Longford AC’s Cian McPhillips smashed the Irish record at the National Indoor Juvenile Championship Finals (Day 1) in Athlone IT at the weekend.
Moyne CS student Cian produced the performance of the day in winning the National Indoor U-17 1500m championship by over 17 seconds in a time of 3:57:28 and in the process smashed the national U-17 1,500m indoor championship record by over six seconds and gained the qualifying time for the European Outdoor Junior Championships in July.
Cian set off fast from the gun with the European standard in mind and opened up a lead straight away, he ran hard on his own for the remainder of the race managing to win by over 100 metres from the second place athlete and lap most of the field. It really was an amazing performance.
Longford AC athletes performed impressively in the 60m sprint events. In the U-14 girls 60m Funmi Talabi finished in a marvellous second place to take home silver and match her silver medal from last year.
Not to be out done, her sister Yemi also finished in second place in the U17 girls 60m race where the winner broke the championship record. This was a powerful performance by Yemi who improved on her 4th place finish from last year.
Nelvin Appiah just missed out on a medal in the U18 boys 60m when finishing fourth. You could throw a blanket over the first four in the race with only 3 hundreds of a second between Nelvin and second place. Nelvin can look forward with confidence to next week's national finals when he will compete in his stronger events, the high jump and 200m.
Killian Rawle and Davidson Olusanya both ran strongly in their 60m heats but failed to make the finals against strong competition. They will also look forward to competing at next weekend's national finals in their preferred events, the long jump and 200m.
Aaron Kelly, who qualified from his heat to the final at last year's national finals, was unfortunate to false start in his heat and be automatically disqualified under the very harsh and unforgiving false start rule.
In the U17 girls long jump both Barbara Frias and Yemi Talabi jumped really strongly and consistently to progress from the first round of jumping to make it into the final eight. The competition was very close with both girls just failing to make it into the medals. It was great to see two Longford AC athletes compete so well amongst the best eight in the country.
Derek Belton competed in his first national finals in the U12 boys high jump having qualified through Connacht at his first attempt. Derek competed well against the best in the country in his age and gained great experience for future years.