01 Jul 2022

Leitrim quartet among newly ratified Connacht Athletics record holders

Four Leitrim athletes are included in the newly ratified list of Connacht Athletics records, a list that includes Olympians, former world record holders and a current European U20 record holder.

Ballinamore AC duo Colin Griffin and Brian McGovern and Carrick-on-Shannon AC's Gerard O'Donnell are the only Leitrim athletes list compiled by the Connacht Athletics statistics team of Pierce O'Callaghan, Seamus Lynch, Iain Shaw and Ronan O'Hart.

Double Olympian Colin Griffin holds the records for the 3Km, 5Km, 10Km, 20Km and 50Km walks. His time of 11.19.70 over 3,000m is ranked fifth in the Irish all-time list, his 5km time of 19.36.42 is seventh overall, his 10Km time of 39.51.85 is third overall. Colin, who also competed in the World and European Championships, is ranked sixth over 20Km with 1.23.53 and fifth over 50Km, the distance which he competed at in the Beijing and London Olympic Games, with 3.51.32

Yonkers born Brian McGovern, the son of Leitrim natives Thomas and Bernadette McGovern, holds the Connacht record for the pole vault when he cleared 5.36m in Tempe Arizona in 2013, a mark that is still the Irish Senior record. He also holds the Irish Indoor record with 5.22m, set in New York in 2012.

Carrick-on-Shannon AC's Gerard O'Donnell, who won the National Senior 110m Hurdles title for the fourth in a row in addition to the Indoor title in 2020, is the record holder for the 110m Hurdles and 400m hurdles. His time of 13.87 seconds sees him ranked fifth on the Irish all-time list for the shorter event while he is ranked 53rd on the Irish all time list with his Connacht record of 53.25 seconds.

Ballinamore AC's legendary double Olympian Eddie Leddy is also among the record holders with his time of 8.35.2 for the 3,000m steeplechase, set in 1974 still the best mark ever from a Connacht athlete. Eddie is still ranked 39th over 5,000m (13.40.51), 23rd over 10,000m (28.32.8) and 61st in the marthon (2.18.26) in the Irish all-time lists.

The list of newly ratified Leitrim records does have another Leitrim connection in the former of North Sligo AC's Mary Cullen, who has many family links in the north Leitrim area, is the record holder over 3,000m with a time of 8.43.74 and over 5,000m with 15.18.34, both of which were set in 2009.

There are some very notable performances on the list of Connacht records includes the current European and Irish U20 800m of 1.46.13 set by Longford AC's Cian McPhillips indoors this year while Mayo native Sinead Diver set records of 31.25.49 over 10,000m, 68.50 in the half-marathon and 2.24.11 in the marthon while competing for Australia.

There was also a previous world record on the list - Ned Tobin's massive heave of 4.60m in the 56 lbs for height event was a world record when the Oughterard man set it way back in 1944. Imagine the strength, timing and speed it takes to throw a four stone weight over 15 feet into the air!

Unbelievably, the record was equalled last year by Galway City Harriers' Sean Breathnach last year when he won the Irish title.

The full list of Connacht records is included in the slideshow

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