Headed into day three of the 2012 Irish Olympic Trials, the first two National Records went down in Friday’s morning prelims, though neither was matched in the final.
The first came in the 100 fly prelims, where 20-year old Bethany Carson swam a 1:00.58 to take the top seed headed into prelims. That puts her in the top-60 in the world, and slivers .01 of triple-Olympic-Champion Michelle Smith’s natinoal record of 1:00.59 that was set at the 1996 European Championships.
It’s a sign of a resurgence in Irish swimming that many of Smith’s records (tainted or not) are being approached and chased-down at this meet. Ireland has started to pump some funds into their swimming program with a goal of an Olympic finalist in 2012. It’s going to be close to happen this soon, but with the youth they have, there’s no doubt they’ll get a few in 2016.
The other record to go down was in the women’s 200 back, where Melanie Nocher, who is the veteran of Ireland’s elite women’s group at 23, touched in 2:11.71 in prelims. She was a tenth slower in finals (2:11.81), though that was still under her own mark set in 2009.
That gave her an easy eight-second win, and solidified her spot on the European Long Course Championship roster (though she was still off of the FINA Olympic “A” qualifying time and an Olympic spot). She did, however, beat the men’s event champion, so that’s a feather in her cap. Nochter also won the 100 back in 1:01.92, with a
In other interesting races of the day, Sycerika McMahon won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:09.42. That time ranks her 21st in the world in 2012, but is still roughly a second away from Olympic qualifying. With only the 200 IM left for this meet, it looks as though the 16-year old rising superstar is going to fall short, for this weekend at least, of a spot on the Olympic Team.
She’ll have a great opportunity in May at the European Long Course Championships to make her way onto the team, as she overall seems to be at less-than-full rest. A swimmer that young, however, should well still be making big improvements in the next 3 months.
Grainne Murphy, one of two to have already qualified for the Olympics, appears to have headed home early from the meet after securing a European Long Course swim in the 200 free on Wednesday, where she dropped four seconds. This meets that we’ll likely have to wait until Euro’s to see her take a run at Michelle Smith’s 400 free record, as she doesn’t have another entry in this meet.