THERE was an unusual combination of events in Athlone last weekend with the Irish universities track and field championships getting the outdoor season underway, while the final day of the Irish Life health National Juvenile Indoor Championships were staged on the same university campus.
By far the most outstanding performance of the university championships was the 100m/200m double win of Phil Healy in the 200m.
Representing Waterford IT, she won her heat of the 100m in 11.72 and followed up an hour later with a win in her heat of the 200m in 23.82, both races on Friday.
On Saturday she easily won the 100m final in 11.51, well clear of her rivals.
Just under three hours later she was back on track for the 200m final, and again she cruised to victory in 23.04, just outside her Irish record of 22.99, and her second fastest time ever.
Wind readings for all four of her races were practically zero, although there was an almost gale force cross wind to contend with.
Louise Shanahan of UCC got back on the winning trail with a win in the 800m in a time of 2:13.76, out-kicking Katie Kirk from Ulster in 2:14.09.
UCC completed an 800m double when Raheny Shamrocks’ Cillian Kirwan won the men’s race in 1:53.54.
Clodagh Walsh of CIT, who has an indoor best of 3.60m, won the pole vault with 3.50m to equal her outdoor best, with UCC athletes Ciara Hickey second with 3.40m and Una Samuals third with 3.00m.
In the jumps, David Cussen of UCC was second in the high jump with 1.90m, and third in the long jump with 6.72m, while sister Laura was third in her long jump with 5.56m.
Newport’s Maria Carey was second in the long jump for UCC with 11.24m, and Katie Walsh was second in the high jump for CIT with 1.60m.
Grace McKenzie of Belgooly and McNeese University raced her first 400m hurdles of the year and easily won in a time of 60.92 at the McNeese Springtime Classic in Lake Charles Louisiana.
Her best for the event is 60.32. She also won the 100m hurdles in 13.65 with a gale force following wind of 4.1 m/s, and rounded off the competition with fifth in the shot with 11.14m.
Fearghal Curtin of Youghal and Arizona State was the leader at the bell in the mile at the Sun Angel Track Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
However, he faded somewhat in the closing stages to finish eighth in 4:04.88, a big improvement on his previous best of 4:09.93.
Stephanie Cotter of West Muskerry and Adams State was eighth in the 800m at the Colorado Invitational in Boulder in a time of 2:15.91.
The Australian track and field championships were held at the Sydney Olympic Park from April 1-7, catering for all ages.
One event of note was the women’s U20 800m where Sophie O’Sullivan from Ballymore Cobh won a closely fought race in a time of 2:06.82, less than a tenth of a second clear of second.
Her best time is 2:06.05 achieved when she won silver at the European U18 championships in Gyor last year, and she has also run 2:06.29 and 2:05.5.
The final day of the indoor juvenile championships saw Wymin Sivakumar of Leevale win the U17 Triple jump with 13.31m, just 6cm clear of Adam Turner of Belgooly.
Another triple jump title came to Cork when Aisling Cassidy of Leevale won the U19 event with 11.57m.
Danny Kelly of Belgooly won the U16 long jump with 5.88m.
Also on the programme were 4X200m relays with Leevale winning two titles.
In the U19 boys, the club overcame the strong challenge of Celbridge to win in 1:32.73 thanks to the efforts of Robert Twomey, Conor Morey, Marc Jones, Wymin Sivakumar and Ryan O’Leary.
The Leevale team of Okwu Backari, Lucie Healy, Fatimo Amusa, Briana Onoh and Orla O’Sullivan won the girls U14 event with Belgooly third. Leevale also finished third in the boys U16 relay.