Lindie Naughton reports on all the Irish action at home and overseas at the Euro Indoor Champs.
Darragh McElhinney produced the Irish performance of the weekend in the 3000m final on the last day of the at the European Athletics Indoor Championship, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday March 5.
McElhinney, from Kenmare, in Co Cork, Co Cork, a sports scholarship student at UCD, was just out of the medals when he finished fourth in the 3000m in 7 mins 44.72 secs. His time knocked just over a second off his previous best 7:45.79 run in Boston last month. He looked to have timed his race perfectly on the last lap but Serbia’s Elzan Bibic held him off to take the bronze medal.
Luke McCann, a club mate if McElhinney’s at UCD, finished tenth in the 1500m final with a time of 3:, In the heats, McCann had finished fifth in 3:41.51.Andrew Corcoran of Star of Sea failed to progress with a time of 3:44.11 for fourth in his heat.
Mark English of Finn Valley AC, previously a medal winner at two European Indoors, was forced to pull out of the competition before the 800m heats.
Kate O’Connor finished ninth in the women’s pentathlon 4353 pts, just under her own Irish record. Highlight of her performance was a personal best in the shot of 14.37m
Fiona Everard of NUI Galway and Keelan Kilrehil of Dublin City University were the winners at the Irish Universities Cross-Country Championships, hosted by the University of Limerick on Saturday (March 4).
In the women’s race, Everard finished in 17 mins 22 secs. Second in 17:41 was Roise Roberts of DCU, while third was Hannah Gilliland of Queen’s University Belfast in 17: 49. With 27 points, DCU took the coveted team title ahead of arch-rivals University College Dublin on 27 points and Trinity College Dublin third on 83 points.
Kilrehil was a comfortable winer of the men’s race in 24 mins 40 secs. Jose Ignacio Jimenez of host club University of Limerick was second in 24.52. With Thomas Devaney third in 25:10 and Oisin Spillane fourth in 25:24, and all six counters finishing home in the top 28, UL took the team title with 65 points. DCU on 74 points was a fighting second and NUIG with 87 points third. DCU retained the overall title beating UL,Trinity College and UCD.
George Snee of Fidelity Investments Ireland won the men’s 5-mile race at the ALSAA BHAA cross-country at DublinAirport on Saturday (March 4). Snee’s time was 27 mins 57 secs.
Thomas Sherlock of Bank of Ireland was second in 27:57 and Rory Kavanagh a close third in 27.59.
Winning the Grade 1 team category was the Accountants Group, with Eir second Revenue won grade 2.
Winning the women’s 2-mile was Laura Buckley of the Teachers Group in 12mins 16 secs.Eva McNelis, also Teachers Group, was second in 1305 and Laura Cullen of Irish Life third in 1309. Teachers Group took the team prize. Final race of the Dublin BHAA Cross-Country season is the AIB race at NUI Maynooth on Saturday March 11 (11am).
Road running with strong performances in Trafford
Paul Pollock of Annadale Striders (and Leeds City AC) finished second in the Trafford 10km in Partington near to Manchester on Sunday (March 5) in time of 29 mins 7 secs.
Ben Branagh of St Malachy’s A was 16th in 29:41.
A large group of Irish women had traveled to the race, with Sinead O’Connor of Leevale AC, the British and Irish Masters Cross-Country champion, clocking a personal best time of 33 mins 19 to finish 13th woman and first W35. Maria Mulhare of Portlaoise AX was 16th in 33:4. Nakita Burke of Letterkenny AC 18th and third W35 in 33:21, Danielle Donegan of Tullamore Harriers 34th in 34:34 and Noeleen Scallion of Letterkenny AC 35th in 34:39.
Locally on Sunday, Ian Guiden of Clonliffe Harriers led home an entry of 660 at the Lusk 4-Mile in Co Dublin., finishing in time of 18 mins 57 secs. His Clonliffe club mate Sean Cronin was second in 19:37 and Ieuan Hopkins of Brothers Pearse AC third in 19:48.
Kate Purcell of Raheny Shamrock was first woman in 22:20, followed by Edel Gaffney of Trim A bib 2236 and Michelle Cox of Newbridge AC third in 2317. In the category for mixed teams Raheny Shamrocks were the winners, ahead of Clonliffe Harries and host club Lusk AC.
Leading home almost 400 finishers at the Cork BHAA MTU 5km, held at Bishopstown on Sunday was Conal McCauley of Apple in 15 mins 13 secs. Simon Collins , also Apple was second in 15:133 and Eric Curtain of Merck third in 15:43.
Top three women were Michelle Kenny go Deer of Education in 17:42, Linda O’Sullivan of HSE in 18:48 and Carmel Cowley of Stockhealth in 19:04. Apple were easy winners in the Grade A team category , Navy won Grade B, and Fota Collective Grade C. HSE won women’s Grade A with new team Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard winning B and Complete Financial best in C.
A day earlier, Jake O’Regan of St John’s AC led home 1,181 finishers at the Bundoran 10-Mile, Co Donegal, on Saturday (March) in an impressive time of 49 mins 23 secs.
Tudor Mircea of Clonliffe Harriers was second in 51:17 . In third place, Danny Mooney was leading Letterkenny AC to team victory. Backing him up were Eoghain McGinley fourth in 53:29 and Mark Wallace fifth in 54:01. Omagh Harriers were second and Rosses AC third.
Winning the women’s race was Olympic marathon runner Breege Connolly in 58:15. Sarah Doohan of Corran AC was second in 60:29 and Ciara Toner of City of Derry Spartans third in 60.22. Carmen Runners, led by Michelle Donnelly in sixth place, was the winning team followed by Galbally Runners and Tir Chonaill AC.
Winners of the 5km a day earlier were Charlie O’Donnell of Rosses AC in 16 mins 8 secs and Theresa Kilgannon 22:42.