A stadium record for Marcus Lawler provided a suitable climax to the National Indoor Championships in Athlone, the Carlow sprinter clocking 20.96 seconds over the 20
0m and providing himself with a nice 21st birthday present in the process.
Indoor running is often best demonstrated over the one- lap 200m, and it certainly suits the neatly-built Lawler. He was a little off the pace in the 60m finishing fifth, but was a class apart in his second event. “I’ve been disappointed with my 60m all season but I’m really happy with that 200m.” said Lawler at the close of the programme.
Down sprinter Ben Reynolds produced a personal best of 7.73 seconds in a silky display of 60m hurdling to win the national title – just one- hundredth of a second outside the qualifying time for next month's world indoor championships in Portland, Oregon.
The cut-off date for qualification is March 7th, and Reynolds has lined up a couple more qualifying chances. Each country can enter one male and female athlete without a qualifying standard.
is also eyeing up selection for Oregon, although he doesn’t have the qualifying time either. He displayed his usual class to win the 800m title, having stirred the crowd on Saturday with an impressive 1:48.15 in the heats, before gliding to victory in Sunday’s final in 1:51.57.
“That was a good weekend,” said the Donegal man afterwards. “When you’re in good form I don’t see why you wouldn’t go to a championship,” he continued, on his intentions to compete at the championships.
English has to wait on the selectors’ decision and also on the form of Ben Reynolds.
UCD team-mate Ciara Mageean also led from the gun in the women's 800m final and was never headed, as she won in 2:03.76 from Laura Crowe. "That was a good indoor season," said Mageean, who will return for some downtime to her native Portaferry. "It's been a good indoor season and hopefully a good indicator for the outdoor season ahead."
Kilkenny City Harriers’ Eoin Everard also got pulses racing at the start of afternoon by winning the 3,000m in 8:13.63 and then coming out less than an hour later to grit out the 1,500m in 4:01.17 – fine running on both counts.
Phil Healy – dubbed “The Bandon Bullet” – pulled off a women’s sprint double winning the 60m and 200m. The “Bullet” recorded times of 7.47 and 23.75 respectively.
Seán Breathnach from Galway City Harriers has starred in the shot put all indoor season with a goal of eclipsing Paul Quirke’s 18.07m set back in 1991, and he delivered the feat here with an excellent put of 18.16m. “It’s been my goal all indoor season and I’m delighted to do it today,” said the Galway man.
Elsewhere in the field events, Andrew Heney won the men's high jump with a best of 2.00m and Adam McMullen from Crusaders confirmed his number one status in the long jump with 7.73m.
Sarah Buggy from St Abban’s took the women’s triple jump, with Ruth Larragy from Le Chéile winning the pole vault with 2.85m.
Sinéad Denny from DSD won the women's 400m in 53.57 seconds from Jenna Bromell (Emerald) and Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim). It was a much tighter affair in the men's 400m with Richard Morrissey (Crusaders) holding off the fast-finishing Andrew Mellon (North Down), 47.51 to 47.59.