Irish Stars Shine at Memorable Morton Games


Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) became the first Irish winner of the iconic Morton Mile race in eighteen years edging out Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers AC) in spectacular fashion to claim victory at Saturday’s Morton Games in Santry. In a race which saw six men run under four minutes, five of whom were Irish, Coscoran timed his dive to perfection to win in a time of 3.57.09, just two hundredths of a second ahead of the athlete from the home club. Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC), Shane Bracken (Swinford AC), Callum Davies (Australia) and Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) also broke four minutes, leaving the crowd enthralled by what they witnessed.

The International programme had got underway some two hours before, with the Women’s 100m Hurdles producing a new Stadium Record. Jade Barber (United States) clocked 12.97s to finish ahead of Irish star Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC). Lavin had made a lighting start but clipped the third last hurdle, causing her to stumble. She finished in a time of 13.10s to finish second. The Limerick woman jets off to Oregon later this week after competing at Cork City Sports tomorrow.

Kiara Parker (United States) took victory in the Women’s 100m. The America was a class above the rest of the field winning in a time of 11.39s, before running back up the home straight to join in with Village People’s 1978 hit ‘YMCA’ which had the entire main stand off their feet.

Israel Olatunde’s (UCD AC) excellent season continued when the Dundalk man ran another new Irish U23 record to finish second in the Men’s 100m. Olatunde knocked 0.01s off the record he set back in May to clock a time of 10.26s. Andrew Robertson (Great Britain) took victory in 10.22s.

There was an Irish winner in the Women’s 400m, with Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks AC) delighting the home crowd. Becker looked strong as she crossed the line in 52.69s to win at her first Morton Games. The Wexford native will compete individually at the World Championships as well as being part of the Mixed Relay team. Bronze medallist at last week’s National Championships, Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers) finished second, while National 400m Hurdles champion Kelly McGrory (Tír Chonaill AC) was fifth.

Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers AC) won the Men’s 400m in 47.04s. Raftery finished ahead of Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers AC) to take the win. The DCU student travels to Oregon later this week to be part of the Mixed 4x400m relay team at the World Championships.

Sarah Healy (UCD AC) finished second in the Women’s Mile. British steeplechase athlete Lizzie Bird took the victory. Healy ran a time of 4.31.50, in what was her penultimate race before flying to Oregon. National 1500m champion Carla Sweeney finished eighth.

Kyle Langford (Great Britain) returned to the Morton Games and showed his class to win the Men’s 800m in 1.46.81. Best of the Irish was Harry Purcell (Trim AC) who finished fifth in 1.48.73, a new Seasons Best.

Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) is another Irish athlete who is preparing to fly out to Oregon at the end of this week. Shanahan, who is the Irish record holder over 800m, finished second over the distance at the Morton Games in a time of 2.03.57. Isabelle Boffey (Great Britain) was the race winner in 2.03.22.

Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers AC) put in a brave display of front running in the Men’s 5000m. Gidey led from early on but ultimately paid the price for his effort, being caught in the final 300m. He battled hard to finish fifth in a time of 13.44.59, a new Personal Best. Jackson Sharp (Australia) took victory clocking 13.33.77.

The field events also delivered great excitement. Unsurprisingly the Stadium Record in the Shot Put tumbled with Italian Nick Ponzio throwing 20.98m to take a comfortable victory. The Italian finished seventh at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year. Irish record holder Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrocks AC) finished second throwing 19.57m, while national champion John Kelly (Finn Valley AC) was fourth with a best throw of 19.45m.

Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC) cleared 1.80m to win the Women’s High Jump ahead of Pippa Rogan (Slí Cualann AC).

German athlete Tom Meier was the winner of the Men’s Javelin throwing 70.59m. The best of the Irish was Conor Cusack (Lake District AC) who finished fourth with a best effort of 65.67m.

The next International Track and Field meet on Irish soil is tomorrow evening’s Cork City Sports which get underway from 5pm at the Munster Technological University Athletics Stadium in Bishopstown.

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