OFlaherty, Reynolds and Mageean dominate in Athlone
29 February 2016
The Glohealth Irish Indoor Championships in Athlone took place at the weekend with three Northern Irish Rio Olympic hopefuls making the headlines.
O'Flaherty Highlights Day One
The women's 3000m was undoubtedly the highlight of the first day's action with Kerry O'Flaherty (Richard Rogers) taking 7s off her indoor PB to take victory in 9.11.17. The race built up slowly with kilometre splits of 3.07 and 3.09 but it was in the final third where the Newcastle AC athlete showed her class and destroyed the field with a staggering 2.55 split to finish almost 9 seconds ahead of fellow Olympic qualified Steeplechasers Sara Treacy and Michelle Finn. The following day Kerry was back for more taking the silver medal in a tactical 1500m behind Claire Tarplee.
Reynolds and Mageean Standout Victories on Day Two
North Down AC's Ben Reynolds (Tom Reynolds) finished his first indoor 60m Hurdles race since competing against Lui Xiang in the 2012 World Indoor Championships semi-final. Reynolds, who had earlier set a 60m PB of 6.93 to qualify for the final, was pushed by Gerrard O'Donnell to a PB time of 7.73 which is just 0.01 outside of the qualification for the World Indoors in Portland. He will now race in Czech Republic and Eton next weekend to try and achieve that mark.
UCD's Ciara Mageean (Jerry Kiernan) rounded off an outstanding indoor season by stepping down a distance to take the 800m title. Mageean led from the gun and never looked troubled and stopped the clock in 2.03.76.
In the same race City of Lisburn AC duo Erin McIlveen (Brian Whittle) and Kelly Neely (Ian Neely) battled it out for the Bronze medal with the former getting the nod 2.05.83 to 2.06.13 (both indoor PBs)
Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC) once again bettered 7.70m in his final round to take an easy victory in the Men's Long Jump. This means that the Alan Kennedy coached athlete has finished every competition this year within 10cm (7.73m-7.83m) which is remarkable consistency.
North Down AC's Andrew Mellon (Brendan McConville) completed his set of indoor championship medals with silver in the Men's 400m. Mellon appeared to feel his hamstring at the break but battled on and almost caught Richard Morrisey at the line in yet another PB of 47.59. In the Women's race Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim,Ian Neely) finished third when equalling her PB of 54.77.
There were also some excellent PB and SB performances from NI athletes including a PB and Bronze medal for Shane Martin (Ballymena & Antrim, Jim Alexander) in the Pole Vault with 4.30m, multi-eventers Kate O'Connor (St. Gerard's, Michael O'Connor & Francis O'Hagan) and Naomi Morgan (City of Derry Spartans, Tom Reynolds) had PB's in the 800m and Shot & 60m Hurdles respectively. Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim, Alan Kennedy) ran his fastest 60m in four years in the final to record 6.93 and Newry AC's Aislinn Crossey (Francis O'Hagan) returned to form with a PB in the 1500m of 4.30.07.