Sprint Thrills and Middle-Distance/Relay Record at AAI Games

ByEmma Porter |

The 2023 AAI Indoor Games delivered record-breaking performances, spectacular sprinting, and a European standard from the Irish U20 4x400m relay team.

Leevale teammates Lucy-May Sleeman (Leevale AC) and Joan Healy (Leevale AC) once again lit up the sprints competition, with both athletes posting 7.35 in a thrilling 60m race. The time ranked as a lifetime best for Sleeman and moved the 18-year-old into the top 10 on the Irish all-time list, while it also secured a season’s best for Healy. Sleeman would also boast the fastest 200m on the day with 24.41.

Stephen Gaffney (Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. AC) dominated both of the men’s 60m races with his best performance of the day coming in his second track appearance to cross in 6.89. Leo Morgan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) continued his consistent early season form, posting 6.95 in both series of the 60m.

Olympian Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers) looked very smooth in the men’s 200m, clocking the fastest time of the day in 21.28.

Best of the 400m runners were Niamh Murray (Bray Runners), who crossed in 55.55, and Sean Harding (Shercock AC), who looked ultra-smooth in 50.04.

There were plenty of fireworks in the middle-distance events. The men’s 3000m was won by James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC) in 8:09.02, but it was young Cormac Dixon (Tallaght AC) who stole the headlines in smashing Darragh McElhinney’s U18 record from 2017 to cross in 8:15.48.

Ellie Hartnett (UCD AC) and Niamh Kearney (Raheny Shamrock) had a great battle in the women’s 1500m, Hartnett coming out on top on this occasion in 4:24.79 with Kearney less than a second behind. Joe Warne (Doheny AC) was first home in the men’s event in 4:02.64.

Claire Mooney (Crusaders AC) looks to be coming right back into form and claimed the 800m in 2:05.59, while Saoirse Fitzgerald (Lucan Harriers) followed her home in a new U18 record of 2:08.76.

Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen AC) was fastest of the 800m men in 1:48.83, with Jake Bagge (Ferrybank AC) second in 1:48:90 (a new Estonian NR).

Tokyo Olympians David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley A.C.) and Brendan Boyce (Finn Valle AC) clashed in the 3000mW. It was Kenny who would get the better of the Finn Valley athlete to cross in a winning time of 11.21.27.

The sprint hurdles events saw impressive performances from Lucy McGlynn (Tír Chonaill AC) 8.77 and Adam Nolan (St. L. O’Toole AC) 8.04, while Ruby Millet (St Abbans) focused solely on the long jump this weekend and came away with the day’s best leap of 6.10m.

Other notable results included Abbie O’Neill’s (Ballymena and Antrim AC) 3.10m clearance in the pole vault and Liam Shaw’s (Athenry AC) 14.28m throw in the shot put.

The day’s action concluded with a bang thanks to the Irish U20 4x400m relay team of Kate O’Connell, Hannah Murray, Niamh Murray, and Lucy McGlynn who claimed the qualification standard for the European U20 Championships in Israel later this year with their 3:43:30 NU20R. The women’s U23 4x400m team also posted an U23 NR in 3.40.25, while the men’s U23 4x400m team followed suit with a U23 NR with their 3.16.10.

Full results HERE

  • Records subject to ratification
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