Tullamore Harriers stadium provided the perfect venue for the Woodie’s DIY Junior and U23 track and field championships today. The weather was reasonable throughout the day.
Twins played a big part in the results with the Monaghans and Nevilles picking up four medals between them. Patrick Monaghan (Lagan Valley AC) won the junior 1,500m in 3:54.18 after a terrific tussle with his twin brother Andrew who was second in 3:56.00. Incredibly, considering both are almost household names in athletics circles, this was the first time either of them won a national track title, and both head off to Mississippi State on an athletics scholarship in August.
There nearly was another 1-2 for twins in the junior 400m hurdles where Jessica Neville (Leevale AC) was second in 61.84, with her twin sister Christine third in 64.33. Clare Murphy (St. L. O’Toole AC) won the race in 60.83.
Another SLOT athlete, Marcus Lawler, was an impressive winner of the junior 200m in 21.47, with Greg O’Shea (Dooneen AC) a good second in 21.79. O’Shea earlier won the 100m in 11.07.
Phil Healy (Bandon AC) completed a 100m/200m junior double in 12.05/24.95.
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) had a good win in the U23 400m hurdles in 51.67 after a good battle with Tim Crowe (Dooneen AC) who was second in 52.80 and Paul Byrne (St. Abban’s AC) in 53.04.
Ben Kiely completed a Ferrybank hurdles double when he won the junior title in 53.76.
Paul Collins (North Westmeath AC) won the junior shot with a throw of 14.98m, just 13cm clear of John Kelly (Finn valley AC) in second.
Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) won another national title when winning the junior 3,000m walk in 14:56.61, with Alicia Boylan (Oriel AC) a very close second in a time of 14:58.61.
James McCabe (Dunboyne AC) had a throw of 68.62m in the first round of the junior hammer and that proved good enough to win, with Irish junior record holder Dempsey McGuigan (Finn valley AC) second with 68.03m. Both competed in Mannheim yesterday.
Another Finn Valley athlete, Sarah Collins, completed a 1,500m/5,000m junior double in 4:42.88/17:18.55.
Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) won the U23 100m in 11.92 from Steffi Creaner (Dublin City Harriers) in 12.03. The places were reversed in the 200m with Creaner winning in 24.22 to Whelan’s 24.27.
The men’s U23 200m was won by Paul Whelan (Dublin Striders) in 22.26 from Laurence O’Reilly (Tullamore Harriers) in 22.67.
There was another polished display of hurdling by Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) who won the junior 100m hurdles in 13.89.
There were two good performances in the high jump competitions with Barry Pender (St. Abban’s AC) winning the U23 title with 2.13m and Pippa Rogan (Sli Cualann AC) taking the junior event with 1.74m.
The junior men’s 800m saw Dean Cronin (Blarney Inniscarra AC) win a closely fought race in 1:52.73 from Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC) 1:53.05 and Shane Fitsimons (Mullingar AC) 1:54.45.
Karl Griffin (Tir Chonaill AC) won the junior men’s 400m in 49.52 from Paul Scanlan (Leevale AC) with 50.18.
Eoin Mulhall (Crusaders AC) won the U23 400m in 48.24.
Oliver Back (St. Coca’s AC) showed a good return from injury to win the U23 100m in 10.79 from Dean Adams ( Ballymena & Antrim AC) in 10.98.