Sarah Lavin (Emerald A.C.) produced her best ever performance on Irish soil on Friday night in tough conditions at a memorable Morton Games in Santry.
The Limerick woman faced a cold evening, wet track, and a gusting headwind but even that couldn’t stop her from delivering in front of a delighted home crowd.
Lavin, who has evidently worked hard on her start, got away well, and didn’t relent, storming to the finish in 12.79, to take victory in the Women’s 100m Hurdles.
The time, which is a new stadium record, is the second fastest of her career to date, behind only the 12.73 she ran to finish second at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting earlier this month.
The Tokyo Olympian is in excellent form as she heads into the vital part of her season. She will race next weekend at the Meeting Madrid in Spain, before returning to Ireland for the 123.ie National Senior Track and Field Championships.
The World Athletics Championships next month in Budapest however are no doubt to the forefront of her mind.
Another athlete who will hope to join her in Budapest is John Fitzsimons (Kildare A.C.).
Fitzsimons finished strongly to edge the Men’s 800m on Friday, beating Bram Buigel of the Netherlands in a time of 1.46.55.
The 25-year-old currently sits in a quota spot for Budapest and has the Athletics Ireland ‘B’ standard.
“The goal was to win. It didn’t matter how fast or slow the race was,” he told Irish Runner.
“I bided my time, waited for the last 100m and finished strong.”
Griggs breaks Irish U20 Mile record at Morton Games
Nick Griggs (Candour Track Club) also continued his remarkable progression, finishing third in the Morton Mile in 3.55.73.
The time is yet another new Irish U20 record for the talented 18-year-old from Tyrone who has his eyes set on retaining the European U20 title he won over 3000m two years ago at the beginning of next month in Jerusalem.
“I’m buzzing, it was an unbelievable race,” he said.
“It was a strange one. It went out hard, but it obviously slowed. I came away with a decent time. I would’ve liked a wee bit quicker but the way the race panned out with the conditions I know there’s a lot more in the tank.”
Griggs will return to action on Thursday over 1500m in Switzerland.
Chris O’Donnell (Sligo A.C.) showed signs that he is returning to his best with a 45.89 season’s best to finish second in the Men’s 400m.
“It was nice to get a really clean race. That kind of felt like my first proper race of the season. I finished strong, that’s been lacking in a few races so far. I’m sure I’ll just get better from here.”
In the Men’s 5000m, Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers A.C.) ran the race of his life to clock a thirteen second PB and finish second.
Dalton, who is now back in Ireland after a couple of years at the University of Tulsa, ran an impressive time of 13.27.81, to cross the line in second.
Darragh McElhinney (U.C.D. A.C.) had to be content with a third place finish, faltering in the last lap.
“I knew I was on for a big PB. I was feeling it in the last 2k, it was tough,” an ecstatic Dalton said after the race.
“I’m delighted. It’s a massive day for me.”
After a successful meeting this year, the Morton Games is expected to return once more next July.