FOUR Bandon AC athletes won medals at the national senior track and field championships held in Santry last weekend.
Sprinter Phil Healy brought home a silver medal in the women’s 400m, her sister Joan won bronze in the 100m final, while both Laura McSweeney (shot putt) and Shane Howard (long jump) set new personal bests and increased their club records as they won bronze and silver medals respectively.
Phil Healy continues to impress as she makes the move from the 100m and 200m to the unchartered territory of 400m, and so far she’s taking it all in her stride.
She won her heat comfortably on Saturday, and in Sunday’s final she led coming down the home straight before she was passed by Sinead Denny (53.64). Healy recorded a time of 53.78 which was her second fastest ever time in 400m in just her fifth race at this distance; a remarkable achievement for the Ballineen native.
‘I’m delighted with the run because this is a new event for me. It’s a big step up so to run that time is a good sign for the rest of the season and the coming years. I haven’t trained specifically for the 400m this year, so that last 50 metres where I was caught on Sunday will only get easier with more training and races,’ said Phil, who will represent Ireland in the women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam next week.
Also competing in Holland for Ireland will be Phil’s older sister Joan, who will race in the 4x100m relay team. Joan came third in the 100m final last Sunday, finishing in 11.94, just behind winner Amy Foster (11.83) and Niamh Whelan (11.92).
Bandon’s Laura McSweeney had a national championships to remember when she threw a personal best of 13.16 to win a bronze medal in the shot putt and also break her own club record.
Another Bandon AC athlete increasing a club record was Shane Howard, who jumped 7.35 on his sixth and final jump in the long jump, as he won a silver medal and recorded a new personal best.
Also, Patrick McSweeney finished in fourth place in the Weight for Height and fifth in the shot putt.