Kelly Proper was the star of the Woodies DIY national track and field championships taking three gold medals in Santry Stadium.
25-year-old Proper took her seventh long jump title while adding titles at 200 meters and anchoring her club Ferrybank to 4 x 100 meter relay gold.
“It was a tough 200 meters” said Proper. “The girls were very strong and it really came down the bend we I had to make a move” added Proper.
Proper will now chase a fourth medal when she competes over 100 meters at day two of the championships and is odds to be named athlete of the championships.
Steven Covlert upset Brian Gregan to take 200 meter gold with a time of 21:13, beating 18-year-old Marcus Lawler to the line in a photo finish.
“I haven’t had a great season” Said Colvert, “Injuries knocked me back, I was hoping to get the standard for Moscow this weekend but it wasn’t to be.” Added Colvert.
Pole Vaulter Tori Pena took a comfortable gold medal with a jump of four meters forty as she sets her sights on next months World championships in Moscow.
“I’m ready for Moscow now, I haven’t been at my best in championships, so I want to change that.” said Pena.
Pena praised the organisers who moved the pole vault jump to face the grandstand at Santry stadium. “The crowd really got in to. It was a great competition” added Pena.
Moscow bound marathoner Maria McCambridge blasted her way to 5,000 meter gold in a time of 15:55:44 clear of Lifford’s Ann Maria McGlynn who took silver in 16:41:47.
London 2012 marathoner Mark Kenneally set a fast pace after one kilometre of the 10,000 meters coming home a clear winner in 29:12:68.
“I was testing my fitness.” Said Kenneally “I have been injuried and raced my self back to fitness, I was happy with performance. I’ll come here tomorrow and look to do the 5,000 meters.” Added Kenneally.
Javelin champion Anita Fitzgibbon retained her national title with a throw of 54.92 meters breaking her own national record set earlier this year.
“.I’ve worked so hard with my coach Luis Wilderba and we planned to have the big throw at the nationals” Said Fitzgibbon.
Sinead Burke of St.Coca’ in co. Kildare got the days proceedings underway winning the 5,000 meter race walk in 25:27:11, 23 seconds clear of Alicia Boyle with Rebecca Collins of North Down taking the bronze medal.
Moscow bound athlete’s Paul Robinson Mark English and Rose Anne Galligan all sailed into the finals of their respective events.
English who achieved the A standard for 800 meters at the Diamond league in London last night, moved down to 400 meters finishing second in his heat.
English’s A standard allows the Irish selectors to send Paul Robinson to Moscow over 800 meters. “I don’t think I can get the A standard here” said Robinson. “I want to win gold and hopefully go to Moscow.”
Rose Anne Galligan who broke Sonia O’Sullivans long standing 800 meter at the same event as English also progressed to the 400 metre final
The biggest drama was left for the last race of the day as Clonliffe Harriers dropped the batton in the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay allowing Wexford side Menapians to take gold from Raheny Shamrock.