Conditions put pay to Kevin Mulcaire’s record bid

Cold and damp conditions ultimately put pay to Kevin Mulcaire’s record-breaking ambitions but nothing could stop Ciara Neville lighting up the track at the GloHealth All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore on Saturday.

Conditions put pay to Kevin Mulcaire’s record bid

New Irish junior 5,000m record holder Mulcaire (St Flannan’s, Ennis) couldn’t add the schools record to his burgeoning CV as he eased to victory in the senior boys 5,000m in a time of 14:51.98.

It seemed like the perfect script with the 5,000m the last individual race on the programme which had started at 9am but as the day wore on it was apparent it was going to be a tough ask to enter the history books.

Mulcaire was on record pace for the opening laps but a mixture of tiredness and poor conditions scuppered his quest to erase John Treacy’s 14:17.00 set in 1974. “It was a tough ask. I would have regretted it if I didn’t go for it,” said Mulcaire of his crack at the long-standing record.

“The aim now is to medal at the European juniors (in Sweden in July). That’s been the goal of the season.”

The day was very much about the sprinters and 15-year-old Neville reaffirmed her status as a star in the making. The Castletroy College student and Emerald AC athlete crushed the field in the intermediate girls 100m in 11.64 seconds.

The legal tailwind of +1.4 (+2.0 being the max) ensured a new record and the fastest time ever recorded at the schools championships, faster than Phil Healy’s senior record of 11.83.

This was Neville’s first act of an incredible day. She then won the 200m in 23.99 seconds (+2.6 wind) before anchoring her Castletroy team to the glory with a storming leg in the 4x100m relay.

Neville’s 100m time qualified her for the European juniors and she is now in a quandary as to what championship to compete in this summer – she is also qualified for the world youths.

Zak Irwin (Sligo Grammar) was another to shine in the sprints as he took the senior boys title in 10.60 seconds – a European junior qualifier and just one hundredth of a second outside Marcus Lawler’s record from 2013.

At junior level Aaron Sexton (Bangor Grammar) was in superb form winning the 100m (11.06) and the 200m in a time of 22.47.

Michaela Walsh (SM & P Swinford) was outstanding in the throws as she easily won the intermediate shot put and hammer titles. Walsh threw a massive 63.76m in the hammer to set a record.

Eoin Sheridan (St Finians) won the senior boys discus with a 50.62m throw as Anu Awonusi (Kilkenny College) dominated the senior boys shot put with a throw of 17.11m.

Irish junior record holder Matthew Behan (CUS) dominated the senior boys 110m hurdles event claiming the title in13.90, but unfortunately the wind reading was slightly over the allowable limit (+2.6).

The multi-talented Elizabeth Morland (Dunshaughlin AC) collected two Irish schools titles in the senior girls high jump and long jump.

For the local aficionados there was no looking past Mark Milner (Colaiste Coilm) in the junior boys 800m.

He smashed Paul Donovan’s record of 2:00.00 set in 1978 with a dominant front-running performance in 1:57.58 to the delight of the Harriers stadium where the Tullamore athlete has circumnavigated many a lap.

An honourable mention must also go to Sean Corry (Omagh CBS) who also dipped under the previous record with 1:59.74.

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