With Olympic spots sealed, some at the last minute, there was still some exciting racing for Lindie Naughton to report on. 

Track racing for club standard athletes continued at the Leinster Track and Field Championships in Carlow over the weekend (June 3-4)with a number of closely fought race.

In the women’s senior 1500m Avril Deegan of Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District AC held off Mary Horgan of Crusaders AC to win in a time of 4:32.40. Horgan clocked a time of 4:32.99. A close third was Rose Finnegan (UCD) 4:33.54.

Mitchell Byrne of Rathfarnham WSAF AC won the men’s 1500m in 3:59.53. His club mate David Scanlon was a close second in 4:00.72 with Neil Carberry of Clonliffe Harriers third in 4:056.14.

Winning a thrilling masters with the top three separated by less than half a sec and race in 4:22.50 was Rory Kavanagh of Dunboyne AC with Neil Sheil of St Killian’s AC second and first M40 and Ronan Moore of Trim AC third and second M40. Winning the junior race in 4:09.95 was Joseph Prendergast of Greystones and District AC.

Over 800m, Louise Gaffney of Rathfarnham WSAF AC won the senior women’s race in 2:18.82. Eva McNeilis of Dunboyne AC won the masters race in 2:22.97. Fastest woman of the day was Sophie Jackman of St Senan’s A who won the junior women’s race in 2:17.75.

Fast racing for all ages

Eoin Quinn of Mullingar Harriers won the senior men’s 800min 1:50.40. His clubmate Colin D. Smith was second in 1:53.5 and Fergal O’Hare off Crusaders AC third in 1:55.35.

Winning the men’s junior 800m title in 1:57.0 was Matthew Hayes of Ratoath AC. Winners in masters’ categories were Niall Sherlock of Clonliffe Harriers M35 , Anthony O’Rourke of Brothers Pearse AC M40 , Ciaran Reilly of Liffey Valley AC M45, Donal Iremonger of Donore Harriers M50, Michael Cornyn of Dunboyne AC M60, Martin Kelly 0f Menapians AC M65, Jim Langan of Tullamore Harriers M75.

Roisin O’Reilly of Menapians ACwon the junior women’s steeplechase in 10:59.18. Brishan Le Goff O’Brien of Tallaght AC won the senior men’s steeplechase in 9:46.63.

In the senior women’s 3000m, Bronagh Kearns of St Senan’s AC was the winner in 9:25.61, with Niamh Kearney of Raheny Shamrock second in 9:35.31 and Siobhan Eviston also Raheny Shamrock AC third in 10:04.50

Winning the junior women’s 3000m in 10:14.03 was Holly Brennan of Cilles AC. Winner of the masters 3000m and first W55 was world masters’ international Ann Gilshinan of Slaney Olympic AC in 10:27.29. Annette Kealy of Raheny Shamrock AC was second and and first W50 in 10:36.25 and Laura McDonnell of Rathfarnham WSAF AC first W35 and third overall in 10:43.68.

Road running

Steven McAlary from City of Derry AC was the winner of the Glenmore 10-Mile in Co Donegal on Sunday (July 4) in a time of 51 minutes and 36 seconds.

Eoin Mullan from Omagh Harries was second in 52:33 with Finn Valley’s Dermot McElchar third in 54:40. Rosses AC’s Helen McCready was first woman in 63:41. The race, hosted by Finn Valley AC as part of the club’s Golden Jubilee Series.

Winners of the 10km at the KRC Craigavon Lakes races on Sunday (July 4) were Adam Smyth in 33 mins 57 secs and Louise Smith in 39:37. Winners of the 5km were Lughaidh Mallon in 17:22 and Edel Gaffney 18:53.

Road to Tokyo

Mark English booked his Tokyo Olympics place hours before the midnight deadline last Tuesday (June 29). At the Meeting Castello near Barcelona, English clocked a brilliant time of 1:44.71 to break David Matthew’s Irish record of 1:44.82 set in 1995.

Already automatically qualified in their events before the Tokyo deadline were Ciara Mageen (1,500m), Thomas Barr (400m hurdles), Michelle Finn (3,000m steeplechase), Paul Pollock, Stephen Scullion and Kevin Seaward (men’s marathon), Fionnuala McCormack and Aoife Cooke (women’s marathon), Brendan Boyce (50km walk), Alex Wright (20km), plus six additional spots for the 4x400m mixed relay.

After the final quota places were allotted, a number of athletics were added to the list of Irish qualifiers. These were: Men – Leon Reid and and Marcus Lawler (200m), Andrew Coscoran (1500m) David Kenny (20km walk). Women – Phil Healy (200m/500m), Nadia Power, Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner, Louise Shanahan (800m), Sarah Healy (1500m), Sarah Lavin (100mH), Éilish Flanagan (steeplechase)

At the Diamond League Meet in Stockholm on Sunday (July 5), Luke McCann of UCD AC came fourth in the 800m in a personal best time of 1:46.36 . John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC was eighth in 1:46.54.

Zak Hanna loved this race so much last year that he moved to the area. We’ve got no idea why… Photo: PizTri Vertikal in Malonno. 

Mountain running

Zak Hanna of Newcastle and District AC won the the VK du Mont Blanc last Friday evening (July 2) in Chamonix, France.
Hanna, from Co Down, is currently based in Malonno, northern Italy.

The 3.8 km-long “Kilométre Vertical” route, with – as indicated by the title – 1000m of climb, has been part of the Mont Blanc Marathon weekend of races since 2011.

“Racing in the shadow of Mont Blanc is something special and what a course it was with the support along the way!”, tweeted Hanna afterwards.

Hanna, who only started running in 2015, has become something of a vertical specialist. Last summer, he finished third in the Piz Tri Vertikal in Malonno and second in the Vertikal Nasego VK in Casto.