The Woodie’s DIY National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships takes place in the AIT International Arena, Athlone on the 15th and 16th of February. The Woodie’s DIY National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships takes place in the AIT International Arena, Athlone on the 15th and 16th of February. The national championships are the pinnacle of the 2014 domestic indoor season with 330 of Ireland’s top athletes battling it out for titles. Many athletes will also be seeking qualification standards for the World Indoor Track and Field Championships which take place in Sopot, Poland in March. The 2014 championships will see live coverage from RTÉ TV from 4pm on Sunday, 16th February.
The Men’s 60m will undoubtable be one of the races of the championships with real depth and quality in the line-up. David Hynes (Menapians A.C) the number one ranked Irish athlete this season over 60m with 6.81 seconds will have to contend with Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) who ran a personal best of 6.87 seconds at the Intervarsity championships. Last year’s silver medallist, Jamie Davis (Raheny AC), has also been in great form this year, setting a personal best of 6.89 at the AAI Games. Junior athletes Keith Doherty (Tallaght AC) and Marcus Lawler (SLOT AC) will be looking to shake things up. Doherty set a new Irish Junior Record of 6.88 at the Junior Championships and Marcus Lawler (SLOT AC) has a best of 6.93 this season.
The will be a real battle for the title in the women’s 60m between Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) and Joan Healy (Bandon AC), with both athletes in flying form. Foster equalled her personal best when she finished fourth in the women’s 60m final of 7.33 at the British Championships last weekend. Healy powered to victory in the Intervarsity championships last week, in a new U23 record of 7.36 seconds.
Marcus Lawler (SLOT AC) will be the strong favourite in the Men’s 200. The Carlow man was a class apart last weekend when setting a new Irish junior record of 21.26. In the women’s race Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) with a best this season of 23.90 is likely to retain her title.
In the Men’s 400m, hurdle specialist Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) is likely to dominate. Barr broke the 47 second territory when setting a personal best of 46.97 at the Intervarsity’s last weekend with Timmy Crowe (Dooneen A.C) in second setting a personal best of 47.47. In the women’s 400m Sinead Denny (DSD) will be race favourite having run a personal best of 54.52 at the recent AAI Games, setting a new stadium record.
Sarah Lavin (UCD AC) will be the clear favourite in the women’s 60m Hurdles. Lavin ran a brilliant new personal best of 8.25 seconds to finish third at the British Athletics Indoor championships in Sheffield on Sunday. She competed at the IAAF Meeting Pas de Calais in last night in Lievin, France and was unable to match that form running 8.38 seconds. In the Men’s 60m Hurdles race it will be a battle between Ian McDonald (Crusaders AC) and Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick-on-Shannon AC).
Mark English (Letterkenny AC) will start as the firm favourite in the men’s 800m. English produced a world class performance at the Open Indoor Games on February 2nd when he set a new Irish indoor record of 1.46.82. The women’s 800m is set to be an exciting duel between defending champion Ciara Everard (UCD AC) and 2014 top ranked athlete Roseanne Galligan (Newbrige AC) – 2.03.69.
David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) leads the entry in the men’s 1500m after a 3.39.14 clocking at the open indoor games, inside the standard for the world Indoor championships in Sopot, Poland. Claire Tarplee (Dundrum South Dublin AC) is another of those with Sopot on her mind as she targets the 4.14 qualifying time in the women’s 1500m.
Defending champion John Travers (Donore Harriers AC) will look to re-create the magic of last year when he brought the Athlone crowd to their feet on route to victory in the 3,000m. Challengers on the day include National outdoor 1500m champion Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers AC).
The men’s Walk event is set to be a thriller with training partners Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC) and Alex Wright (Calry AC) set to battle it out.
In the field events Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) comes into the championships on a high after recording a season best of 6.38m at the British championships last weekend. Also competing at the championships was Caoimhe King (Aughagower AC) who broke her own Irish U23 record jumping 12.96m. Colin Quirke (Crusaders A.C.) returns from America to compete in the Shot Putt competition. Quirke who finished the 2013 season as Ireland’s top ranked shot putter with a throw of 17.14m will start as the favourite to win the national title