More than a few athletes left the Cork Institute of Technology Athletics Stadium tonight happy with what they had achieved. The 61st Cork City Sports was held in warm, humid, windy, and misty conditions – there even was a flash of sunshine, that could have given athletes a fore-taste of what conditions could be like in London for the Olympics.
Irish athletics has always been steeped in a strong tradition of miling, and no doubt there were many in the crowd who made their way to CIT specially for the mile, with Leevale’s Ciaran O’Lionaird making a return to racing for the first time since the World Indoor championships in Istanbul in March the star local attraction. Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC) has been in great form of late and was expected to provide a strong Irish challenge.
For much of the race the field remained closely bunched with Australian Ryan Gregson leading at the bell, flanked by O’Lionaird, American Elliott Heath and Bartosz Nowicki from Poland. Gregson maintained his form on the last lap to win in a time of 3:57.98, with American Liam Boylen Pett running on strongly to take second in 3:58.38 and Heath was third in 3:58.48. Robinson just got the better of O’Lionaird for fourth. After the race O’Lionaird said he was ‘swimming’ on the last lap but was happy with his effort in his first race of the season.
Stephanie Reilly (Sli Cualann AC) could well have been the happiest runner on the night . She ran a terrific race to take second in the 3,000m in a time of 9:02.91 for a huge new PB, well inside the 9:11.24 best she ran indoors. Winner was American Kim Conley who won in a time of 9:01.47 (PB), with Australian Eloise Wellings third in 9:03.82.
Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers) ran a strong gutsy race to be third in the 400m in a time of 51.86 behind American Keisha Baker 51.51 and Shericka Williams 51.74.
Ireland’s leading 400m runner Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) also finished third in a time of 46.29 behind Rabah Yousif from Sudan in45.30 and Manteo Mitchell from USA in 46.27.
South African Cornel Fredericks had a tenth of a second to spare when he won the 400m hurdles in 49.00 from Leford Green of Jamaica in 49.10.
Luke Fagan from Great Britain completed a 100m/200m double in 10.43/20.65, with Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) second in both in 10.71/20.68.
The first four in the women’s mile all set new PBs with Lucy Van Dalen (New Zealand) winning in 4:31.78 from Kaila McKnight (Australia) 4:33.33 and Claire Tarplee (Dundrum South Dublin AC) in 4:33.61.
Another Australian win came in the 3,000m where Collis Birmingham won with ease in a time of 7:55.31.
Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) won the 3,000m walk in 11:14.29, while Olive Loughnane (Loughrea AC) won the women’s walk in a new PB of 12:36.27.
Please note just click on the Athletics Ireland logo at the top of the page for HOME