Ciara Mageean signals intent with a new Irish record
PORTAFERRY athlete Ciara Mageean sent out a message that she is going to be a contender at this summer’s European Athletics Championships when she set a new Irish record in the 1500m at the Karlsruhe Indoor meeting in Germany.
Mageean’s time of 4:08.66 took over two seconds off the previous mark set by Sinead Delahunty (now Evans) in New York over 16 years ago.
Ethiopia’s Axumawit Embaye won the race in 4:08.22 from Germany’s European Junior cross country champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen who was second in 4:08.38.
“(I’m) happy with my first race of 2016,” said the UCD student. “Plenty to learn from this though, next race I’ll be stronger and smarter.”
Although the former Down camóg referred to Karlsruhe as being her first race this year, she did have a warm-up run over 800m in Athlone in January when she clocked an impressive solo 2:04.90 against limited opposition.
Across the Atlantic at the Armory Track Invitational in New York, John Coghlan finished eighth over 3000m in 8:15.75, John Travers was also eighth in the mile in 4:02.47 after running three-quarters of the race with one shoe and Sara Treacy was 11th over 3000m in 9:26.88.
Meanwhile, some of the North’s top track exponents were in action yesterday at the AAI Games in Athlone. Amy Foster opened her winter campaign with a flourish by winning the 60m in 7.38, easily beating the Healy sisters Phil (7.43) and Joan (7.47).
The City of Lisburn athlete returned to the track a short while later to clock 7.33 in a second 60m race. That was a mere hundredth of a second outside her best set at the same venue two years ago.
Ballymena & Antrim’s Christine McMahon scorched to a victory in the 400m with a swift 54.82 timing ahead City of Lisburn’s Erin McIlveen (56.61) and Katie Kirk (58.60).
The latter pair had earlier run in the 800m with Kirk (2:08.49) finishing second and McIlveen (2:08.63) fifth. World Masters’ champion Kelly Neely took third in 2:07.85.
Shercock’s Craig Lynch led an Ulster clean sweep of the podium places in the men’s 60m with a 6.89s timing. That edged out Ballymena’s Jon Browning by a hundredth of a second with Dean Adams third in 6.95. Browning improved to 6.87 in a second 60m held later in the afternoon.
There was a double in the field by City of Lisburn athletes with Ellen McCarthy taking the pole vault with a 3.0m clearance while a 5.19m effort was good enough for Karen Dumigan to win the long jump.
Pre-race favourites David O’Flaherty and Brendan Teer fought out the Rollercoaster 5K in Downpatrick with the Newcastle athlete getting the better of East Down’s Teer by 21 seconds in 16:35. Dromore’s Rebecca Henderson was the winner of women’s race in 19:03.
North Belfast Harrier Mark McKinstry took the spoils in the Run Forest Run Antrim Castle 10k by 10 seconds in 31:46 after a dingdong battle with William McKee. Laura Graham continued her domination of the women’s races in the series with a comfortable victory in 36:02.
The North’s top two male marathon runners were in road action in England at Chichester Priory 10K with Paul Pollock winning in 29:42 and Kevin Seaward fifth in 29:59.