The men’s 800m promised to be the race of the meet and it didn’t disappoint. However, it was the manner in which Mark English won the race that was most impressive. The Letterkenny junior took over the lead from early on and looked to be doing the hard work for his rivals. They had every opportunity to overtake, but at the end of an exciting race it was English who simply demolished the field to win comfortably in a time of 1:51.62. Behind there was a great battle for the minor placings with Darren McBrearty (Letterkenny AC) taking second in 1:52.08, ahead of Niall Tuohy (Ferrybank AC) third 1:52.06, and Eoin Everard just edged out of the medals in fourth in 1:52.34.
Two athletes returning from injury dominated the women’s 1,500m which was won in style by Mary Cullen (North Sligo AC) in 4:19.25, ahead of Orla Drumm (UCC AC) 4:23.55, and Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) 4:26.76. Cullen’s injury problems have been well documented, but for Drumm the silver medal marked the end of a long period of injury. She last raced in The Odyssey in 2007 and for a while feared she would not race again. However, she has battled back well and is now looking forward to a successful outdoor season. Mageean was disappointed with her run but will be determined to make up for her performance; perhaps at the European Indoor Championships in Paris in town weeks time if selected.
The men’s 1500m was another highly competitve affair. Joe Warne (Doheny AC) took over the lead with just under two laps remaining and drove for home. He was tracked strongly by Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC) who finished the fastest of all to overtake Warne in the finishing straight and win in 3:52.60. Daniel Mooney (Letterkenny AC) also finished fast to claim second in 3:53.22, with Warne third in 3:53.23. Gavin O’Sullivan (Raheny Shamrock AC) just missed out on a medal, finishing fourth in 3:53.28.
Ian McDonald (Crusaders AC) was a clear winner of the 60m hurdles in 8.05, while Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) was a comfortable winner of the shot putt with a throw of 16.14m. Mary McLoone (Tir Chonaill AC) was an equally clear winner of the women’s triple jump with a best of 12.50m.
Mairead Murphy (Ferrybank AC) won the women’s 60m hurdles in 8.46 ahead of Fanni Juhasz (Crusaders AC) in 8.51.
David Qulligan (Leevale AC) took the lead in the long jump with 7.11m in the last round, but thn had to watch Adam McMullen (Mid Ulster AC) regain the lead with a jump of 7.13m with his last attempt to win the competition.
Timothy Crowe (Dooneen AC) won a good 200m in 22.14 with David Killeen (Leevale AC) second in 22.43. The women’s 200m went to Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) in 24.08 to add to her long jump win yesterday. Steffi Creaner (Celtic DCH AC) was second in 24.93.
Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Hariers) had over two seconds to spare when winning the 400m in 47.01, with Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock AC) second in 49.07 and Paul Scanlan (Leevale AC) third in 49.71. Gregan will now be hoping to be selected for Paris and build on his current excellent form.
Ailis McSweeney (Leevale AC) added the 60m title to last year’s 100m title in a fast time of 7.32, another new PB for her. Amy Foster (University of Ulster) was second in 7.44 and Claire Brady (Cellbridge AC) was third in 7.63. McSweeney received the Athlete of the Championships award for her performance over 60m to take the title.
Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) was equally impressive in winning the men’s 60m in 6.85, with Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) second in 6.90 and Christopher Russell (Ferrybank AC) third in 6.91.
Marian Heffernan (Togher AC) looked smooth and stylish and had over a second to spare when winning the 400m in 54.00, ahead of Claire Bergin (Dundrum South Dublin AC) in 55.06.
The final race of the day was won by Dan Mulhare (North Laois AC) who was well in control all through the 3,000m to win in 8:05.23. Dan and his younger brother Michael have both been in excellent from this winter.
Athletics Association of Ireland