing mode. Dayna Clegg & AnnMarie Finn also qualified for their respective finals with Clegg swimming a seasons best to finish in 2nd place with Finn in 8th place in her event.
In the backstroke events both Graham Field and Tiarnan Murphy qualified for the final 16Yrs event, with Murphy delivering a PB in the heat and Field delivering his PB in the final. The boys finished in 7th and 8th place respectively, with Field getting the touch in the Final. In the Girls, Eva Barrett produced a good effort but outside her best , while Dayna Clegg progressed to the Finals with a good swim, finishing 4th in tonight’s final. Grace Branagan was in fine form today as she also qualified for her 16Yr final finishing in the Silver medal spot on the night.
Brian Feighan, delivered a very strong new PB in the 200BF, qualifying for the final and finishing in 4th place this evening.
In the relay events our younger men swam in the senior mens event to get some additional experience whilst our Youth Boys swam the heats and finals of the Boys relay finishing as the 4th placed Irish team in the final tonight. The girls however, brought a great day to a close with a superb swim to win the National Junior Relay title for the second year in a row.
Tough meet, FAST swimming, lets bring on tomorrow.!!