TOP swimming talent, Danielle Hill was crowned Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer in Bangor at the weekend as the Larne teenager made history when breaking a 15 year-old national 50m freestyle record.
The Larne swimmer broke Julie Douglas’ 2002 record of 26.02 by eight hundreth’s of a second to clock 25.94 seconds - the fastest female swimming record (long course) in Ireland.
Hill had been close to the record in 2016 when she broke the junior record in 26.08 seconds and with many using this weekend’s race at the Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala as a warm up for the Irish Open in April, the Larne champion swimmer is certain to improve on that time in the months to come.
Hill was recently a recipient of the Mary Peters Trust ‘Make it Happen’ award of £2,000 after being identified as a potential star of the future.
And it’s clear she is taking her career to the next level following her historic efforts at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex at the weekend.
“Fantastic way to end an amazing competition - it’s official I am now the fastest Irish female swimmer ever as I am the first ever Irish female to break the magic 26 seconds long course in a new Irish Senior record time of 25:94,” Hill said afterwards. “Absolutely over the moon to have broken the 15 year-old record which beloonged to Julie Douglas from 2002 - and to top everything off, the Larne girls won bronze in the 4x100 medlay relay! Honestly overwhelmed with the support I have received from the start of the season. Hopefully there’s many more memories like this to come.”
It’s official I am now the fastest Irish female swimmer ever as I am the first ever Irish female to break the magic 26 seconds long course in a new Irish Senior record time of 25:94.Danielle Hill
Hill’s Larne team mate, Conor Brines was also in record breaking form. Brines has been impressive during this short course season, breaking both the 50m and 100m Butterfly records on a number of occasions.
And the 21 year-old took his first Irish Senior Long Course record in the 100m Butterfly final, breaking Brendan Hyland’s (53.59) 2016 record in 53.34 seconds.
Mona McSharry completed the Breaststroke triple when she won gold in the 50m (31.56) event and then took her gold medal haul to five with a win in the 200m Individual Medley (2:19.31). The 16 year-old had already collected 100m and 200m Breaststroke gold as well as 100m Freestyle gold during the weekend.
Curtis Coulter added 50m Freestyle gold to his 100m gold in the first race. Coulter of Ards SC held off Loughborough’s Sam Irvine (23.63) to win in 23.29 seconds while UCD’s David Prendergast and Loughborough’s Martin Walton tied for third in 23.79.
Stirling’s Charlie Boldison finished his meet with a clean sweep in the Backstroke events. Boldison’s Stirling teammate Kathleen Dawson also took her gold medal tally to three in the Backstroke events, the 19 year old clocked 2:11.59 to complete the sweep.
The next meet for Irish swimmers will be the Irish Open Swimming Championships at the NAC, Dublin from April 6th – 9th.