Zoe poles apart

Raheny star sets new PB at Team Champs

RAHENY pole vaulter Zoe Brown proved the star of the show at the Northern Ireland Team Championships thanks to a new personal best of 4.20m.

That puts Brown, previously the Irish record holder, second behind US-based Tori Pena on 4.52m.

At the Woodie's DIY National Junior and U23 Championships in Tullamore, Kate Veale from West Waterford, who will lead the Irish team at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, won the junior 3,000m walk comfortably.

Other athletes selected for the world juniors include Karl Griffin of Tir Chonaill, who stepped down from his usual 800m distance to win the 400m in 49.52, and Marcus Lawlor of St Laurence O'Toole, who won the 200m.

Over the longer distances, Kevin Dooney of Raheny raced away from the field in the 5,000m and was third in the 1,500m. Dooney competes in the 10,000m in Barcelona.

At U23 level, Niamh Whelan of Ferrybank and Steffi Creaner of DCH battled it out in the women's sprints, with Whelan taking the 100m and Creaner the 200m.

DSD's Sinead Denny won the 800m while Gabrielle Coveney of Loughborough University secured a 400m flat and hurdles double. Claire Fitzgerald of Tralee dominated the throws, winning both shot and discus.

Paralympian Michael McKillop of St Malachy's won the men's 1,500m, while Thomas Barr of Ferrybank took the 400m hurdles in style. In the field, Barry Pender of St Abban's won the high jump with a leap of 2.13m.

A day earlier, the Aviva Tailteann Games, held in atrocious conditions at Santry, produced a record number of tight finishes. In the boys' 800m, Cian McBride of Summerhill Sligo stumbled and fell over the line just ahead of Shane McGowan from St Columb's, Derry. The pair were both timed at 2 mins 00.3 secs.

Sam Healy of Carrigaline CS and Ciaran Corrigan of O'Carolan Nobber jumped exactly 6.64 in the boys' long jump, with Healy winning on countback. The day's only record came in the girls' hammer, where Alice Akers of Scarriff threw 50.32m.