Sprinters shine at Cork meet

A number of fine sprint performances provided the highlight of the Cork County Senior, Junior and Masters Track & Field championships at the Cork IT track.

Although feeling the effects of an injection for a nerve problem during the week, Marian Andrews-Heffernan was well pleased with her 200 metres, where she recorded 24.67 to defeat guest runner Niamh Whelan fromNenagh, who had earlier won the 100 metres.

“I suffer from a nerve problem in my back and I have to get an epidural once a year which kills the pain,” said the Togher athlete.

“It was more of a training run. I was happy with it. I have a 4 x 400m in Poland next Sunday and before that, I’m off to Portugal for a week’s training.”

Having her first race since undergoing surgery at Christmas, Irish record holder Ailish McSweeney eased herself back into racing with a 12.46 for the 100m which was just 400ths of a second behind Whelan, who is also returning from injury.

Despite a fall in the 400m hurdles which left him with a cut knee, Daniel Colbert still managed to hold off Eric Stam (Leevale) to win the event in 59.13.

He returned later to impressively win the junior 110m hurdles in 16.09 and the Midleton athlete is now looking forward to that event at the Aviva All-Ireland Schools at Tullamore on Saturday.

“I’ll only do the sprint hurdles there and would be happy to make the medals as there’s a couple of good athletes from Leinster,” said the 18-year-old, who has made steady progress this year under the coaching of former Olympian, Liam O’Brien.

Though only managing to train four or five days a week due to teacher training, Ronan Duggan from Bandon won a close 800 metres from Denis Coughlan of St Finbarr’s as both dipped under the two minutes.

John Collins (Skibbereen) took his first senior medal when finishing third in a personal best of 2:00.70.

Peter Hanrahan (Togher) ran his way to a 4:05.58 in the 1500m while Carmel Crowley, who won the Bandon half-marathon two weeks ago, showed her versatility when winning the women’s 1500m and 3000m.

Former Cork cross-country champion on numerous occasions, Donnacha O’Mahony from East Cork, won a competitive combined masters and junior 3000m event but the decline in senior standards in thecounty was again evident in the 5000m as only one athlete, James Grufferty of Leevale, competed.

In the field events, junior Sam Healy from Belgooly had a double in the high and long jumps while the evergreen Pat Moore of Leevale claimed the county javelin title.

Laura McSweeney from Bandon dominated the women’s throwing events, winning the junior shot putt, discuss and hammer.

During the meeting a special presentation was made to Ted Murray from Togher who has retired from his position as starter after almost 40 years.


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