After her recent good runs in Europe it was back home this weekend for Derval O’Rourke as the Woodie’s DIY Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships continued at the Odyssey Stadium in Belfast.
Again it was the 60m Hurdles races that provided the highlight of the championships. O’Rourke (Leevale AC) put in a solid performance running 8.21 in her final and 8.23 in her heat. Speaking after the race the Cork woman said “I am happy to have won, my times are not so great but technically I am getting better, I just need to be more aggressive over the hurdles.” Up and coming star Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC), who won a European Youth Olympic medal during the summer, finished second in 8.46, equalling the Junior Record set by O’Rourke in 1999.
In the Men’s 60m Hurdles Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) improved his U23 record in the heat running 7.85. Reynolds who has recently declared for Ireland went on to run 7.75 to win the final, an agonising one hundredth outside qualification standard for the World Indoor Championships. The performance earned him the Athlete of the Meet. Speaking after the race he said “I was clean and faster over every flight which was good but I felt quite passive and need to square myself more over the hurdles. But it is good to know I am in that shape as I have missed some training in the last few weeks with a niggling injury”. Reynolds plans to race in Belgian next week to achieve the time.
In the 60m women Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) took the title in 7.37 improving on her 7.39 from the heats yesterday. Joan Healy (Bandon A.C.) was second in 7.58 with Leah Moore third in (Clonliffe Harriers) in 7.70. In the Men’s 60m Seye Ogunlewe (Celbridge AC) got the better of Dean Adams (Ballymena and Antrim) to win in 6.79 with Adams crossed the line in 6.89 and David Hynes (Menapians) third in 6.89. The fancied Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) who set a personal best of 6.86 in the heat was fourth in 6.91.
In the 200m the men’s title went to 17 year old Marcus Lawler (St. Laurence O’Toole) who ran a personal best of 21.86 while in the women’s Steffi Creaner won in a personal best of 24.31. Eoin Mulhall (Crusaders AC) produced a personal best of 48.40 to take the men’s 400m title. With Claire Bergin (DSD AC) only just competing on day one of the championships the 400m title went to 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 56.06.
In the men’s 1500m there was a clean sweep for Ulster with Daniel Mooney (Letterkenny AC) winning in 3.52.83 from club-mate Ruairi Finnegan, 3:54.84 and Conor Bradley third in 3.55.84. With competitors tightly packed in the opening laps, Mooney made a move with two laps to go to stretch the field with only Bradley and Finnegan able to go with him. Mooney moved clear of both athletes with 150m to go leaving the battle between European Youth Olympic Gold Medallist Finnegan and Bradley. Finnegan kicked passed Bradley off the final bend to win his first senior medal. In the woman’s 1500m there was a real battle between Orla Drumm (UCC AC) and Inter County Cross Country Champion, Sarah Louise Treacy (Moynalvey AC) with both breaking clear of the field in the opening lap, both pushing the pass, with Drumm finally kicking past Treacy with 100m to go to win in 4.20.54. Treacy crossed the line in 4:22.17
In the women’s 800m Ciara Everard (UCD AC) put in a convincing performance to win in 2.07.34 from Laura Crowe (Riocht AC) in 2.07.62 with outdoor 800m champion Siobhan Eviston (Raheny AC) third in 2:07.70. The men’s 800m title went to Brian Kelly of St. Abban’s AC with a time of 1:54.94. The talented 17 year old young Karl Griffin (Tir Chonaill AC) took his first senior medal finishing second in 1:55.37 and Dean Cronin (Blarney/Inniscara) was third in 1:55.41.
Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) was the highlight of the action on day one of the championships, securing his 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 (Mohill 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. In the women’s Shot Putt the favourite, Claire Fitzgerald (Tralee Harriers) won with a putt of 13.91m equalling her personal best. In the men’s High Jump Barry Pender (St. Abbans) continued his good form clearing 2.15, one centimetre off his personal best to win the title. European U23 finalist Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea AC0 failed to register a jump.