Lavin Sails to Sixth Indoor Title as Healy and McDonnell Claim 200M Gold

ByEmma Porter |

Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) was the standout performer on day 1 of today’s National Senior Indoor Championships which took place in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena (Feb 17th).

Lavin secured her sixth indoor 60m hurdles title with a stunning 7.91 (=PB) continuing her remarkable run of consistent performances.

Speaking after the race Lavin said, “I’d have loved to have seen a 7.90 or 7.89 today, but a 7.91 at home and to continue my consistent run heading into a World Championships is a good place to be. The 60m hurdles world record was broken again last night and the girls are bringing amazing performances this season, so I’ll have to be at my best heading to Glasgow.

“Derval’s national record is 7.84 from when she won the world title and it’s such a high bar, but obviously I want it and I know it’s going to take perfect race to get there.”

Molly Scott (St Laurence O’Toole) finished behind Lavin in a personal best of 8.31 as she continues her return from an injury interrupted 18 months, while Dundrum South Dublin’s Kate Doherty took bronze in 8.35.

The 200m finals were much anticipated on the opening day of these championships with a returning Phil Healy (Bandon AC) delighting fans when looking back to her best in taking the 200m gold medal in 23.37.

Speaking after the race, the Tokyo Olympian said, “I felt like I didn’t get out as well in the final as the earlier heat, but it was faster on the clock so that’s a good sign in terms of how strong I felt.

“It’s been a very clean winter for me and things are back in a good place. It’s great to see so many young athletes coming through too and to have eight heats in today’s 200m is very encouraging for the event.”

“I’ve a 400m next week, where I’ll be guesting at the Connaught championships and then hopefully the following week it’ll be Worlds with the 4x400m relay so a big few weeks ahead.”

Moyne’s Katie Bergin continued her impressive start to the season to take the 200m silver medal in personal best of 24.26, with Alana Ryan of Sli Cualann AC completed the podium in 24.77.

The men’s 60m hurdles final saw young Adam Nolan (St. L. O’Toole AC) continue his rapid rise as he claimed his first senior indoor title with a 8.02.

The men’s 200m provided the finish of the day with defending champion Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock AC) going down narrowly to a blistering final 20 meters from Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) who crossed in a winning time of 21.05.

Smyth would ultimately settle for silver in 21.20 with Leevale’s Colin Doyle taking bronze in 21.42.

The field events provided some of the most compelling competition on the day. The women’s high jump was touted as an event not to be missed and it didn’t disappoint with Daena Kealy (St. Abbans AC) heading a quality field with a best clearance of 1.82m. David Cussen (Old Abbey A.C.) walked away with another men’s high jump title thanks to his best of 2.10m

Saragh Buggy (St. Abbans AC) claimed her eighth indoor triple jump title with a best leap of 12.67m, while Jai Benson (Lagan Valley AC) held off a strong challenge to his triple jump crown to take gold with a best of 14.25.

Matthew Callinan Keenan (St. L. O’Toole AC) secured gold in an ultra-competitive pole vault competition in 4.60, while the WFD events saw two championship records fall thanks to Michael Healy’s (Leevale AC) best of 8.86 CR, and Kotryna Pacerinskaite (Fanahan Mc Sweeney AC) 7.20 CR.

Dundrum South Dublin (1.44.47 women) and Ratoath AC (1:32.19 men) picked up the last gold medals of the day with victory in the concluding 4x200m relay events.

Day 2 of these championships will see a flurry of finals set for decision with Ireland’s fastest man Israel Olatunde (60m), endurance star Nick Griggs (1500m), Olympian Louise Shanahan (800m), and Irish U23 long jump record holder Reece Ademola (Long Jump) set to headline a busy day.

Full Day 2 preview is available HERE.

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