Mageean Smashes Irish Indoors 1500m Record
08 February 2016
Portaferry's Ciara Mageean (Jerry Kiernan) destroyed the Irish 1,500 metres Indoor record at the weekend when she set new figures of 4 mins 8 .66. This cut a huge 2.4 secs off the previous best held by Sinead Delahunty Evans who recorded 4.11.06 back in the year 2000. Ciara's time is well within the qualification stipulation for next month's World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon.
The UCD student was competing in the big IAAF meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany. 23 year old Ciara was unfortunate just to lose out in a frantic finish where less than half a second covered the first 3 finishers. The race was won by Ethiopia's Axumawit Embaye in 4 .08.22 with European Junior cross country champion Konstanze Kloster Halfen of Germany taking second just ahead of Ciara in 4.08.38.
The year has started perfectly for the former World Junior silver medallist who qualified for the Rio Olympics this summer after her new NI outdoor record of 4.06.49 last year. Last month she set an Indoors PB time of 2.04.90 in Athlone.
Meanwhile in the AAI Games, Athlone
Ireland's top sprinter Amy Foster (David Reid) of Lisburn AC was just an agonising .01 off the necessary 60 metres qualification time for the World Indoors. Amy won in a time of 7.33 ahead of Bandon AC's Joan Healy (7.43). This is just short of both Amy's PB from 2 years ago and the World qualification mark of 7.32.
In the equivalent Men's race Ballymena's Jonathan Browning (Melanie Browning) confirmed the dominance of Northern sprint athletes with victory in 6.87 which is his second fastest ever following his 6.83 time last week when taking silver in the Scottish Championships. Ballymena & Antrim athlete Dean Adams (Alan Kennedy) took the bronze in 7.01 after running a seasons best of 6.95 in round 1.
Crusaders AC Long Jumper Adam McMullen (Alan Kennedy) had an impressive and remarkably consistent series on both days competition at Athlone. On Saturday he came within 3cm of his PB jumping 7.77m to win the National Indoor League Final and he backed this up the following day to take the AAI Games title in 7.72m.
Commonwealth Games 800 metres athlete Katie Kirk (Mark Kirk) made a welcome return to competition after a nightmare injury plagued year. She just lost on the line to GB's Jade Williams who took the verdict in 2 mins 7.85 secs. QUB student Kirk was 2nd in 2.07.91 with Masters Athlete Kelly Neely (Ian Neely) an impressive 3rd in 2.08.49.
Christine McMahon (Ian Neely) of Ballymena & Antrim had a successful run in the 400m event with a winning time of 54.82. City of Lisburn’s Erin McIlveen (Brian Whittle) followed in 1.79 sec after in a time of 56.61.
Other highlight performances at the Indoor Games were Jessica Craig (North Down AC/ Ray Adams) bronze medallist in the 1500m (4:42.60) and Kate Farrelly (City of Lisburn C / Bill Kelly) 9.72 in the 60mH. Successful jumps in the Pole Vault for both Men and Women, City of Lisburn’s Ellen McCartney (Jim Alexander) took gold (3.00m) and Shane Martin (Alexander) of Ballymena & Antrim took silver (4.20m). Craig Newell (Ian Neely) of Ballymena and Antrim had a great run to secure 2nd place in the 200m event with a time of 22.11, and Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC/ Self Coached) took 3rd place in the 3000m. North Down’s Alan Kennedy (Self Coached) won the triple jump 14.12m in the Triple Jump.
Impressive 10k from Rio Marathon Potentials
On the roads in Chichester, Annadale Striders athlete Paul Pollock (Andy Hobdell) clocked a new 10km road PB of 29:42 with Ballymena & Antrim’s Kevin Seaward (Hobdell) running 29:59. Seaward, who holds the fastest marathon Olympic qualifying time, will pace Pollock at the London marathon in April as he bids to join his training partner on the plane to Rio.
N.I. Athletes medal at NI & Ulster Age Group Championships
There were a number of encouraging performances across a range of events at the NI & Ulster Age Groups Championships in Magherafelt at the weekend.
Sarah Woods (City of Lisburn AC) won the U19 shot at the weekend with a throw of 8.84m to beat current PB of 8m. Commonwealth Youth Games representative Lydia Mills of Ballymena & Antrim took the gold both in the Triple Jump (11.08m) and Long Jump (5.33m), followed by silver medallist Zoe Dickson of Lagan Valley who jumped 10.57m in the Triple Jump and 4.67m in the Long Jump. Sarah Woods took the Bronze in both events (Long Jump 4.45m and Triple Jump 9.23m).
City of Lisburn’s Katie Monteith had an impressive 8.09 run in the U14 girls 60m to take 1st place, which was a staggering 0.68 of a second in front of 2nd place Stephanie Okoh of Letterkenny.
Hannah Murray of Finn Valley cleared up in the U12 girls Long Jump (3.56m), 600m (1:58.61), and 60m (9.15) to take gold in each of these events.
Enya Haigney (Omagh Harriers) had two great runs in the U17 girls 1500m (05:05.65) and 800m (02:21.98) to take gold. In the combined 1500m race Enya ran against fellow Omagh Harrier Toni Moore (05:11.23), and secured 1st place with 6 sec leading victory.
Other highlight performances at the Indoor Championships were EYOF Hammer competitor Brendan O’Donnell (Lifford Strabane) jumped 1.76m in the High Jump, Ballymena & Antrim’s Ronan Campbell threw 11.67m in the U15 Shot Putt, Liam Keane (Letterkenny AC) 5.76m in the U16 Long Jump and Bridget Mc Dyer (Finn Valley) had an impressive throw in the U18 Shot Putt (11.20m). U19’s John McAdam (Ballydrain Harriers) was 1st in the 400m with an impressive time of 52.85 and also took the bronze in the 200m (23.83). Hannah Cochrane (City of Lisburn) won the U14 girls 800m in time trials with 02:32.35, Murphy Millar (North Down) took gold in the U15 girls 800m with 02:26.82 and Olivia Bowes (Lagan Valley) impressed in the Long Jump (4.88m) and 60mH (9.85).
Other Weekend News
NI Commonwealth Games competitors Leon Reid (James Hillier) and Kerry O’Flaherty (Richard Rogers) were competing on the UK Mainland.
Leon (Birchfield) equalled his personal best, set last week, when competing at the open sprints meeting in Eton and Kerry (Newcastle AC) finished 3rd in the 3000m in Cardiff just behind Anne-Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC (Teresa McDaid).