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Maeve O’Neill races to new 800m personal best in Florida

March 25th, 2024 2:15 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Maeve O'Neill is on a scholarship at Providence College in Rhode Island.

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MAEVE O’Neill has certainly found her stride in the States.

The Ballinacarriga athlete, recently turned 20 years old, is a freshman at Providence College in Rhode Island, the same college that Newcestown’s Jane Buckley attends. Much like Buckley, O’Neill is also turning heads – she ran a new 800m personal best of 2:05.95 to win the UCF Black & Gold Invite in Orlando, Florida.

It was a special moment for the Doheny AC graduate who swapped West Cork for Rhode Island, and is now coached by Ray Tracey.

O’Neill’s previous 800m PB of 2:06.38 had stood since 2021, so this feels like a breakthrough performance.

‘It was a great moment,’ she told The Southern Star this week,

‘I have had to wait since 2021 for my last PB in either the 800 or the 400, so this was really reassuring about my choice to come here.

‘It’s hard sometimes when you have a year or two where you are putting in the hard work and not seeing the times come down like you want to, so this was reassurance that I am on the right track.

‘Since I moved here I know I have become a much stronger athlete, and if the PB didn’t come this season, then I know it would next season. It’s always nice to get that boost and to have a new PB, and it also gives you something to aim for again.’

Last month O’Neill also set a new 800m indoor PB of 2:07.13 at the Valentine Invitational in Boston.

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