Zoe Brown beats Tori Pena at Irish Championships in Dublin

Zoe Brown
Zoe Brown celebrated another victory over Tori Pena on Saturday

Antrim pole vaulter Zoe Brown emphasised her current Irish number one status as she beat Tori Pena to win the national title in Santry on Saturday.

Brown, who defeated American-born Pena in Cork earlier this month, cleared 4.30m to win in Dublin on Saturday as her rival could only manage 4.20m.

The 30-year attempted to improve her Northern Ireland record to 4.50m but missed out after three decent attempts.

Brown had extended her personal best to 4.45m in Wales in midweek.

Pena set her Irish record of 4.60m at a meeting in California last summer and Brown was delighted to clinch her first Irish outdoor title as she edged the domestic battle.

"I just went out wanting the win. I had a plan executed it, got the win - end of message," said Brown, who is building up towards her fourth Commonwealth Games.

"It's good to beat Tori Pena, she's a great competitor, she may not be on form, but to beat Tori for the second time this year is important.

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"I'll go to [the European Championships in] Zurich and look to jump 4.50m, which would make me more competitive.

"I'll aim to jump high and see what happens in Glasgow.

"I don't want to go to Zurich or Glasgow and just be a tourist."

Brown's Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games team-mates Katie Kirk, Kerry O'Flaherty and Daniel Mooney came safely through qualifying heats on Saturday while Ciara Mageean made a successful return to action after an injury-affected two years by winning her 1500m semi-final.

Kirk took second in her 800m heat in 2:14.52 behind City of Lisburn athlete Erin McIlveen with Roseanne Galligan winning the opening heat in 2:11.65.

Mageean jogged around to win her 1500m qualifier in 4:28.11 as she finished ahead of Sara Treacy while Commonwealth Games team member Kerry O'Flaherty progressed from the second semi-final won by Fionnuala Britton.

Earlier, Britton had taken the 5,000m title in 15:39.40 as she finished over 15 seconds ahead of Maria McCambridge with Lifford club athletes Ann-Marie McGlynn taking third.

Annadale's Eddie McGinley's hopes of winning the 10,000m title were dashed as he clocked 30:15.54 to finish over 17 seconds adrift of winner Michael Clohissey with Dublin Marathon winner Sean Hehir two seconds further back in third spot.

Kelly Proper took an impressive 200m gold in 23.23 which left her ahead of hurdles specialist Sarah Lavin, whose 23.66 was only .01 behind her new personal best set earlier in the heats.

All the main men's 1500m contenders duly qualified for Sunday's final where European Championship hopefuls Paul Robinson, Ciaran O'Lionaird, John Travers and David McCarthy will be joined by Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games representative Daniel Mooney and another northerner James O'Hare.

Mark English also strolled into the 800m final as he finished ahead of North Down's Michael Dyer in his qualifier.

On Sunday, Amy Foster will aim to emphasise her Irish number one status in the 100m with Christine McMahon competing in her Commonwealths event, the 400m hurdles.

110m hurdler Reynolds will hope to confirm his place at next month's European Championship by ducking under the qualifying time of 13.65.

Reynolds comfortably achieved the Zurich mark by running an impressive 13.49 last year but Athletics Ireland have said that hopefuls should also achieve the standard this year to guarantee their places.

Glasgow-bound Dempsey McGuigan [hammer] will also compete on Sunday.

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