Irish Olympic Trials: Hill Claims Third Record Of The Week & McGeever Sets Irish 400 Free Mark

Finn McGeever

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Danielle Hill reclaimed her national 100 free record and Finn McGeever set a new 400 free mark on day three of the Irish National Team Trials in Dublin.

There were however no more swimmers inside the cut for Tokyo to add to the quartet of Mona McSharry, Daniel Wiffen, Darragh Greene and Shane Ryan who all qualified on the opening day.

Link to results

The women’s 4×100 free quartet did though make the cut for next month’s European Championships in Budapest where they can qualify for the Olympics.

Hill’s time of 55.33 over two lengths of freestyle was her third record of the meet after twice lowering the 100 back mark.

The 21-year-old had held the previous Irish best of 56.01 from 2019 which Ards’ Victoria Catterson lowered to 55.44 in Wednesday night’s semi-final.

Hill returned to wrest back the mark with Catterson finishing second in 55.53.

She said:

“No pressure does amazing things. I was fuelled by Victoria’s swim yesterday and my disappointment of the 100 backstroke, so all of that added together made up for a pretty nice swim.

 “We used to train at age-group level together in Templemore, so we’ve known each other quite a while and it’s nice to see Victoria starting to come through.

“It’s much-needed for the relay, but also individually. I know how she works in the pool, and we train in the gym, so I know how hard she works in the gym too. She deserves it as much as I do.

 “It’s an exciting time. Both of us would say we want to go 54 and there’s no reason why we can’t.

“We’ve just got to get our head down, and hopefully be given an opportunity to swim as a relay and prove that female swimming in Ireland is moving forward.”

Catterson added 

“I definitely think that Danielle and I will be battling back and forth for this time for some time to come.

“I came here wanting to fight for my place on that relay at Europeans and hopefully the way we have pushed each other means that I will get that email next week.”

National Centre Limerick’s McGeever broke his first Irish senior record in the 400 free in 3:52.83 with the 21-year-old dominating the final to go under Jack McMillan’s 2019 record of 3:53.31.

He said:

“I wasn’t expecting that at all. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m pretty proud to have that title to my name.

“I knew it was going to be better than 3:59 from the 200 free I did the other day, but I wasn’t expecting that at all’.

 “We all kinda cruised it this morning, but Liam (Custer) was still quite fast.

“I wasn’t sure what kind of form he was on, so I was just ready for a race. We hadn’t really been training for the 400, we had been more focused on the 200, but obviously the 400 will improve as the 200 does.”

In the women’s 400 free final, Ards’ Amelia Kane took her second win of the week, adding to the 800m in 4:23.86.

Calum Bain once again dominated the 50m freestyle with the Cookstown SC and University of Stirling swimmer winning all three rounds to clock 22.55 in the final.

Ahead of her 100 fly final in which she went 59.73, Ellen Walshe had also topped the field in the 200IM semi-finals and enters tomorrow’s final as the fastest qualifier in 2:18.04.

In the first semi-final, Ellen Keane (2:39.36), Nicole Turner (3:09.04) and Roisin Ni Riain (2:33.82) were all under the Minimum Qualification Standard (MQS) for the Paralympic Games in August.

In the men’s 200IM semi, National Centre Limerick’s Cadan McCarthy progresses to the final as the fastest qualifier in 2:04.88.

Calum Bain once again dominated the 50m free with the Cookstown SC and University of Stirling swimmer winning all three rounds in the event, clocking 22.55 in the final.

In the 200m backstroke semi-final Enniskillen’s Cora Rooney, swimming solo, clocked 2:26.63.

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