Ellen Walshe Reaps Multiple Golds On Day 2 Of Irish Winter Championships


The 2023 Irish Winter Championships continued from Dublin tonight with University of Tennessee swimmer Ellen Walshe collecting a quartet of medals in an impressive display of stamina.

First, in the women’s 100m backstroke, the 22-year-old Templeogue swimmer clocked a time of 59.22 for bronze, representing one of three athletes to get under the minute barrier in the event.

Topping the podium was national record holder Danielle Hill , with the 24-year-old earning gold in 58.16. She recently set the Irish standard at 57.56 at this year’s European Short Course Championships.

Belfast’s Lottie Cullen snagged silver between the two, hitting 58.14 for a new personal best.

Walshe upgraded to gold in the women’s 400m IM, nabbing a time of 4:41.25. She won decisively, beating the field by nearly 17 seconds. She owns the Irish national record in this event with the 4:26.52 notched at the 2021 Short Course World Championships.

Walshe also wound up on top of the women’s 50m fly event in 26.03. That earned the edge over Hill who settled for silver in 26.25 while Emma Reid rounded out the top 3 in 27.06.

It was at the 2022 edition of these championships that Walshe established the current national record of 25.90.

Finally, in her busy sequence of events, Walshe turned in a time of 1:59.17 to come away with the 200m free silver.

Getting to the wall first was Victoria Catterson with the 22-year-old producing 1:56.41 as the fastest athlete. Catterson is the national record holder in this event, having registered a time of 1:55.94 in Romania.

Scotland’s Mark Szaranek put up a lifetime best in the men’s 200m IM last night and the 28-year-old former University of Stirling swimmer who now trains in Gainesville nearly matched the feat in the 400m IM this evening.

Szaranek stopped the clock in 4:01.64 as the commemorative medal winner, coming within striking distance of his best-ever outing of 4:01.19 from this same competition last year.

The top Irish 400m IMer was Jack Cassin who touched in 4:11.87 to come within a second of Daniel Wiffen‘s national record of 4:11.05 logged last year. Cassin already won the 200m fly on night one in Dublin.

Additional Notes

  • Matthew Walsh-Hussey scored the men’s 100m back victory in a mark of 54.31, knocking over half a second off his previous PB in the process. Neither Shane Ryan nor John Shortt contested this event.
  • Ryan was in the water for the 50m fly race, however, settling for silver in 23.26. Taking the top prize was Calum Bain who touched in 23.19, beating his career-quickest 23.31 from 2022.
  • Evan Bailey was the 50m fly bronze medalist in 23.61 but won the 200m free event tonight. He logged 1:44.50, as 31-year-old Jeremy Bagshaw of Canada hit 1:45.14 as the next-fastest swimmer. Both outings represent Irish Junior Records for 18-year-old Bailey.

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Alison England
4 months ago

Szaranek would have won bronze in Otopeni with that 400IM time.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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