Carroll Shines at Cork City Sports

The BUPA Ireland 50th Cork City Sports fulfilled all it’s pre-meet promises with yet another fantastic feast of athletics.  For the first time the Sports were held at the Cork Institute of Technology where the new track made a big contribution to the success of the day.  Weatherwise the day started off dull and overcast, with a strong wind making it’s presence felt.  However, the sun arrived mid-afternoon making conditions more bearable.  The day belonged to Mark Carroll.  Running the final event of the day, the 1,500m, the Leevale man had the crowd roaring him on as he raced against a strong international field.  After a lap he was nicely placed in sixth position as James Nolan and Tim Broe from the US set the pace.  He maintained the same position at halfway, with the three Africans leading, and Nolan drifting back.  At the bell Julius Achon of Uganda had a narrow lead, with Carroll on his shoulder and Australian Craig Mottram outside him.  They were followed by the two Kenyans and Names Nolan, with a slight gap to Gareth Turnbull of Belfast.  That last lap was a tremendous affair as the leaders battled each other.  Turning into the straight Mark Carroll was in third, but he then produced the kind of battling finish that has set him apart from other athletes.  The crowd roared as he took the lead, and then, approaching the finish, he was able to look over at Mottram and Achon (photo), giving the impression that he had plenty in reserve as he won only his second race at the Cork City Sports (in 3:38.76).  Mottram was second in 3:38.97, with Achon finishing third.  Mottram, incidentally, has an English passport, and his father Brian played soccer for Wimbledom.  The womens 1,500m was another great race from Cork perspective.  Here UCC’s Freda Davoren was attempting to record her third win in recent weeks.  She had herself perfectly placed throughout the race, on the shoulder of the leader all the time.  It was American Amy Rudolph who set the pace for much of the way, but when she gave way in the last 200m it was teenage Australian Georgie Clarke who stormed into the lead, with Davoren on her outside.  The two fought a fierce battle down the finishing stretch with Davoren just inching ahead for a great win.  The 800m had an interesting entrant in Michael Stember, a student at Stanford University, the leading middle distance college in America.  He sat back in last place throughout, waiting for 250m to go before making a move.  And what a move!  He simply left the rest for dead as he recorded a very impressive win.  Former Leevale sprinter Derval O’Rourke put in a great run in the sprint hurdles to take third and obviously has great potential in this event.  Leevale’s Sharon Kelly finished 7th in 15.82.  In the men’s 5,000m, Leevale’s Fiachra Lombard finished down the field in 14:09.20.  The race was won by James Getana of Kenya in 13:37.77.  Leevale’s Sean Conroy was 5th in the Junior men’s 1,500m (3:57.23).  Every event on the programme produced thrilling performances, a tribute to the hard working City Sports Committee, and only possible because of the generosity of all the sponsors.  (Full Results).