Ireland Gears Up For Worlds With McCullagh International Meet


  • Friday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 24th
  • Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, Bangor, Ireland
  • LCM
  • Start Lists

The 2019 McCullagh International Meet is set to put Irish talent on display, as national record holders Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene, Conor Ferguson, Jordan Sloan, Brendan Hyland and Danielle Hill are all expected to compete. The meet is named for the Irish Amateur Swimming Association’s first director, Dave McCullagh, who lost a battle with cancer in 2002.

Last year, 17-year-old Mona McSharry stole the show, reaping an impressive 6 individual titles, including a then-national record in the 50m free (25.60). She has since lowered that mark to 25.42 at last year’s Youth Olympic Games, but McSharry is absent from this year’s start lists.

Hill represents the former 50m freestyle Irish record holder and will take on that event, along with the women’s 50m back, 100m back and 50m fly this time around.

Greene is slated to swim his bread-and-butter 100m and 200m breaststroke events, while Ferguson is entered in an identical set for the backstroke. For his part, Hyland is entered in his signature 200m fly event, in which he broke the NR last year at the European Championships in semi-finals, but is also set to swim the 50m fly, 100m fly, 200m free and 200m IM.

For Ryan, the first Irishman to ever win a World Championships medal with his 50m back bronze last year, he’ll be contesting the 100m back, 200m back and 100m free.

Keep in mind, however, that the Irish Open Championships, the meet serving as qualification for this summer’s World Championships, doesn’t take place until next month, so we may be seeing some very in-season marks from the athletes. Nevertheless, this McCullagh International holds both Open A, Open B, as well as Age Group Finals, which will give the swimmers several opportunities to get some fine-tuning in before the main event next month.

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Feeling nostalgic!

This meet has a special spot in the hearts of the Ryan Clan. March of 2016 Shane Ryan achieved his Olympic A qualifing time needed for the Rio 2016 Olympics @ this meet! Some of his family was there to witness it. This raises their spirits as they were only after losing their Grandfather, Paddy Ryan a few weeks before.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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