O'Lionard takes 1,500m and top athlete titles

Ciaran O'Lionaird took the 1,500m title and was named as the Athlete of the Meet at the Senior Track and Field Championships this weekend.

With four qualifiers for the European Championships; Paul Robinson (St Coca's AC), David McCarthy (West Waterford AC), O'Lionaird (Leevale AC) and John Travers (Donore Harriers), the winner was guaranteed a spot on the team for Europeans, making for an intensely competitive race.

The leading pack was tightly packed with a lap to go when Robinson took the lead with O'Lionaird hot on his heels.

Both athletes were shoulder to shoulder coming into the home straight with O'Lionaird just edging past Robinson with 50m to go to take the title in 3:43.80.

Robinson crossed the line in 3:44.16 with Travis continuing his run of recent good form to place third in 3:45.00 and McCarthy was fourth in 3:45.64.

In the women's 1500m former World Junior medallist Ciara Mageean (UCD AC) was back on the track after a long absence due to injury to win in 4:15.35.

Mageean kicked away from the leading pack with 300m to go to outpace Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) 4:18.33 in second and Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC) in third with 4:18.77.

In the women's 100m the photo-finish couldn't split Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) and Phil Healy (Bandon AC) were both awarded with a time of 11.49, a personal best for Healy.

Both athletes have also achieved the European qualification standard.

Kelly Proper secured her third medal of the championships with a time of 11.62.

With reigning champion David Hynes disqualified for false starting, the men's title went to Jamie Davis 10.90.

Irish record holder Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) was a clear winner in the men's 400m hurdles.