Munster Short Course Championships
The Munster Short Course Championships was given a new lease of life this year with the qualifying times being just 5% slower than the Irish Short Course Championship qualifying times 2013. This meant that the level of competition was superb. Every event was packed with National Champions, International and Olympic standard swimmers.
For Askeaton Swimming Club and its competitors this meet was about exposure to high level swimming and there was plenty of that over the weekend.
Saturday 01 November
Day One of the Munster SC Championships saw just one swimmer in the water. Casey Flynn would swim the 50 Freestyle. Unfortunately a poor start put Casey behind the pack on the lead out length. She split 16.3 on the opening 25 but a good turn with great streamlining and a perfect transition into the second 25 saw her slightly pull back in on the girls surrounding her. The return leg of 16.4 giving her a total time of 32.7 was as fast as anyone else in the race.
Sunday 02 November
A slightly more active day for the club where three girls would represent us in a total of 5 races. First up was Casey’s second event the 50 Fly. A much better underwater section from the start let her take the first 25 out in 15.9 (faster than yesterday’s freestyle). The return leg of the 50 split was 18.5 giving a total time of 34.4, a great recovery from the disappointment of the 50 freestyle and a credit to Casey to be able to learn from her mistakes and make adjustments quickly.
Next up in the same event and last heat was Aoife Duggan McSweeney. The heat was swam at blistering pace being lead out by Emma Cassidy (Sundays Well Swimming Club who has some of the best starts and turns in the country) and Aoife was fourth to the turn with a split of 14.5. The push came in the second leg and Aoifes split of 18.1 (total time 32.6) was good enough to put her in range of her PB which was set a week previous in Mallow.
There were only two heats of the boy’s 50 fly before Aoife was in the pool again for the 100m backstroke. Knowing this at the start of the day, the strategy was to lead out with a strong 50 and see how well she could cope with the back leg of the 100. Lead-out length of 17.5 and splits of 18.8, 19.7, 19.7 let her score a good pb, but there will be faster rested 100 backs!
After lunch there were just 200 freestyles to be swam. First up was Róisín Duggan McSweeney. Róisín lead her heat from the get go and splits of 33.5, 36.7, 38.4, 38.1 saw her swim her second fastest recorded 200 freesyle (2:26) only beaten by her performance at the Irish Age Groups at the end of last season.
Last swim of the afternoon belonged to Aoife. Lead out split of 30.7 & 33.4 saw her open up a body length lead in her heat and a strong second 100 (34.4 & 34.7) saw her finish in a personal best of 2:13.23.
At a competition that saw national, international and Olympic standard athletes compete the club was well represented. Overall a really productive competition and good learning experiences for those involved.