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Israel Olatunde, UCD AC after setting the 60m national record (Photo courtesy Athletics Ireland website)


UCD AC’s Luke McCann ran a new lifetime best of 3:34:76 when finishing fourth in the 1500m with a time of  3:33:49 at the World Tour Indoor finals in Birmingham on Saturday (February 25). McCann was just one place behind Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC whose time of 3:33:49 was knocking over three seconds off  Marcus O'Sullivan's time of of 3:36.64, set  thirty-four years ago in 1989. McCann was also inside O’Sullivan’s time. In the USA, at the Big East Indoor Championships in Chicago, on Friday (February 24), Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers, still only 19 years old, was fifth in the 5000m with a time of 14:04.59. A day earlier, Paul O’Donnell of Dundrum South Dublin AC knocked four seconds off his own best when winning the 5000m at the ACC Indoors in Louisville, Kentucky in a time of 13:50.94.


Race of the evening at round 8 of  the Track and Field Live Series in Abbotstown on Friday (February 24) was the women’s 800m, where Ellie Hartnett and her UCD AC clubmate Susie Nestor crossed the line together. Hartnett was given the win in 2:07.48 with Nestor timed at 2:07.49. That time was a personal best for the 19-year-old newcomer who’s made quite an impact so far this season. Finishing third in the 800m  was Carla Sweeney of Rathfarnham WSAF AC in 2:10.50, while also from Rathfarnham WSAF AC, Zoie Richie won the women’s 400m in 57.70. Clodagh Dunbar of Clonliffe Harrers was second in 58.38 and Cara Murphy of DSD AC third in 58.58. Fastest in the men’s 400m was Marcus Lawler of Clonliffe Harriers in 48.98 secs. In the men’s mile, Sean Cronin of Clonliffe Harriers ran a a time of 4:16.1. with Louise Woodger of MSB AC second in 4:22.72. 

Israel Olatunde, UCDAC after setting the 60m national indoor record (Photo courtesy Athletics Ireland website)


Clonliffe Harriers took both men and women’s team titles on a trip to Co Meath for the Duleek and District 5km on Sunday (February 24), where Laura Tuite finished first woman. Making up the winning team were Clodagh Galvin third and Hannah Browne sixth. The men were led home by Mahad Mohammed who ended up fifth in in 16:06, despite taking a wrong turn when lying second. Cillian Keegan finished sixth and Sean McGarrity 14th. Also for Clonliffe, Ger Clerkin finished second and first M40 at  the Blackwater 10km in Co Wexford, while in Co Cork,  prolific racer Tudor Mircea  finished second in the Kinsale10-mile in 52:51.


Edel Monaghan of Dublin City Harriers finished fourth in the women’s 6km race at the NI and Ulster Senior Cross-Country in  Dundonald on Sunday (February 26) - the final championship race of the cross-country season. Monaghan is a former Ulster schools cross-country champion from Enniskillen who is studying in Dublin. She’s a mainstay of the Dublin City Harriers cross-country team which, after a thirty year gap, is back winning national team titles, and won the All Ireland senior cross-country title last November. Her time was 23:04.


Good luck to Dublin athletes competing at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, from 2 to 5 March. UCD AC have three competing -  Israel Olatunde, the new Irish record holder,  in the 60m, Luke McCann in the 1500m  and Darragh McElhinney in the 5000m.  Sophie Becker of Raheny Shamrock AC is scheduled to run in both the 400m and the 4 x 400m relay.