Thomas Barr shone on the world stage in London, Irish athletes gritted it out in the mountains at Snowdon while the roads were brimming with top Irish performances.
Thomas Barr made the most of a last minute call-up for the Anniversary Games in London to run a season’s best time of 48.99 secs.
Barr produced his trademark finish off the final hurdles to pull himself into third place. Winning the race was Swedish phenomenon Karsten Warholm in a meet record time of 47.65 secs. (See here for a recent feature on Thomas Barr’s hopes for the forthcoming European Championships).
Also in action was Irish sprinter of the moment Phil Healy of Bandon AC who, despite running a record 200m and a speedy 400m in the previous five days, clocked a time of 11.54 secs in the 100m heats.
A day later, Healy anchored the Irish 4 x 100m team which finished seventh in 44.23 secs – not far off the team’s season’s best of 43.50. First off was Joan Healy followed by Gina Akpe- Moses and Ciara Neville. The performance of the Irish U20 team in Finland means that the Irish relay team is sure of a place at next month’s European Championships in Berlin. A strong British quartet dominated the race.
In the men’s 4 x 100m, the team of David McDonald, Jeremy Phillips, Jack Dempsey and Joseph Ojewumi finished eighth in 40.47.
Competing in the women’s 100m hurdles was Megan Marrs of City of Lisburn who clocked a time of 13.37 in the heats – not far off her best of 13.32.
Aimee Hayde of Newport AC cantered away from the field to win the U16 girls 1500m title at the final day of the National Juvenile Championships in Tullamore on Sunday (July 22).
Hayde’s time of 4:30.91 knocked over five seconds off the time of 4:36.29 run by Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of DSD AC in 2010. A week earlier, Hayde had won the 800m, also in a record time.
A thrilling U19 girls 200m saw Lauren Cadden of Sligo AC winning in 24.48 secs – inside Phil Healy’s 2012 record of 24.60, with wind speed yet to be confirmed. Alana Ryan of Greystones AC and Lauren Roy of City of Lisburn were second and third.
A clear winner of the boys’ U19 title was Shane Monagle of Tramore AC in 22.47 secs, while winning a closely-fought U18 men’s final was Tony O’Leary of Leevale AC in 22.68. John Grant of Celbridge AC was second in 22.73 and Aaron Keane of Tullamore Harriers third in 22.71.
A closely-fought women’s 800m proved the highlight of Thursday’s (July 19) Morton Games held in Santry.
In the charge for the line Ciara Mageean of UCD just missed out on victory with a time of 2:02.13, which is a season’s best.
Siofra Cleirigh Buttner of DSD was fourth with 2:02.63 and Claire Mooney of UCD seventh in 2:03.19.
Two days later, on Saturday, Mooney, who was celebrating her birthday, did it in style at a meet in Heusden, Belgium, when she finished second in 2:01.61 and jumped to the top of the Irish 800m rankings.
Back in Santry, Donore’s John Travers proved the best of the local runners in the night’s feature event, the Morton Mile, finishing sixth in 3:57.35. Behind him 19-year-old Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock was agonisingly close to becoming the youngest ever Irish sub-four minute miler with the clock stopping at 4:00.45.
In the 5000m, Stephen Scullion of Clonliffe Harriers was seventh in 13:50.04 – well off the European Championships A qualifying time of 13 mins 35 secs.
A throw of 75.89m from Stephen Rice was not only an U23 record but enough to put the Clonliffe athlete second on the all-time Irish list behind the great Terry McHugh, winner of 21 Irish titles in his long career.
In the 400m, Phil Healy of Bandon AC, after setting a new Irish record of 22.99 secs for 200m in Cork three days earlier, finished a fighting second in 52.88 secs.
In the men’s 800m, Zak Curran was fourth in 1:47.07 while John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC ran a personal best 1:48.09. Mark English of UCD failed to finish.
Winning the wheelchair 800m in 1:52.44 was Irish marathon record holder Patrick Monahan of Le Cheile AC. Cillian Dunne of Borrisokane AC was second in 1:53.51.
On Wednesday evening, (July 18), Michele Finn travelled to Naimette-Xhovemont in Belgium where she finished fourth in the steeplechase in a time of 9:51.43, which is inside the B standard for the European Championships. Sara Treacy of Dunboyne AC finished 12th in 10:13.29.
Zak Hanna of Newcastle and District, representing Northern Ireland, finished seventh at the annual Snowdon International Mountain Race in Wales.
Hanna, who had won the World Championships trial race a week earlier in Wicklow, clocked a time of 68 mins 56 secs for the gruelling 10-mile race. He reached the summit turnaround in 43 minutes 50 secs.
Race winner was Italy’s Alberto Vendor in 66:41, with England’s Chris Holdsworth second in 67:29. James Kevan for the Republic of Ireland was 12th in 71.16.
Making up the Northern Ireland team were Willian McKee 24th, Gavin Mulholland 25th, and Timothy Johnston 33rd.
For the Republic of Ireland, Brian Furay of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was 39th.
Irish women have had a good record at Snowden in the past few years, but this year it was Bronwen Jenkinson of Wales who took overall victory and finished 51st overall in 80:41.
Finishing 11th was Sarah Graham of Northern Ireland in 89.55, followed closely by Shileen O’Kane 13th in 90:16, and Esther Dickson 14th in 91:31.
Wins for Cian McPhilips of Moyne C.S. in the boys’ 1500m and for race walkers Oisin Lane of Mercy Ballymahon and Emily MacHugh of St Mary’s Naas were the highlights of the Irish performance at the SIAB Schools’ International held in Grangemouth, Scotland on Saturday (July 21).
Taking strong second places were Louis O’Loughlin of Moyle Park in the boys’ 800m, Israel Olatunde of St Mary’s Dundalk in the boys’ 100m, Ciara Sheehy of St Mary’s Charleville in the girl’s shot and Conor Cusack of Lake District Harriers in the javelin.
In the relays, both the boys’ and girls’ 4 x 100m teams and the boys 4 x 400m finished second, while Conor Cusack of Ballinrobe C.S. threw 61.89m.
David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers led home over 2,200 finishers at the South Dublin 10km in Clondalkin Dublin – but all the talk was of Leevale’s Lizzie Lee who will run the marathon for the Irish team at next month’s European Championships in Berlin.
Lee came close to finishing second overall in the race, with her time of 33:25 putting her just four seconds behind Italo Giancaterina in 33:21 and not all that far behind Flynn who finished in in 32 mins 3 secs.
Second woman was Laura Graham of Mourne Runners in 35.10, while third in 36:01 was Catherina McKiernan of Cornafean, who still holds the Irish marathon record with her 1998 time of 2:22.23. Fourth was Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers in 36:20. Both Graham and Ganiel will join Lee on the marathon team in Berlin, along with Claire McCathy and Breege Connolly.
A day earlier, Cathy McCourt was the winner of the Blue Belles 5km on Magherafelt. Leanne Sands and Lisa Simpson, both of host club Acorns AC, were second and third.
On the same day, David Simpson of Newcastle AC in 79 mins 39 secs and Louise Smith of North Belfast Harriers in 86:43 were the winners at the Dervock Half Marathon.
Kevin Swann and Martsje Hell made it a North Belfast Harriers double at the Dalriada Festival 10km held in Glenarm, Co Antrim on Friday evening (July 20).
Swann led home over 200 finishers in 36:12 with Stephen Nicholson (PACE Running Club) second in 36:53 and Hall third and first woman in 39:54. Winners of the 5km race were Ian Taggart of Ballymena in 17 mins 4 secs and and Paula Worthington in 19:47. Both are members of Ballymena Runners.
Freddy Sittuk of Raheny Shamrock was a clear winner of the B-5 Bettystown 5 Mile in Co Meath on Thursday evening (July 19). Sittuk finished in 26 mins 7 secs, with Simon Ryan of Boyne AC second in 26:21 and Yasmin Canning of Drogheda and District first woman in 33:09. Team winners were the women of Balbriggan and District and the men of Drogheda and District.
Willowfield’s Neil Weir and Sinead Murtagh of Newcastle and District took the honours at the Portaferry 10-mile on Thursday (July 19).