Kate O’Connor, 17, smashed the Irish senior, U23 and U20 records at the Irish National Indoor Combined Events on Saturday, January 20.
Taking place at Athlone IT, the St Gerard’s Dundalk athlete was competing in the junior women’s category and recorded a personal best 1.79 in the high jump, which was worth 966 points. She was also the highest scorer on the day in the hurdles, shot put and long jump.
Her superb time of 2:20.8 in the 800m helped give her a total score of 4108 points, breaking Elizabeth Morland’s 2016 record of 4043 points.
Next major outing for O’Connor is April’s Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, where she will compete in the heptathlon, adding her special javelin and the 200 to the five pentathlon disciplines.
RELATED: Kate O’Connor: senior international and just 16-years-old
The closest finish of the day came in the senior women’s competition, where defending champion Amy McTeggart of Boyne AC battled it out with North Down’s Sarah Connolly, who had finished 12th in the British U20 Championships in Sheffield on January 7.
Connolly took an early lead with a time of 8.90 secs in her specialist 60m hurdles, by some way the fastest of the day. With a personal best 1.76m high jump, she increased her lead, although McTeggart began clawing her way back, with better results in the shot and long jump.
Only 99 points separated them with the 800m to go, but Connolly’s time of 2:32.1 proved enough and, with 3661 points, she beat McTeggart whose final score was 3636 by 25 points. Third with 3324 points was Naomi Morgan from City of Derry Spartans.
Although slightly off his winning score of last year, Shane Aston of Trim AC retained the men’s senior title with his long, jump, shot and high jump giving him the points he needed to beat the 2016 champion Rolus Olusa of Clonliffe Harriers. Aston finished with a score of 3503 compared to 3354 for Olusa.
Setting a new youth boys’ record of 3499 points was Brian Lynch of Old Abbey AC. This proved another closely-fought contest with Darragh Miniter of St Mary’s Clare second with 3458 points. Class of the field in the youth girls’ competition was Anna McCauley of City of Lisburn with 3841 points.
In the masters’ competition, winners were Trevor McGlynn of Omagh Harriers M35, Patrick Curran of Tallaght M40 and Tom O’Brien of Waterford AC M50. Only two master women competed with Geraldine Finnegan of North East Runners setting a new W50 record of 2926 points. Full results can be found here.
Joan Healy of Bandon AC finished second in the 60m with a personal best of 7.34 secs at an indoor meet in Nantes, France on Saturday, January 20. The time puts her just .03 behind younger sister Phil and .04 off the 7.30 secs qualification mark for the World Indoors in March.
Sixth in the same race was European U20 100m champion Gina Akpe-Moses in 7.50 secs.
At the Kildare Indoor Championships in Athlone on Sunday, January 21, UCD scholarship athlete Claire Mooney ran a time of 2:02.3 for 800m. Behind her, Alanna Lally and Ellie Harnett, also UCD, ran times of 2:04.7 and 2:05.3 respectively over 800m.
Barry Keane ran 8:08.14 for fifth place in an indoor meet held in Bloomington Indiana on Friday, January 18. That puts him top of the 2018 rankings ahead of Youghal’s Fearghal Curtis who ran a personal best 8:17.06 in Nashville on 13 January.
Siobhra O’Flaherty of the St Lawrence O’Toole’s club in Carlow, finished 17th in the CrossCup cross-country in Hannut, Belgium on Sunday, January 21.
O’Flaherty finished with a time of 25 mins 41 secs. The winner was Birtukan Adamu of Ethiopia in 23.32. Donore’s Louis O’Loughlin finished sixth in the U18 boys’ race. Results can be found here.
For the second year, Irish ultra runner Carole Morgan has won the super-tough Spine Race along the Pennine Way.
Morgan reached the finish point in an overall time of 130 hours and 37 minutes for the 429km route from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, tracing the backbone of England.
After completing 338km of the race, 2016 winner Eoin Keith from Dublin was leading the race when he hit heavy snow and was forced to pull out. Last year, Keith broke a rib early in the race which forced his retirement. His withdrawal meant a third victory for Czech ultra runner Pavel Paloncy, who finished in 109 hours 50 mins.
This year’s Spine Race was the toughest to date with severe weather forcing a 12-hour pause in the race, with the runners held at various check-points along the way.
Marathon man Sean Hehir was a comfortable winner of the men’s five-mile race at the BHAA Cross-Country in Firhouse, Dublin on Saturday, January 20.
Hehir’s time of 26 mins 55 secs saw him finish well clear of second-placed Dermot McDermott who was second in 27:47. First woman and eight overall was Laura Shaughnessy in 29:28. Winner of the shorter women’s only 2.5 mile race was Irene Gorman in 12:50.
Eamon McAndrew and Heather Foley both of North Sligo AC were the winners of the Tuam 8km on Sunday, January 21. McAndrew won the race in 26 mins 53 secs; Foley clocked a time of 30.46.
Armagh 5k International Road Race
John Travers of Donore Harriers, Mayo’s Hugh Armstrong, David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers and Matt Bergin of DSD, who ran a 10km PB of 29 mins 25 secs at the Telford 10km, will represent Ireland in the men’s race at the Armagh 5k on Thursday, February 15.
Kilcoole’s Una Britton, Ciara Durkan of Skerries AC, Siobhra O’Flaherty of StLOT) and Laura Nicholson from Bandon AC go in the women’s 3k international race.
Scotland’s Callum Hawkins has also been announced for the Armagh event and more about that can be found here.