Robinson’s Return: thrilling 1500m highlights excellent nationals


Robinson's Return: thrilling 1500m highlights excellent nationals

Paul Robinson (St Coca’s) won a thrilling finish in the men’s 1500m from Sean Tobin (Clonmel) in 3:43.90 to 3:43.92 to highlight the Irish Life Health National Senior & U23 Athletics Championships today (August 23).

Sean Tobin made a brave bid for victory from the gun and got a big gap on the field and split the field. Robinson had to eventually cover and reel him in which he did with 100m to go and it looked like Tobin’s fate was sealed. The Clonmel man responded with 50m to go and it was shoulder to shoulder to the finish – a lunge from Robinson got the win and years of frustration through injury were washed away.

Day 2 started with multi-event heroine, Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s Dundalk), winning the javelin with 49.24m that also gave her the gold medal in the U23 age group. Aoibhinn McMahon (Blackrock) was second with 37.72m and Ciara McHugh Murphy (Claremorris) third with 36.73m.

O’Connor had a sharp turnaround for the high jump where Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley) continued her winning streak with a best of 1.79m – and U23 gold. Sixteen-year-old Aoife O’Sullivan (Liscarroll) was second with a best of 1.76m and O’Connor (St Gerard’s Dundalk) third with a best clearance of 1.73m.  

In the men’s high jump, David Cussen (Old Abbey), impressed with a  2.17m personal best clearance. Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea) made a welcome return to competition to win silver with 2.05m and Ciaran Connolly (Le Cheile) was third, and first U23, with 2.00m. There was good depth in the competition with a number of athletes clearing 1.95m.

It was a fourth javelin title for Stephen Rice (Clonliffe Harriers) in what was a vicious enough crosswind throwing a best of 72.73m. Conor Cusack (Lake District) had a good second with 62.96m, just ahead of Rory Gunning (Clonliffe Harriers) with 62.16m.

Nessa Millet (St Abban’s) was a strong winner of the women’s 400m hurdles in 59.52 to retain. her title. Karen Dunne (Bohermeen) went from fourth to second with a strong finish in 61.42 while Niamh Malone won the bronze, and the U23 title, in 61.55.

Matthew Behan’s (Crusaders) celebration said it all in the men’s 400m hurdles. Predominantly a 110m hurdler to date the Crusaders man had a breakthrough run clocking 52.7 with Cathal Locke (Dooneen) second and

Darragh McEhlinney (UCD) was in superb form to win gold on the double, senior and U23, in 13:56.00 as he tracked the front-running tactics of John Travers (Donore Harriers) until the last 200m. Travers opened a gap on the inside and McElhinney pounced powerfully for gold with the Donore Harrier having to settle for second in 13:57.11. It was a fine win for McElhinney in his first year out of the U20 age category. Similarly, Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers), just out of U20 rounded out the podium with 14:17.89.

Phil Healy (Bandon) felt she was left in the blocks but her strength came through to win the women’s 100m in 11.71. Sarah Lavin (Emerald) came through strongly also for second in 11.83. Joan Healy (Leevale) ran 11.85 to edge Molly Scott (SLOT) who was an agonising fourth having led for the first half of the race and also finished on 11.85 but was slower in the thousandths of a second.

Stephen Gaffney (UCD) was a powerful winner of the men’s 100m title in 10.63 from Marcus Lawler (SLOT) in 10.79 and Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim) in 10.81.  

Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock) held on at the finish to win the women’s 400m in 54.06 from Grainne Moynihan (West Muskerry) in 54.22 with Rachel McCann (North Down) third in 55.81.

Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo) won the men’s 400m with a strong last 100m in 47.12. Andrew Mellon (Crusaders) who ran a hard 300m to give himself a chance of victory but had to settle for second in  47.35 with Paul Murphy (Ferrybank) having a fine run in third in 47.64.

Top 3 results

Irish Life Health National Senior & U23 Athletics Championships Day 1 & 2



Phil Healy (Bandon) 11.71, 2. Sarah Lavin (Emerald) 11.83, 3. Joan Healy (Leevale) 11.85


Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock) 54.06, 2. Grainne Moynihan (West Muskerry) 54.22, 3. Rachel McCann (North Down) 55.81


Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald) 4:21.51, 2. Iseult O’Donnell (Raheny Shamrock) 4:23.18, 3. Ellie Hartnett (UCD) 4:23.20

400m hurdles

Nessa Millet (St Abban’s) 59.52, 2. Karen Dunne (Bohermeen) 61.42, 3. Niamh Malone U23 (Monaghan Phoenix) 61.55


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

High jump

Sommer Lecky U23 (Finn Valley) 1.79m, 2. Aoife O’Sullivan (Liscarroll) 1.76m, 3. Kate O’Connor U23 (St Gerard’s Dundalk) 1.73m  

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


Kate O’Connor U23 (St Gerard’s Dundalk) 49.24m, 2. Aoibhin McMahon (Blackrock) 37.72m, 3. Ciara McHugh Murphy (Claremorris) 36.73m



Stephen Gaffney (UCD) 10.63, 2. Marcus Lawler (SLOT) 10.79, 3. Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim) 10.81


Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo) 47.12, 2. Andrew Mellon (Crusaders) 47.35, 3. Paul Murphy (Ferrybank) 47.64


Paul Robinson (St Coca’s) 3:43.90, 2. Sean Tobin (Clonmel) 3:43.92, 3. Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea) 3:48.40


Darragh McEhlinney U23 (UCD) 13:56.00, 2. John Travers (Donore Harriers) 13:57.11, 3. Efrem Gidey U23 (Clonliffe Harriers) 14:17.89

U20 5,000m

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

400m hurdles

Matthew Behan (Crusaders) 52.47, 2. Cathal Locke U23 (Doonen) 52.75, 3. Jason Harvey (Crusaders)

High jump

David Cussen (Old Abbey) 2.17m, 2. Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea) 2.05m, 3. Ciaran Connolly U23 (Le Cheile) 2.00m

Long jump

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


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


Stephen Rice (Clonliffe Harriers) 72.73m, 2. Conor Cusack (Lake District) 62.96m, 3. Rory Gunning (Clonliffe Harriers) 62.16m

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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