RESULTS over the past few weeks have shown that athletes were able to maintain a high level of training in spite of all the Covid lock-downs we have all experienced over the past fifteen months.
For many, the race continues in search of vital qualifying standards for the Tokyo Olympics.
Morton Stadium in Santry was the venue for the Irish Life health AAI Games over the weekend, with a big entry of athletes from all over the country.
Last year, seventeen year old Nicola Tuthill of Bandon threw the senior hammer over 60 metres for the first time with a throw of 60.04m.
She improved on that with a throw of 60.67m in Split last month.
On Saturday, she had a throw of 60.13m in the fourth round before unleashing a throw of 61.46m in the fifth round for another huge PB.
At the end of May Conor Callinan of Leevale cleared 4.30m in the pole vault at a meet in Belfast to equal the Irish youth’s record.
On Sunday, he cleared 4.05m at the first attempt, and followed up with second attempt clearances at 4.15m, 4.25m and 4.35m.
Then, with the bar at 4.45m, he cleared first time to claim the Irish record outright for himself.
On Saturday, Colin Doyle of Leevale won Heat 3 of the 200m in 21.35 for a big improvement on his previous best of 21.80 from 2019.
He was back in action on Sunday to win his heat of the 100m in 10.52(w).
Clubmate Conor Morey was second in his 100m heat in 10.56 and clocked 10.52(w) in a second race.
He has a PB of 10.56 from 2019.
Aoife O’Sullivan of Liscarroll cleared 1.60m, 1.65m and 1.70m at the first attempt in the high jump.
She followed with second time clearances at 1.74m and 1.78m to win the competition and equal her PB.
And, there was the added bonus of beating last year’s national senior champion Sommer Lecky into second place!
Sam Healy of Leevale returned from the States and recorded five legal efforts over seven metres in the long jump for the first time.
His best of 7.60m was just 2cm off his PB and earned him second place behind Adam McMullen with 7.68m.
Shane Howard of Bandon was third with 7.49m.
Cork athletes filled the first four places in the women’s pole vault, with Una Brice of Leevale and Clodagh Walsh of Abbey Striders sharing first with 3.35m, while Ciara Hickey of Blarney Inniscarra was third with the same height and Una Samuals of Leevale was fourth with 3.15m.
Louise Shanahan of Leevale is having a busy racing season and was in Geneva on Saturday where she won the 800m B race in 2:02.36.
Five days earlier, she was in Prague for another 800m race where she finished third in 2:01.99, one place of Georgie Hartigan in 2:02.13.
This was her first time beating Hartigan to give herself a good confidence boost. Shanahan ‘s best time is 2:01.44.
After qualifying for the Olympics, Michelle Finn of Leevale was in Nice on Saturday where she finished sixth in the 3,000m steeplechase in 9:32.61, just outside her best of 9:29.25.
Confusion reigned during the 5,000m race at the British Milers Club meet in Watford on Saturday.
After a couple of laps it was GB international Andy Butchart who was storming clear of the field, with Darragh McElhinney of Bantry and UCD on his own in third place.
It was a huge surprise to the race commentators when Butchart stopped after 3,000m, with McElhinney doing the same shortly afterwards. Seemingly, they were running two distances in one race. McElhinney clocked 8:10.86, a slow time for him.
Lizzie Lee of Leevale was 17th in the European 10,000m Cup race in Birmingham in 33:04.66 to improve her PB by thirty seconds.
Charlie O’Donovan of Leevale dropped down a distance to help Villanova team mate Sean Dolan qualify for the American Olympic Trials. It worked and O’Donovan was rewarded with a time of 1:49.50 for third place, a big improvement on his previous best of 1:53.11.
Liam Harris of Togher was seventh in the 3,000m steeplechase at the BMC meet in Birmingham in a time of 9:02.06, just outside his PB.
Grace McKenzie of Belgooly had to withdraw from the heptathlon after two events at the American collegiate championships in Eugene, Oregon due to Achilles problems.
"It's not the way she wanted to end her McNeese career but she definitely left her mark on the program during her time here," said head McNeese coach Brendon Gilroy.
"She set countless school and conference records in the multis, jumps and hurdles and also won numerous conference championships.
"She not only left her mark on the track and field program, but also in the Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana community. She's one of the greatest to wear the McNeese jersey."