Shane Ryan Heads Up Top Tier Of Swim Ireland’s Performance Squads

Swim Ireland revealed its 38-strong national squad rosters for the 2020-21 season, with a key focus not only on next year’s Summer Olympics but also the 2024 Games in Paris.

As described by Swim Ireland, its Performance team will operate through a three-tiered system encompassing a Performance (PE) cohort for Olympic Games 2021 identified athletes, a Performance Transition (PT) cohort focused on both the 2021 and 2024 Olympic Games and a Performance Pathway (PP) group with a 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games focus.

The tiering of the Programme into three distinct levels will be continued each season across the 2020-2024 cycle into the Paris Olympic Games, with the Programme aiming to support athletes as they endeavour to reach their full potential at senior international level.

Among the Performance Cohort is 26-year-old backstroking ace Shane Ryan, World Championships swimmers Brendan Hyland and Darragh Greeneas well as multi-national record holder Danielle HillThey will train under the direction of National Performance Director Jon Rudd and National Senior Team Head Coach Ben Higson.

Of note, Mona McSharry, who is swimming for the University of Tennessee, along with other athletes based outside of Europe are typically not selected for these national squads due to logistical issues.

Swim Ireland describes this specific Performance Cohort as taking on a relay focus, with the nation bidding to qualify its first Olympic relay since 1972.

Its men’s relays look particularly capable of qualifying for Tokyo, as both its 4x200m free relay and 4x100m medley relay are on the cusp of making the top 16 squads. The former finished 16th while the latter clinched a 14th place finish at the 2019 FINA World Championships, putting the nation in the conversation for the remaining at-large relay bids available through May 31, 2021.

The Performance Transition team segment is highlighted by European Junior Championships and FINA World Junior Championships finalist Eoin Corby, who will also be under Higson’s tutelage. They will be striving for Olympic qualification, but also having a distinct eye toward the 2021 Summer Universiade (World University Games).

National Performance Pathway Manager Andrew Reid will head up the Performance Pathway cohort, which includes promising talent Amilia Kane, Sean Scannell and Ellie McKibbin, among others.

Rudd’s comments on the team selections are as follows: “The Swim Ireland National Squad is a programme designed to assist and add value to each athlete’s home programme environment. The programme will provide these athletes and their home programme coaches access to opportunities and services which may otherwise be limited or unavailable to them. However, we strongly believe that this particular programme is so much more than camps, meets and services.

“It is about who we are, our identity as we approach an Olympic Games in 2021 and is a component which is key to further develop the performance culture within Irish swimming. We have strong beliefs and values and we have high standards and expectations; as such, our National Squad allows us ensure that when we walk into the arena together, we are galvanised, aligned and we possess a collective understanding of what is expected and required of us and from us. This is a very exciting group of athletes and we look forward to working with and for them over the months to come”

Performance Cohort
Name Surname Home Programme Coach
Calum Bain University of Stirling (UK) Bradley Hay
Niamh Coyne National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Conor Ferguson Larne SC Peter Hill
Darragh Greene National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Danielle Hill Larne SC Peter Hill
Brendan Hyland National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Jack McMillan Bangor SC Paul Dennis
Cillian Melly National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Nicholas Quinn University of Edinburgh (UK) Chris Jones
Shane Ryan National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Jordan Sloan Bangor SC Paul Dennis
Ellen Walshe Templeogue SC (Dublin) Brian Sweeney
Performance Transition Cohort
Name Surname Home Programme Coach
Victoria Catterson Ards SC (Newtonards) Davy Johnston
Uiseann Cooke University of Edinburgh (UK) Chris Jones
Eoin Corby National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy
Andrew Feenan National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy
Maria Godden Kilkenny SC John Duffy
Michael Hewitt Ards SC (Newtonards) Davy Johnston
Paddy Johnston Ards SC (Newtonards) Davy Johnston
Sophie Maguire University of Birmingham (UK) Gary Humpage
Cadan McCarthy National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy
Rory McEvoy National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Finn McGeever National Centre (Limerick) John Szaranek/Mikey McCarthy
Gerry Quinn National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Daniel Wiffen Loughborough University (UK) Andi Manley
Performance Pathway Cohort
Name Surname Home Programme Coach
Ethan Hansen Mount Kelly (UK) Emma Collings-Barnes
Grace Hodgins Trojan SC (Dublin) Jonathan Preston
Amelia Kane Ards SC (Newtonards) Davy Johnston
Julia Knox Banbridge SC Davy Wilson
Mollie McAlorum Leander SC (Belfast) Kathryn Wylie
Ellie McCartney Enniskillen Lakelanders SC Aaron Rickhuss
Ellie McKibbin Ards SC (Newtonards) Davy Johnston
Hannah O’Shea Dolphin SC (Cork) Mick McCormack
Cora Rooney Enniskillen Lakelanders SC Aaron Rickhuss
Aisling Rowlands Millfield School (UK) Euan Dale
Sean Scannell National Centre (Dublin) Ben Higson/Steve Beckerleg
Naomi Trait Kilkenny SC John Duffy
Ben Woodside Larne SC Peter Hill

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6 days ago

No mention of robbie powell who’s eligible once the Olympics and Olympic trials roll around and even more surprisingly no mention of Gerry Quinn who is the only real replacement for Robbie out there. Anyone know why Gerry never seems to come back to race in Ireland or get selected to anything, seems like he’s good enough and a legitimate hope for a relay spot in Tokyo

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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