Leevale runner Shanahan is hitting top form before Sweden

Leevale runner Shanahan is hitting top form before Sweden
Picture: Tomás Greally/Sportsfile

LEEVALE ace Louise Shanahan is in top form ahead of the European U23 Championships in Sweden in July.

She travelled to Belfast last weekend to compete at the Milers Club International and stole the headlines, with a new PB in the 800m, 2:04.77, taking 3.27 secs, off her previous PB, which is within the European U23 qualifying standard.

A week earlier in England at the Loughborough Grand Prix organised, she excelled as well. She struck the front in her 800m race in the last 100m and won comfortably in 2:08.04 to improve on her previous best of 2:08.36.

At the start of June, Shanahan was selected as the Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Month Award, which is jointly sponsored by the Evening Echo, Cork 96FM & C103, LeisureWorld, Cork Crystal and The River Lee hotel.

At the Irish Universities Championships in Athlone back in April, the Leevale and UCC athlete fought off all opposition to claim her first varsity title in her specialist event, her time being a swift 2:13.76 in the final.

The 22-year-old previously excelled at the 800-metre distance in the Irish Schools’ T&F, in 2015, to collect her first City Sports Athletics Person of the Month prize.

Involved in athletics since the age of nine, she is following in the footsteps of father Ray, himself a twice Irish indoor champion and who represented Ireland as an athlete, coach and manager. He also has a personal best of 1:48.8 for 800m and has served as both vice-president and chairman of the Cork City Sports.

“I’ve gone to college since then and have just finished my undergraduate degree in physics at UCC. I also spent a year at Berkeley University where I was coached by [Tony] Sandoval. Next year, I’m moving to Cambridge University to do my PhD where I’ll be coached by someone else.”

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