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Hill and McSharry smash records

By David Kelly

Danielle Hill made the perfect start to her campaign at the Dave McCullagh international meet in Bangor Aurora last night.

The Larne girl was in record-breaking form, blasting her way to the 50m backstroke silver medal in a new Irish senior best of 28.76.

Hill's time knocked four tenths off her previous Irish record as she finished behind Kathleen Dawson of Stirling, who took gold in 28.16.

The Commonwealth Games swimmer then returned to the pool to pick up another silver medal in the 100m freestyle with a personal best of 57.45. Gold went to the gifted 16-year-old Mona McSharry.

The Donegal teenager is one of the hottest Irish prospects around at the moment and McSharry picked up two golds on the opening night of the meet.

McSharry took 100m free gold in 57.12 and then half an hour later returned to the pool to win the 100m breaststroke in 1:07.75, taking a second off her Irish junior record.

The added bonus for McSharry was hitting the qualification times for the European junior championships and the World junior championships.

Bangor's quartet of Jack McMillan, Jamie Graham, David Thompson and Jordan Sloan set the third record of the night in the 400m freestyle relay final. Sloan's final leg of 51.16 confirmed the victory and record with the team combining for a time of 3:28.53 ahead of Ards (3:31.79) and Limerick (3:34.21).

Rebecca Reid of Ards won the 400m individual medley final in 5:01.28, going under the time standard for the European junior championships.

Pippa Shuttleworth of Loughborough took silver in 5:03.42 with the ever-improving Victoria Catterson of Ards third in 5:03.59.

Julia Knox in 5:10.38 was also under the European Youth qualification time.

Reid's clubmate Curtis Coulter took the honours in the men's 100m freestyle final in 50.78.

It proved to be one of the races of the night as Coulter and Bangor's Sloan - both of whom are expected to go to the Commonwealth Games next year - battled for supremacy.

Coulter had the edge with Sloan taking silver in 50.93.

The Ards men took the 4x200m free relay gold in 8:42.50.

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