Along with the AAI Games in Santry and the Irish Miler’s Club meet in Belfast, some of Ireland’s top talent was competing in Belgium and England this weekend.
Thomas Barr of Ferrybank AC eased into the outdoor season with a comfortable win over the 400m hurdles at the AAI Games in Santry on Sunday (May 27).
“I was hoping to go a little faster but the first race of the season is always tricky and overall I’m pleased,” said Barr, who clocked 51.23. With his focus firmly on the European Championships next August, Barr’s next race is in Turku, Finland in 10 days time.
Over 200m, Phil Healy ran an eye-catching time of 23.09, helped by a +3.2m following wind; it was her second wind assisted time of close to 22 seconds this season.
Making a spectacular comeback to finish second in 24.43 was many times Irish 200m, long jump and combined events champion Kelly Proper of Ferrybank.
Proper, who gave birth to her first child just over a year ago, hasn’t competed for three years. “I wanted to put down a marker, but I was incredibly nervous before the race,” she said after crossing the line. Proper, who has won 17 Irish national titles, still holds the Irish long jump record at 6.62m and her time of 23.165 for 200m from 2016 is the second fastest Irish time ever.
Phil Healy went on to win the 100m in a wind-assisted 11.36, with sister Joan second in 11.72.
Clocking a World junior A qualifying time when winning the women’s 400m in 53.64 was Davicia Patterson of Beechmount Harriers. Second was Ciara Deely of Kilkenny City Harriers; her time of 54.68 was inside the B standard.
Winning the men’s 200m in a wind-assisted 20.93 was David McDonald of Menapians, who also won the 400m in 48.58. Fastest time in the 100m came from Reality Osuoha of Fingallians AC who clocked a wind-legal 10.81.
Taking a stylish 800m victory in 1:51.65 was Conall Kirk of Annadale Striders, who had run a 1500m in Belfast a day earlier. Second was Leevale junior Charlie O’Donovan in 1:53.11.
Also taking place were the National Combined Events Championships, but the Irish record holder Elizabeth Morland of Cushinstown AC opted out, preferring to compete in two individual events. In the 100m hurdles, she beat UCD’s Sarah Lavin in 13.58. She also won long jump with a slightly wind-assisted 5.95m.
Retaining their senior combined events titles were Shane Aston of Trim AC and Amy McTeggart of Boyne AC, who both improved their career best scores. Aston had hoped to make 7000m in the men’s decathlon and, despite the changeable weather, got close with 6776 points, while McTeggart scored 4706 in the senior women’s heptathlon.
Olympic steeplechaser Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle AC booked her place a next August ‘s European Championships with a time of 9:53 for third in the women’s steeplechase at the IFAM International Flanders Meet in Oordegem, Belgium.
Despite the attractions of major meets in both Dublin and Belfast, a large group of Irish had travelled to Belgium for what is effectively one of the largest graded track meets in Europe. In the 5000m series of races, Darragh McElhinney went under the World Junior qualifying mark with a time of 14:11.80.
Just ahead of him in 12th place was Conor Dooney of Raheny Shamrock in 14:10.59, while winning a different race in 13:43 was John Travers of Donore Harriers.
In the men’s steeplechase, Adam Kirk-Smith of Derry Track Club clocked a season’s best 8 mins 44.98 for 15th.
Over 1500m, Sarah Healy of Blackrock AC ran a personal best and new Irish Under 18 (youth) record of 4:13.32 when finishing eighth in her race. Her time beats Ciara Mageean’s record of 4:15.46 and is comfortably inside the World Junior qualifying mark of 4:19.75. Winning the “after programme” 1500m was Raheny’s Brian Fay in 3:45. Second was Luke McCann of DSD in 3:45.80.
Two junior 4 x 100m relay teams were competing, with the girls running 44.1, a time that puts them third on the Irish all-time list. Making up the team were Molly Scott, Gina Akpe-Moses, Rhasidat Adeleke and Ciara Neville. The men also finished second in 41.32.
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) May 26, 2018
Individually, Neville with a time of 11.63 and Akpe Moses who ran 11.68 both made the 100m A standard for the World Junior Championships. Akpe Moses has already run 11.46 this season.
In the 200m, Rhasidat Adeleke’s time of 23.94 was inside the European U18 standard and is also a B qualifier for the World Juniors.
At the British Milers’ Club Watford GP, Ciara Mageean of Team New Balance was a clear winner of the A 1500m race in a time of 4:09.10, not too far of the 4:07.41 she ran at the Commonwealth Games last month.
— TeamNBMCR (@TeamNBMCR) May 26, 2018
Running a personal best 3:43.24 to finish sixth in the men’s A 1500m was Kieran Kelly of Raheny Shamrock.
Winning the A 800m was Zak Curran of Dundrum South Dublin in a season’s best 1:47.86, which sees him top the current Irish rankings. In the women’s A race, Ciara Everard of UCD finished sixth in 2:05.39.
Letterkenny’s Danny Mooney missed out on a sub-four minute time for the men’s mile at the Irish Milers’ Club meet in Belfast on Saturday (May 26).
In windy conditions, Mooney pulled clear over the final two laps to finish in 4:06.88. Dan Tanui of Derry TC faded over the last lap letting Lagan Valley’s Conall Kirk though for second in 4:14.65.
In the women’s 3000m, Emma Mitchell of Queen’s came out on top with her time of 9:16.27 just four seconds off her best. Only a week earlier, Mitchell had run a tough 10,000m at the Highgate Night of 10,000m PBs in London.
— Emma Mitchell (@EmmaMitchell05) May 26, 2018
Dubliner Eric Keogh of Donore Harriers was a clear winner of the men’s 3,000m in 8:22.68 beating Raheny’s Kevin Moriarty who finished in 8:31.18. First home in the women’s 1500m was Ellie Hartnett of UCD in 4:28.82.
Longford AC’s Cian McPhillips, aged just 15, upset older rivals to win the men’s 800m in a personal best 1:52.06. Clare Mooney proved best of the 800m women, holding off her UCD team mate Alana Lally of Galway to finish in 2:06.09.
In the USA, Aoibhe Richardson went under 34 minutes for the 10.000m with a personal best 33:59 at the NCAA Westerns in Sacramento, California.
Clonliffe Harriers finished ninth in the men’s A division of the European Clubs Track and Field Championships in Birmingham. Best performer for the team was Jeremy Philips who finished fourth in the 100m and helped Clonliffe to fifth in the 4×100m.
In Tampere, Finland, where the B competition was held, St Abban’s from Carlow, finished fourth. Ruby Millet not only won the long jump but improved her best personal best to 6.08m, while Maisy O’Sullivan won the 1500m and was second in the 800m.
Nessa Cooper Millett was second in the 400m hurdles and the 400m flat and Saragh Buggy was second in the triple jump, with a wind-assisted 13.07m.
Eoin Keith proved best of the Irish at the European 24 Hour Championships in Timisoara, Romania. 26-27 May. Keith notched up a total of 232.65km for 19th place.
Aidan Hogan finished 31st with 218.02km, Eddie Gallen 36th with 213.13km and Alexander O’Shea 60th with 175.53km. The team finished eighth behind France. Race winner was Andrzej Radzikowski of Poland with a distance of 265..41km.
Amy Masner finished tenth woman with 220.85km, putting her second best overall of the Irish. Louise Smart was 22nd with 204.57km while Susan McCarthy dropped out after 39.12 km. The team finished 13th.
Road result of the weekend came from Olympian Breege Connolly of Derry Spartans AC who won the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Half Marathon in a new personal best time of 76:07 on Saturday (May 26).
Connolly, who will run the marathon at the European Championships in August, only caught early leader Annabel Simpson of Fife AC at the 12-mile mark on a tough course. Simpson finished second in 76:28.
Irish national marathon champion Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers won the Clogherhead Seaside 10km on Sunday (May 27) in 31 minutes exactly. Darragh Greene of Dunleer AC was second in 32.41 and Catherina McKiernan of MSB AC ninth overall and first woman in 37:18.
Hiko Tonosa of Dundrum South Dublin AC continued his winning streak in the KIA Race Series when he won the Bob Heffernan 5km in Enfield, Co Meath on Tuesday (May 22).
Tonosa was a clear winner of the race in 14:20 with Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC second in 14:52 and Donore’s Eric Keogh a close third in 14: 54. Una Britton of Kilcoole Ac was first woman in 17:20, followed by Sorcha Nic Dhomhnaill of Donore Harriers in 17:41 and Charlotte Kearney of Donadea RC in 17:49.
Sean McGrath and Claire McCarthy were the winners at the John Buckley BHAA 5km in Cork on Tuesday (May 22). McGrath was first home in 14:58 with Niall Shanahan second in 15:00. McCarthy, who will compete for Ireland in the marathon at the European Championships in August, finished in 16:31, followed by Aoife Cooke in 16.57.