ATHLETICS: Ciara Mageean sets new Irish Indoor mile record

Ciara Mageean set a new record
Ciara Mageean set a new record

Ciara Mageean set a new Irish Indoor mile record when placing sixth at the Millrose Games in New York.

The Portaferry girl clocked 4:28.40 which took almost two seconds off Roisin McGettigan’s 2009 time.

The race was won by former World medallist Shannon Rowbury of USA in 4:24.39.

Meanwhile, Aaron Doherty and Shalene McMurray lit up Lurgan Park with sparkling performances as they won the Northern Ireland and Ulster Senior Cross Country titles ahead of huge fields.

Doherty was always prominent in the early stages in a big group which included Alan Bogle, Mark McKinstry, Eoghan Totten, Seamus Lynch, Scott Rankin and Ian Whiteside.

After three of the six laps it was McKinstry, second last year, and Doherty with Lynch shadowing them.

Totten and Adam Kirk-Smith were leading the chasers.

The leading trio stayed together until half way round the penultimate lap when Doherty made the decisive break.

He looked very comfortable as he eased down the final straight to win by four seconds from McKinstry with Lynch third.

Totten, Kirk-Smith, Whiteside and Masters champion Pauric McKinney followed with Andrew Annett, David O’Flaherty and Rankin making up the top ten.

Newcastle with Lynch, Totten, Whiteside and O’Flaherty joined by David Simpson 13th and David Steele 21st won the team prize from North Belfast and City of Derry Spartans.

The winner had flown in from Madrid where he has been teaching for the last five years.

He said: “It is just a great feeling to win. I knew I was in great shape after a recent half marathon in Madrid.”

Shalene McMurray was simply superb as she led for every step of the way.

The Newcastle girl started as red hot favourite after her Coleraine victory and did not disappoint.

She took the lead from the gun, was on her own after just 200 metres and just went further and further ahead.

After the first of three laps she was 100 metres in front of a group containing Gerrie Short, Jodie Smith, Patricia O’Hagan and Rebecca Henderson with Beechmount and Dromore looking good in the team contest.

The gap had doubled at the bell with Gerrie Short now second and Rebecca Henderson and Jodie Smith disputing third.

Karen Alexander was moving up rapidly.

At the line Shalene had an amazing 54-second advantage over Gerrie who improved from 10th last year.

Rebecca Henderson, Karen Alexander, Jodie Smith, Pauline Thom, Patricia O’Hagan and Cathy Diver were next with Laura Bickerstaff and top Junior Rebekah Nixon making up the 10.

Gerrie and Catherine were joined by Sarah Lavery 15th and Daire McCartan 21st as Beechmount won a close team contest with 46 from Dromore 51 and Lagan Valley 58.

The 37-year-old winner who only came to cross country this season after a tremendous mountain racing career said: “I thought I would run as hard as possible from the start and see how long I could last.”

Her tactics certainly paid off.