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Awesome weekend in store in Abbotstown

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Abbotstown set for awesome weekend

The Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships promises to deliver some exciting tussles this weekend (February 17/18) as athletes bid for national glory and book places at the World Indoor Championships.

Sport Ireland’s National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown is a fast slick surface and the sprinters can be expected to speed around the blue boards. The event will be live streamed for the full weekend of action. 

Exciting sprints in store

There is an exciting women’s 60m in prospect with Amy Foster (City of Lisburn), Joan Healy (Bandon), Ciara Neville (Emerald) and Molly Scott (SLOT) among the entries. Can the Irish record of 7.30 (also the world indoor standard) seconds be eclipsed?  

Marcus Lawler (St. L. O'Toole A.C.) is the fastest man over 60m in 2018 with a 6.78 clocking in Athlone to win the University title. Jeremy Phillips (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) and Leon Reid (Menapians A.C.) will be among his rivals.

Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank A.C.) will be favoured in the women’s 200m with Catherine McManus (Dublin City Harriers A.C.) Sinead Denny (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) also on the top list this season.

Barr drops down to 200m

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) drops down to the 200m where he will take on Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim A.C.) who has been running well over the distance this season with Marcus Lawler (St. L. O'Toole A.C.) also entered for a potential double.

With a potential women’s 4x400m relay team at stake for the world indoors depending on performances, there is a strong entry in what could be the race of the championships.

Healy to feature in exciting 400m

Phil Healy (Bandon) has been in scintillating form this season having qualified individually for Birmingham running 52.08. Claire Mooney (UCD), Sinead Denny (DSD), Catherine McManus (DCH), Sophie Becker (St Joseph’s), Ciara Deely (Kilkenny City Harriers) and Jenna Bromell (Emerald) are among the entrants and it promises to be enthralling as events unfold over the weekend.

The men’s 400m sees Andrew Mellon (Crusaders), Brandon Arrey (Blarney/Inniscara A.C.) Cathal Locke (Dooneen A.C.), Paul White (Nenagh) and Luke Lennon Forde (Clonliffe Harriers) among the potential contenders if fit and toe the line.

Middle distance and walks medals up for grabs

With Jenna Bromell and Claire Mooney looking like they will be running the 400m it leaves Alanna Lally (UCD) as the leading contender with youngster Jo Keane (Ennis Track) among those chasing her tail.  

Defending men’s 800m champion Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock) looks set to step up to the 1500m where he would bid to become one of the first athletes to win national medals over 400m, 800m and 1500m.

Mark English (UCD) if he runs will, of course, be the heavy favourite with Karl Griffin (UCD) and John Fitzsimons (Kildare) among the other key contenders.

Emma Mitchell (Queens) is fresh from a 9:19 over 3km at the Armagh road race and is down for a potential middle distance double. Amy O Donoghue (Emerald A.C), Ellie Hartnett (U.C.D. A.C.) Nadia Power (Templeogue A.C.) and Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC) will also be in contention.

Kieran Kelly is the fastest 1500m runner on the rankings this season and will have to potentially compete with the likes of Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) and Garry Campbell (Dunleer).

Emma Mitchell will have to deal with the precocious talent of Sarah Healy (Blackrock) in the women’s 3,000m. The Blackrock teenager will have the national U20 (9:28.67 by Rose-Anne Galligan) and Youth (9:35.1 by Amy Rose Farrell) records in her sights along with the gold medal.  

There is a big entry for the men’s 3,00m with Eoin Everard, William Maunsell (Clonmel) and Damien Landers (Ennis Track) among those who can have an impact should they start.

In the race walks, Kate Veale (West Waterford A.C.) will be favourite to retain her senior women’s 3,000m title with Alex Wright (Leevale A.C.) having to contend with Cian McManamon (Westport A.C.) in the men’s 5,000m walk.

Lavin and Reynolds look to hurdle to gold

Sarah Lavin (UCD) is returning to fitness and form and is comfortably leading the Irish rankings with a time of 8.29 seconds. Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown) and Molly Scott (SLOT) will be among those looking to medal.   

Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) heads the men’s rankings with 7.87 while Matthew Behan (Crusaders) should have a fast start and look to make an impact.

Jumping for podium positions

Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St Gerard’s), Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton) and Ruby Millet (St Abban’s) are among the leading lights in the women’s long jump while Adam McMullen (Crusaders A.C.) should prove untouchable in the men’s long jump with Keith Marks (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) his next nearest competitor.

Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) continues to dominate the women’s triple jump and her mark of 13.23m leads the way this indoor season. Mark Burton (Queens University AC) is the leading men’s triple jumper on the list with 14.00m.   

Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley) has been making headlines in the women’s high jump equalling her U20 national record of 1.86m this season.  Amy McTeggart (Boyne) will be among those looking to make the podium.

Barry Pender (St Abbans A.C) heads the men’s high jump standings with 2.10m while Jerry Keary (Craughwell A.C.) is the only other jumper to have cleared 2m this season entered for the championship.

Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn) set a national U20 record of 3.62m earlier this year and will start as favourite with Emma Coffey (Carraig-Na-Bhfear A.C.), and a host of others, competing for national medals.

Walsh and Breathnach look for show of strength

Michaela Walsh (Swinford) should star in the women’s shot put with Alana Frattaroli (Limerick A.C.) and Elizabeth Morland also among the entrants.

Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers A.C.) will bid for another men’s shot put title with John Kelly (Finn Valley A.C.) most likely to push him to his limits.

To view the entries and provisional timetable click HERE

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