Marcus Lawler (St. Laurence O’Toole AC) was the standout performer at the Woodie’s DIY Junior and U23 National Indoor Championships held in Athlone International Indoor Arena.
Lawler broke the national junior record in both the junior men’s 60m and 200m events. Lawler recorded a time of 6.90 to impressively win the 60m, shaving two hundredths of second off the old record held by Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) which stood at 6.92. Dean Power (Tullamore Harriers AC) placed second in a time of 7.00 and Keith Pike (Clonliffe Harriers AC) finished in third place in 7.01. Lawler returned later in the programme to win the 200m in another new national junior record of 21.31. The time obliterated the old mark of 21.61, held by Olympian Paul Hession (Athenry AC).
World junior semi-finalist Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) won the junior women’s 60m hurdles in a new Irish junior record of 8.44. The time was two hundredths of a second inside the old mark held by Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC). Lavin also won the 60m title in a time of 7.57 ahead of second place Phil Healy (Bandon AC) 7.58 and Marie Heelan (Emerald AC) finished in third in a time of 7.86. Edmund O ‘Halloran (Leevale AC) won the U23 men’s 60m final and Catherine McManus (Dublin City Harriers AC) was victorious in the women’s equivalent in a time of 7.59.
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) won a high quality U23 Men’s 400m in a time of 47.41. Barr timed his run to perfection to win the title ahead of Crusaders AC due of Richard Morrissey 47.57 and Jason Harvey finished in third place in 47.87. Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) was a clear winner of the U23 women’s 400m in a time of 55.33.
Cian McManamon (Westport AC) was an impressive winner of the 3,000m Walk event in a new personal best of 12.11.73
Of the field events Eamonn Fahey (Donore Harriers AC) won the long jump with a mark of 6.95 while Sally Maughan won the women’s equivalent with a jump of 5.31m. David Cussen (Old Abbey AC) was in outstanding form in the junior men’s high jump taking the victory with a clearance of 2.06m
Ciara Everard (UCD AC) won the invitational senior women’s 800m race in a time of 2:02.54. The time is inside the Athletics Ireland performance standard for the European Indoor Championships. Marian Heffernan (Togher AC) acted as pace maker and brought the athletes through to the 500m point. Everard took over the lead and romped home to an impressive victory to the delight of the Athlone crowd. The time was also a new national senior indoor record, breaking the old mark held by Aisling Molloy which stood at 2:02.87. Laura Crowe (An Riocht AC) finished in second place in a time of 2.04.69.
Away from the action in Athlone multiple Irish record holder Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC) was in sparkling form at the UK Indoor Championships. O’Rourke won the 60m hurdles in a time of 8.11; the time is inside the Athletics Ireland performance standard for the upcoming European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) continued his preparations for the European Championships with a superb win at the IAAF Flanders meeting in Gent, Belgium. Gregan clocked a time of 46.73 to beat Jonathan Borlee of Belgium who placed second in a time of 46.83.