Phil Healy returned to her roots yesterday evening to claim her first Cork City Sports victory.
The 21-year old Bandon native, following her final leg heroics for UCC in the 4x400m relay at the Irish University Championships back in April, embarked on a summer of discovery over the one lap event, lowering her personal best to 53.58 and coming within two-tenths of a second of the European qualifying standard in the process.
At CIT last evening, she returned to her speciality event, the 100m, and produced a season’s best of 11.52 to take the win from her sister Joan who clocked 11.73.
“I was kind of nervous coming out because I hadn’t run a 100m in four weeks having stepped up to the 400m. Obviously, your reaction has to be quicker in the 100m by comparison with the 400m. This was the kind of stuff that was going through my head on the starting blocks,” admitted Healy after taking the victory.
“I knew I was sharp enough and the speed was there. So, really I had nothing to worry about, but to come out, to get the win and know there is more there is exciting. I’m happy to run a 100m again.” Given how evident it is that she still holds impressive form over 100m, does she carry any regrets over the decision to move up in distances this summer – Healy will be part of the Irish 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams at next week’s European Championships in Amsterdam but failed to garner selection in either of the individual events.
“I’m happy with the decision [to move up]. The 100m has been good in the few races I’ve run. When I jumped into the 400m at the start of June, I ran 53.58 which was a huge personal best on the 54.96 I ran here in Leevale at the end of April.
“Each time I ran the 400m, I was getting better and better. A low 53-run is there, but conditions haven’t been great. It has either been raining or the wind… you wouldn’t think the wind would matter in a 400m, but it is against you for a lot longer than you think. It was really exciting to run 53.58. That puts me 12th on the all-time Irish list despite the fact I haven’t trained properly for the 400m this year. It is exciting for the n ext few years.”
Long-term focus so is most definitely on the one lap event?
“I’ll dip into the 100m and 200m to keep the speed and even for the 4x100m relay, it is a good team so I would like to keep my spot on that. The improvement is there in the 400m over the next year or two. I have the European Indoors and the World Student Games to look forward to.”
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