Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) won a historic 15th national indoor title in the men’s 5k Walk on Saturday’s opening day of the Woodie’s DIY National Senior Indoor Championships.
The championships were held in the outstanding new AIT International Arena in Athlone. Heffernan dominated the race and eased to a comfortable victory in a time of 19.13.03.
Quentin Rew of New Zealand placed second in the race in a time of 19.52.43, Rew was running as a guest so his position did not count towards the Irish championships. Cian McManamon (Westport AC) placed second in the Irish championships in a time of 20:31.19 ahead of third place Michael Doyle (Tara AC) in a time of 20.51.18.
Luke Hickey (Leevale AC) finished in sixth place in a new national junior record of 20.56.55. The record broke the old mark held by Olympian Colin Griffin (Ballinamore AC) which stood at 21:01.41.
Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) was the fastest qualifier from the women’s 60m heats, recording a time of 7.33. The time is inside the Athletics Ireland performance standard for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was an outstanding performance by Foster and she will start as overwhelming favourite to win the national title on Sunday.
David Hynes (Menapians AC) was the fastest of the qualifiers in the men’s 60m heats with a time of 6.80.
Olympic Race Walker Laura Reynolds (Mohill AC) was a convincing winner of the women’s 3k Walk. Reynolds led from gun to tape to comfortable take the title in a time of 13.05.84. Alicia Boylan (Oriel AC) placed second in a time of 15:30.07 ahead of Rebecca Collins in third in a time of 15:56.86
European cross country team gold medallist Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) won the women’s 3,000m event in a time of 9:45.63. Lee dominated the race with a commanding display to finish ahead of Ann-Marie McGlynn in second 9.48.35 and Eimear O’Brien in third 9.48.69.
Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) had a busy day competing in no less than three events across the afternoon. Proper won her specialist long jump with a distance of 5.91m. She also qualified for the 60m and 200m finals, scheduled for Sunday the 17th of February.
David Donegan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) won the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.60m, this was a historic ninth national indoor title for Donegan.
Day two of the senior indoor championships begins on Sunday at 14.00 with the women’s 1500m final. Another exciting day of track and field action is in store from the expected full house in the AIT International Arena in Athlone.