At the weekend’s National Track and Field Championships one of the most anticipated races was the women’s 1500m where Sophie O’Sullivan of Ballymore Cobh AC and Sarah Healy of UCD AC who had finished first and second at the European U23 championships, would battle it out again.
This time victory went to Healy, who had the faster time on paper and ran a smart race, speeding up the pace and slowing it down again until the final 120 metres when she pulled away for victory in 4:11.39 with O’Sullivan second in 4:12.00 and Ellie Hartnett of UCD AC a distant third in 4:30.58. It was a third national 1500m title for Healy.
In the men’s 1500m, defending champion Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers used his experience to beat young pretender Nick Griggs of the Belfast Candour club. With the two away with about 200m to go, Doyle took the lead when turning into the finish straight and held on for victory in 3:40.11.
In the men’s 5000m, 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. Third was Efrem Gidey of Clonliffe Harriers AC. With over fifty athletes signed up, the men’s 5000m was divided into three races.
Best of the Dublin club athletes in the women’s 5000m was Lauren Tinkler of Dublin City Harriers who finished ninth in 16:35.96. Winner was the in-form Íde Nic Dhomhnaill, who ran with Donore Harriers for a number of years before returning to her home club West Limerick AC.
Over 800m, there were bronze medals for Georgie Hartigan of Dundrum South Dublin AC in the women’s race and Mark Milner of UCD AC in the men’s 800m. In the women’s 5000m walk, Ciara Wilson Bowen of DSD AC finished third.
Close to fifty athletes from all over the country registered for the men’s100m, where Israel Olatunde was taking his third Irish title. His UCD clubmate Bori Akinola was second and Tallaght AC’s Joseph Ojewumi fourth. In the women’s 100m, Mollie O’Reilly of DSD AC won her first championship medal when finishing third.
A day earlier, Mark Smyth of Raheny Shamrock AC had proved the class of the field in the men’s 200m winning in a time of 20.87 secs despite a -2.2 headwind. In the 110m hurdles, Matthew Behan of Crusaders AC finished third. Over 400m, Brian Gregan of Clonliffe Harriers rolled back the years to finish third, while in the women’s 400m Sophie Becker of Raheny Shamrock was second.
Finished second behind Thomas Barr of Ferrybank AC in the 400m hurdles was Thomas Pitkin of Clonliffe Harriers, who ran strongly but faded in the final 100m. Jessica Tappin, running in Clonliffe Harriers colours, won the women’s 400m hurdles in a season’s best 57.20 secs. Tappin, a former multi-eventer, had finished fourth in the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester earlier in the month.
Winning the women’s hammer with a throw of 67.67 was Nicola Tuthill of UCD AC. Margaret Hayden of Tallaght AC was second with 61.63.
In the men’s hammer, Simon Galligan of Clonliffe Harriers finished second. A clear winner of the men’s shot was the 2019 winner Eric Favors of Raheny Shamrock AC.
On Sunday, Niamh Fogarty of Raheny Shamrock, who missed a year of competition with a back injury, came out on top again with a throw of 49.77. Anna Gavigan of LSA AC, who is heading for the European U20 Championships in a few weeks time, was second with a throw of 47.08. Winning the men’s discus title comfortably was Eoin Sheridan of Clonliffe Harriers, while taking the women’s javelin title was Grace Casey, also of Clonliffe Harriers. In both the men’s weight for distance and weight for height, Stephen Fee of Lusk AC finished third.
Jumping six metres exactly to win the long jump was Elizabeth Ndudi of Dundrum South Dublin AC. In the men’s pole vault, Rolus Olusa of Clonliffe Harriers finished second.
Closing out the first day’s programme were the 4 x 100m relays with only two clubs entering teams for the women’s race where Dundrum South Dublin AC were clear winners in 50.56 secs Tallaght AC won the men’s 4 x 100m in 41.81 secs with Clonliffe Harriers second in 41.93. A day later, DSD AC also won the women’s 4 x 400m, just ahead of Ratoath AC, with Rathfarnham WSAF AC third. DSD and Ratoath also finished first and second in the men’s 4 x 400m, with Clonliffe Harriers third.
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. Fourth and first M50 was Turlough Conway, a Sligo native, who currently runs for Raheny Shamrock AC in 37:32.
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).
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