Danielle Lowe Closes Out Irish Nationals With Six Wins

DUBLIN, Ireland, April 27. DANIELLE Lowe wrapped up the Irish Long Course Nationals Championships with six individual victories, while several other swimmers recorded multiple wins over the final two nights of action as the meet came to a conclusion Sunday night at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

On Saturday, Melanie Houghton held her number one spot in the women’s 100 free final, demolishing the field with a 57.06. Bethany Carson finished more than a second behind in 58.23, while Jess Stallard rounded out the top three in 58.25. On the men’s side, Curtis Coulter zoomed by the rest of the final heat to take the win in 50.78, well under his third-place qualifying time of 51.32 and better than Danas Rapsys (51.11) and Jordan Sloan (51.21).

Fiona Doyle earned her second win of the meet with a convincing victory in the women’s 100 breast. Doyle hit the wall in 1:09.97, just off her semifinal time of 1:09.63. Niamh Killgallen finished a distant second in 1:12.31, while Dearbhail McNamara came in third at 1:12.93. Meanwhile, Nicholas Quinn captured the men’s 100 breast title in 1:02.76, comfortably ahead of Dan Sweeney’s 1:03.95 and Lithuania’s Paulius Grigaliunis (1:04.41).

Thirteen-year-old Antoinette Neamt, winner of the 200 free and 800 free on night one, completed the freestyle triple after winning the 400 free in 4:19.03. Rachel Bethel, 14, came in second in 4:22.76 while Therese Corry claimed third in 4:27.85. The men’s 400 free turned into an exciting race between Andrew Meegan and Brendan Hyland. Hyland, the top qualifier by just under a second, was able to hold off Meegan at the finish, 3:59.32 to 3:59.57. Brendan Gibbons took third in 4:02.78.

After winning the 100 back and 400 IM on Friday night, Lowe returned to pick up a third win in the 200 back. Lowe stopped the touchpads in 2:14.77, almost six seconds ahead of Laoise Fleming (2:20.38) and seven ahead of Emma Cassidy (2:21.97). Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys rebounded from a second place finish in the 100 free to win the men’s 200 back easily. Rapsys cruised to a 2:13.61 in prelims, then chopped 11 seconds off in finals to win in 2:02.22. Fellow countryman Eimantas Milius took second in 2:06.01, followed by Bryan O’Sullivan (2:09.82).

Tonight, Lowe picked up her fourth win of the meet, kicking off the final night of competition with a 2:15.03 in the 200 IM. Lowe was not challenged in the event, as Shani Stallard finished well behind in 2:21.58 and Bethany Carson took third in 2:23.44. Rapsys won his third event of the meet in the men’s 200 IM, touching first in 2:03.30. Lithuania went 1-2 in the event as Povilas Strazdas finished second in 2:06.55, ahead of James Brown in third (2:07.82).

Lowe continued her dominating meet with a fifth victory, this time in the 200 breast. After qualifying second in 2:36.19, Lowe turned up the jets in finals to win in 2:30.81, with Dearbhail McNamara (2:32.95) in second and Niamh Killgallen (2:38.36) in third. Dan Sweeney and Nicholas Quinn, the top two finishers in the 100 breast, battled once again in the 200. This time, Sweeney came out on top, 2:17.20 to 2:17.68. Paulius Grigaliunis, who also took third in the 100, finished third again in 2:21.54.

A couple of sprint finals wrapped up the meet this evening. Kate Kavanaugh captured the women’s 50 back title in 30.57, edging Tara Dunne (30.78). Sinead Mylett came in third in 31.55. Jordan Sloan won the men’s 50 back in 26.36, barely denying Danas Rapsys his sixth win of the meet. Rapsys touched .09 behind in 26.45, while David Prendergast rounded out the top three in 27.00.

Melanie Houghton doubled up in the sprint free events, adding a win in the 50 free to her victory in the 100 earlier in the meet. Houghton touched in 26.07 to finish .89 seconds ahead of Gabriella Weaver (26.96). Ashleigh Hyland rounded out the top three in 27.43. Curtis Coulter did the same in the men’s event, adding the 50 free title to his win in the 100. Coulter posted a 23.23 to edge Lithuanian Jevgenij Rogozin (23.40) and Michael McCarthy (23.65).

Lowe wrapped up her meet with a sixth win in the 100 fly. Lowe touched in 1:01.44, just off her semifinal time of 1:01.37 but still almost a second in front of second place finisher Shauna O’Brien (1:02.23) and Gemma Kane (1:03.02). Lithuania’s Deividas Margevicius won the men’s race in a tight finish over 200 fly winner Brendan Hyland. Margevicius touched in 54.43 to edge Hyland’s 54.52. James Brown wrapped up third in 57.32.

Results of the men’s 1500 free and women’s 800 free were not available.

Results For: Irish Long Course National Championships

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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