Report from the Irish Open Swimming Championships

Kilkenny Swim Team had a highly successful competition at the weekend returning with three swimmers with qualification times to be considered to represent Ireland at the European Youth Olympics in Hungary in July, 5 individual medals, one relay medal and a new Irish Junior Record.

Head coach John Duffy had geared their mid-season training for peak performance at this international qualifier and worked hard at pool side to drill the Kilkenny team of Madison Cobey-Dunne, Naomi Trait, Katie Dunne and Maria Godden to a new Irish Junior Record in the Ladies 4 by 100-meter freestyle relay, knocking over 3 seconds from the previous Irish record, held also by Kilkenny from 2012.

It has been several years since Kilkenny have had a team of as many as 10 swimmers with qualification times for the premier open competition in the Irish swimming calendar. Alex Maher swam fast to make two junior finals in the 100 and 200 metre butterfly, followed by Sean Scannell making 3 open finals, and with the highlight of a silver medal in the men’s 200m backstroke at the young age of 15, as well as gaining his EYOF consideration time.

After setting a record and winning an open silver medal in the freestyle relay, the girls team of Maria Godden, Rachel Vaughan, Madison Cobey-Dunne and Naomi Trait came a narrow fourth in the medley relay losing out on bronze by a fingertip, but were far from disappointed with their weekend.

Naomi Trait achieved two EYOF consideration times in 100 and 200 metre freestyle and made several junior finals aged just 13. Maria Godden won individual silver medals in the Ladies 200 metre freestyle and 100 metre backstroke, a bronze medal in the 50-metre freestyle and later secured gold as Ireland’s Ladies 200 metre backstroke champion at aged only 14.

Overall this capped the most successful open competition for our junior swimmers for some years putting three of Kilkenny’s brightest young talent in a good position for international selection in the summer under Swim Ireland’s new National Performance Director, Jon Rudd coach of world record holder Ruta Meilutyte.