ATHLETICS: Doyle victory proves highlight at indoors

by Aaron Dunne
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A thrilling men’s 1500m final proved the  highlight of the the All Ireland Senior Indoors Championships, held at Abbotstown on Saturday and Sunday (February 17-18)

In a  tactical race Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) ended up flinging himself across the line to hold on the challenge of young pretender Nick Griggs (CDR AC).  Doyle – who  needed treatment for his arm afterwards – was given a time of  3:49.11 and Griggs one of  3:49.15. Of the other Dublin club runners, Philip Marron (DCH), who had briefly led the race, was fourth in 3:51.24, and Cillian Kirwan (Raheny Shamrock AC) a close fifth in 3:51.36.

For a second year,  Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) won the women’s 1500m title. Her time of 4:21.61 put her comfortably clear of Ellie Hartnett (UCD AC) who finished in 4:24.40.

Over 800m, Georgie Hartigan (DSD)  finished second in the women’s race  in 2:05.35 and Susie Nestor (UCD) third in 2:09.56.

Cian McPhillip (UCD) clocked 1:52.79 when winning the men’s 800m, with Dara Donoghue (Lucan Harriers) second in 1:53.14 and Mark Milner (UCD) third in 1:53.18.

John Travers (Donore Harriers) won the men’s  3000m for a fourth time with a time of 8:13.17.

Second in 8:17.58 was Mitchel Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF AC). In the women’s 3000m, Niamh Kearney (Raheny Shamrock)  finished a close second 9:33.47 . Third in the women’s walk was Ciara Wilson Bowen (DSD)

The men’s 200m saw a battle to the line with national indoor record holder and 2023 champion  Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock AC) losing out to the 2022 champion Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers), who got pole position in the outside lane; Smyth was in the lane next to him. Their times were 21.05 and 21.20. The 200m is no longer part of the international indoor programme because the banked corners give an unfair advantage to athletes in the outer lanes.

In the 60m hurdles, Kate Doherty (DSD)  finished a close third in 8.35, while in the 60m flat, Mollie O’Reilly (DSD) was third in 7.48.

Israel Olatunde, now back with Tallaght AC after completing his studies at  UCD, made it three in a row in the men’s 60m, although his time of 6.71 was slower than his own record of 6.57, set last year. In an event dominated by Dublin club athletes, Bori Akinola (UCD AC) was second in 6.76, Sean Aigboboh (Tallaght AC) third in 6.77, Joseph Ajuwumi (Tallaght AC) fourth in 6.80, Leo Morgan (Clonliffe Harriers) fifth in 6.80 and Nkemjika Onwumereh (MSB AC) sixth in 6.81.

Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock) , the defending champion had to settled for second place in the women’s 400m behind  Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) clocking 52.98.  In the men’s 400m, Brandon Arrey (Raheny Shamrock) was third in 48.15.

In  the men’s long jump, Colm Bourke (Raheny Shamrock) was second on count-back with a 6.97 leap. SamVines (Cabinteely AC) finished second in the shot with a 14m effort.

MORE INDOORS

Earlier in the week, Cathal Doyle had  put himself top of the current Irish 1500m rankings when running a personal best time 3:39.10 at the Belgrade meet in Serbia on Tuesday evening (February 13).

Also competing in Belgrade was Georgie Hartigan who finished fourth in the B 800m with a time of 2:06.06 respectively.  In the men’s 400m, Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers) finished third in 47.53 secs.

Kiltipper for Dub duo

Orla Duffy  of  Dublin City Harriers  in third place was leading her club to team victory.

In the men’s 6km, Daniel O’Brien of Lusk AC  finished third in 22:59. Ronan Wogan of Raheny Shamrock took a break from his time-keeping duties with MyRunResults to finish fourth  and first M45 in  23:23.

Crusaders man Colm Parnell (pictured) and Laura McDonnell of Rathfarnham WSAF were the winners at the Central Bank 4-Mile Cross-Country in Kiltipper Park, Dublin on Saturday (February 17). Parnell’s time of 24 mins 45 secs saw him finish comfortably clear of Robert Frewen, second in 25:08, with  Mark McDonald third in 26:11.

Laura McDonnell finished 12th overall in 28:10; Clare Sullivan was second woman in 29:40 and Saoirse McGrath third in 30:39.

Race winner at the Meet & Train Women’s Cross-Country League round in Tymon Park, was Lisa Gaughan (DSD) who ran a time of 11 mins 49 secs for the 3km race held on soggy ground.  Second  was Deirdre Lyons (Frontrunners), followed by Sportsworld pair Veronica Burke and Michelle Burke.

Early leader Caroline McCaughey (Donore) finished  fifth.  The fourth and final Meet and Train round  is at  the national cross-country course, Abbotstown, on   March 3  (11am). Give it a go if you haven’t already!

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