It was a busy Sunday for Lindie Naughton, but all the Irish action from this weekend is packed into the article below. 

Two thrilling 1500m races provided a fitting finale to the All Ireland Track and Field Championships at a sodden Santry on Sunday (July 30).

Battling it out again in the women’s 1500m final were Sophie O’Sullivan of Ballymore Cobh AC and Sarah Healy of UCD AC  who had finished first and second  at the European U23 Championships a fortnight earlier.

This time victory went to Healy, who made a decisive move with about 120 metres to go, although O’Sullivan never gave up, battling it out all the way to the line. Their times were 4:11.39 and 4:12.00. A distant third in 4:30.58 was Ellie Hartnett of UCD AC.

In the men’s race, defending champion Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers ran a tactically smart race to retain  the title, beating young pretender Nick Griggs of the Belfast Candour club. Doyle took over in front  when turning into the finish and then held on for victory in 3:40.11. Griggs was second in 3:40.64 and Shane Bracken of Swinford AC third in 3:42.05.

30 July 2023; Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers AC, Dublin, celebrates winning the men’s 1500m during day two of the National Senior Outdoor Championships at Morton Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The distance racing earlier in the day

Earlier in the day, an abssorbing women’s 5000m saw Íde Nic Dhomhnaill of West Limerick AC takinfg what many though was a surprise victory. Yet Nic Dhomhnaill was clearly the form athlete having clocked times of 15:44.81 for 5000m and 33:24.10 for 10,000m already this summer, as well as winning a number of road races.

Shona Heaslip of An Riocht AC was another athlete coming into form at the right time, while Roisin Flanagan was top of the Irish rankings with a time of 15:26.32 set last May and looking for a World Championships qualifying mark.

As soon as the gun went, Roisn and her twin sister Eilish took over in front. Attempting to stay in touch were Michelle Finn of Leevale, who had won the steeplechase a day earlier, along with Nic Dhomhnaill and Heaslip.

Ide Nic Dhomhnaill (West Limerick AC) winning the women’s 5000m Photo: Lindie Naughton

These three swapped places as the Flanagans continued to push ahead at what seemed like an unstoppable pace. All chnaged with four laps to go, when Eilish stepped off the track and Roisin was left on her own, with the gap back to Nic Dhomhnaill and Heaslip narrowing all the time. Two laps later, Nic Dhomhnaill took over in front and began stretching away.

Behind her came an almighty battle for second place, with Flanagan narrowly beating Heaslip for second place. The trio were timed at 15:44.81, 15:45.94 and 15:46.58. Finishing fourth in 15:54.21 was Michelle Finn. A total of twenty-three women had entered the race, which augurs well for the cross-country season.

Not quite so exciting was the men’s 5000m where Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock, who set an Irish record of 13:01.40 only a few weeks ago, proved the class of the field winning in 13:39.20. Second was Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers in 13:44.43 while third in 13:55.10 was Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers AC. Over fifty athletes had signed up for the event which was divided into three races.

Middle distance action didn’t disappoint

Over 800m, Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC was winning her third title in 2:03.14, after Jenna Bromell of Emerald AC had set a blistering early pace and was rewarded with a silver medal finishing in 2:05.16. Third was Georgie Hartigan of Dundrum South Dublin AC in 2:08.98.

John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC showed his class when winning the men’s 800m in 1:47.13. Harry Purcell of Trim AC was second in 1:48.04, and Mark Milner of UCD AC third in 1:48.49.

Newly crowned Irish 1500m record holder Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC had dropped down to the 800m and pushed the pace early in an effort to burn off the fast finishing 800m specialists. He finished a creditable fifth in 1:48.67.

Pre-race favourite Finley Daly of Sligo AC won the men’s steeplechase title in 8:56.66. Oisin Spillane of Ennis TC was second in 9:07.45 and Liam Harris of Togher AC third in 9:09.73.

Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) – winning the women’s steeplechase. Photo: Lindie Naughton

A day earlier, Michelle Finn had won her tenth national steeplechase title in 10 mins 00.14 secs; second in 11:17.20 was Eleanor Foot of Bray Runners AC, while third in 11:26.39 was Clare Barrett of DMP AC.

Athlete of the meet however was Sarah Lavin of Emerald AC who won her 13th national hurdles title into a howling gale on Saturday and then took the 100m title a day later.

A wee bit of road running too

On a quiet weekend for road racing, Matthew McLaughlin of Foyle Valley AC won the Danny McDaid 15km in Letterkenny AC with a time of 50 mins 42 secs.

Shane O’Donnell of Rosses AC was second in 51:19 and Philip McHugh of Letterkenny AC third in 52:49. First woman was Noeleen Scanlon of Letterkenny AC in 54:38. Judith Storm was second in 57:02 and Sinead Lambe of Metro St Brigid’s AC third in 57:15.

Mountain running international Cillian Mooney of Dundrum South Dublin was the winner of the Keash King of the Hill 10km at Ballymote, Co Sligo on Saturday (July 29). Mooney finished in 33:24, with Ian Conroy of Raheny Shamrock AC, another experienced mountain runner, second in 34:03 and Alan Dunne third in 36:38.

Fourth and first M50 was Turlough Conway, a Sligo native, who currently runs for Raheny Shamrock AC, in 37:32.

First woman in 46:08 was Mathona Conheady. Laurie Douglas was second in 47:40 and Karolina Bernecka third in 48:56. Winners of the 5km were juvenile athletes Diarmuid Carty in 20:09 and Emily McGettrick of Corran AC in 26:53.

Peter Somba clocks another win

Peter Brandon Somba of host club Dunboyne AC was a comfortable winner of the Carton Trail 6km, in Co Meath on Thursday (July 27) with a time of 19 mins 49 secs. Second in 21:11 was Alan Clarke of St Brigid’s AC in 21:11 while third in 21:19 was Tom Feeley of Trim AC.

First woman was Breffni Kelly of Clane AC in 23:14, with Laura Buckley of Dunboyne AC a close second in 23:18, and Laura Cullen of Civil Service AC third in 24:06. Dunboyne was first women’s team ahead of Civil Service AC and Trim AC, with Trim AC first of the men’a teams. Dunboyne AC was second and Celbridge AC third.

At the Churchtown South 4-Mile in Co Cork, Tony Forristal was the winner in 20 mins 51 secs, followed by his East Cork AC clubmate James McCarthy in 21:04 and Donal Coakley of Leevale AC in 21.06. Lizzie Lee of Leevale AC was seventh overall and first woman in 22:32 followed by Michelle Kenny, also Leevale, 23:39 and Linda Kelly of Carrigaline AC in 25:26.

Sean Doran of Harrier Products was the winner of the SDCC BHAA 6km held at Kiltipper Park, Tallaght on Wednesday (July 26) with a time of 20 mins 26 secs. Joe Cocoman, a visitor from Cork BHAA, was second in 20:52 and Kate McDonald, also Cork BHAA, third and first woman in 21:26.

Third man was Sean McCreery of the Accountants group in 21:59.

Sinead Tighe was second woman in 25:33, with Niamh Garvey of the Teachers team third in 27:01. Revenue was first of the men’s grade 1 teams, ahead of Bank of Ireland, with the Garda winning grade 2.

Sean Mulryan of Castlegar AC in 17 mins 13 secs and Aisling O’Connor of Edenderry AC in 18:40 were the winners of the Run the Racecourse 5km, Round 1, at Fairyhouse on the same evening.

Alex Ainsworth of Crusaders AC in 17:03 and Cristin Scollard of Dublin City Harriers in 18:23 were the winners of the 5km at the Dublin Summer Parkwest 10km/5km, at Parkwest on Tuesday (July 25).
Winner of the 10km in 34:07 was Yoan Kerfridin. First woman was Jennifer O’Sullivan in 40:56.

Off-road action

Philip Goss was the winner of the Giant’s Trail Race, on a damp evening at the Dub Playing Fields, Upper Malone Rd, Belfast on Friday (July 28) .

Goss’s time of 33 mins 39 secs for a six-mile course that takes in forest trails, pastures and the Lagan towpath, put him well over two minutes clear of the chasers led by Terence Murphy in 36:22 and Jamie Shingler in 37:42.

Finishing almost together were Karen Wilton who was first woman in 42:34 and Judith Lonnen second woman in 42:35. Third woman in 43:11 was Shileen O’Kane.