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Ireland's Best Athletes to Compete for National Glory

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Athletics Ireland Press Release

Ireland’s best athletes will battle it out for national glory on a special weekend for Irish sport at the GloHealth National Senior Track and Field Championships (June 25th & 26th).

While the Irish take on France in Euro 2016, Ireland’s marquee athletes will be representing their clubs for national honours as they sharpen their preparation for the summer ahead.

The team for the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam (July 6-10) will also be announced after the event. It has been decided in consultation with some of the leading athletes and coaches to stay to the programme while facilitating fans with option of watching the Irish match in the Clonliffe Harriers clubhouse. President of Athletics Ireland Georgina Drumm said: “We will be following the Irish team with keen interest and looking to facilitate the fans with live updates while also catering for the athletes in what is for many the pinnacle of their year and preparation.”

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) and Mark English (UCD) are set to make their season debuts in the 400m Hurdles and 800m respectively while Ciara Mageean is slated for the women’s 1500m.

Both days will be live streamed on the AAI YouTube channel courtesy of nTrai along with a highlights package on RTE 2 on Sunday evening at 11:30pm – there will also be extensive social media coverage.

The Saturday also sees the GloHealth Tailteann Games take place as a curtain raiser for the nationals.

Live results link: http://www.athleticsirelandenterprises.com/results_25062016/schedule.html

Live stream Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BDnFRNA7c0

Live stream Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv_UoQJEokY

After the nationals the team for the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam will also be named Nationals

Entries: http://www.athleticsireland.ie/downloads/other/Nationals_Entries_2016.pdf

European qualifiers: http://hp.athleticsireland.ie/index.php/11-news/49-2016-european-championship-qualifiers

Olympic qualifiers: http://hp.athleticsireland.ie/index.php/resources/performance-list#rio-performance-list

Follow the championships on Social Media:

Twitter: @irishathletics – www.twitter.com/irishathletics

Facebook: @AthleticsIreland – www.facebook.com/AthleticsIreland/

Instagram: @athleticsireland – www.instagram.com/athleticsireland/

Snapchat: irishathletics

Event by event guide

Lawler and Foster set to lead the sprints

Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O’Toole) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) will be the favourites for the men’s and women’s 100m titles.

Lawler, qualified for the European over 200m, has marked himself as Ireland’s leading male sprinter and his next nearest rivals on time in the sizeable entry are Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim)and Christopher Sibanda (Clonliffe Harriers).

Eanna Madden (Carrick on Shannon) should be Lawler’s closes rival over 200m having clocked 21.03 with Sibanda and Kieran Elliot (North Sligo) among the contenders for the podium.

Amy Foster has European qualification in the 100m and looks set for face competition from Kelly Proper (Ferrybank) who has yet to compete this season, Joan Healy (Bandon), Sarah Murray (Fingallians) and Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank).

Foster isn’t on the entry for the 200m with the aforementioned sprinters bidding for 200m gold along with Stephanie Creaner (Dublin City Harriers) and Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers).

Great depth in both 400m

Craig Lynch (Shercock) heads the rankings with a 46.90 clocking but will face strong competition from the one lap specialists looking to vie for relay positions for the Europeans along with an Olympic spot still potentially up for grabs.

David Gillick (DSD) has returned from retirement to good effect and the Clonliffe Harriers trio of Brian Gregan, Timmy Crowe and Dara Kervick will be in the mix while experienced Brian Murphy (Crusaders), Andrew Mellon (Queens/North Down), Adam McComb (North Down), Harry Purcell (Trim) and Zak Curran (DSD) will also be looking to feature in a high-quality line-up.

Similarly in the women’s 400m there is an impressive entry headed by DSD’s Sinead Denny. Places in the final will be hard won with Phil Healy’s (Bandon) transition to the one-lap event in full swing. Other entrants include Ciara McCallion (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.), Susan Scallan, Aisling Drumgoole (both Raheny Shamrock A.C.) and Mollie O’Reilly (DSD).

English’s outdoor debut with women’s duel in store Mark English (UCD) is set to make his outdoor debut this season having been side-lined with injury. Declan Murray (Clonliffe Harriers) has been his closest challenger in recent championships, Robert Tully (Star of the Sea), Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock), Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen), Cillian Kirwan (Raheny Shamrock) and Karl Griffin (UCD) are among the two-lap entrants with speed to burn.

On times it looks like being a direct head-to-head between Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge) and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD)in the women’s 800m with only two hundredths of a second separating them on the season’s list – 2:02.35 to 2:02.37. Both athletes will be looking to run fast and secure a second European B standard to get to Amsterdam. Laura Crowe (An Riocht) and Erin McIlveen (City of Lisburn) will also be in the mix.

Mageean set to sharpen up; Everard heads men’s 1500m list Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers), Tomas Cotter (Dunleer), John Travers (Donore Harriers) and Sean Tobin (Clonmel), and Joe Warne (Doheny) are among the men’s leading metric milers. Everard won the 1,500m and the 3,000m indoors and the Kilkenny physio will be looking to keep up his golden streak. Ciara Mageean (UCD) won the national title with ease last year and impressed with a gun to tape victory over 800m in 2:02.84 at the Ulster and Northern Ireland Championships last week. She is rounding into shape with the Europeans and Olympics on the horizon. Mary Cullen (North Sligo) looks set to drop down in distance while evergreen Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn) will be in contention.

Open men’s 5,000m; Byrne’s return continues

With David McCarthy (West Waterford) not looking likely to compete, Colm Sheahan (Leevale), Thomas Moran (Dunshauglin), Freddy Keron Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock) and Conor Bradley (City of Derry) are among an open men’s 5,000m field in search of a first national senior title.

Deirdre Byrne (Sli Cualann) has gradually made her way back to the upper echelons of Irish women’s distance running and currently holds one B standard for the Europeans. A sub 15:40 will see her book a ticket to Amsterdam. Shona Heaslip (An Riocht A.C.), Siobhan O'Doherty (Borrisokane A.C.), Tara Jameson (Sli Cualann A.C.) and Annmarie McGlynn (Letterkenny A.C.) are among the contenders.

Consistent Clohisey to reclaim 10,000m

A competitive field in the men’s 10,000m sees Ballina’s Hugh Armstrong as the fastest on the Irish rankings list this season with 29:16.73 but Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) would edge the consistency and will be looking for one better than his silver medal last year. Last year’s champion Mark Christie (Mullingar Harriers) is entered and there are a number of runners in contention for the national title and medals with quite a deep field this year including Brandon Hargreaves (DSD), Gary Thornton (Galway City Harriers), Tomas Fitzpatrick (Tallaght) and Michael Harty (East Cork).

On the ‘chase for national glory

Rory Chesser (Ennis Track) has been a prolific winner of the men’s steeplechase crown and he will look to add to his tally this weekend where he may face opposition from Tomas Cotter (Dunleer) who has a European B standard. Others who may have an impact include David Flynn (Clonliffe Harriers) and Emmet Jennings (DSD).

Olympic steeplechasers Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC), Michelle Finn (Leevale A.C.) and Sara Treacy (Dunboyne A.C) will be looking for bragging rights with O’Flaherty also looking to secure European selection.

Barr to make season debut in 400m Hurdles

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) makes his season debut and will be pushed by his training partner Paul Byrne (St Abban’s). Others in the hunt for medals include Ben Kiely (Ferrybank) and Ciaran Barnes (City of Lisburn) Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim) is the favourite to retain her national title having recently qualified for the European Championships and just .22 off the Olympic A standard with Jessie Barr (Ferrybank) looking to run a European standard. Arlene Crossan (Finn Valley) impressed in the Schools’ Championships and will look to crack 60 seconds.

Reynolds aims for European 110m hurdles standard

North Down’s Ben Reynolds will be the favourite for the high hurdles and needs a time of 13.90 or faster to garner selection for the Europeans. Carrick-on-Shannon’s Gerard O’Donnell has been his nearest rival in recent times but has withdrawn due to injury. This leaves the door open for Matthew Behan (Crusaders), Tom Reynolds (North Down) and Garbhan McKenna (Shercock) to battle out for the minor medals.

Lily Ann O’Hora (Dooneen), Catherine McManus (Dublin City Harriers) and Naomi Morgan (City of Derry) are the main protagonists entered in the women’s 100m hurdles and it looks like a duel between O’Hora and McManus for the gold.

Pena looking to peak in Pole vault

Ian Rogers (Clonliffe Harriers), Yuri Kinash (West Waterford), Thomas Houlihan (West Waterford) are some of the form athletes going into the men’s pole vault but stalwart David Donegan (Clonliffe Harriers) can’t be ruled out.

Tori Pena (Finn Valley) has European and Olympic qualification secured and will be confident of adding the national title to her resume this season. Laura Cussen (Old Abbey A.C) Ruth Larragy (Le Cheile A.C.) have both vaulted 3.00m this year and will be in a battle for silver.

Buggy’s new frontiers in Triple jump

Denis Finnegan (An Riocht) is the only 15m jumper in the men’s field and should add to his medal haul while Niall Counihan (Dooneen) and Alan Kennedy (North Down) will be looking to get on the podium.

Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) has been in scintillating form this season breaking the national U23 triple jump record on two occasions with her most recent mark of 13.25m at the England Athletics U23 Championships a big breakthrough. Laura Saulters (North Down AC), Maria Carey (Newport A.C.) and Fiona Hill (Newbridge A.C.) are the other leading entrants.

McMullen leads the long jump

Adam McMullen (Crusaders) has been impressing in the sprints as well as the runway and he looks set to be unchallenged if he keep up his impressive form with a best of 7.84m this year. Junior Keith Marks (Clonliffe Harriers) made an impressive leap forward with 7.48m and last year’s European junior finalist, Sam Healy (Leevale), is also entered along with Raheny Shamrock’s consistent Colm Bourke.

Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton)just edges Imelda Morrison (Youghal) on the rankings list, 6.00m to 5.96m while Kelly Proper (Ferrybank) is also entered for the long jump. Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) and Vivian Fleishcher (Celbridge) should also be in the mix.

Pender reaching new Highs

European bound Barry Pender (St Abban’s) will be aiming to leap to the national title. Other leading jumpers include Andrew Heney (Clonliffe), Jamie Murtagh (Cushinstown) and David Cussen (Old Abbey)

Finn Valley’s young starlet Sommer Lecky has a best of 1.78m this season and the European Youth medallist will be favoured for the senior title. DSD’s Grace O’Rourke is another contender with Katherine O'Connor (Dundalk St. Gerards A.C.), Anna McIlmoyle (City of Lisburn AC) and Shannon Sheehy (Cushinstown A.C.) among the leading entries.

Breathnach breaking ground in the shot put

Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) is getting better with age and will look to add outdoor gold to his national indoor title. He has a best of 18.22m. His brother Michael will also look to feature but Finn Valley’s John Kelly is next on the list with 16.16m and he won the Northern Ireland and Ulster title last week. James Kelly (Crusaders) and Patrick McSweeney (Bandon) will also look to be in the mix.

Clare Fitzgerald (Tralee Harriers) is the women’s favourite with a best of 15.68m this season with rising star Micheale Walsh (Swinford) having recently set a national junior record of 15.15m. Other main entrants are Laura Mc Sweeney (Bandon A.C.) and Alana Frattaroli (Limerick A.C.)

Hammer time

Killian Barry (Crusaders) and Padraig White (Dunboyne) are the leading men’s entrants in the hammer while there is a big women’s entry with Cara Kennedy (Ferrybank) leading the pack with a best of 59.86m. Emma O’Hara (Galway City Harriers), Michaela Walsh (Swinford) and Lauren O’Keeffe (Donore Harriers) are among the 17-strong entrants.

Fitzgerald the best in the Discus

Sean Breathnach will look to add discus gold should Colin Quirke (Crusaders) or Marco Pons (DMP Wexford) not compete with Rolus Olusa (Donore Harriers) and Anu Awonusi (St Laurence O’Toole) among those developing in the event.

Clare Fitzgerald is way ahead of the pack in the women’s discus with 55.05m this season. Kayleigh Cronin (Farranfore Maine Valley A.C.) and Kathy Hetherington (North Down A.C.) will be among those looking to medal.

Javelin leaders

Rory Gunning (Clonliffe Harriers), Shane Joyce (Cushinstown) and Sean Mc Bride (Lifford Strabane AC) are the leading javelin males with Gunning the favourite for gold.

Anita White Fitzgibbon (DSD) continues to set the standard in the women’s javelin and is a shoe-in for gold. Orlaith O’Brien (Waterford) is ahead of the chasing pack which includes Grace Casey (Eire Og Corra Choill A.C.) and Michaela Walsh (Swinford).

Wright and Boyce lead walks entry

Olympic bound Alex Wright (Leevale A.C.) and Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny A.C.) lead the men’s 10,000m race walk with Wright looking to retain his national title. Laura Reynolds (Mohill), who competed in the Olympics in 2012 is one of the leading women’s 5,000m entrants.

About Us

Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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