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May 26, 2024
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Championship best sees Eimear McCarroll take National Indoor 1500m gold


Eimear McCarroll clocked a new championship best performance to take 1500m gold at the 123.ie National Indoor U20 and U23s Championships in Athlone on Saturday.

The Finn Valley AC athlete won the U20 1500m with a superb new personal best. Every hundredth of a second was needed as McCarroll edged Donore’s Emily Bolton following a thrilling tussle.

It was anyone’s race as they rounded the bend at the TUS International Arena.

McCarroll just about held sway over the line to win in 4:32.71 with Bolton going 4:32.72. Just 0.01 of a second between them at the the end with McCarroll lowering the 4:34.89 she set last week at the same venue in a guest 1500m as part of the National Indoor League.

McCarroll’s time also shaves time off the previous championship best, the 4:35.81 set in 2020 by Tullamore Harriers’ Ava O’Connor. The Loreto Grammar School, Omagh scholar beat a quality field that included Willowfield’s Fosters sisters, Lucy and Kirsti Charlotte and Clodagh Gill from Moy Valley.

The 18-year-old recently accepted a scholarship offer from Bradley University. McCarroll will head for Illinois in the autumn for what looks a bright move across the Atlantic.

McCarroll was the start turn from a Donegal athletics perspective in the midlands.

Ashleigh McArdle of Lifford-Strabane AC was the silver medalist in the U20 shot put, reaching out to a best of 11.47m in an event won by Kotryna Pacerinskaite from Fanahan McSweeney AC with a 12.73m throw.

The Anderson siblings, Alex and Ava, from Tir Chonaill AC, were silver and bronze medallists in the weight for distance at U20 level. Alex Anderson threw out to 7.65m for silver, beaten only by Gowran’s Andrew Cooper’s 8.93m effort while Ava Anderson had a best of 7.42m for bronze. Ava Anderson was also fifth in the shot put, going out to 10.73m.

In the U20 60m hurdles Fintan Dewhirst of Tir Chonaill AC took silver in 8.40 seconds with Lifford-Strabane’s Finn O’Neill following in third, finishing in 8.51 seconds. They were bested by Sean Owens from Crusaders AC, who left with gold thanks to an 8.38-second run.

O’Neill was also the shot put bronze medalist thanks to a 13.54m throw with Alex Anderson eighth (10.55m) and Luke Ward, also of Lifford-Strabane tenth (9.41m).

O’Neill finished fourth in the long jump when putting the heels in the sand at 6.13m while Dewhirst was fourth in the 400m in 49.44 seconds and McArdle came fourth in the 60m hurdles in 9.13 seconds.

There was a memorable first national medal for Letterkenny AC’s Joseph Aidoo, who bagged an excellent bronze in the U23 400m. Aidoo finished well in 50.12 seconds to get on the podium behind winner Joe Doody from Cabinteely (48.67 seconds) and David Doyle from Dundrum (49.99 seconds).

Finn Valley AC’s Oisin Thompson settled for bronze in the U23 long jump. Heading into the final round of jumps, Thompson occupied the silver medal post with 6.54m his best attempt, but Jordan Knight leapfrogged him for silver when recording a 6.63m jump. A 7.17m leap earned Leevale athlete Reece Ademola the gold.

In the U23 1500m, Finn Valley AC’s Amy Greene was fifth in 4:45.76 and Sophie Parlour from Olympian YAC was sixth in the U20 60m sprint in 7.92 seconds.

Aidoo was second in a 200m heat in 22.54 seconds, but didn’t qualify, while Finn Valley’s Daniel McHugh and Odhran Grimes of Letterkenny AC were third in 200m and 400m heats, missing qualification.

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