Swimming: Dawson secures Euro spot with silver
CLARE Dawson just missed out on gold in the 200m freestyle final but still qualified for the European Championships in Budapest on the opening night of the national long course championships yesterday.
Dawson and Hannah Miley were stroke for stroke throughout, with the English girl touching first in 2:00.20, just 0.28 seconds ahead of Bangor swimmer Dawson, who is based at Stirling University. Niamh O'Sullivan was third in 2:03.63.
The visiting American national junior team were to the fore at the National Aquatic Centre, enjoying a clean sweep in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay with their A, B and C teams. The gold medal winning time was 3:54.89 with the best of the Irish ESB who -- helped by Beijing Olympian Aisling Cooney -- came fourth in 4:06.62.
Miley also took gold in the 200m butterfly in 2:12.13, ahead of Americans Courtney Otto (2:14.12) and Emma Nunn (2:14.36).
Andrew Meegan (19) managed to hold off the twin American threat of Daniel Thompson and Ty Fowler to win the 1500m freestyle. Dubliner Meegan, whose physical strength is clearly developing, came home in 15:49.18 ahead of Thompson (15:50.23) and Fowler (16:00.07).
Meegan also took bronze in the 200m butterfly in 2:07.54, with gold going to American Matthew Barber (2:04.93). Barber's fellow countryman Kevin Cordes won the 50m breaststroke in 29.30 with the best-placed Irishman Michael Dawson (29.98) while another American, Clay Youngquist, won the 200m free in 1:51.56.
Ulster teenager Sycerika McMahon impressed with a silver medal-winning display in the 50m breaststroke, clocking 32.79, which was just outside the Irish junior record of Fiona Doyle. The 15-year-old was sandwiched by Americans Emily Fogle (32.69) and Sarah Haase (33.09). She also managed fourth in the 200m free final.