Sarah Healy (Blackrock) smashed the Irish U20 and Youth 3,000m records to win her maiden national senior title in 9:10.43 on the first day of the Irish Life Health National Indoor Championships
Healy was simply outstanding at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena as she left Rio 2016 Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) firmly in her wake.
A rare talent was on display and the Blackrock teenager (just turned 17) surpassed the U20 record of 9:28.67 (by Rose Anne Galligan) and the Youth record of 9:35.1 (by Amy Rose Farrell).
O’Flaherty led the first km in roughly 3:10 and then Healy took over winding it up sublimely to 3:05 and finishing off with a swift 2:55 final km. Meghan Ryan (DSD) got up for bronze in 9:43.35.
Kate Veale (West Waterford) was the first winner of the day on the track ,retaining her women’s 3,000m race walk title in 13:38.36. Alex Wright (Leevale) impressed to retain the men’s 5,000m race walk title in 18:59.62 – nine seconds shy of his national record.
Rising field event stars Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley) and Michaela Walsh (Swinford) won the women’s high jump and shot put in 1.84m and 15.36m respectively.
Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton) bagged the women’s national long jump title with a leap of 5.90m.
In the men’s pole vault, Matthew Keenan Callinan (SLOT) and Shane Martin (Ballymena & Antrim) tied for gold with 4.30m.
Antony Daffurn (SRL AC) took the men’s triple jump title with 14.93m.
The action will continue tomorrow and should prove enthralling as Phil Healy (Bandon) and Olympic 400m hurdler Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) sailed through their respective 400m and 200m heats.
There are a host of finals on the track and field, it should prove to be a pulsating day of action.