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Weekend Round-Up: Irish records tumble in action-packed weekend of athletics

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Two Irish records fell on what was yet another action-packed weekend of athletics. Rory Cassidy, Irish Runner Editor, takes a look back at the weekend that was.

Irish records fall

It was a weekend to remember for Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea A.C.) and Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) who both broke Irish records.

Competing in Boston on Friday night at the BU John Thomas Terrier Classic, the 27-year-old Dubliner clocked a time of 13.12.56, to finish seventh in a race won by South African Adriaan Wildschutt in 12.56.76.

The performance takes over four seconds off the previous record that his training partner Brian Fay had also set in Boston in December 2022.

Last year Coscoran, who is coached by Feidhlim Kelly, broke the Irish 1500m indoor and outdoor records.

Fay was also in action in the same race and finished tenth in 13.17.21.

At the same meet Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s A.C.), Thomas Moran (Dunshauglin A.C.), Oisin O’Gailin (Finn Valley A.C.) and Shane Bracken (Swinford A.C.) all broke four minutes for the mile.

Robinson’s time of 3.57.11 was a new indoor personal best, while it was the first time that Moran had broken the four-minute barrier.

Harry Purcell (Trim A.C.) ran a PB in the 800m finishing in 1.49.22.

Paul O’Donnell (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) broke eight minutes for the first time in the 3000m finishing in 7.59.71.

The following day saw Lauren Cadden (Sligo A.C.) set a new PB in the 400m crossing the line in second in 54.51.

Cara Laverty (Finn Valley A.C.) ran the Women’s Mile in 4.44.48, while Laura Mooney (Tullamore Harriers A.C.) and Niamh O’Mahony (An Riocht A.C.) both broke 17 minutes in the 5000m clocking times of 16.19.98 and 16.48.27 respectively.

Favors extended his own Irish senior indoor Shot Put record throwing a best of 20.18m at the World Indoor Tour meet in the Astana, Kazakhstan to add two centimetres to his previous record that he had set in February 2023.

The 27-year-old finished third overall with Great Britain’s Scott Lincoln taking victory with a best throw of 20.81m.

Sarah Lavin (Emerald A.C.) and Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) were also in action at the meet.

Lavin finished third in the 60m Hurdles setting new personal bests in both the semi-final and final.

The Limerick native clocked 7.93 in the semi-final, improving her personal best by 0.01 second, before taking another 0.02 second off that in the final as she crossed the line in 7.91.

Lavin is now edging ever closer to Derval O’Rourke’s national record of 7.84 that has stood since 2006.

Sophie Becker placed second in her event with the Wexford native completing the 400m in 53.19.

Other Irish athletes in action in Europe

Nick Griggs (Candour Track Club) just missed out on setting a new Irish U23 indoor 3000m record on Sunday evening.

Racing at Meeting de l’Eure in France, the 19-year-old from Tyrone clocked a time of 7.45.94 to finish third, just 0.03 of a second outside Darragh McElhinney’s record.

“It’s a good run, a big PB. I’m just a bit disappointed that the pace didn’t keep going but I can’t complain about that if I wanted the pace to keep going, I could have taken it on. I’m relatively happy overall,” he said when speaking afterwards.

At the Meeting Elite Nantes, Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley A.C.) finished third in the Women’s High Jump with a 1.81m clearance.

Israel Olatunde (U.C.D. A.C.) finished sixth in his 60m heat in 6.90.

Moving to Spain where the Míting Internacional De Catalunya featured several Irish athletes. Amongst them was Georgie Hartigan (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) who recorded her fastest indoor 800m time since February 2021 as she finished fifth in 2.04.51.

In the Women’s 60m Sarah Leahy (Killarney Valley A.C.) finished second in the final in 7.41, with Mollie O’Reilly (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) eighth in 7.59. O’Reilly had advanced to the final with a 7.55 season’s best.

In the Men’s 60m neither Christopher Sibanda (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.), Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght A.C.) or Gabriel Kehinde (Ennis Track A.C.) advanced to the final.

Solid performances at AAI Games

Closer to home at the AAI Games in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena, two Olympians were in action.

Louise Shanahan (Leevale A.C.) won the Women’s 800m in 2.04.25, while Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers) won the 400m in 47.58 and also his heat of the 200m in an indoor personal best of 21.41.

National record holder Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) was the fastest over the one lap event on the day clocking 21.34.

Teenager Adam Nolan (St Laurence O’Toole A.C.) moved to ninth on the Irish All-Time list in the 60m Hurdles, with a blistering time of 7.98 seconds.

On Sunday at the same venue Lara O’Byrne (Donore Harriers A.C.) and Jack Forde (St. Killian’s A.C.) were crowned senior champions at the National Indoor Combined Events Championships.

Axa Raheny 5 Mile sees record numbers

The Axa Raheny 5 Mile was the main attraction on the roads at the weekend with nearly 4500 finishers.

Ryan Creech (Leevale A.C.) retained the Men’s title in 23.58, while Shona Heaslip (An Riocht A.C.) took the Women’s title in 26.11.

“It was a good blowout, good race, great atmosphere so I’m very happy. This is the big one everyone wants to win each year so to do it back-to-back is great,” Creech said when speaking to Irish Runner’s Frank Greally after the race.

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