There were impressive victories in the hurdle’s finals for Sarah Lavin, Matthew Behan, Kelly McGrory, and Thomas Barr. Here’s a review of the action.
Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) was a comfortable winner of the Women’s 100m Hurdles. The Limerick native was running into a -5m/s headwind and appeared to ease up before crossing the line in 14.06s. Kate Doherty (Dundrum South Dublin AC) was a clear winner of the silver medal, with Sarah Quinn (St. Coleman’s South Mayo AC) just seeing off the challenge of Lucy McGlynn (Tír Chonaill AC) to win bronze.
“It was really, really windy. Hurdlers hate wind but particularly when its in our face. I don’t think I ever remember conditions like this in any competition ever but it’s the joys of it. I’m so grateful, this time last year I needed a really good performance at Nationals to qualify for Tokyo, I’m in a much better position this year and I wasn’t relying on points today,” Lavin told Irish Runner after her victory.
The multiple time National champion will now compete in Stockholm tomorrow evening before returning to Dublin to compete in the Morton Games on Saturday evening.
Matthew Behan (Crusaders AC) won his first ever National title in the 110m Hurdles narrowly seeing off the challenge of Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick-on-Shannon AC) in extremely testing conditions O’Donnell was aiming to take the title for the sixth consecutive year, but Behan had other ideas. Running into a -8.3m/s wind, the Dubliner took the title clocking 15.61s with O’Donnell just 0.02s behind. David Dagg (Dundrum South Dublin AC) got up for third.
Women’s 400m Hurdles
All the talk going into the Women’s 400m Hurdles final was of the battle between Kelly McGrory (Tír Chonaill AC) and Nessa Millet (St. Abban’s AC). The athletes had been separated by a mere 0.02s on Season’s Bests in advance of the weekend.
The race delivered with McGrory and Millet matching each other stride for stride for much of it, with the Donegal woman pulling away with only two hurdles remaining. McGrory crossed the line in 57.22s, taking over 0.6s off her PB, which only lasted one week. Millet won silver in 58.08s, while McGrory’s clubmate, eighteen-year-old Lucy McGlynn took bronze in 60.00s.
Men’s 400m Hurdles
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) had just watched his partner Kelly McGrory take gold in the Women’s race and the Waterford man was looking to emulate her success. Barr had returned to action in the heats on Saturday after an absence of nearly six weeks due to injury.
He didn’t have it all his own way on Sunday, with Jack Mitchell (St. Laurence O’Toole AC) and Thomas Pitkin (Clonliffe Harriers) pushing him until about 150m to go when he pulled clear. Barr crossed the line in 50.37s to take a tenth National senior title. Both Mitchell and Pitkin ran new PB’s to earn their places on the podium with 51.64s and 51.93s respectively, suggesting that Barr could well face stiffer competition in the years ahead.