Sunday 21 October 2018

Cragg top of the 5000m class

IRISH athletes enjoyed a rewarding weekend at the conclusion of the prestigious American Collegiate (NCAA) Championships in Sacramento, California. Alastair Cragg won the 5,000m and Roisin McGettigan set a national record as she finished third in the women's 3,000m steeplechase.

McGettigan clocked 9:50.12 when taking the bronze medal in the colours of Providence College, more than eight seconds inside her old Irish record.

For Cragg, victory in the 5,000m victory was compensation for the narrow defeat he suffered by University of Arkansas team-mate Dan Lincoln on Thursday night when they attempted a dead-heat only for the electronic photo equipment to separate them by nine hundredths of a second, with Lincoln being declared the winner in a record 28:20.20.

Cragg allowed others to set the pace before he used his speed over the last 200m to win by more than two seconds in 13:47.87.

Arkansas won their 10th team title, with the performances of Cragg and Lincoln (who also won the steeplechase) accounting for 38 of the 59 points.

McGettigan also had every reason to be delighted with her performance. She displayed great battling qualities to keep her place among the leaders before losing ground in the closing stages as Kassi Anderson of Bringham Young sprinted to victory in 9:44.85.

Derval O'Rourke smashed her own Irish U-23 record for the 100m hurdles when finishing third in 13.31 at an international meeting in Latvia. Anna Boyle from Ballymena won the 100m in 11.74, while Michelle Carey of West Dublin took the women's 400m hurdles in 59.85.

Freda Davoren (4:13:20) was beaten into third place in a tactical 1,500m and James Nolan (1:50:49) suffered a similar fate in the 800m.

Joanne Cuddihy, who broke the 25-year-old Irish 400m junior record on Thursday with 53.21, produced another great performance to finish second in 53.85.

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