Athletics: Healy praise for ‘mastermind’ coach

Phil Healy has described her coach Shane McCormack as a “mastermind” after the Bandon sprinter broke the long-standing Irish 100m record at Morton Stadium on Wednesday night.

Athletics: Healy praise for ‘mastermind’ coach

Healy set a women’s 100m national record of 11.28 seconds at the Dublin Championships in Santry, taking a huge chunk off the long-standing mark.

McCormack, in his role as a development officer with the Waterford IT Athletics Club, oversees Healy’s training on a near daily basis since the Cork woman returned to third level studies at WIT.

She explained: “Now that I’m doing my masters (Enterprise Computer Software) in Waterford, I can train with Shane and our other runners every day, so he really has us well drilled on how to keep ourselves in the best of shape.

“He’s the mastermind behind it all, ” Healy said yesterday.

“Last year in Cork I was in college five times a week (studying for a degree), this year I was in two days. Bearing in mind I have a lot of work outside of that, it still just opens up my week to train with Shane and the squad.”

The previous record of 11.40 had lasted eight years, set by Ailis McSweeney in Liege 2010 and matched by Amy Foster in Florida four years later.

“Of course I’m delighted to get a senior national, I know the record was pretty long-standing so I’m happy with that. I’m delighted to have broken it and raise the standard of sprinting in Ireland,” Healy said.

Despite her 100m run taking the headlines, Healy followed the win up within a quarter of an hour by setting a new outdoors 400m PB of 52.63, and that was just as important for the sprinter.

“The 100m is just about dropping down the distance and having a bit of fun, but my main runs are 200m and 400m, so the 400m means a lot. Training for the 400m this year has definitely made training harder, but now I can switch, now I find switching between races very manageable,” she added.

But Healy is already putting that achievement to the back of her mind, and herself and McCormack are focused on the European Championships in Berlin in August. “Everything now is just a building block towards Berlin. Shane will have us working hard and we’ll all be focusing on the European Championships. As a group we’re all getting better with each training session so we’re excited for August.”

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