The 2018 Irish Summer Nationals took place last week in Dublin with swimmers from all over Ireland and Europe as well as faraway places like Dubai, Toronto and India. The largest swimming event in Ireland saw 130 events and finals split into almost 500 heats with 4,630 entries by 830 swimmers competing at the National Aquatic Centre hoping for personal bests, finals, medals and Irish titles. Three Enniskillen Royal Grammar School students participated in the event.
The youngest member of the squad, Ellie McCartney, swam in 10 events and qualified for finals in every event with fantastic PBs. The 13-year-old returned home with 4 Irish titles winning Gold in the 100m & 200m Breaststroke as well as the 200m and 400m Individual Medley. Ellie swam a fantastic race to win the 200m Breaststroke by 10 seconds in a time of 2:38.58, but more importantly a consideration time for the Swim Ireland Irish National Squad. Her performance was noted by the Swim Ireland website as “Swim of the evening” as well as being singled out by the National Performance Director as one of the picks of the day. Jon Rudd said “a National Squad consideration time from Ellie, one year earlier than projected in this event with a storming back 100 for close to even pacing across the two halves”.
Kealan McShea, entered 7 events in a very competitive age group. He impressed his coach on day 1 when he reached the final of the demanding 400m IM to finish in 5th place overall with a 9 second PB in a time of 4.58. He followed this with a swim to his PB in the 100m breaststroke. On Day 2 Kealan had a great swim in the 200m breaststroke reaching an unexpected final with a PB of 6 seconds finishing in an excellent 8th place overall. Thanks to his coach Rob Eynon as a year ago Kealan had not featured in this event. On Friday he had two further swims in the 100m Free and 200m IM the latter resulting in first reserve for the final. Kealan missed day 4 of the meet as he travelled to Castlewellan to compete in the Ulster Fleadh. On Sunday he returned to round off a successful meet in the 200m backstroke once again achieving a PB of 5.55secs and reserve for the final.
Lewis McCartney was attending the Championships for a third year and is continuing to challenge in this difficult age group. Participating in seven events the 16 year old finished inside the top 20 in each of them narrowly missing out in 2 finals. Some great PBs in 100m & 200m Breastroke following additional training with double Olympian Andrew Bree and the 100m Butterfly saw Lewis finish the season on a high.