NAC make big splash in and out of pool

by Gazette Reporter

NAC swim club produced a string of top performances at the Irish short course swimming championship in Lisburn last weekend with a series of medals coming back to Dublin 15.
Jessica Burke began the medal rush for the club on Friday evening in the 800m freestyle, taking a massive 7.43 seconds off her personal best in a fantastic time of 9.12.25.
It was one of the highlight races on day one of three days with Brendan Hyland another to light up the Ulster venue.
Hyland, who trains at the NAC performance centre, broke an Irish record during the first heats of the weekend when he lowered Barry Murphy’s 2011 100m Butterfly record to 53.04 while Bangor’s Jack McMillan swimming a time of 3.52.86 to break the Junior Boys 400m Freestyle record.
Hyland went on to win the 400m freestyle on the same night with a 3.50.72 swim, setting the tone for a wealth of medals.
He added the 100m and 200m butterfly golds, breaking a second Irish senior record in the process. Hyland had held the previous record of 1.57.82 for 200m from 2014 and knocked half a second off that time to win gold in 1.57.31.
NAC’s Cillian Colvin brought home the bronze in the 100m breaststroke, among three medals he would land over the weekend. He would later add a silver medal for his role in the 200m individual medley relay.
He was also in the 200m freestyle relay team that took a bronze on Sunday.
Indeed, it was quite the team effort as NAC’s women won bronze in a very exciting finish in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Individually, in a fantastic last session in Lisburn, Matt Coward was a bronze winner in the 50m freestyle. Like Colvin, he was a member of two relay medals, making for a fruitful weekend.
Hyland closed out his gala with the 400m individual medley, winning the crown by two seconds with a time of 4.18.07.
Outside of the pool NAC’s James Scully received a rousing reception as the double Paralympian was named the Outstanding Team Member (Athlete) of the Irish team at the Rio Games.
Scully made two finals in Rio and swam a number of personal bests.
His contribution to Team Ireland in and out of the pool was recognised with lifelong coach Dave Malone presenting the award making it a standout moment of the night.

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