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New milestone as Mageean breaks record in Big Apple

By Brian Hill

Published 22/02/2016

New York moment: Ciara Mageean claimed the Irish mile record
New York moment: Ciara Mageean claimed the Irish mile record

Portaferry’s Ciara Mageean continued her superb season in the weekend’s Millrose Games in New York when she set a new Irish indoor mile record of 4mins 28.40secs which takes 1.65secs off the previous best time.

Roisin McGettigan’s 2009 Irish record of 4.30.06 was always under threat from the Lisburn AC woman who only two weeks ago set a new Irish 1500 metres indoor record of 4 mins 8.66secs in Germany.

In New York, Ciara almost beat that time when she raced through the 1500 metres mark in 4.09.01. At that stage she was in third place in a world class field led by former World outdoors bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury.

In the closing stages Ciara drifted back a little to finish sixth, but still  held on for  the record which is a new PB by some 10secs. In the process she took several major scalps as Rowbury took the victory in 4.24.39. 

In the meantime, Newcastle’s Shaleene McMurray and Aaron Doherty of City of Derry were convincing winners in the NI and Ulster Senior Cross Country Championships in Lurgan where record fields defied the heavy testing conditions.

McMurray’s two young daughters were on hand to witness a masterclass of front running by their 37-year-old mother who decimated the opposition from the start of the 6K event. The mountain racer made light of the conditions and crossed the finish line in 23mins 7secs which was almost a minute ahead of Gerri Short of Beechmount. Short won a battle for second in a time of 24.01 ahead of Rebecca Henderson (24.10) and Acorns’ Karen Alexander (24.16).

The top six were completed by  North Down’s Jodi Smith (24.28) and Pauline Tom of Ballymena (24.34).A rejuvenated Beechmount Harriers took their first team victory in 20 years with 46 points ahead of Dromore (51) and Lagan Valley (58).

There was a surprise winner in the Men’s 12K event as Aaron Doherty of City of Derry Spartans took advantage of the absence of defending champion Declan Reed to make a decisive break in the closing stages.

The Madrid-based teacher  eased up towards the finish to take the victory in 40mins 24secs. This was 4secs ahead of a frustrated Mark McKinstry of North Belfast who repeated his last year’s runner-up spot.

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