On the final day of the 2012 Irish Olympic Trials were without the country’s four biggest-name swimmers. Barry Murphy and Ryan Harrison stayed home in the USA to train. Sycerika McMahon and Grainne Murphy both made the short hop to London to swim in the international wing of the British Olympic Trials.
But that doesn’t mean that the action slowed down significantly. Two National Records went down, and a third nearly went down, over the last two days of course.
The first came from Johnny Quinn of the Dolphin Swim Club in the men’s 200 IM. This is the first men’s record to go down during this meet, and the most excitement to come out of the men’s side of this competition. He swam a 2:04.25 in the 200 IM, which broke a record held by another one of Ireland’s best swimmers who remained stateside: Andrew Bree. The previous mark of 2:04.43 had stood since an otherwise-inconspicuous meet in Nashville, Tennessee in 2008.
Then, later in the session, Bethany Carson marked a 1:00.53 in the women’s 100 fly. She had previously broken the record in prelims, but both of those swims broke the 1996 record of Michelle Smith. Her records have been approached all meet long, but Carson is the first to actually took out one of the versatile Olympic champion’s marks.
That swim for Carson left her short of European Championship qualifying, but she will have to the end of April to hit that mark of 1:00.26. Though dropping another three tenths won’t be easy, considering that she’s dropped over two since August’s World University Games, the mark to expand Ireland’s squad to those championships is certainly within reach.
Another ancient record nearly went down in the meet’s final women’s race. Lehesta Kemp closed the meet with a 26.17 in the 50 free. That’s just .15 off of the 2002 National Record of Julie Douglas.
With that, this meet ended with no new qualifications for the 2012 Olympic Games. That leaves the aforementioned Murphys: Grainne and Barry (no relation).