Ulster swimmers impress at Irish Age Group finals

Larne's Conor Ferguson.
Larne's Conor Ferguson.

Irish swimming certainly has a lot to be excited about with the performance of Junior swimmers this week at Irish Age Groups and Summer Open.

Larne swimmer Conor Ferguson had an impressive swim in the boys 100m Backstroke. The 14-year-old recorded the fastest time of the day in the 100m Backstroke with a 57.96.

He then stepped up for the 200 IM to take another gold medal showing that he’s strong in all four strokes. He joins fellow 14 year olds Robbie Powell (Athlone) and Mitchell Wilson (Galway) as ones to watch for the future with the three boys seeming to be on the podium every chance they got at the week’s competition.

The boys will join a host of young Irish Swimming talent next week as a team of 12 swimmers head to Canada to compete in the Canadian Age Group Championships from 23rd-28th July.

In the girls 100m Freestyle it was a 1,2,3 finish for the High Performance Centre Dublin as Melanie Houghton (56.97) of Aer Lingus took the Gold Medal, followed by Lisburn’s Bethany Carson (58.50) and in third place was Tallaght swimmer Clodagh Flood (58.76).

Carson has been working hard to come back from a serious ankle injury is starting to see the awards of her recent move to living on the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. Living so close to her support team in the National Aquatic’s Centre and Irish Institute of Sport, including physiotherapist Sarah Jane McDonnell, has helped her to recover quickly and prepare for next season.

In the men’s 50m breaststroke Olympian Barry Murphy (Aer Lingus SC) returned to the pool after a busy year to retain his Breaststroke sprinting title. Barry will also be heading to next month’s Senior European Championships and the win will give him confidence before heading to Germany. Barry’s European teammate Nicholas Quinn of Castlebar added to his 100m and 200m Breaststroke medals with a silver medal in the 50m. Taking the bronze medal for that event was Emmet Crowley of Mallow.