McCullagh: Scott Clocks 1:47.0 200 Free, Dawson Posts Another 59.9 100 Back


The 2020 McCullagh International Meet gives swimmers a chance to test out having finals in the morning, as the ‘day 2 prelims’ took place last night at Aurora Complex in Bangor. This mimicks the timing set to happen at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Following up on his 48.8 in-season 100m freestyle victory here already was 22-year-old Duncan Scott of the University of Stirling, owning the 200m free event to get fans on their feet.

The two-time relay Olympic silver medalist staked his claim on this 2free early, hitting a prelims mark of 1:47.32 last night. Dropping .26 this morning, however, Scott checked in with a 1:47.06 to comfortably beat out runner-up Jack McMillan of Bangor, who touched in 1:48.28 for silver.

Splits for Scott in this final included 51.79/55.27, with an encouraging drop in these morning finals to help train for Tokyo timing. As such, Scott wrapped up on the 100m/200m freestyle double here in Northern Ireland, with the 100m fly and 200m IM yet on his schedule.

Last weekend at BUCS, Scott stuck to the 200m fly and 400m IM events, so fans missed seeing him in his bread-and-butter freestyle events. This 1:47.02 is a positive outlook for where the versatile swimmer stands just 2 months out from the British Championships, which represent the nation’s Olympic Trials.

Scott now ranks as the 12th fastest 200m free performer worldwide this season. Not to be missed, however, is the fact that McMillan’s time tonight for silver sits just .28 outside of his 1:48.00 lifetime best from last year’s World Championships.

2019-2020 LCM MEN 200 FREE

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Home nation swimmer Mona McSharry cruised her way to victory in the women’s 50m breast, hitting the wall in 27.14. Loughborough’s Harriet West was next in line in 27.46, while Ellen Walshe was also under the 28-second threshold in 27.79 for bronze.

Although Commonwealth Games 200m fly champion Alys Thomas looked poised to take the 200m free based on her 1:59.65 prelims performance last night, it was Abbie Wood who got the job done for gold during this morning’s final.

Splitting 58.90/1:01.06, 21-year-old Wood hit the only sub-2:00 time of the field, with 30-year-old Thomas settling for silver in 2:00.54. Stirling’s Aimee Willmott finished in 2:00.96 for the bronze this morning.

Olympians Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Hannah Miley were also both in the race, finishing in 4th and 5th with respective efforts of 2:02.07 and 2:02.72.

Wood, who competed for the International Swiming League (ISL) NY Breakers, is coming off of double IM victory at last weekend’s BUCS and she also took the 200m free gold there in Sheffield as well. Her time of 1:59.66 from that meet checked in as her lifetime best, so she was just .30 outside of that mark one week later.

Another exciting women’s race came in the 100m back, where Kathleen Dawson nabbed gold in 1:00.28 over Irish national record holder Danielle Hill‘s 1:00.90. The latter’s time represents a new Irish national record, outperforming her own 1:01.08 produced along Hill’s record-breaking tear of 2019. You can read more about Hill’s new record here.

23-year-old Dawson’s shining moment actually came in last night’s prelim, where the Scot posted a sub-minute effort of 59.98. That time falls within striking of her own national record of 59.82 she logged in 2016, a mark which renders her as Great Britain’s 4th fastest performer all-time in the women’s 100m back.

Dawson, who has been plagued with injuries as of late, hit a time of 59.94 at last week’s BUCS as a guest swimmer. As such, her producing 2 consecutive sub-minute outings is encouraging, despite adding slightly during this morning’s final. Her 59.94 from BUCS ranks her 13th in the world this season.

The men’s 100m back, one of our meet previews top 5 races to watch, was indeed a thriller, with Luke Greenbank and Shane Ryan separated by just .16 when all was said and done.

After having led the men’s field from last night’s prelim swim of 55.11, Greenbank shaved off .09 to land atop the podium this morning in 55.02. That held off Irish national record holder Ryan who clocked 55.18 to drop massively from his 56.10 prelim swim.

Also getting on the podium was Larne swimmer Conor Ferguson, although he added slightly to his 55.29 prelim effort to finish in 55.50.

Just off BUCS Long Course Championships, there in Sheffield last weekend Greenbank posted a winning time of 55.51 to get his 2020 year started. In 2019, Greenbank busted out a time of 53.75 in the semi-finals at the 2019 World Championships for a new lifetime best, rendering him 14th overall.

As for Ryan, he owns the Irish national record in his lifetime best of 53.73 put up in Dublin last year.

Another one of our top 5 races to watch here was the men’s 200m breaststroke, with the likes of Adam Peaty, Ross Murdoch, James Wilby, Craig Benson and Eoin Corby among the stacked competitive field.

Peaty wound up dropping the final, however, giving the rest of the field one less Olympian to worry about. Wilby took advantage, dropping well over half a second from yesterday’s mark to take gold in 2:11.23.

The long course National Record holder Murdoch kept his 2nd place spot with a 2:13.04, while bronze went to 18-year-old Irish junior national record holder Corby, who posted 2:14.66.

Peaty swam 2:14.64 in prelims before scratching the final. Although he has been entered in the 200m breast at other long course meets, the most recently registered official time for him is represented by the 2:16.62 he posted at the 2017 Manchester International Swim Meet. As such, his 2:14.64 from last night mark his fastest in over 2 years.

Additional Winners:

  • Olympic finalist Max Litchfield posted a time of 4:19.81 to take 400m IM gold, out-performer the rest of the field by over 14 seconds.
  • The men’s 50 fly saw Calum Bain get to the wall first in a time of 24.60 as the only sub-25 second swimmer in the final.
  • The women’s 200m breast had just one swimmer get under the 2:30 barrier, as Molly Renshaw touched in 2:26.79 for the win. The 24-year-old Loughborough swimmer already ranks 15th in the world this season by way of the 2:25.31 she produced at Northampton’s Winter Festival last December.

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Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Watch out. When Duncan Scott goes through puberty, he’s going to be amazing.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

He was rocking a Goatie at Bucs mate he’s a big boy these days!

Thomas Selig
4 years ago

I think there’s an error on the round-up of the women’s 200 breast. Renshaw’s 2.27.92 is what she set in prelims. In the final she went 2.26.79 according to Swim Ireland’s twitter, with Mona McSharry second in 2.28.22

Other than that, decent from Scott, and good signs that he’s been swimming quite fast (for him, in season) in prelims and still dropping time in the finals.

Also good signs from Dawson and Wood, backing up their BUCS showings here. Really encouraging to see Dawson getting over her injury issues and being nearly back to her best.

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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