Sarah Healy, who just turned 17 on Tuesday, celebrated in style by winning her first national senior title at the Irish National Indoor Championships in Abbotstown on Saturday (February 17).
Healy’s time of 9:10.43 in the 3000m took over 18 seconds off Rose Ann Galligan’s Irish junior record set in 2005 and is the fastest time run by an Irish woman this season so far.
Second to the Blackrock athlete was Olympic steeplechaser Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle AC in 9:20.03, with Meghan Ryan of DSD third in 9:43.35.
At the start of the February, the European Youth Olympic champion clocked 4:16.04 over 1500m to break Ciara Mageean’s Youth and U20 indoor records.
Safely making it through to the women’s 1500m final tomorrow were Emma Mitchell of QUB, UCD’s Ellie Hartnett, Amy O’Donoghue of Emerald AC, Fiona Kehoe of Kilamore and Newcastle’s Kerry O’Flaherty.
Leading the qualifiers for the men’s 1500m are Eoin Peirce of Clonliffe, and Raheny pair Kieran Kelly and Brian Fay.
Mark English of UCD made his first appearance on the track this season with a comfortable win the 800m heats. His time was 1:58.20.
Sprints and field events
In the men’s 60m heats, defending champion Leon Reid of Menapians ran 6.83 secs in the fastest heat of the day. Second behind him in 6.87 secs was Jeremy Phillips of Clonliffe Harriers. Winning his heat in 6.88 was Marcus Lawler of St LOT.
Later Reid returned to the track to win his 200m heat in 22.33 secs. Fastest time across the five heats of 21.63 secs was recorded by Olympic 400m hurdler Thomas Barr of Ferrybank. Craig Newell of Ballymena and Antrim ran 21.75 and Stephen Gaffney of Rathfarnham WSAF 21.79.
Phil Healy of Bandon AC was a comfortable winner of her women’s 400m heat in 54.65 secs. The fastest qualifier was Catherine McManus of DCH with 54.00; second in that heat was Sinead Denny of DSD with 54.57.
A total of six heats were held for the men’s 400m with Northern Irish athlete Andrew Mellon’s time of 48.25 secs the quickest. Brandon Array of Blarney Iniscarra ran 48.53 secs and Cathal Locke of Dooneen AC 48.70.
In the women’s high jump, Sommer Lecky, another 17-year-old, was taking her third consecutive high jump title. Lecky, of the Finn Valley club, was the class of the field with her winning leap of 1.84 just one centimetre off the Irish junior record set set last month.
No surprises in the women’s shot, won by 19-year-old Michaela Walsh of Swinford AC with a best of 15.36m. In a competitive women’s long jump, a 5.90m leap gave Sarah McCarthy of Mid-Sutton victory.