The County Junior and Senior Track and Field Championships took place in Templemore last Saturday, 12th June and it was great to see the club colours well represented. On a day more akin to Mediterranean weather, it was great to see Club members performing so well. Indeed, it was one of the Club’s youngest squad ever to compete at these Championships, augurs well for the future with such a talented bunch of athletes. For many of these athletes it was their first taste of competition at this level.
The walkers got the day off to a fantastic start with gold medal winning performances from Sam O Sullivan with a sole effort, gun to tape in the Junior Men 2K Walk (9 mins 2 secs), Grainne O Connor also putting in a great solo effort to win the Junior Women 2K title (12 mins 3 secs). In the Girls under 13 2K walk we had two athletes making their debut in this event and both performed very well in such warm conditions with Niamh Clarke winning the Gold (13 mins 35 secs) and Alice Meegan the Silver medal in (14 mins 16 secs).
The next event on the track was the 100ms. Hazel Galloway ran very well when finishing 2nd in 16.35 secs opening her season with a particularly good effort. Later in the day she followed this up with a win in the 200m in 36.06 secs. In the Junior men 400m race we had four athletes making their debut at these Championships and it was great to see them all running so well on their first outing of the season. Daragh Walsh ran a great race when winning the bronze medal in 55.73 secs with Jack Boland, Thomas Smith and Conor O Loughlin also running well.
We then had the middle-distance races. In the Junior Women 800m we saw great efforts from Gillian Hughes and Hazel Brennan, they paced themselves very well and moved into contention at the bell, they maintained that strong pace to win the gold medal (Gillian) and Silver (Hazel) in 2 mins 23.1 secs and 2 mins 27.84 secs respectively. Then later in the day Hazel used her pace to good effect when taking command over the final 400m to win the Gold in the Junior women 1500m in 5 mins 14 secs. In the Junior Men 1500m Conor Flaherty ran very well when winning the silver medal in 4 mins 36 secs, great to see Conor back running well after a recent injury. In the Senior Women 1500m Ciara O Neill produced a great performance when winning the title impressively in 4 mins 45.8 secs. In the Senior Men’s 1500m, the last event of the day, Evan Fitzgerald produced a great effort as he took up the pace on the first lap and set a strong tempo all the way to win in a PB of 4 mins 13 secs.
Earlier in the day we had the 3000m and 500m races combined and we saw some great performances. In the women’s combined race, Hannah Steeds made her Club debut a winning one. She took control of the race early on and despite the warm weather she kept a strong tempo going all the way to win the 5000m race impressively in 18 mins 33.66 secs, great front running performance in such conditions. In the junior equivalent we also saw great performances from both Emma Murray and Ruby Carroll on their debut in this event and distance when winning the Gold (19 mins 34.24 secs) and Silver (21 mins 39.34 secs) respectively. In the Junior 3000m race we saw Celine Durand winning the silver medal with a particularly good effort in 12 mins 37.46 secs. In the Senior Men’s 5000m race Evan Fitzgerald made his intentions known inside the first 800m when going to the front and made ever stride a winning one when finishing in 15 mins 10.47 secs for what was a solo effort in such warm weather. Paul Minogue also ran very well in this race, pacing himself well over the first few laps, he moved into the silver medal position as he was approaching halfway and he maintained that strong pace to win the silver medal impressively in a very good time of 16 mins 5.73 secs.