Longford athletics star Cian McPhillips announces himself on world stage by winning  Invitational mile at Millrose Games in New York

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

Email:

alan.walsh@longfordleader.ie

Rising Longford athletics star Cian McPhillips announced himself on the world stage earlier this evening (Saturday, February 8) by winning the Boys New Balance Invitational mile at the Millrose Games in New York in a time of 4:10.95.

The 17-year-old Moyne Community School student and recent Irish U20 indoor 1500m record breaker, showed a clean pair of heals to some of the best US high school athletes to win a tactical race. 

The Boys New Balance Invitational mile took place before the prestigious Wanamaker Mile, at the 5,550-capacity Armory Arena, and Cian's performance electrified the attendance. 

Cian was 11th at the 1\4 mile stage, then drove ahead to 4th position at half mile mark, held on and then ignited to end, capturing 1st place in an absolute sprint finish.

Ian O'Riordan dubbed Cian 'the future of Irish middle distance running'.

Coincidentally, the Director of the 113th Millrose Games is none other than Longford's very own Ray Flynn, who is now based in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Ray is a two-time Olympian, has ran 89 sub four-minute miles, and is one of an elite group of men to have run under three minutes and fifty seconds for the mile. 

The Millrose Games were televised live by NBC. 

Cian smashes Irish junior record 

Longford athlete Cian McPhillips got 2020 off to the best possible start with a blistering performance in the AAI Indoor League meet at the Athlone IT Arena on Sunday, January 26.

Ten athletes took to the start line for the senior 1500m race of seven and a half laps of the 200m track.

From the gun, John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) set a fast tempo in his role as pacemaker. He churned out successive 30-second laps with Cian tucked in behind. The duo were closely followed by Conall Hayes (Le ChéileAC) and Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen AC) in the lead group.

At 1200m, Fitzsimons stepped off to allow the trio battle it out for the closing stages.

Cian immediately kicked for home and covered the final 300m in 44 seconds to record a winning time of 3:44.85 to claim victory by three seconds.

His time set a new Irish Junior (under 20) indoor 1500m record by over a second breaking the previous record, set by Colin Costello, that had stood since 2005.

The time was also the fastest by a junior athlete in Europe so far this year over the distance. It also placed 17-year-old Cian comfortably inside the ‘A’ qualifying standard for the World Junior Outdoor Championships which will be held in Kenya in July.

Cian’s coach Joe Ryan was delighted with the race and even felt that Cian still had a little left in the tank at the end.