You don’t always have to win to set a record, as Irish athletes showed in an super competitive weekend of indoor racing. Lindie Naughton reports.
Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC set an Irish indoor record when finishing third in the 1500m with a time of 3:33:49 in the 1500m with a time of 3:33:49 at the World Tour Indoor finals in Birmingham, England, on Saturday (February 25).
Coscoran knocked over three seconds off Marcus O’Sullivan’s time of 3:36.64, set thirty-four years ago in 1989. His previous best indoors was 3:37.20 run in 2021.
UCD AC’s Luke McCann also broke O’Sullivan’s record when finishing fourth in 3:34:76 while . Nick Griggs of Mid-Ulster AC, who finished seventh in 3:39:94, was taking almost four seconds off his own Irish U20 record.
Next up for Coscoran and McCann is the 1500m at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, from 2 to 5 March.
In Lubbock, Texas, Rhasidat Adeleke of Tallaght AC improved on her own recently set Irish record of 50.45 secs when winning the the 400m at the Big 12 Championships in a time of 50.33. The time was also a meet record. Adeleke will by-pass next weekend’s European Indoor Championships to concentrate on the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque a week later on March 10-11.
At the Big East Indoor Championships in Chicago on February 24-15, Barry Keane won the men’s 5000m in 13 mins 45.37 secs. Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers, still only 19 years old, was fifth in 14:04.59, Shane Coffey 12th in 14:18.46 and David McGlynn 23rd in 14:53.29.
Winning the mile in 3:58.07 was Charlie O’Donovan of Leevale AC who had run 4:13.57 in the heats a day earlier.
Paul O’Donnell of Dundrum South Dublin AC knocked four seconds off his own best when winning the 5000m at the ACC in Louisville, Kentucky in a time of 13:50.94 on Thursday (February 23)
At the SEC Indoors, in Fayetteville (February 24-25), Shane Bracken ran 4:04 72 in the heats to qualify for men’s mile final a day later, where he finished eighth in 4:05.75. In the 3000m Louis O’Loughlin of Donore Harriers clocked a personal best of 8:16.08 for 19th place; his previous best was 8:16.99.
Winning the 3000m in a personal best 7:52.80 at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama was Michael Power of West Waterford AC, with Shay McEvoy of Kilkenny City Harriers sixth in the same race in 8:05.70. In the mile final, McEvoy finished fourth in 4:08.40.
In the women’s mile final, Laura Nicholson of Bandon AC was third in 4:53.20.
Locally, junior athlete Noah Harris of Ashford AC clocked a time of 4:37.08 in the mile at round 8 of the Track and Field Live Series in Abbotstown on Friday (February 24). Earlier this month, Harris won the boys’ inter race at the Leinster Schools Cross-Country Championships. Fastest of the women was Edel Gaffney of Trim AC in 5:09.14.
Race of the evening was the women’s 800m, where Ellie Hartnett and her 19-year-old UCD AC clubmate Susie Nestor crossed the line together, with Hartnett the winner in 2:07.48 and Nestor timed at 2:07.49 – a personal best.
Road race of the weekend was the Adare 10km in Co Limerick on Sunday (February 26) which had sold out within hours when entry opened last November.
Leading home 773 finishers was William Maunsell of Clonmel AC in 30 mins 26 secs. Niall Shanahan of An Bru AC was second and first M40 in 30:44 and John Kinsella of Bilboa AC third and second M40 in 31:50.
First woman was Íde Nhic Dhomhnaill, now back with West Limerick AC after a few years with Donore Harriers, in 33:39. Mary Mulhare of Portlaoise AC was second in 34:44 and Kate McDonald of Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District AC third in 36:43.
West Limerick AC was clear winners of the men’s team title, with four finishing in tenth to 13th places led by Niall O’Callaghan. Dooneen AC finished second and also proved best of the women’s teams, led by Shona Keane in fourth place. West Limerick AC finished second. Mallow AC was third in both categories.
Winning the Kinsale10-mile in Co Cork was Tim O’Donoghue of East Cork AC in 50:43. Over two minutes behind for second in 52:51 was prolific racer Tudor Mircea of Clonliffe Harriers. Hannah Steeds of Leevale AC was first woman in 60.43.
On the same day, Eoin Smyth of Tara AC was the winner of the Duleek and District 5km in Co Meath in a time of 15 mins 7 secs. First woman was Laura Tuite of Clonliffe Harriers in 18 minutes. Clonliffe took both the team prizes.
The men were led home in 16:06 by Mahad Mohammed who ended up fifth, despite taking a wrong turn when lying second. Cillian Keegan finished sixth and Sean McGarrity 14th. In the women’s race, Laura Tuite was backed up by Clodagh Galvin third and Hannah Browne sixth. Dunboyne AC was second in both categories.
Sean Hehir of Croghan AC won the Blackwater 10km in Co Wexford comfortably in 33 mins 12 secs. Ger Clerkin of Clonliffe Harriers was second and first M40 in 36:18 and Brian Maher of Croghan AC third and second M40 in 37:38. Clodagh Kelly was first woman and first W40 in 40:25.
Kevin Donagher of Rathfarnham WSAF AC was the winner of the Graigueullen 10km in 32:20; he was also first M40. Fifth and first woman was Aisling O’Connor in 39:51.
A day earlier, Sean Tobin, of Clonmel AC, winner of the Antarctic Marathon a few months ago, took on a much shorter distance when winning the Fitzer’s 5km in Dundalk on Saturday (February 24). His time of 14 mins 31 put him 90 seconds clear of the chasers led by Isak Eriksson of Dundrum South Dublin AC in 15:01. Third and first junior in 15:29 was Christopher Keenan of Drogheda and District AC.
Aine Cotter of North East Runners was first woman in 16:59 followed by her clubmate Laura Mathews in 18:43 and Aoife Parrella of Star of the Sea AC in 18:55.
George Snee of Dunboyne AC was the winner of the Wicklow Hospice Half Marathon on Saturday with a time of 73:11. First woman in 91:09 was Siobhan O’Toole.
Grace Carson and Finn McNally were the winners at the NI and Ulster Senior Cross-Country in Dundonald on Sunday (February 26) – the final championship race of the winter season.
Carson, of Mid-Ulster AC, who took U23 team gold with the British team at the European Cross-Country Championships in Italy last December, was a clear winner of the women’s 6km race in 20 mins 50 secs. Sarah Lavery of Beechmount Harriers finished second in 22:32 and Hannah Gilliland of Annadale Striders third in 22.40. Edel Monaghan, an Ulster athlete who competes with Dublin City Harriers, was fourth in 23:04.
Finn McNally of North Belfast Harriers finished eleven seconds clear of his team mate Andrew Milligan in the men’s 12km with a time of 37 mins 34 secs. Finishing third in 37:55 was Neil Johnston of Annadale Striders. International mountain runner Zak Hanna of Newcastle and District AC was fourth. North Belfast Harriers proved best of the teams, comfortably clear of Annadale Harriers and Newcastle and District.
Winning a closely-fought women’s team competition with just six points separating the top three was Lurgan club St Peter’s AC with 63 points – just two ahead of North Down AC on 65 points with Beechmount Harriers third on 69 points.
Schools from Co Clare did particularly well at the Munster Schools Cross-Country Championship held at Carriganore, Waterford on Friday (February 24). The venue will host the All Ireland Ireland Cross-Country Championships on Saturday, March 11.
Students from Ennis schools won both senior individual titles. Louise O’Mahoney of Colaiste Mhuire won the senior girls 3000m race, leading her school to a three-point team victory over PS na Trínóide Youghal. In the boys’ senior 6000m, the winner was Niall Murphy of St Flannan’s, with Nenagh CBS taking the team title ahead of St Flannan’s.
St Flannan’s won the inter boys’ team title with brothers Simon Farrell and Peter Farrell second and third behind race winner Diarmuid Moloney of Nenagh CBS. St Flannan’s also took the minor boys’ team title
Eve Dunphy of Abbey CC Dungarvan was the winner of the inter girls 3000m ahead of her team mate Charlotte Carpendale with Abbey CC clear winners of the team title. First of the junior teams was St Angela’s Waterford, with DLS Macroom first of the boys. Loreto Fermoy won the minor girls team title.
Rice College Westport dominated the senior boys’ race at the Connacht Schools Cross-Country Championships held at Bushfield on Wednesday (February 22).
Race winner was Padraig Duff from team mates Ethan Doherty and Ruairi Hollywood. With four finishers in the top eight, Rice College were clear team winners.
Gracie O’Brien of St Joseph’s Castlebar, won the senior girls race, with Alix Joyce of Mercy Tuam second. Calasanctius Oranmore won the team title by a single point from Our Lady’s Belmullet.
At inter level, Clodagh Gill of St Mary’s Ballina and Francis O’Donoghue of Summerhill College were the individual winners. Seamount College Kinvara won both boys’ and girls’ team titles.
At minor and junior level, Sacred Heart Westport proved best of the girls teams in both categories. St Joseph’s Galway took the minor boys title with and Summerhill College Sligo best at junior level and also runners-up by a single point in the boys’ inter race.