Day One of Woodie’s DIY Senior Indoor Championships at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast saw some excellent performances particularly that of Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) who secured a record breaking 14th National indoor title.
The Cork man blitzed away from the field in the opening lap and continued at a relentless pace crossing the line in 19.06.58. Three times Olympian Jamie Costin (West Waterford AC) was second in 19.35.06 and Michael Doyle (Tara AC) was third in 19.50.52.
Last year’s silver medallist Colin Griffin pulled out mid-way through due to illness. Laura Reynolds (Athenry AC) won the women’s 3k walk in 21.46.23, retaining her national title pulling clear of World Youth champion Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) with one kilometre to go with Veale crossing the line in 12.52.79.
In the field events Irish Record holder Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) showed a return to form winning the women’s long jump in a season’s best of 6.34m. Clare Wilkinson (Ballymena and Antrim) won the women’s Pole Vault in 3.80m In the women’s Shot Putt the favourite, Tralee’s Claire Fitzgerald won with a putt of 13.66m.
Hazel Murphy (Dundrum South Dublin) dominated the women’s 3000m from gun to tape winning in 9.20.35 seconds from Teresa McGloin (Finn Valley) and Emer O’Brien (Sligo AC).
In the women’s 60m heat Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) was the fastest qualifier into tomorrow’s final setting a personal best of 7.39, edging closer to the Irish record of 7.30 held by Anna Boyle in 2007. Stephen Colvert (Crusaders AC) was the most impressive in the men’s heats setting as personal best of 6.86.
Clare Bergin (DSD AC) who is just competing on day one of the championships produced another sub 55 second 400m, running 54.82 in the heats. Former EYOF 400m hurdler medallist, Christine Mc Mahon was back on the track after taking last season off, winning her heat in a personal best of 56.54, she will be the likely winner of tomorrow’s final. Tomorrow’s men’s 400m final should be a tight affair with all athletes’ times closely matched with Jason Harvey (University of Ulster) fastest qualifier with 49.31.