The Irish Life Health National Indoor League took place over two weekends in TUS Arena, Athlone. The National League sees some of Ireland’s top clubs battle it out for victory, while a number of guest races are also held. The standard of competition was relatively high as athletes looked to get their Indoor seasons off to a strong start. Several DCU athletes competed across the two days of competition.
Day one took place on the 9th of January. For most of the athletes competing it served as a season opener and the first time they would have raced Indoors since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
First year Education student Caoimhe Cronin of Le Cheile AC, Co. Kildare, raced in both the 200m and 400m. Cronin had a very solid track season in 2021 serving as part of the Irish relay team at the European U20 Championships in Talinn, Estonia. Her indoor season got off to flyer as she ran a new Indoor 400m PB of 56.90s and also clocked an impressive 25.46s over 200m.
Jennifer Hanrahan of Tallaght AC also doubled up in terms of events, competing in the 60m and the Long Jump. Hanrahan ran a swift 7.71s for the dash and jumped a best of 5.64m. DCU AC PRO Kim O’Hare, a Triple Jump specialist, also competed in the Long Jump. The Raheny Shamrock jumped 4.67m.
Two other DCU athletes also went in 60m races. Erin Taheny of Corran AC, Co. Sligo ran a time of 7.93s, while Niamh O’Neill, St. Colman’s South Mayo AC, produced a PB of 8.08s. O’Neill also secured a PB in her preferred event the 60m Hurdles with a sub nine second clocking of 8.98s.
Ciaran Carthy, Jed Walshe and Mark Smyth were all also in action in the sprints. Carthy of DSD AC ran 7.02s in his 60m race. Walshe of Ratoath AC went in both the 60m and 200m. He clocked a time of 7.53s for the 60m and secured a new Indoor PB in the 200m of 23.65s in the 200m. Raheny Shamrock’s, Mark Smyth also got his season underway. Another one of DCU AC’s PRO’s, Smyth stormed to a time of 21.33s.
Stepping up a distance to the 800m and 1500m races and Ellis Conway and Colin Smith were in action. Conway of Carrick-on-Shannon AC, Co. Leitrim, had a super race running a new 800m PB of 2.19.40. Smith from Mullingar Harriers was also rewarded for a solid winter of training with a new 1500m PB of 3.48.95.
Both Matthew Callinan-Keenan (St. Laurence O’Toole AC, Co. Carlow) and Jack Murphy (Glaslough Harriers AC, Co. Monaghan) competed in the Pole Vault. Callinan-Keenan soared to new heights earning a new PB of 4.80m in the process, while Murphy jumped 3.00m.
Day 2 took place on the 23rd of January. Erin Taheny (7.89s), Jennifer Hanrahan (7.66s) raced in the 60m again. Hannah Aspell of Celbridge AC also ran in the 60m clocking 8.09s. Aspell (27.69s), Taheny (26.07s) and Laura Crossan of Finn Valley AC, Co. Donegal ran in 200m. Crossan clocked a time of 27.69s. Niamh McCorry of Annalee AC, Co. Cavan competed in the 60m Hurdles running a time of 10.06s.
Ciaran Carthy (7.00s) and Charles Okafor were in action in the 60m. Okafor of Mullingar Harriers ran 7.04s. Jed Walshe returned for the second round running to run the 400m finishing in 50.40s.
Colin Smith stepped down a distance to the 800m for Round 2 and clocked a time of 1.52.49. Corrine Kenny of St. Laurence O’Toole AC in Carlow ran in the Women’s 800m finishing in 2.18.00. Ben Guiden (Clonliffe Harriers) and Eoin Richards (St. Coca’s AC, Co. Kildare) went in the 1500m running times of 4.01.51 and 4.10.62 respectively.
In the field events Ciara Kennelly of Killarney Valley AC cleared a best of 1.70m in the High Jump while Kim O’Hare jumped 11.09m in the Triple Jump.
Image Credit: Sportsfile
By Rory Cassidy