Mona McSharry Dominates at McCullagh Internationals

Mona McSharry. Photo Courtesy: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Mona McSharry continued her impressive form as the 2018 McCullagh International came to a close on Sunday in Bangor, Ireland. The 17-year-old twice broke the 50m Freestyle Irish Senior Record and brought her medal tally to six gold overall.

The World Junior 100m Breaststroke Champion, knocked three hundredths of a second of Danielle Hill’s 2017 record of 25.85. In this evening’s final, the Marlins swimmer smashed that time taking .25 of a second off her heat time to set a new standard of 25.60 and claim her fifth gold medal of the weekend. Just minutes later, McSharry was back in the pool for the 50m Breaststroke (31.42) where she collected gold number six to finish the weekend.

McSharry collected gold in both the 50m Butterfly and 200m Breaststroke adding to 100m Freestyle and Breaststroke gold.

Scarlett Armstrong, Amelia Kane, Rebecca Reid and Victoria Catterson set a new standard in the 400m Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:58.95, the first ever junior club team to break four minutes.

In the Men’s 50m Breaststroke Final National Centre Dublin (NCD) and UCD’s Darragh Greene completed a clean sweep of the Breaststroke events winning gold in 28.30 while Commonwealth Games bound Calum Bain claimed the Men’s 50m Freestyle Final in 23.06. He also won the Men’s 50m Butterfly in 24.82 seconds

Ards relays collected yet another Irish Record and claimed two further podium places. With the 400m Mixed Medley Relay being swam for the first time at a national meet it was the team in the silver medal position of Paddy Johnston, Jack Angus, Rebecca Reid and Victoria Catterson who set the first Irish Senior and Junior Record in the event clocking 4:10.45, while their teammates Bethy Firth, Morgan Berryman, Emma Reid and Conor Munn took the gold medals in 4:09.02.

Mullingar’s Darragh Hughes won the first of the day’s age group finals. The 14-year-old touched in 2:26.57 in the 200m Individual Medley.

The first of the girl’s finals saw Marlins Cora Rooney win a closely fought 200m Freestyle Final, touching in 2:16.35 ahead of Limericks Ella Carroll (2:16.63).

Both Conor Ferguson and Maria Godden completed golden hat tricks in the weekends Backstroke events. Ferguson added 200m Gold to his 50m and 100m in 2:00.08 ahead of NCD team mates Rory McEvoy (2:05.24) and Sean Scannell (2:08.04). Kilkenny’s Godden picked up her third Backstroke gold in a best time of 2:16.96.

Brendan Hyland added to 200m Butterfly gold with victory in the 100m event. The NCD and Tallaght swimmer was the winner in 53.94.

NCL and Mallow Swan’s Cadan McCarthy, having won 400m Individual Medley silver on Friday, went one better in the 200m event to claim the gold medal in 2:08.08, his team mate at the NCL Alan Corby was second in 2:09.24 with Mark Walsh third in 2:10.76. Rebecca Reid knocked an impressive 11 seconds off her heat time to win the women’s event in 2:20.43.

Limerick’s Zac O’Connor won the final age group event of the weekend when he came home in 2:26.66 in the 200m Butterfly Final.

Jack McMillan was the only swimmer to break four minutes as he took 400m Freestyle gold in 3:58.49. The final event of the weekend saw Rachel Bethel add to her 200m Freestyle Gold with a win in the 400m event in 4:18.41.

National Centre Dublin (NCD) and Bangor swimmer Conor Ferguson took the first individual gold medal of the meet when he won the Men’s 50m Backstroke Final. The 18-year-old continued his preparations for the Commonwealth Games in April with a 25.62 second swim.

The last presentation of the evening saw Ards Swimming Club collect the Dave McCullagh Trophy for their outstanding team performance across the three days of competition.

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