The 148th Irish National Track and Field Championships took place at the Morton Stadium on Saturday and Sunday. With a record 727 athletes registered, Athletics Ireland split the Championships to take place over two weekends – the second half pencilled in for next weekend. It was evident to see the hunger and delight of the athletes that the Championships went ahead as they put on a show in blustery conditions.
Phil Healy took home gold in the Senior Women’s 100m with a winning time of 11.71. Running into a head wind of -1.7m/s, the Bandon sprinter pulled away from the field at the 60m mark and comfortably won.
Coming into the event, Healy wasn’t expecting to break any records, instead just delighted to be back in action. She is the current 100m record holder with a time of 11.28. This was her first race back since March 1st and her first 100m race since April 2019.
Super proud of @philhealy2 taking her 11th national title of her career in a tough season and day. Credit to all athletes, coaches and @irishathletics officials for making this champs possible. Onwards to next weekend 💪🏻🔥#somevan #200 pic.twitter.com/B8RDeJ4PZj— Shane McCormack (@mcwexford) August 23, 2020
Speaking to Athletics Ireland after the race, Healy said, “I’m really happy to get the title.”
“The conditions were far from ideal but it’s the exact same for everyone else. I’m delighted that we had the opportunity to race.
“I was absolutely left in the blocks. I knew I had the endurance to come through. It was just about staying relaxed and holding my composure. It was right to the line.”
With the Irish National Championships spread over two successive weekends, Ireland’s fastest woman Healy will be in action against next week but this time in her favoured 200m event.
It was Molly Scott and Lauren Roy who were fastest off the blocks but Emerald AC’s sprint hurdler Sarah Lavin and Leevale’s Joan Healy finished second and third respectively, with times of 11.83 and 11.85. Scott narrowly missed out on a place on the podium by the smallest of margins.
Amy O’Donoghue won her first ever 1500m Senior Women’s title after two runners-up medals and a bronze in the last three years. O’Donoghue who is the current 1500m Indoor Champion, ran the perfect race as she positioned herself behind the race-leaders Iseult O’Donnell and Michelle Finn before stepping on the gas down the homestretch to win in style.
The Emerald AC runner clocked 4:21.51 to take gold while Raheny’s Iseult O’Donnell and UCD’s Ellie Hartnett battled hard to the line for second with O’Donnell narrowly grabbing silver.
Michelle Finn competed in the 5000m prior to the 1500m and she stormed into the lead of the after three laps and managed to stay ahead of the pack unchallenged until the end, to win in 16:37.49.
In one of the races of the day, Sophie Becker just beat West Muskerry’s Grainne Moynihan to the finish line in the 400m. After an extremely fast first 200m from Becker, Moynihan clawed back the gap but was unable to find that final burst to take gold.
Bandon teenager Nicola Tuthill announced herself as a future star as she smashed the Irish U-18 hammer throw record and claimed the Senior title for for efforts.
Tuthill was first into the circle and the 16-year-old superstar added two metres to her lifetime best to claim the Irish U-18 hammer throw record with a throw of 60.04m.
Tuthill is amongst illustrious company as her throw made her only the sixth Irishwoman in history to go beyond 60 metres. To add to this, only one under 18 athlete has thrown further this year.
Amongst the other field events, Kate O’Connor, who won Ireland’s first-ever international heptathlon medal in 2019, claimed the javelin title with a winning throw of 49.24m. O’Connor also competed in the high-jump and finished behind before also finishing third in the high jump behind the 2018 U20 World Silver medallist Sommer Lecky. The Finn Valley athlete winning her second National title with a best jump of 1.79m.
Ciara Mageean missed out on the Championships as she was competing at the Stockholm Diamond League.