Ellen walshe
Ellen Walshe at the FINA World Swimming Championships, Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi on Dec. 20 last. INPHO/ANDREA STACCIOLI

Walshe dominates SEC swim championship

   Irish Olympian Ellen Walshe of the University of Tennessee was named Swimmer of the Meet at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Knoxville last week. The freshman from Dublin won three individual events and contributed to a relay victory. She took first place in the 400-yard individual medley with a school record time of 4:01.53. She also won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:52.97 and the 100-yard butterfly in 50.34. She became the first swimmer in SEC history to win these three events in the same meet and the first freshman to win three individual events in a single SEC championship. She also swam a leg of the Lady Vols’ winning entry in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

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                Teammate Mona McSharry, a Dublin sophomore, won the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.50. She also contributed to second-place finishes in three relay events – the freestyle and medley, both at 200 yards, and the 400-yard medley. [See a press conference here with both Walshe and McSharry]

                Tennessee won the women’s championship, amassing 1,313.5 points. Kentucky finished second with 1,043.

                Paddy Johnston anchored Cleveland State’s winning entry in the 400-yard medley relay at the Horizon League Championships in Indianapolis. The Belfast freshman also took second place in two individual events. He swam a 43.92 in the 100 freestyle against a winning 43.32 and needed 47.13 to finish the 100 backstroke against a winning 46.88. The Vikings finished second in the team standings.


                Ryan Leonard put 15 points on the scoreboard as St. Mary’s (Tex.) picked up a road win over Texas A&M-Commerce, 72-68, on Saturday. The 6-4 junior from Tralee, Co. Kerry shot 6-for-11 from the field (including 1-for-3 on bombs) and 2-for-3 from the foul line. He had a game-high three steals and his seven rebounds were co-high for the Rattlers (12-11, 9-5 Lone Star Conference).

                Sean McCarthy was part of a balanced scoring attack that enabled Felician to take down Nyack, 83-80, at home on Saturday. The 6-5 freshman from Cork made three of four field goal attempts and both of his free throws to finish with eight points. He also earned credit for three rebounds as the Golden Falcons improved to 15-8 overall and 10-5 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

                C.J. Fulton was high scorer for Lafayette in a 69-61 loss to Colgate last Monday. The 6-2 freshman guard from Belfast posted 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field, including 1-for-3 from long range. The shots just weren’t there for Fulton in Wednesday’s 77-68 home victory over Loyola (Md.). He took only four and scored just four points but put a premium on ball distribution, earning a team-high five assists. The Leopards (9-17, 6-9 Patriot League) ended the week on a down note, falling to Bucknell, 92-89. Fulton scored nine points, hitting four of seven shots, including one of three bonus attempts.


                Despite playing only 19 minutes, Enya Maguire led Houston Baptist in scoring with 14 points as the Huskies defeated Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La. on Saturday. The 5-4 sophomore guard from Belfast worked at a high percentage, cashing on five of six field goal attempts, including three of four from downtown, and one of two free throws. She also assisted on four baskets. HBU is now 12-9 overall and 8-2 in the Southland Conference.

                Bronagh Power-Cassidy came off the bench to spark Holy Cross to a 63-57 win at home over Navy on Saturday. The 5-10 sophomore from Dublin made three of four field goal attempts, including one successful launch from outside the three-point arc. She added four rebounds to her seven points.

                Katie Williamson was perfect on three field goal attempts in Southern Connecticut State’s 71-63 road loss to New Haven last Wednesday. The 6-1 sophomore forward from Dublin added a free throw to finish with seven points. She also had six rebounds. The Owls are hooting at 11-13 overall and 8-10 in Northeast 10 play.

GOLF (Men)

                Chattanooga’s Paul Conroy placed ninth in the Nexus Collegiate at The Albany Club in New Providence, Bahamas. The sophomore from Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford might have won the event but for a horrid second-round 82. He combined that with scores of 71 and 76 to finish seven strokes behind Ohio State’s Maxwell Moldovan, the medalist.

                South Alabama senior Jack Hearn, from Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, earned a share of 34th place in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Ala. Rounds of 71, 71 and 76 left him 13 strokes behind medalist Nick Robillard of Alabama-Birmingham. Kansas State sophomore Luke O’Neill, from Galway, shot 221 (73-75-73) to tie for 45th place.

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