Jason Williamsz the winner of Le Chéile International in Leixlip
AUSTRALIAN Jordan Williamsz was the winner of the feature 1,500m event at the Le Chéile International in Leixlip, county Kildare.
The Villanova graduate came with a strong run off the final bend to hold off Kildare man Paul Robinson in 3:43.16, equivalent to just outside four minutes for the mile. Guest of honour at the meeting was Ronnie Delany, who was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his Olympic 1,500m gold medal in Melbourne, coincidentally the home city of Williamz.
Robinson, on the way back from a serious foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2015 season, took second in 3:43.43. Raheny Shamrock Kieran Kelly took chunks off his personal best with a 3:43.50 timing in third, ahead of last year’s winner Tom Lancashire. In fifth place, Bohermeen’s Kevin McGrath set his second national U18 record in little over a week, with a 3:46.14 clocking to add to his 800m mark at the Morton Games.
The women’s 1,500m saw an impressive victory for Queen’s University student Emma Mitchell, who followed some impeccable pacing by Masters champion Kelly Reid on the opening laps: “It’s good to see her reaping rewards of the hard training that she has put in,” said Mitchell’s coach Eamonn Christie.
“But I’m hoping that Emma can take a few more seconds off before the end of the season.”
The Banbridge woman took up the running at the bell and quickly built up an unassailable lead, before breaking the tape well clear in 4:18.66. Katie Kirk came through to make it a northern one-two in 4:22.38. Ballymena & Antrim continued a memorable season by winning the women’s in 56.97 seconds. That was too hot for Canadian visitor Sarah Wells (57.86), although the men’s 400m hurdles did go abroad, with Spanish athlete Sergio Fernandez breaking the tape in 50.43.
NI international Leon Reid raced to a smooth double in the sprints, with creditable times of 10.67 and 21.26 despite running into a strong headwind on both occasions. David Gillick continued a successful comeback with a win in the 400m in 47.02 seconds: “Last race of a very enjoyable season,” tweeted Gillick afterwards.
Kiwi Kat Marshall set a new stadium record in winning the women’s 800m in 2:04.13, with City of Lisburn’s Kelly Neely fourth in 2:05.99. Glaslough Harrier Conor Duffy also impressed with a runner-up spot in the men’s 3,000m, with an 8:21.38 timing. Springwell’s Neil Johnston took third in 8:23.90.
Aiden Callaghan was the winner of Sunday’s Danny McDaid, with suggestions the runners may have covered an extra 250 metres due to an error by a marshal. The 24/7 triathlon club member covered the distance in 52:45 to put him home 34 seconds clear of Rosses runner Ciaran McGonagle. Michael Black took third in 53:59.
Another 24/7 triathlete, Natasha Kelly, won a tight women’s race, with the first five finishers coming across the line in under two minutes. Kelly recorded 66:23 to see off the challenges of Foyle Valley’s Denise Ward (67:01) and Finn Valley’s Eimear McDermott (67:34).