Sligo native and University of Tennessee Freshman Mona McSharry set a new school record of 57.82 seconds in the 100 breaststroke at the 2021 SEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships this weekend.
The silver medal she won in the process marks McSharry’s first individual South Eastern Conference (SEC) accolade.
The new record set by the Irish star, surpasses that set by Olympian Molly Hannis who swam 58.22 seconds back in 2013 for Tennessee.
It’s not quite an Irish National record. The distance swam in America is 100 yards compared to 100 metres. The conversion of 100 yards to 100 metres is 91.4 metres.
McSharry further proved her merit in other events, including the 200 breaststroke where she swam a personal best time of 2:07:13 and finished fourth overall. The Sligo star was a part of the relay quartet who concluded the competition with a bronze medal.
The group including herself, Trude Rothrock, Bailey Grinter and Tiasa Pintar swam a cumulative 3:13:10 to secure themselves a place on the podium and cement their team as seventh in the school’s all-time history of the 400 free relay.
The 20 year old’s associate head coach Ashley Jahn commended her on her “professionalism” and admired her competitive spirit.
Speaking to Tennessee Athletics, McSharry said that “the year as a whole has been a challenge for everybody, but the one thing that great competitors do is take every opportunity as an opportunity to get better. That’s what she did tonight. She had a great swim in the individual 100 breaststroke and an awesome swim in the relay. She continues to look for ways and seek ways to be even more competitive.”
Having only moved to Tennessee on a sports scholarship last September, McSharry has continued to excel from strength to strength and will have her eyes firmly set on the Irish qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics which are set to take place from the 20th-24th of April in the National Aquatic Centre Dublin.