RECORD BREAKERS AND OLYMPIANS HEAD TO MORTON STADIUM EN MASSE
The 150th consecutive edition of the Irish Life Health National Track and Field Championships are set to continue an illustrious history as the cream of Irish athletics talent take to Morton Stadium this weekend (June 25th & 26th).
The first national athletics championships were organised in College Park (Trinity College Dublin) on July 7th, 1873, and have been held every year since then, making the Irish national championships the longest running consecutive national senior championships in the world.
The action gets underway from 1.30pm on Saturday, with a second helping taking place on Sunday from 1pm.
Both days of the competition will be streamed on the Athletics Ireland YouTube Channel.
RTE will be covering the Championships on Radio 1 throughout both days, while RTE1 will present live coverage from 6:05pm-8:30pm on Sunday.
How to follow
- Top list for 2022 outdoors HERE
- Weekend timetable HERE (as of 21.06.2022)
- Entry list HERE
- Watch on Athletics Ireland YouTube HERE
- Live Results HERE (Updated from Saturday June 25th)
- Spectator Tickets HERE
- Live on RTE 1 at 18:05 on Sunday June 26th
- Men's & Women's 10,000m taking place at the AAI Games (July 23rd) - Read more HERE
- Field Events: There will be a team aspect to the 150th Championship where the best performance of the top 2 club athletes will be added together. The overall team winners will be presented with a special medal.
- A look back at some of the highlights from the previous 149 editions HERE
- A limited 150th edition t-shirt will be available to purchase on Saturday and Sunday. Only 150 available HERE
Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) will be one of the star attractions as she returns to national championship action having secured the 60m, 200m, 300m and 400m records in the past 12 months. Adeleke will hope to take to the 100m final at 7:00pm on Sunday.
A host of Irish Olympians are also set to return to Morton Stadium including Thomas Barr (400mH), Sarah Lavin (100mH), Louise Shanahan (800m), Sarah Healy (UCD AC), Michelle Finn (3000mSC), Marcus Lawler (200m & 400m), Mark English (800m), David Kenny (10,000mWalk), Phil Healy (400m), Sophie Becker (400m), Christopher O’Donnell (400m) and Fionnuala McCormack (5000m) who are all entered.
Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock AC), Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC), and Roisin Harrison (Emerald AC) move from Irish 4x400m teammates to fierce rivals through the heats of the 400m on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s final at 7:45pm. Healy and Becker look set to be right next to eachother coming around the final bend with Healy's SB of 51.82 just 0.01 faster than Becker’s recent PB.
2022 World Indoor Championship Finalist and Olympian Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) returns to the 100m Hurdles on Saturday at 3pm, after setting a stunning new PB of 12.93 while competing in Spain last week.
Olympian Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers) will be right there in the men’s 200m competition but will have a battle on his hands with Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) and Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock AC) also looking to make it to the final at 4:10pm on Saturday.
Lawler has had a strong season so far with season best of 20.75 at the start of the month while competing in Spain. Olympian McDonnell has been on fire this season with a series of stellar performances, including last month's new PB of 20.51 while competing at the IFAM Oordegem in Belgium.
As we head into the middle-distance finals, there are a host of battles not to be missed, such as Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) and Luke McCann (UCD AC) in the 1500m.
Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC), Hiko Haso Tonosa (DSD AC), and Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) will all be in contention in a stacked Men’s 5,000m.
Olympian Sarah Healy (UCD AC) goes in the 1500m and will be looking to build on her brilliant performances over the last 12 months. Having secured her first 1500m senior title last year, she has since broke Sonia O’Sullivan’s 1991 Irish U23 record this season in 4:02.86 (4th all time). Claire Mooney (Naas AC) and Georgie Hartigan (DSD AC) are also entered in the 1500m and will be two of the likely podium contenders if doubling up (also entered 800m).
There will be a team aspect in the field events for the 150th edition of the championships, with the best performance of the top 2 club athletes being added together. The overall team winners will be presented with a special medal.
Action gets underway from 1pm in Morton stadium.
The Men’s Hammer will be the first field event in the Championships, with all eyes falling on Sean Mockler (Moycarkey Coolcroo A.C.) as he returns home to defend his 2021 Championship title. Mockler came 16th in his NCAA Division 1 Championships throwing close to his PB of 68.68m in recent weeks. Set to join Mockler in the throwing circle medal contention will be Simon Gilligan (Clonliffe Harriers) and John Dwyer (Templemore AC).
Taking to the throwing circle will be a star-studded line of Ireland’s top female Hammer and Shot-Put throwers. Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) is back in action to defend her reign on the Championship title in both categories. Walsh has had a busy season; at the European Throwing Cup in March, she came tenth in her Hammer final and sixth in the Shot Put. The Mayo woman will have strong competition from her regular rival of Adrienne Gallen (Lifford Strabane AC).
Gallen has had a consistent season so far with a number of strong performances from winning the Athletics Northern Ireland Open meeting where she set a seasonal best of 51.22m.
The first track final of Day 1 will come in the men’s 3,000m Steeplechase. Finley Daly (Sligo AC) will have his eyes on claiming the title in the absence of Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock AC). Jayme Rossiter (Clonliffe Harriers) will also be looking to climb his way up the podium after his third-place finish in 2021.
JUMPING FOR GOLD
Sarah Buggy (St Abbans AC) will be back in action and looking to get even closer to that Triple Jump National Record of 13.62m. The Laois native has been jumping ever closer to the national triple jump records both indoor and outdoor this season.
The women’s Pole Vault is set to be a hot contest with all of the events top competitors registered to compete. Current U23 Indoor and Outdoor Record Holder Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn AC) takes to Morton Stadium as she continues her incredible season, after setting a new PB of 4.22m in recent weeks at the Belfast International EAP Meet. Giving McCartney stiff competition will be Una Brice (Leevale AC) and Ava Rochford (Nenagh Olympic AC).
The women’s high jump competition looks as though it could be one of the most closely contested events of the weekend. Sommer Lecky’s (Finn Valley) PB of 1.90 ranks her second on the all-time list and the Finn Valley star has looked to be finding her form at the right time of the season once again. Lecky’s season’s best is 1.83 and with another 5 athletes having already clearing 1.74 this season, the competition is sure to come down to the wire. Philippa Rogan (Sli Cualann), Daena Kealy (St Abbans), and Ava Rochford (Nenagh Olympic) all boast SBs of 1.77+ and will be in contention.
WORLD INDOOR FINALIST IN ACTION
The 2022 World Indoor Championship Finalist, Sarah Lavin, will be the favourite to take that top spot in the 110mH. Lavin has been pulling out stellar performances at each and every race this season, most recently at the Madrid meeting where she came second setting a new PB of 12.93, closing in on O’Rourke’s national record of 12.65.
Also in medal contention in the women’s hurdles will be Kate Doherty (DSD AC) and Sarah Quinn (St Coleman South Mayo AC) who both look to be coming into top form at the right time of the season. Lucy McGlynn (Tír Chonaill A.C.), Niamh O’Neill (St Coleman’s AC) and Lucy May Sleeman (Leevale AC) are three who are sure to run well.
Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick on Shannon AC) will look to make it 6 national titles in a row in the men’s 110mH. Matthew Behan of Crusaders once again looks the one to challenge O’Donnell, while Clonliffe’s multi eventer Rolus Olusa is sure to be battling it out for the podium.
200M TO REPEAT 2021 TRACK THRILLS
The Men’s 200m is set to be one of the most hotly contested events of the weekend as Olympians and emerging stars go head-to-head. Olympian Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers) is set to lead the competition but will have a battle on his hands with fellow Olympian Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) and Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock AC) also taking to the start line.
Lawler has had a strong season so far with season best of 20.75 at the start of the month while competing in Spain. McDonnell has been on fire this season with a series of stellar performances secured coming into these championships, last month the Galway native secured a new PB of 20.51 while competing at the IFAM Oordegem in Belgium. Smyth is set to debut in the 200m this season but has been enjoying 100m success leading into the championships.
200m record holder, Rhasidat Adeleke, and 2021 champion Phil Healy will be focusing on the 100m and 400m respectively, which opens the door for a new 200m champion in 2022. Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) has been in sparkling form this season and will be one of the leading contenders if doubling up (also contender for 400m). Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton) is entered once again having ran a super race in the 2021 final, while Roisin Harrison (Emerald AC) and Lucy May Sleeman (Leevale) will come here on the back of a consistent run of performances.
SHOT PUTTERS SET TO DUKE IT OUT
Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrock) is back in national championship action, having set new records in both the indoor (19.84m) and outdoor (20.20m) earlier this year. The Raheny star is sure to be pushed all the way by Finn Valley's John Kelly.
Kelly, who will be on competing on Irish soil after a series of international competition, has gone from strength to strength, breaking the 19m barrier in recent months with a new PB of 19.57m. The Donegal native will be one to watch as his development is set to bridge an even stronger rivalry with the Raheny Shamrock star.
The Men’s Long Jump will be heavily dominated by Shane Howard (Bandon AC), Sam Healy (Leevale AC), Reece Ademola (Leevale AC) and Ben Fisher (City of Lisburn AC). Each of these athletes have had busy season reaching over 7.40m. Howard is the favourite for top spot after having a strong outdoor season start, reaching 7.44m last month while competing in Florida, shy of his 7.71m PB.
Closing out the field events on Day 1 of this year’s Championships will be the Men’s Weight for Height competition. Sean Mockler (Moycarkey Coolcroo AC), John Dwyer (Templemore AC) and Pierce McManus (Galway City Harriers) are all in contention for top spot.
ENDURANCE AND RELAY ENCORE
The women’s 5000m will be the penultimate final of the day come 5pm. Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC), Aoife Kilgallon (Sligo AC), and Aoife O’Cuill (St Cocas AC) are all entered, while the in-form Ciara Hickey (Brothers Pearse AC) has looked impressive in recent road races.
The heats of the 400m, 400mH, and 1500m precede relay fever which sets in from 6.55pm, with the finals of the men’s and women’s 4x100m sure to provide fans with a final feast of track action.
Other strong contenders for a podium finish include as well as the Nic Dhomhnaill sisters Ide and Sorcha (Donore Harriers), and Nakita Burke (Letterkenny AC) who came third at last year’s championships.
Drawing day 1 of the 150th Edition of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track & Field Championships to a close will be an intense 4x100m Relays with twenty clubs represented. The relay action will follow on from an intense round of heats across the 400m and 1500m.
STAR STUDDED SUNDAY
Sunday is set to be a bumper day of finals action, starting with the men’s 10,000m walk final which will see Olympian David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley AC) return to competitive action. Kenny will be dropping back in distance having posted a massive 1.19.44 PB (20k) in April on his way to securing European and World qualification standards. That performance saw Kenny take over 3 minutes off his PB and ranks as the second fastest time ever posted by an Irish athlete, second only to Robert Heffernan’s 1:19:22 NR (Cheboksary 10 May 2008). Callum Lewis Wilkinson (Togher A.C.), and the young up and coming Mullingar Harriers pair of Matthew Glennon and Oisin Lane should go well.
Action then turns to the heats of the 100m before Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) returns to national competition where she will look to make it 6 titles in 7 years in the women’s 5000m walk final.
Olympian Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) will be out on her own in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase as her rival Eilish Flanagan (Carmen Runner AC) is absent from the track. The Cork woman came within touching distance of her PB 2:29.5 while competing in Germany and will be on the hunt to go one better this weekend.
Action will continue aplenty in the field events, with Eoin Sheridan of Clonliffe sure to go well in the discus having posted a 53.52m best already this year. Niamh Fogarty (Raheny Shamrock) will for gold in the women’s event having posted a brilliant 53.95 already this season which ranks third on the Irish all-time list (NR Patricia Walsh 57.60m).
Kate O’Connor will have a busy weekend if taking up all her entries and should go well in the javelin having posted an Irish leading throw of 51.20 already this season. The men’s event looks tougher to call, with Conor Cusack (Lake District Athletics) and Gareth Crawford (Lifford Strabane) each boasting throws over 66m this season.
The men’s pole vault competition should be just as enthralling as the women’s event which takes place a day previous. Sean Roth holds the season leading clearance of 5.33 but won’t be in action following his exploits stateside. It should ensure a superb jump off between rivals Matthew Callinan Keenan (SLOT), Conor Callinan (Leevale), and Michael Bowler (Ennicorthy AC) come Sunday afternoon, undoubtedly buoyed by a return of full crows in Morton Stadium.
150TH EDITION JUVENILE RUN
National competition will pause for a short period at 4.30pm as juveniles from all over Ireland take to the track to complete a 150m run to mark the 150th edition of these championships. All in attendance are asked to get behind our stars of the future as the help us mark this historic occasion.
Double Olympian Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) will look to make it 8 national senior steeplechase titles when she takes to the track at 5pm. Finn, who is the current Irish record holder (9.36.94) looks the standout competitor in the field in the absence of Eilish Flanagan (Carmen Runners AC).
Live RTE coverage will start at 6.05pm, with the men’s 5000m set to prove an appropriate opener to the live broadcast. There are 77 entries for the men’s 5000m and the ‘A final’ looks set to be a thriller.
The field looks deep and podium places are sure to be still up from grabs coming into the closing laps. Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers), Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC), and Hiko Tonosa (DSD AC) are sure to be among the leading contenders. Paul Robinson (St Cocas) is also down to run, but also holds an entry for the 1500m. McElhinney boasts the fastest track 5000m this season (13:17.17 NU23R), while Gidey has been on fire on the road race scene in recent weeks, clocking 28.15 over 10k in Dunshaughlin recently to add to his national road 5k title which he secured last month (13.51). Both athletes will have to be on top of their game to topple Tonosa who claimed a remarkable 5,000m and 10,000m double at last year’s edition of these championships.
The 400m hurders are on track from 6.40pm. The women’s 400mH final provided one of the races of the championships in 2021 with Kelly McGrory (Tír Chonaill A.C.) and Deirdre Murray going stride for stride to the finish. McGrory left everything on the track to claim gold on that occasion and looks among the leading contenders once again having clocked at 57.84 in recent weeks. Nessa Millet (St Abbans) posted a 57.82 earlier this month and is sure to give McGrory most to do, while Lucy McGlynn (Tír Chonaill AC) and Deirdre Murray (Na Fianna AC) will also look to break the 1-minute mark in the pursuit of gold.
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) will be looking to make it 10 national titles in men’s 400mH. The Irish NR holder (47.97) will look to sharpen as he builds for a huge outdoor season. The hurdling stars of the future in St Laurence O’Toole pair of Jack Mitchell and Alan Miley are sure to be in contention for the podium, while Cathal Locke (Dooneen AC) has looked impressive already this season and will be looking to better his SB of 52.25.
TWO LAP WONDERS
The women’s 800m division continues to provide standout performances, doubling down on the success of the division over the last 2 years. Olympian Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) produced the run of her life to secure a new Irish 800m record of 1:59:42 at the Irish Milers Club Meet back in May and looks the one to beat. Claire Mooney (Naas AC), Jenna Bromell (Emerald AC), and Georgie Hartigan (Dundrum South Dublin AC) will no doubt ensure another blanket finish in what can often be a tactically run race.
The men’s 800m could be the race of the day on Sunday. Kildare’s John Fitzsimons is back to defend his national title which he secured in such dramatic fashion last year. Fitzsimons has continued where he left off last year and has already posted an Irish leading 1:45.66 this season. Mark English (Finn Valley) will be looking to dethrone the Kildare athlete and claim his 8th 800m title in the process. Harry Purcell (Trim AC) took to the 2020 title and has looked back to his best in recent weeks, claiming victory over Nick Griggs over 800m last week.
RELAY STARS COLLIDE
Three of the top 6 fastest ever Irish women over 400 could potentially clash in the final of the 400m, with recent Irish 4x400m teammates Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock), and Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) all set to go in Saturday’s heats. Roisin Harrison (Emerald AC) was also a member of the recent 4 x 400m team and will be another to watch out for.
Healy took the 2021 title with a very controlled performance and will likely need to target a similar time to her 51.82SB to retain the title in what looks a high class line-up (Becker clocked 51.83 last month).
Cillin Grenne (Galway City Harriers AC) denied Christopher O’Donnell (North Sligo AC) the four in a row with a huge performance in the men’s 400m last year. Green continues to recovery from injury which opens the door for O’Donnell to retain his crown on the back of his 45.26 PB in Madrid last week which secured the standard for the European Championships later this summer. O’Donnell will be looking to make it 4 titles in 5 years. Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers) also holds an entry in the 400m and will likely run O’Donnell closest, while Jack Raferty of Donore Harriers cannot be ruled out after a string of impressive performances this season
The sprint events have been all about the young stars of Irish athletics in recent months. The star of Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) continues to shine, with the double European U20 gold medallist now boasting the Irish senior record at 60m, 200m 300m, and 400m.
Adeleke claimed a PB 11.27 (+2.4) for 100m in April and will be one of the main attractions for athletics fans during the evening session. Phil Healy’s current Irish 100m record stands at 11.28 and 19-year old Adeleke is sure to threaten the time again given the right conditions.
It’s unlikely to be a procession however, with the record braking Molly Scott (St. L. O'Toole A.C.) entered as she looks to go one better than last year’s second place finish. Adeyemi Talabi (Longford AC) clocked an 11.44 stateside earlier this season and the young sprinter could be one to keep an eye on if safely negotiating the morning heats.
Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) is moving ever closer to Irish 100m record, having clocked 10.27 this season (Paul Hession NR 10.18). He looks the one to beat in the men’s 100m as he looks to defend his 2021 title.
Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) will be one to go close, with the 19-year-old posting a 10.43 already this season. Olatunde’s training partner, Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght AC) should also be bang there having set a 10.44PB earlier this month.
Sarah Healy (UCD AC) claimed her first senior outdoor 1500m title last year and looks the one to beat having continued on from the form which saw her compete at the Tokyo Olympics last year. Healy broke Sonia O’Sullivan’s 1991 Irish U23 record this season in 4:02.86 (4th all time) and will be looking for a truly run race once again. Claire Mooney and Georgie Hartigan are also entered in the 1500m and will be two of the likely podium contenders if doubling up (also entered 800m).
The men’s 1500 proved a tactical race last year, and we could be set for more of the same with several athletes having their eyes on gold. Luke Mccann (UCD AC) clocked a 3:36.93 in May and comes her in sparkling form, while 2020 champion Paul Robinson (St Cocas AC) is never someone who can be ruled out. Nicholas Griggs of Mid Ulster AC continues excite Irish athletics fans and it will be intriguing to see where the double European U20 gold medallist will be positioned come the final bell on Sunday.
Action from the 150th edition of these championships closes with the 4x400m relays, an event that continues to grow in popularity across Ireland, buoyed by recent international successes.