Ó Lionáird steps up to the next level

Ciarán Ó Lionáird took his track education to a new level at the USA Track and Field Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Saturday night when finishing fifth in the featured men’s mile in 3:54.76.

The race saw world silver medallist, Silas Kiplagat, run the fastest indoor mile in three years to edge out fellow Kenyan Caleb Ndiku by three hundredths of a second to claim victory in 3:52.63.

Ndiku, the 2010 world junior champion, crossed the line in 3:52.66.

The scramble for third place went to the two-time world indoor silver medallist Daniel Komen in 3:53.93, with Amine Laalou (Morocco) fourth in 3:54.49, just edging out Ó Lionáird who had a rough passage through a rough and tumble race.

“I did not race very good last night,” Ó Lionaird, said. “The tactics were poor on my part — I was up and down a lot and then I missed the important move when it went. It was a big tactical error on my part. I learned a big lesson out there.

“At this point it’s all about getting ready for the world championships in Istanbul and making sure I don’t make any of those mistakes again.”

David McCarthy (West Waterford/Providence) was Ireland’s first representative in the Wanamaker Mile since the 2000 winner, Mark Carroll, and he finished eighth in 3:57.96 outside the New England Collegiate record which he set at 3:55.75 in Boston a couple of weeks ago.

The Wanamaker Mile was won by Ciarán Ó Lionáird’s training partner, Matthew Centrowitz, in 3:53.92, breaking the old Armoury record which was set by Mark Carroll at 3:54.98 12 years ago.

DCU finished second in the Distance Medley Relay at the Millrose Games. The race was won on the final leg by Marcus O’Sullivan’s Villanova squad.

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