O'Donnell seals Euro slot while Everard stays ice cool
GER O'Donnell, the man who put Leitrim sprinting on the national map last summer by winning two medals at the Irish championships, is headed to the European Indoors next month.
The Carrick-on-Shannon high hurdler who won the national 110m title and also took bronze in the 400m hurdles last year, secured the 60m hurdles qualification at the IFAM Indoor meeting in Ghent.
O'Donnell (26) only broke eight seconds (7:99) for the first time in Athlone a week ago, but after running another PB of 7:87 in the heats in Belgium, he went on to win the final in 7:73 seconds, well inside the Euro qualifying mark of 7:78.
Clonliffe's Irish-American Declan Murray also booked his place on the plane to Praque when he ran 1:48.32 for 800m at a Boston University Invitational and immediately said he will be gunning for the Irish 1,000m record in the Millrose Games next week.
Ciara Everard (UCD) was the first Irish athlete to secure her place at the European Indoors a week earlier and the Kilkenny athlete had a dramatic experience in Ghent on Saturday when she ran on to a frozen lake during her warm-up. It cracked and opened up under her.
She fell into the freezing water up to her waist and was cut and bruised by the fall, but she proved herself a tough cookie by finishing second, in 2:04.81, in her subsequent 800m.
There were PBs also in Ghent for St Abban's 400m hurdler Paul Byrne (52:81), Dunboyne's Sara Treacy in the 1,500m (4:16.73) and Danny Mooney was the fastest Irishman (3:46.98) in the metric mile.
An Irish team of Claire Tarplee, Christine McMahon, Katie Kirk and Ciara Mageean finished third in the distance medley relay at the New Balance Indoors in Boston.
America won it in a new world record of 10:42.57 and Ireland's time was 11:03.07 with splits of 3:21.06, 56:01, 2:09.53 and 4:36.55.
America's Bernard Lagat (40) smashed Eamonn Coghlan's world masters' 3,000m record of 8:01.44 with his 7:48.33 at the same meeting where Nick Willis set a new New Zealand mile record of 3:51.61 and Jenny Simpson ran a new USA two mile record of 9:18.35.
At home, Tallaght AC (men) and Leevale (women) won the national club indoor titles by the narrowest of margins.
Tallaght set a new 4x200m club record of 1:29.89 and had individual victories from Anthony Lieghio (1,500m), Joshua Essuman (60m hurdles) and Joseph Ojewumi (200m) but only pipped Clonliffe on count-back. Leevale beat Craughwell by a point.