Longford’s Cian McPhillips set a new national junior 1500m record with a blistering victory at the Athletics Ireland Indoor League meet on Sunday writes Barry Shiel.
McPhillips clocked 3:44.85 to record victory and rewrite Colin Costello’s 15-year-old record by one second.
Ten athletes towed the start line for the senior 1500m race over seven and a half laps of the 200m track. From the gun, John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) set a fast tempo in his role as pacemaker.
The duo were closely followed by Conall Hayes (Le Chéile AC) and Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen AC) in the lead group.
At the 1200m mark, Fitzsimons stepped off to allow the trio battle it out for the closing stages.
McPhillips immediately kicked for home and covered the final 300m in 44 seconds to record a winning time of 3:44.85 to claim victory by three seconds.
The time was also the fastest by a junior athlete in Europe so far this year over the distance. It also placed 17-year-old Cian comfortably inside the ‘A’ qualifying standard for the World Junior Outdoor Championships which will be held in Kenya in July.
McPhillips will next race at the world famous Millrose Games in New York on February 8th, representing his school, Moyne Community School.
McPhillips will wear the Moyne singlet in the American High School Mile which takes place before the Wannamaker Mile at the 5,550-capacity Armory Arena.
AIT Arena was also the venue for Saturday’s National Junior and U23 Indoor Championships where Yemi Talabi and Nelvin Appiah both won gold medals to make it a super weekend for Longford AC.
Having won her heat earlier in the afternoon, Yemi claimed gold in the Junior Women’s 60m in a new personal best time of 7.57 seconds.
A mere 0.01 seconds saw Talabi to victory ahead of Patience Jumbo-Gula (Dundalk St. Gerards AC).
Showing her versatility, Talabi also competed in the Long Jump where a jump of 5.31 metres earned her an excellent 5th place finish out of 19 entrants.
Appiah was also involved in a close battle in the Junior Men’s High Jump before securing gold after clearing a height of 2.03 metres.
He earned the win on countback ahead of Geoffrey Joy-O’Regan (Sun Hill Harriers AC) who had also jumped 2.03m.
Nelvin ‘doubled up’ as well and ran in the 60m Hurdles winning silver in a superb time of 8.27 seconds which was only 0.07 seconds off gold. Next up for Nelvin will be the Millrose Games where he will compete in the High Jump.