Teenager smashes Irish record in Watford win
Darragh McElhinney produced another outstanding performance over the weekend to smash the Irish U-20 3000m record, clocking 8:01.48 at the British Milers Club meeting in Watford.
With temperatures in the mid-30s, the 18-year-old from Glengariff, Co Cork, unleashed a blazing final kick to win with ease over his senior rivals, taking 12 seconds off his previous best and three seconds off the previous record of 8:04.48, set by Mark Christie in 2004. It means McElhinney now heads the European U-20 rankings over 3000m and 5000m. He intends to compete over 5000m at the European U-20 Championships in Sweden this month, where he will be one of Ireland's strongest medal contenders. Ciara Mageean got her season off to a flying start at the same meeting, the 27-year-old clocking the second fastest time ever for 800m, running 2:01.81 to finish fifth in the women's 800m.
Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner came in one place ahead of Mageean. The 23-year-old Dubliner set a PB of 2:01.67. Sarah Healy sharpened up for this month's European U-20 Championships by dropping down to 800m, the double European U-18 champion running 2:04.66 to finish sixth in the B race, with Nadia Power clocking 2:03.68 for third.
In the men's 1500m Dubliner Luke McCann (21) clocked 3:41.70, the fastest by an Irishman this year. Brian Fay set a PB of 3:43.19, while in the B race Irish indoor champion Eoin Pierce clocked a PB of 3:42.87. Jayme Rossiter impressed in the 3000m steeplechase with 8:46.81.
At the junior international in Mannheim, Germany, Aaron Sexton (18) continued his fine form with an impressive run over 200m, clocking 20.79 (+2.0m/s).