Although the performances of the meet came in the form of sprint doubles from LaVerne Jones-Ferrette of the Virgin Islands and Athenry’s Paul Hession, it was a distance runner who excelled from a Leevale perspective. Mark Hanrahan ran a superb PB of 8:01.5 in the 3000m, finishing only 5 secs behind Beijing-bound Alistair Cragg. This performance was enough to get Mark 6th place in a very competitive field. His next aim must surely be to join the elite band of Irish athletes who have broken the 8 minute barrier.
Derval O’Rourke is beginning to show more form over the past month, running close to 13s on a regular basis. She ran exactly that time today, coming in 2nd to Andrea Bliss in a blanket finish in the 100m hurdles. On this form it looks like her preparations for Beijing are coming together just at the right time. Ciarán Ó Lionáird continued his recent form in the 1500m, running 3:48.3 and finishing 11th in a tightly-bunched field. In the 100m Derek Duff finished 7th in 10.98 and Ailis McSweeney 8th in 11.85.
100m hurdles medallists, Derval O’Rourke, Andrea Bliss, and Aurelia Trywianska. Also pictured on right are former Leevale athletes Dick Hodgins (Chairman, Cork City Sports) and Ken Nason (Spar)
Apart from a few heavy showers before the start, weather conditions were ideal, and overall the standard across the events was excellent with some top class competition, befitting of the event’s status as one of the top events in the European Athletic Association’s race calendar. It was disappointing in these circumstances that the attendance seemed to be down on last year, continuing a noticeable trend over the previous few years.
Derval after her medal presentation for 2nd place
Leevale basket girls take a quick break from duty