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Heaslip heads great day at Irish Life Health Championships

Shona Heaslip

Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) headed a great day of racing at the Irish LifeHealth National Senior and Juvenile Even Age Championships in Abbotstown on Sunday.

Heaslip won the women’s 8,000m race while Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) triumped in the men’s 10,000m.

The women’s race was seemingly whittled down to three athletes on the final lap with Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) pushing the pace from Heaslip and Lizzie Lee (Leevale) with Michelle Finn (Leevale) seemingly out of contention.

Shona Heaslip split the trio over the closing stages into the uphill finish with O’Flaherty holding second and a fast finishing Finn snaring the bronze from her team mate Lee. There was more than enough consolation for Lee as Leevale won the team title. They were ably backed up by Claire McCarthy in 10th and Sinead O’Connor in 18th. DSD were second with An Riocht third, Cork won the county.

There was a big pack in the senior men’s race which was split up by DSD’s Joe Sweeney who returned from a long lay-off with a bad Achilles.

This left Paul Pollock to pick up the pieces with Kevin Dooney (Raheny
Shamrock) swooping through for silver and holding off Hugh Armstrong (Ballina) who had an excellent run for bronze. Raheny Shamrock won the team prize with Conor Dooney in 9th, Eoin Strutt in 13th and Mark Kirwan in 18th.

Kilkenny City Harriers were second with DSD in third while Dublin won the county.

The combined U18 girls and junior women’s 4,000m race saw Laura Nicholson (Bandon) trump the field ahead of Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) and Jodie McCann (DSD).

The U18 boys and junior men’s 6,000m was arguably the race of the day with Fearghal Curtin (Youghal) running out into an early lead only to be clawed back by the chasing pack. And it was all to play for in the finishing straight with Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock) edging into a lead only to be run out by a brilliant win for Craig McMeechan (North Down).

Charlie O’Donovan (Leevale) came in with a late burst to pip Curtin for
bronze with James Edgar (City of Lisburn) and Darragh McElhinney (DSD) not too far behind in 5th and 6th respectively.

Results

Irish Life Health National Cross and Even Age Championships, Sport Ireland
National Sports Campus

Women

U12

2,000m

1. Erinn Leavy (Dunleer), 2. Zoie Richie (Rathfarnham WSAF), 3. Ava
Fitzgerald (Carraig na Bfhear)

U14

3,000m

1. Sadhbh Mohan (MSB), 2. Hannah Kehoe (Gowran), 3. Emma Moore
(Galway City Harriers)

U16

4,000m

1. Aimee Hayde (Newport), 2. Eimear Maher (DSD), Holly Brennan
(Cilles AC)

U18 and U20

4,000m

1. Laura Nicholson (Bandon), 2. Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry), 3.
Jodie McCann (DSD)

U23

8,000m

1. Bethanie Murray (DSD), 2. Lauren Dermody (Kilkenny), 3. Katie
Moore (North Down)

Senior

8,000m

1. Shona Heaslip (An Riocht), 2. Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle), 3.
Michelle Finn (Leevale)

Team

1. Leevale, 2. DSD, 3. An Riocht

Men

U12

2,000m

1. Thomas Bolton (MSB), 2. Fionn McNamara (Annalee), 3. Ben Walsh
(Nenagh Olympic)

U14

3,000m

1. Oisin Duffy (City of Derry), 2. Gearoid Lynch (Shercock), 3.
Joseph Fogarty (Celtic DCH)

U16

4,000m

1. Cian McPhillips (Longford), 2. Sean Donoghue (Celtic DCH), 3. Adam
Ferris (St Malachy’s)

U18 and U20

6,000m

1. Craig McMeechan (North Down), 2. Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock), 3.
Charlie O’Donovan (Leevale)

U23

10,000m

1. Tom O’Keeffe (Kilkenny City Harriers), 2. Eoin Strutt (Raheny
Shamrock), 3. Killian Mooney (DSD)

Senior

10,000m

1. Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), 2. Kevin Dooney (Raheny
Shamrock), 3. Hugh Armstrong (Ballina)

Team

1. Raheny Shamrock, 2. Kilkenny City Harriers, 3. DSD

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