Howard, young hammer throwers and Finn to the fore


Howard, young hammer throwers and Finn to the fore

Wild conditions didn’t hamper an excellent first day of competition at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Senior and U23 Championships in Morton Stadium today (August 22nd).

The men’s and women’s hammer got the day off to a good start with up-and-coming athletes Brendan O’Donnell (Lifford Strabane) and Nicola Tuthill (Bandon), throwing an Irish U18 record, winning their first senior titles.

Full results of day one are HERE with interviews on Facebook HERE . You can watch the action on YouTube HERE.

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Nicola Tuthill (Bandon) marked herself out as a potential star for the future when she smashed her personal best to win the women’s hammer with 60.04m in an Irish U18 record. The 17-year-old became the sixth Irish woman over 60m and in doing so bagged her first national senior title. It was also the second longest throw in the world by an U18 this year.

Ciara Sheehy (Emerald) won the battle for the silver with 49.37m from Megan Moynihan (West Muskerry) who was third with a best of 48.80m.

Brendan O’Donnell (Lifford Strabane) surprised even himself to win the senior men’s hammer title with a 4m personal best with 64.62m. O’Donnell won the U23 title alongside it in a competition he thought would be leading more to a peak in the Ulster championships in a few weeks time. He was more than pleasantly surprised though as Adam King (Iveragh) was second with 63.98m and Simon Galligan (Clonliffe Harriers) was third with 62.28m.

Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) won with the only legal jump of the day in the women’s long jump with a personal best of 6.09m. The triple jump specialist had won the title two years ago and goes into next weekend with double gold now firmly on her mind.

Sophie Meredith (St Mary’s Limerick) just edged silver with a best leap of 5.96m – 2cm better than Sarah McCarthy’s (Mid Sutton) best of 5.94m. It proved to be a very good competition with a difficult tail wind gusting up to 4m plus.

Shane Howard (Bandon) retained the men’s long jump title with a good leap of 7.44m to beat Adam McMullen (Crusaders) with 7.31m and Ben Fisher (City of Lisburn) was third, and first U23, with 7.24m. Howard echoed many in delight at getting to compete in the championships in what has been an understandably confusing and challenging year.  

On the track, Michelle Finn (Leevale) comfortably won the women’s 5,000m in 16:37.49 from her clubmate Sinead O’Connor who had a good kick for second in 16:47.40. Claire Fagan (Mullingar Harriers) won the U23 title along with senior bronze in 16:48.26.

Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) won the senior men’s weight for height (50lbs) with 4.60m and just missed out on a new national record with good attempts at 4.95m. The wet and windy conditions certainly didn’t help his efforts.

Sean Mockler (Moycarkey Coolcroo) came back from his fourth place in the men’s hammer to win the U23 35lbs weight for height with 5.00m.

The other finals on day one saw Holly Brennan (Cilles AC) win the U20 women’s 5,000m in 18:15.64 while Michael Morgan (Sligo) produced a good last lap to win the U20 men’s race in 15:56.22.

There were no major casualties for tomorrow’s finals in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 1500m, and men’s 5,000m.

Main results

Irish Life Health National Senior & U23 Athletics Championships Day 1, Morton Stadium



Michelle Finn (Leevale) 16:37.49, 2. Sinead O’Connor (Leevale) 16:47.40, 3. Claire Fagan U23 (Mullingar Harriers) 16:48.26

U20 5,000m

Holly Brennan (Cilles AC) 18:15.64, 2. Celine Gavin (Celtic DCH) 18:19.47, 3. Aoife Coffey (Lucan Harriers) 18:29.47

Long jump

Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) 6.09m, 2. Sophie Meredith (St Mary’s Limerick) 5.96m, 3. Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton) 5.94m


Nicola Tuthill (Bandon) 60.04m, 2. Ciara Sheehy (Emerald) 49.37m, 3. Megan Moynihan (West Muskerry) 48.80m


U20 5,000m

Michael Morgan (Sligo) 15:56.22, 2. Aaron Smith (Cilles) 15:58.05, 3. James Hyland (Raheny Shamrock) 15:59.51

Long jump

Shane Howard (Bandon) 7.44m, 2. Adam McMullen (Crusaders) 7.31m, 3. Ben Fisher U23 (City of Lisburn) 7.24m


Brendan O’Donnelly U23 (Lifford Strabane) 64.62m, 2. Adam King (Iveragh AC) 63.98m, 3. Simon Galligan (Clonliffe Harriers) 62.28m

Weight for Height 50lbs

Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) 4.60m, 2. John Dwyer (Templemore) 4.00m, 3. Damian Crawford (Lifford Strabane) 3.20m

U23 Weight for Height 35lbs

Sean Mockler (Moycarkey Coolcroo) 5.00m, 2. Padraig O’Callaghan (Leevale) 4.40m, 3. Darryl Crawford (Lifford Strabane) 4.00m

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