A treble for Kelly Proper, a new javelin record from Anita Fitzgibbon, and big wins in the 5000m and 10,000m for Maria McCambridge and Mark Kenneally were just some of the highlights on a packed day of athletics at the Woodie’s DIY National Track and Field Championships Day 1 in Santry.
Proper, who has turned her attention to the heptathlon over the past year, began her afternoon by winning the long jump with a leap of 6.25m. About an hour later, she lined out in the 200m and duly annexed that in 23.64, beating her Ferrybank clubmate, Niamh Whelan who ran 24.01. She closed the day out by anchoring Ferrybank to victory in the 4x100m with a time of 46.96 sec; DSD was a close second with 47.09 and Fingallians third on 47.62.
In the javelin, Anita Fitzgibbon of DSD found her form in the fifth round with a throw of 54.92m – a massive improvement on the 52.97m she threw in the final meet of the year last September at Templemore (which for some reason isn’t included on the all-time Irish list).
Fitzgibbon by her own admission threw poorly in the first round only hitting 46m, then improved to over 49 metres in both second and third rounds. After she dropped back to 45.98 in the fourth round, she put everything into her fifth throw. It paid off brilliantly. Finishing second was Denise Byrne of Clonliffe with 41.63, while third with 40.97 was Claire Fitzgerald of Tralee who earlier had proved the class of the field in the discus, winning with a throw of 48.22m.
Race of the day was the men’s 200m final where Steven Colvert of Crusaders just got the decision after crossing the line in a blanket finish with Marcus Lawler of St LOT and Clonliffe’s Brian Gregan. Colvert was timed at 21.13, Lawler at 21.15 and
Getting the perfect send-off before her big date with the marathon in Moscow at the World Championships was Maria McCambridge of DSD who raced away from the field to defend her 5000m title, winning in 15:55.44. In second place was Lifford’s Anne Marie McGlynn who ran strongly in the second half of the race to finish in 16:41.47, passing a tired Siobhan O’Doherty of Borrisokane,whose aim before the race was to stick with McCambridge for the first 2km.
Finn Valley pole vaulter Tori Pena who also heads to Moscow with an A standard managed an untroubled 4.40 for victory and then made three attempts at 4.50. Second was Raheny’s Zoe Brown with 4.10.
Clonliffe’s Mark Kenneally lapped all but one of the field on his way to victory in the 10,000m in a time of 29:21.69. Eddie McGinley of Annadale Striders was second in 30:08.24 and DSD’s Joe Sweeney third in 30:41.39. Raheny won the team event from Rathfarnham WSAF.
Another Clonliffe man, Thomas Rauktys, won the men’s shot with a 17.03m effort. Defending champion Sean Breathnach from GCH threw 15.60m for second.
In the 400m heat, DSD clubmates Jennifer Carey and Sinead Denny won their respective 400m heats both in 55 secs. Most eye-catching run in in the 1500m heats came from John Travers of Donore who set off on his own and came home a clear winner of the third heat ahead of MSB’s John Coghlan. West Waterford’s David McCarthy ran more conservatively to win a slow second heat from Shane Fitzsimons of Mullingar, while James O’Hare of Annadale, Conor Bradley of Derry Spartans and KCH’s Eoin Everad were the top three in the opening heat.
Winning the women’s 800m heats were Aislinn Crossey of Newry and Allanna Lally of GCH; Paul Robinson of St Coca’s, Letterkenny’s Darren McBrearty, Niall Tuohy of Ferrybank and Ruairi Finnegan of Ferrybank were the winners of the four men’s 800m heats.
Closing out the day were the 4x 100m relays, with Menapians clear winners of the men’s race in 43.89.