Cian McPhillips got 2020 off to the best possible start with a blistering performance in the AAI Indoor League meet at the Athlone IT Arena on Sunday. Ten athletes took to the start line for the senior 1500m race of seven and a half laps of the 200m track. From the gun, John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) set a fast tempo in his role as pacemaker. He churned out successive 30-second laps with Cian tucked in behind. The duo were closely followed by Conall Hayes (Le ChéileAC) and Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen AC) in the lead group. At 1200m, Fitzsimons stepped off to allow the trio battle it out for the closing stages. Cian immediately kicked for home and covered the final 300m in 44 seconds to record a winning time of 3:44.85 to claim victory by three seconds.
His time set a new Irish Junior (under 20) indoor 1500m record by over a second breaking the previous record, set by Colin Costello, that had stood since 2005. The time was also the fastest by a junior athlete in Europe so far this year over the distance. It also placed 17-year-old Cian comfortably inside the ‘A’ qualifying standard for the World Junior Outdoor Championships which will be held in Kenya in July.
Cian’s coach Joe Ryan was delighted with the race and even felt that Cian still had a little left in the tank at the end.
Congratulations to Cian, Joe and Cian’s proud family on such a fantastic record-breaking performance achieved in the colours of Longford AC. His next race will be at the world famous Millrose Games in NewYork on February 8th. Representing his school, Moyne Community School, Cian will compete in the American High School Mile which will take place before the Wannamaker Mile at the 5,550-capacity Armory Arena.