WITH a short, sharp season ahead of them, athletes of all standards were using Sunday’s AAI Games to test their fitness and check out the opposition.
For 110m hurdler Ben Reynolds, it went better than that - his time of 13.63 secs was just inside the European Championships qualification standard of 13.65. Unfortunately with the wind just outside the legal limit, that time won’t count but Reynolds looks a pretty safe bet for a place on the Euro team.
Also looking good was UCD’s Ciara Lavin who comfortably won the women’s 100m hurdles. Well outside any qualification mark was Irish international David McCarthy who won a tactical 1500m in 3 mins 46 secs.
From the start, McCarthy tucked in behind early pacemaker John Coghlan, with Andrew Coscoran who next competes in Saturday’s Aviva Irish Schools Championships, not far behind.
Only with about 250m to go did McCarthy push to the front and then pull away for a decisive victory. For second place, Coscoran just managed to sneak past Coghlan.
No such drama in the women’s 1500m, dominated from the start by DSD’s Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, another schools star heading for Tullamore on Saturday. Raheny’s Conor Dooney, who has been showing some form recently, won the men’s 3000m in 8 mins 19.1 secs after a a mid-race tussle with Tallaght’s Thomas Fitzpatrick, who finished two seconds behind in second place.
The men’s 200m was billed as a show-down between 400m specialist Brian Gregan of Clonliffe, St LOT’s Marcus Lawler and Steven Colvert of Crusaders and so it proved, with Lawler the winner in 21.13 secs - his second time of the season inside the qualifying mark for the World Juniors.
Niamh Whelan of Ferrybank won the women’s 200m in 23.9, and also finished second in the 100m behind Phil Healy. Earlier in the day, Timmy Crowe ran 51.76 secs to win the 400m hurdles, a time that was fractionally slower than Jason Harvey’s at the Euro Clubs. Over 800m, Rob Tully of Star of the Sea won the men’s race in 1:53.29, while Aislinn Crossey proved best of the women, winning in 2:10.80.
In the field, Rory Gunning won the men’s javelin with a throw of 56.72m. Clonliffe’s Denise Murphy threw 39.47m to win the women’s competition, beating Jenny Murphy and ex-Irish football international Jill Maloney, who has recently joined Clonliffe Harriers.
In the pole vault, Clonliffe’s Dave Donegan made three attempts at 4.70m with no success. Victory went to his clubmate Ian Rogers who soared over 4.60m. Claire Wilkinson was the only woman competing and managed a 3.80m vault.
Tonight’s Dublin Graded Meet in Irishtown (7.0) includes the 400m, plus 3000m for women and 5000m for men.