The Irish men’s team finished second in a thrilling international distance medley relay at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory , New York at the weekend, running under the previous world record with a final time of 9:25.37.
USA established a new world record when winning in 9:19.93.
Murray & Gregan
First up for the Irish was Declan Murray, who split a 2:53.17 1200m leg to hand over to Brian Gregan in fourth place. “I really got after it,” said Murray. “I was trying to get up there and give us a shot at the front. It was good.”
Gregan ran a 47.40-second 400m and handed over to European bronze medallist Mark English on the 800m leg. “I got it in about fourth, and had to try to pass two people, but the main thing was to keep us in touch,” said Gregan. “When I went to overtake I got pushed into lane three, but I managed to hand over in second or third and give the lads a chance.”
English & O’Lionaird
Mark English was next up, and he ran an impressive 1:46.59 to hand over to Ciarán Ó Lionáird on the anchor leg in second place. “The lads did super,” said English afterwards. “My job was to make as much ground as I could so Ciarán could have a chance, and fair play to him, he went after the Americans. It was a great race, and great to be a part of a world record race. I don’t want to overcook it this indoor season. I just want to go out there and be competitive, and I’m looking forward to the European Indoors.”
Ciarán Ó Lionáird brought the crowd to their feet on the final leg as he closed in on the American team at the half-mile mark, but eventually found American Pat Casey too strong over the final laps. Ó Lionáírd split 3:58.23 for his 1600m leg.
“I didn’t know what to expect, so I said I may as well be competitive,” he said. “I went out really hard, and that cost me in the end, but I’m really happy with it. It made it a good show. I’m pretty proud of how I ran today. As soon as I got to him, he started winding it up. As soon as I got to 200 to go, he had me. Today was encouraging stuff, though.”