Middle Distance Review – National Senior Track and Field Championships

Men’s 800m

All the talk going into the Men’s 800m final centred on the battle between Mark English (Finn Valley AC) and John Fitzsimmons (Kildare AC). Fitzsimmons led the Irish season list for 2022 marginally ahead of English. The race was ran at a reasonably honest pace and with 150m to go English and Fitzsimmons began to pull away. There was a great battle up the home straight with English just pulling away in the last 50m to win yet another national senior title. Mark Milner (UCD AC) won the battle for bronze, just seeing off the challenge of Harry Purcell (Trim AC).

Mark English of Finn Valley AC, Donegal, celebrates winning the men's 800m during day two of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships 2022 at Morton Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Women’s 800m

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The Women’s 800m was controlled and won by Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC). The Cork woman retained her title with relative ease, leading from the start. The athletes went through 400m in only 70 seconds, suiting Shanahan who was always unlikely to be outkicked. With 200m to go Shanahan put on the afterburners and claimed national glory in a time of 2.10.90. Jenna Bromell (Emerald AC) took the silver medal, while Claire Mooney (Naas AC) held off Olympian Sarah Healy (UCD AC) to take bronze.

Men’s 1500m

The Men’s 1500m was also ran at quite a pedestrian pace early on with all athletes in contention with 600m to go. It was at that point that Mitchell Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF) made a move and made a long kick for home. Unfortunately for Byrne and despite his efforts he couldn’t sustain his solo effort and got swallowed up with 200m to go when Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) took the lead. Doyle pulled away in the home straight to win his first national senior title. Shane Bracken (Swinford AC) ran a superb last 100m to go from fifth to second, while the experienced Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC) finished third. Luke McCann (UCD AC) and Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) were not amongst the medallists.

Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers AC, Dublin, celebrates winning the men's 1500m during day two of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships 2022 at Morton Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
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Women’s 1500m

The Women’s 1500m was extremely open on paper with Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham WSAF) leading the entrants with a 4.17 clocking this season. The race was essentially jogged by the athletes up until 400m to go when they hit the bell in 3.37. A breakaway group of five pulled away with 150m to go, with Sweeney showing her credentials as the fastest in the field to take the title. Maisy O’Sullivan (St. Abban’s AC) who had the fastest PB in the field got up for silver, while Niamh Markham (Ennis Track AC) who has had a remarkable 2022 outdoor season took bronze.

Carla Sweeney of Rathfarnham WSAF AC, Dublin, celebrates winning the women's 1500m during day two of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships 2022 at Morton Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
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