John Travers (Donore Harriers), Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) and Mark English (Letterkenny AC) all achieved the Athletics Ireland performance standard for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
John Travers won the men’s 3,000m title in a new personal best time of 7.58.54. The time is also comfortably inside the European standard of 8.00.00. Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) placed second in a time of 8:05.29 ahead of Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC) in third in 8:12.45.
The men’s and women’s 1500m provided two of the most thrilling races of the day. Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC) was the early leader in the men’s 1500m with John Coghlan (MSB AC), Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) and Joe Warne (Doneen AC) for company. Coghlan made the decisive break with just over 2 laps to go and won the title in a time of 3.47.43 ahead of Everard 3.48.96 and Warne third in a time of 3.54.08.
Double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) was an impressive winner of the women’s 1500m title. The early leader was Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge AC) as she brought the field through to the 1,000m point. Kerry Harty (Newcastle & District AC) and Laura Crowe ( An Riocht AC) were in close contention as the pace started to pick up.
Britton demonstrated tremendous speed endurance to kick away from the field and win the title in a time of 4.13.96. Harty placed second in a time of 4.16.36 ahead of third place Crowe in a time of 4.16.48. Britton’s time is inside the standard for the European championships. However her major target for the European’s will be the 3,000m.
Mark English (Letterkenny AC) won the men’s 800m title in a time of 1.48.44 to dip inside the required 1.48.50 for the Europeans. English looked a class apart as he strode to an impressive victory ahead of Darren McBrearty (Letterkenny AC) second in 1.50.23 and third place Shane Fitzsimons (Mullingar Harriers AC) in a time of 1.51.10.
Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) stepped down in distance and easily won the national 200m title in a time of 21.33. Gregan will now turn his attentions to the Gothenburg. He currently sits top of the European rankings over 400m with his time of 46.07 from the Open Games on the 27th of January.
Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) scored an impressive sprint double in the 60m 7.45 and 200m 23.84. Eighteen year old Keith Pike (Clonliffe Harriers AC) won the men’s 60m title in a time of 6.92.
Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) was in superb form as she broke her own national junior record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.36.
Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) and Shauna Cannon (Brother Pearse AC) won the 400m titles in 47.94 and 55.13 respectively.
In the field events Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers AC) won the men’s Shot Putt with a new personal best of 16.75m whilst Zoe Brown (Raheny Shamrocks AC) won the women’s Pole Vault with a clearance of 4.22m.
We now await the announcement of the Irish team for Gothenburg, with interest.