Week ending Saturday 3rd March 2018
Medal filled week-end for Mullingar
A fall in training some time ago that dislocated his shoulder followed by surgery on his rotator cuff kept Paddy Kelly side-lined for a long time. However, he put that behind him last Saturday at the Leinster Junior, Senior and Master Indoors in the NIA Abbotstown with a great run in the masters men 800m to take the silver medal in his category in a very close finish that came right down to the line. Competing for the first time indoors, Gerry Gavin was delighted with a clear cut victory in his category of the master men 3,000m and is now looking forward to competing indoors again at the next opportunity. In the masters men 1,500m Pauric Brady just couldn’t hit the top form needed to defend his title and was disappointed to finish out of the medal places this year but still put in a strong performance.
Vicky Harris made short work of the senior women 60m, winning comfortably by a distance and added to her medal tally later in the day with a silver medal in the senior women 200m to finish a very good indoor season and she can look forward with confidence to the outdoor season. Declan Brady (senior men 800m) and Ian McCormack (senior men 3,000m) also competed well and were satisfied with their performances. In the field events, Shauna Leydon took a few jumps to get her mark in the junior women long jump but when she did she built on it nicely to take third place and earn a bronze medal, the fifth for Mullingar to round off a very good day.
Day two of the Leinster Juvenile Indoors took place in the NIA Abbotstown last Sunday where Mullingar had three teams in action. We started the day with a runaway victory in the 4x200m u/19 where Awa Fane, Whitney Imafidon, Eve Wallace and Rachel Cornally were in a class of their own and led from gun to tape to win with a whopping nine seconds to spare, well over fifty metres in distance. Later in the day, Awa, Whitney and Eve combined with Shauna Leydon for the 4x200m u/18, which was a much closer affair. Mullingar was right in the mix from the gun but had to settle for second place in a close finish, but the girls were still delighted with their medals. Shauna Leydon was also busy in the field events where she took silver in the u/17 triple jump, a new event for her but once she got her mark in the first round, jumped consistently over nine metres and missed gold by just five centimetres in a close competition. Shauna then moved to the u/17 shot where she put together a very consistent series to take the silver medal.
Having four boys in the final of the 60m u/12 two weeks before made the Mullingar team of Criostoir Ormsby, Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace and Kyle Faherty the clear pre-race favourites in the 4x100m u/12 and they didn’t disappoint. Winning their heat comfortably in a new Championship best time placed them in the favoured lane six for the final, where they took full advantage and with a faultless display ran even quicker, leading all the way and Kyle carried the baton safely across the line to improve the Championship best time again, down to 56.43 seconds. This team will be one to watch in the All-Ireland finals in March.
Mullingar to the fore at Manx Race Walking Festival
At the annual Manx Harriers AC Open Race Walking Festival at the National Sports Centre in Douglas, Isle of Man last Saturday morning the Mullingar race walkers really made their mark by turning in great performances in very good times. Oisin Lane was in fantastic form and raced to second place in the open 10k in a brilliant time of 47 minutes 59 seconds, which is inside the qualifying standard set by European Athletics for the European Youth Championships in July. In the open 5k, Sarah Glennon finished second in 24 minutes 51 seconds, not far off her personal best but more importantly also inside the qualifying standard set by European Athletics for the European Youth Championships in July. Sarah was followed home by Jennifer Fidgeon in third place in 25 minutes 53 seconds, which is a huge improvement for her and she continues to make rapid progress in this event. Following in fourth place was Rachel Glennon in 26 minutes 5 seconds to really put Mullingar on the scoreboard. The event includes the Paul Nihill Shield, a competition between Irish and British juvenile race walkers and it was no surprise that Ireland comfortably won the Shield. Congratulations to our race walkers, under the expert guidance of Michael Lane, in performing so well and achieving these magnificent results.
Eddie Newman completes the Tokyo Marathon
Having completed the London, New York, Boston, Chicago and Berlin Marathons in recent years, Eddie Newman needed to complete the Tokyo Marathon to earn the commemorative medal given to anyone who completes all six Marathon Majors. Having spent last summer out of competitive running due to a tendon tear, the odds were against him but Eddie worked his way back and last Sunday morning finished the Tokyo Marathon in his best time yet, 2 hours 45 minutes and 48 seconds, eleven years after completing London, proving that age is no barrier and there is no substitute for hard work and determination. Congratulations from everyone at the Club to Eddie on his great performance in Tokyo.
AIT International Grand Prix
The capacity crowd for the AIT International Grand Prix last Wednesday evening was treated to an action-packed evening of World-class athletics, helped by some tremendous performances by some of the Irish athletes taking part.
The highlight of the evening from an Irish perspective was John Travers (Donore Harriers) creating history by becoming the first Irishman to run a sub-four minute mile indoors on Irish soil, clocking 3:59.40 to take third behind winner Ryan Gregson of Australia (3:57.86) and Poland’s Grzegorz Kalinowski (3:59.19). Other highlights were Ryan Shields (Jamaica) setting a new stadium record of 6.63 seconds in the 60m final and one to please the home crowd was an impressive 46.94 seconds by Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) to win the 400m.
Running in the AIT colours, Vicky Harris was up against some top class International and domestic opposition in her heat of the 60m sprint, including Naomi Sedney (Netherlands), Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (British Virgin Islands), Joan Healy (Bandon AC) and the Irish indoor Champion over 200m, Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank). Even though it was only a heat, Sedney won in an impressive 7.31 seconds, which is just outside the qualifying standard for the World Indoor Championships. Undaunted by the class of the opposition and relishing the opportunity to compete alongside such competition, Vicky finished in 7.81 seconds, not far off her best for the distance and even though she did not advance to the final, was delighted to be part of such an event, the fifth year in succession that she has been invited to compete in the Grand Prix.
Westmeath Examiner Sports Stars Award for Sean McMullin
At a magnificent Gala Dinner in the Mullingar Park Hotel last Friday evening, Sean McMullin was presented with the Westmeath Examiner Sports Stars Award for January. This comes on foot of a spectacular year for Sean in 2017 when he won three World Masters T&F Games gold medals in New Zealand, two World Masters Indoors silver medals in South Korea, and two European Masters T&F bronze medals in Denmark. Sean was interviewed by the host Robbie Irwin of RTE watched by family and a good group of supporters from the Club before receiving his Award. Congratulations to Sean from all at the Club.
Leinster Schools Cross Country
Conditions were very good for running last Wednesday in Santry Demesne for the Leinster Schools cross country finals, where a number of Mullingar athletes were competing for their schools and colleges looking for qualification to the All-Ireland Schools Finals in Waterford IT in March. Amy Geoghegan (Mercy Kilbeggan) booked her place for Waterford with a fourth place finish in the minor girls 2,000m. In the minor boys 2,500m there was no beating Diarmuid Fagan (Colaiste Mhuire), delighted to win the Leinster title. Phoebe Bate (Loreto Mullingar) finished seventh in the Junior Girls 2,500m and with Meabh Killalea and Aoife O’Brien finishing strongly and packing well, the Loreto team finished second team. Best of the Mullingar athletes in the Junior Boys 3,500m was Lorcan Mullen (Cistercian College Roscrea) with a fine eleventh place finish to advance to the All-Ireland finals. Also running well and finishing strongly was Colin McGee (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) and Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar).
Loreto placed second team in the Intermediate Girls 3,500m thanks to Caoimhe O’Brien in second place and great team support from Jennifer Fidgeon (tenth) and Ciara Smith. Andrew Shaw (St. Finian’s Mullingar) booked his place in the All-Ireland finals with a tenth place finish in the Intermediate Boys 5,000m. Among the Colaiste Mhuire team that finished an excellent second team was Club members Ruairi Fagan, Paul McCool and Kevin Martin. In the Senior Girls 2,500m Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar), Andrea Brady (Loreto Mullingar) and Laura Shaw (Loreto Mullingar) ran well but won’t advance to the All-Ireland Finals. Leading the Colaiste Mhuire team to first team with a fine second place individual finish in the Senior Boys 6,000m was Jamie Battle, followed by Ciaran Nolan (tenth), Jack Moran (eleventh), John Whitelaw and Euan Lagan.
March Committee Meeting
The March meeting of the committee will take place next Tuesday 6th March in the Club house at 8.20pm after training and a full attendance is requested.