Smyth and Mawdsley Sparkle in 200M as McElhinney and Buggy Post Championship Records

ByEmma Porter |

The stars of Irish athletics delivered a thrilling day of athletics action on day 1 of National Senior Indoor Championships at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena today (February 18th).

Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) starred in the sprint 200m finals, with Smyth posting a superb championship record of 20.77 to claim the 2023 indoor title.

Smyth had impressed in the earlier heats, and in the absence of Robert O’Donnell (Galway City Harriers) who pulled out after his 20.97 in the morning’s heats, the Raheny star never looked like being beaten as he rounded the final bend ahead of Olympian Marcus Lawler who would have to settle for second in 21.17.

Sharlene Mawdsley was just as impressive throughout her rounds of the 200m today, setting a personal best in the morning’s heat (23.61) before going on to better that time in the final to cross in 23.50PB which moved her up one place to 6th on the Irish all-time list indoors.

The Tipperary star has been flying over 400m in recent weeks and today’s 200m time, which ranks as her fastest indoors or outdoors, is sure to have her full of confidence heading into a big couple of weeks having already secured automatic qualification for the 400m in Istanbul.

The men’s 3000m was one of the most anticipated races of the day and didn’t disappoint with Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC) delivering a stunning sub-25-second final 200 meters to claim the men’s 3000m title in a 7.49.18 championship record.

McElhinney sat in the slipstream of the eventual second place finisher Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) for much of the race, with the pair stretching clear of the field over the opening laps.

Ultimately thought, it was McElhinney’s final kick that sealed the title, with Griggs bravely staying on for silver in 7.55.75.

Hurdle star Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) continued her consistent start to 2023 to take the women’s 60m hurdles title in 8.03, while Matthew Behan (Crisaders AC) bounced back to retain the men’s title in 8.10.

Olympian David Kenny (Farronfore Main Valley) posted another impressive early season performance to claim the men’s 5k walk title in 19.11.43, while Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) stormed clear if the field to claim the women’s 3k walk with an indoor PB of 14.40.46.

Mark English (1.52.88) and Nadia Power (2.13.28) safely negotiated the heats of today’s 800 meters, while Phil Healy (Bandon AC) and Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock) set up a mouth-watering 400m decider for tomorrow as they safely advanced to the 400m final set for 1.35pm Sunday. Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers) impressed in qualifying for the men’s 400m with a 48.02.

The field events provided a host of outstanding performances across the day, including a championship record of 13.25m for Saragh Buggy (St Abbans) in the triple jump which went agonisingly close to Taneisha Scanlon’s national record of 13.28. It marked the St Abbans athlete’s 20th national title (indoor and outdoors).

The much-anticipated clash between Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrock) and John Kelly (Finn Valley) went right to the wire, with a 19.26m from Favors enough to claim the gold on this occasion. Kelly settled for silver thanks to his best on the day of 19.19m.

Ellie McCartney (City of Lisburn) made the trip from her UK base all the more worthwhile by claiming the women’s pole vault title with a best of 4.05m, while Sam Healy (Leevale) was best of the long jumpers with 7.36m.

Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea A.C.) won a very competitive men’s high jump with a best of 1.95m from Cork’s Ben Donovan (1.90m).

Day two of the National Senior Indoor Championships promises to deliver even more thrilling action tomorrow with medals set to be decided in a further seventeen finals starting with the women’s long jump from 11am.

Day 1 Select Results:

Women’s 3k Walk

1 Kate VEALE      SEN W   West Waterford A.C.      12:40.46

2 Aisling LANE    SEN W   Mullingar Harriers A.C.   14:28.47

3 Ciara WILSON BOWEN SEN W Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 15:42.05

Men’s 5k Walk

1 David KENNY SEN M   Farranfore Maine Valley A.C. 19:11.42

2 Brendan BOYCE SEN M Finn Valley A.C. 19:39.60

3 Callum lewis WILKINSON SEN M Togher A.C.     19:48.63

Men’s 3000m Final

1 Darragh MC ELHINNEY  SEN M  U.C.D. A.C. 7:49.18 CR

2 Nicholas GRIGGS SEN M Mid Ulster A.C. 7:55.75

3 Callum MORGAN SEN M Candour Track Club 8:16.66

Women’s 200m Final

1 Sharlene MAWDSLEY SEN W   Newport A.C. 23.50

2 Lauren CADDEN SEN W Sligo A.C. 23.97

3 Katie BERGIN SEN W   Moyne A.C. 24.54

Men’s 200m Final

1 Mark SMYTH   SEN M Raheny Shamrock A.C.     20.77 CR

2 Marcus LAWLER SEN M Clonliffe Harriers A.C. 21.17

3 Craig NEWELL SEN M   Ballymena and Antrim A.C. 21.76

Women’s 60mH Final

1 Sarah LAVIN    SEN W   Emerald A.C.      8.03

2 Katherine O CONNOR SEN W   Dundalk St. Gerards A.C. 8.60

3 Okwu BACKARI SEN W Leevale A.C. 8.62

Men’s 60mH Final

1 Matthew BEHAN SEN M Crusaders A.C. 8.10

2 Jack MCGRATH SEN M Leevale A.C. 8.14

3 Josh ARMSTRONG SEN M City of Lisburn A.C.   8.14

Women’s WFD

1 Laura DOLAN SEN W   Ferbane A.C. 6.78 =CR

2 Kiana NOLAN SEN W   St. L. O’Toole A.C. 6.45

3 Ciara SHEEHY SEN W   Emerald A.C. 6.43

Women’s Pole Vault

1 Ellen MCCARTNEY SEN W City of Lisburn A.C. 4.05

2 Clodagh WALSH SEN W Abbey Striders A.C. 3.35

3 Una BRICE SEN W Leevale A.C. 3.25

Men’s Long Jump

1 Sam HEALY      SEN M   Leevale A.C. 7.36

2 Daniel RYAN    SEN M   Moycarkey Coolcroo A.C. 7.00

3 Eoin KEENAN SEN M   Emo/Rath A.C.   6.46

Men’s Shot Put

1 Eric FAVORS    SEN M   Raheny Shamrock A.C.   19.26

2 John KELLY      SEN M   Finn Valley A.C. 19.19

3 Sam VINES       SEN M   Cabinteely A.C. 14.75

Women’s Triple Jump

1 Saragh BUGGY SEN W                St Abbans A.C.   13.25 CR

2 Emma ONEILL Carrick-on-Suir A.C.        11.35

3 Sophie BYRNE SEN W Crookstown Millview A.C. 11.19

Men’s High Jump

1 Kourosh FOROUGHI SEN M Star of the Sea A.C. 1.95

2 Ben DONOVAN SEN M Cork Track A.C. 1.90

3 Francois KULIK SEN M Sli Cualann A.C. 1.80

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