New UCD squad claim national relay title
SWIMMING:HISTORY WAS made in Leisureland, Galway, at the Irish Short Course National Championships when the recently formed UCD team won their first national title.
Headed up by former Olympian Earl McCarthy, his 100 metres men’s relay quartet won gold in three minutes 41.33 seconds, holding off the challenge of Dolphin and Trojan.
UCD are in the process of completing their 50-metre pool on the campus, and McCarthy, who swam for Ireland in the 1996 Games in Atlanta, Georgia, has been given the task of heading up their team, having been head coach of Trojan in Dublin.
McCarthy has also been given the task of trying to persuade Olympic teams to train in the UCD complex ahead of the games in London 2012,
He will be hoping to add to the fact that the US Olympic synchronised teams will be based at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) in Abbotstown prior to the next Games.
Aer Lingus won the women’s equivalent in 4.01.34.
Portmarnock claimed the top three places in the men’s 200m backstroke when Karl Burdis, a member of the Irish World Championship squad in 2009, produced a strong winning performance of 2.01.69.
Fifteen-year-old team-mate Jack Cobain finished in second and Jonathan McGee took the bronze.
Conor Leaney completed the 100m and 200m freestyle double.
Freestyle specialist Bethany Carson was also busy in the pool, claiming gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle and silver in the 200m butterfly.
Niamh O’Sullivan opened the final session of the four-day meet with a win in the 400m Individual Medley (4.50.91).
Sullivan, a UCD student from Kerry, has changed her training regime and now bases herself in Dublin at Swim Ireland’s NAC performance centre.
A distance freestyle specialist, Sullivan also won the 200m butterfly (2.17.74).
Aisling Cooney, who will be part of the Irish team at this week’s European Short Course Championships in Eindhoven, signed off with gold medal performances in the women’s 50m butterfly (28.15) and was named the swimmer of the meet.