Teen star O'Connor smashes Irish senior record
Dundalk teenager Kate O'Connor underlined her vast potential by breaking the Irish women's pentathlon record on Saturday, the 17-year-old racking up a score of 4,108 points to take victory at the Irish Life Health National Combined Events in Athlone.
That surpassed the previous record of 4,043 held by her rival Elizabeth Morland who, like O'Connor, was a finalist at the European U-20 Championships in Italy last year.
O'Connor clocked 9.09 to win the 60m hurdles, cleared 1.79m in the high jump, threw 12.63m in the shot put, leapt 5.62m in the long jump and finished off with a 2:20.8 800m.
That puts her fifth in the world for the pentathlon this season, and if she can maintain that ranking until February 12, she will earn a place at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in February.
The men's title went to Shane Aston with 3,503 points.
Elsewhere Bandon's Joan Healy smashed her lifetime best to clock a blistering 7.34 for 60m in Nantes to move to seventh on the Irish all-time list, just shy of the world indoor qualifying standard of 7.30.
European U-20 100m champion Gina Akpe-Moses clocked 7.50 to finish sixth in the 60m.
Yesterday in Athlone, UCD's Claire Mooney posted 2:02.3 for 800m, just shy of the world indoor qualifying standard of 2:02.00.
However, the run was not eligible for qualification purposes as Mooney had a male pacemaker in the shape of her coach, James Nolan. She was followed home by Alanna Lally in 2:04.7, with Ellie Hartnett third in 2:05.3.