Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Resurgent Lavin Moves To AIT

Sarah Lavin continued her resurgent season with her second fastest indoor time when finising 5th in Ghent in Belgium on Saturday night. Her time of 8.29 is only 0.04 off her PB and tonight she will have a chance to challenge that home soil at the AIT International. She will have the world class Sharika Nelvis and Kritsi Castlin for company as well as a strong contingent of overseas low 8 second hurdlers.

Action is live on, Sky Channel 191 from 7pm.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Top Irish Allround Sprinter

Track and Field News regularly do the top allround sprinter across the 100-200-400 and recently Jon Mulkeen (aka @Statman_Jon on Twitter) did an update. It is time for an Irish version. So, men first.

It is Paul McKee who is the man. He just edges Derek O'Connor, one time holder of all three records, and Gary Ryan who was more focused on 100/200 but dabled in the 400 (and was a World Indoor 4 x 400 medalist). David Gillick's 200m is probably his achilles heel as his 400m is by far and away the top scorer per the IAAF Scoring charts. Paul Hession never did a 400m while there is no legal 100m for Brian Gregan on the records. Interesting to see Gordon Kennedy popping in there in 6th. A low 47 400m would put Marcus Lawler at #1.

Points based off latest IAAF Scoring Tables.

It is a first draft so any changes/errors contact

Viva Espana With Antonio

Antonio Garcia Fernandez maintained his unbeaten Irish season, just about, when edging the Men's 60H in the IUAA championship in AIT. The Spanaird, based in DCU, clocked a PB and took Ian McDonald's IUAA record with 8.13.

There was much excitement about the crop of 2015 juniors and their progression to senior and Matthew Behan had a very smooth transition with his 8.14 yesterday. It puts him straight into the #12 slot on the Irish All-Time rankings. Another transitioning was Garbhan McKenna who claimed 3rd in 8.32. Long hurdler Paul Byrne was 4th in 8.40 while Adam Hill was 5th in 8.58. Oisin Fitzparick was 6th in 8.77 meaning 5 of the top 6 all got a PB. 

Should be a cracking senior indoors in two weeks - if they all turn up. 

O'Hora Claims Big IUAA Win

Lilly-Ann O-Hora claimed probably her most significant win in yesterday's IUAA 60H championships in AIT. Four years ago, O' Hora claimed a surprise bronze at the Irish Seniors in Belfast (picture above) but rarely hit those heights since, until yesterday. Her winning time of 8.71 from Catherine McManus in 8.76 was not a PB but it was all about performance. Still only 21, her best hurdling is ahead of her. Shannen Dawkins was 3rd in 9.04 and Kate Doherty 4th in 9.14. Sarah Lavin didn't compete but is down for Ghent today. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

O' Donnell Heads To Ghent While Behan Steps Up

Gerard O' Donnell overcame some recent injury niggles to post a solid opener at last weekend's AI Games in Athlone. His 8.01 was 0.02 off his 2015 opener and he heads to Ghent this weekend where a quality field of over a dozen sub 7.90 hurdlers awaits. 

Patrick Heffernan had an encouraging PB of 8.44 in the same race with Andrew Creamer in 3rd in 8.57. 

Today sees the IUAA championships where the long awaited debut of Matthew Behan over the senior heights. Antonio Garcia will probably start as favourite in the men's while a rejuvenated Sarah Lavin will be odds on to take the women's title. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Morland Improves Again As Lavin Is On Way Back

It has been almost four years and 23 hurdle race since Sarah Lavin has been beaten by an Irish athlete (excluding the DQ in last years Nationals). The last to beat her was Catherine McManus in Santry in May 2012. In that four year period she has undoubtedly been the Irish number 1, taking on the mantle in the post-Derval O' Rourke era. O' Rourke had taken on that mantle from Susan Smith with both their careers only briefly over lapping, similar to Lavin and O' Rourke. As a result there has never been a genuine rivalry in women's short hurdling in Ireland.

It is early days but there is the potential of a high level head to head scenario developing over the coming years with the progression of Elizabeth Morland this season. Morland won the GloHealth Irish Juniors 60H today in Athlone in 8.43 which puts her #4 on the Senior All-Time Rankings and #2 on the Junior list behind only Lavin. Lavin followed up immediately to run her fastest time in almost two years with 8.34 to win the u23 title. With only 0.09 between them on season bests the scene could be set for a battle royale at the GloHealth Irish Seniors in four weeks time. Behind Morland and Lavin today in their respective races were Megan Marrs (8.98) and Rachel Dunne (9.28) in the Juniors and Lily-Ann O'Hora (8.65 - beating her four year old PB) and Shannan Dawkins (9.01).

The Junior Men's was setup to be a Ben Foster versus Jack Murphy but Paul Sexton upset the applecart to take the title in 8.36, taking Murphy (8.40) off the last with Foster (8.58) in 3rd after a stumble off the first.

Stumbles off the first were also order of the day in the U23 race with Garbhan McKenna and Andrew Creamer both stuttering paving the way for Antonio Fernandez to win in 8.24. Creamer had a DNF while McKenna recovered to take silver in 9.01 and Donal Kearns 3rd in 9.14.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hurdle Season Underway - Morland Breaks Irish Record

Elizabeth Morland has started 2016 like she finished 2015 when breaking the Irish Senior, U23 and Junior indoor pentathlon record in Athlone on Saturday. She kicked off her day with an 8.56 over the 60m hurdles, the fastest by an Irish athlete in 2016. Catherine McManus and Megan Marrs were battling out in Jordanstown also on Saturday with a tie in the heat (both 8.78) and then McManus edging the final with 8.77 to 8.79. Naomi Morgan had a PB run and edged closer to sub-9 with 9.03. Molly Scott ran 8.64 over youth heights while Shane Aston (8.65) and Rolus Olusa (8.70) also opened their hurdle seasons in Athlone on Saturday.

Back in Jordanstown, Garbhan Mckenna ran his first hurdle race out of junior in Jordanstown and edged out his coach, Tom Reynolds, 8.43 to Reynolds' 8.48. Ben Fisher ran 8.47 over the junior heights.