Kilkenny swimmers recently competed in the 2022 Winter Nationals in the National Aquatic Centre in
Dublin where they were up against Ireland’s top international swimmers. It was an excellent week with
Marcus Bowen, Matthew McAviney, Paddy Cuddihy, Abby Cunningham, Nessa Godden and Brendan
Pretorious representing Kilkenny Swimming Club.
Nessa Godden set two new personal bests in the 400m firstly in the heats and then in the final. Over the
longer 800m distance she reduced her PB by over six seconds and in doing so won a bronze medal in the
Junior 800m freestyle. Also in the 800m free, Paddy Cuddihy swam very well to finish 8 th overall in an
event won by Daniel Wiffen who set a new European record.
Marcus Bowen knocked 2.43 seconds off his 200m breaststroke while Abby Cunningham set a PB in the
400m free. Swimmers to make finals were Paddy Cuddihy in freestyle and Matthew McAviney in
Third Level Swimmers
Kilkenny swimmers who have recently transitioned to third level college and train in Dublin and Limerick
respectively did very well. Maria Godden once again showed her prowess in the backstroke by claiming
three silver medals over the three distances – 50, 100 and 200 metres. Brogan McAviney is proving to be
a flyer with silver in the gruelling 200m butterfly and bronze over half that distance of 100m. Another
swimmer showing his butterfly ability is Alex McCleland Maher who finished fifth and seventh in the
finals of the 50m and 100m butterfly respectively. Maria, Brogan and Alex now train with the Swim
Ireland National Centre in Limerick.
Naomi Trait now trains in UCD and has adapted very well. Naomi claimed silver in the 200m freestyle
and bronze in the 200 metre individual medley where the swimmer completes 50 metres of the each
stroke – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and finally freestyle.
There will be many galas around the south east for the junior swimmers to target PB’s. However, the
focus now for the senior (A squad) Kilkenny swimmers is long course racing which means a return to the
50 metre pool. The target will be to achieve qualifying times for the National Long Course
Championships in Dublin and the National Age Group Championships in Limerick both of which are held