AAI Games 2021 (12th/13th June)
The AAI Games took place in very good conditions in Morton Stadium, Santry on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th June. In the senior men 800m, Eoin Quinn’s recent improvements saw him compete in the A race, giving a very good account of himself finishing in fifth place in 1:52.74. Colin D Smith (u/23) was having his first race of the season and finished closely behind Eoin in a time of 1:54.34. In the next heat, Colin P Smith (u/20) stepped down in distance from 1,500m to 800m and produced a really strong finish to win his race in 1:54.78. This was a PB by three seconds and another big step forward for Colin.
In the men 3,000m A race, Cormac Dalton was always prominent in the leading group as was Jamie Battle, who was racing for the first time in eighteen months. Cormac finished second in a thrilling sprint finish to record a time of 8:11.68, which was a PB by over fifteen seconds. Jamie Battle also finished strongly in 8:16.48, also a PB by over ten seconds. Euan Lagan dipped under the nine minute barrier for the first time with 8:56.85, while Lorcan Mullen finished well for a time of 9:16.51.
Claire Fagan, who usually races over 5,000m and 10,000m, stepped down in distance and raced over 1,500m for the first time in two years. She was rewarded with a seventh place finish in a PB of 4:30.66. Phoebe Bate and Meabh Killalea are both juvenile athletes but bravely stepped up into senior competition, competing in the 800m and 3,000m respectively. This was the first opportunity for the girls to race in almost a year and both performed very well. They can now focus on their upcoming juvenile Leinster and National championships in the weeks ahead. Diarmuid Fagan and Ross Killalea also used the 1,500m to sharpen up for the underage championships. While both were marginally outside their personal bests set two weeks ago, it was a great experience to race against senior athletes and will set them up very well for the rest of the track season.
Charles Okafor lined up late on Saturday afternoon for his first 200m race in nine months. Drawn in lane 3 in a tough race against a high quality field, he powered to third place in an excellent 22.15 seconds with a tail wind only slightly over the legal limit, so it was a very good first race over the distance this year. Charles was back on track early on Sunday morning for the 100m where he responded well to the pressure of top quality opposition and was very pleased to run 11.01 seconds in near calm conditions, quicker than in Belfast two weeks earlier. An hour later he lined up in the second series of 100m races where he improved again to 10.82 seconds, which only for the tail wind being slightly over the legal limit, would have been a big PB, but he’s improving with every race and knows that further improvements will come.