AAI National Senior T&F 2021 (25th/26th/27th June)
National Senior Medal for Cormac Dalton
In the 10,000m on the final day of the AAI National T&F Championships in Santry on Sunday 27th June, Cormac Dalton and Jamie Battle lined up for this gruelling twenty five lap event in warm conditions. Cormac and Jamie featured prominently in the early stages and were very much involved in instigating a breakaway group of the leading athletes in the first half of the race. Over the final 4km, Cormac was involved in a real battle for the medals and used his trademark strong finish to take third place in a time of 30:01.90. This is Cormac’s first medal at senior level. Jamie finished in seventh place in 31:05.57, which was an excellent result in his first National Senior Championship and in his debut race over 10,000m. This was also Cormac’s final race of the track season before he departs for Tulsa University in August and it rounded off an excellent season where he significantly improved his personal bests in all distances from 1,500m to 10,000m and represented Ireland for the first time at Senior level.
The first of our middle distance athletes were in action in the 800m heats on Friday evening. Colin (D) Smith was in the second heat and faced a tough task with only the first three advancing to the final. However Colin ran a very positive race and comfortably qualified in third position. Eoin Quinn was a decisive winner of the Irish u/20 title the week before and transitioned with ease to Senior Championship racing, also securing automatic qualification for the final. On Saturday, Eoin and Colin lined up for their first National Senior final and both performed very well. Eoin finished ninth in a time of 1:52.50, with Colin directly behind him in a personal best time of 1:53. 36. Claire Fagan raced the 5,000m in which there was a very large entry. Claire positioned herself well in the leading pack for the first half of the race and battled hard to finish in tenth place. Her time of 16:49.09 was just six seconds outside her personal best. Euan Lagan raced the 5,000m and despite a recent injury niggle he had a solid run to finish in 16:17.50.
Though it’s a Senior Championship, there is also an u/20 men 3,000m and we had two juvenile athletes racing to gain experience at this level. Ross Killalea finished in a time of 9:08.43, closely followed by Diarmuid Fagan in 9:13.20. This was very strong running by both of them and now they can turn their attention to their age group Championships over the coming weeks.
After her fantastic exploits over 3,000m race walk at the National u/20 T&F the week before, Aisling Lane made the last minute decision to try a 5,000m race walk on Sunday afternoon for the first time, as she looks to the future. However, very warm and humid conditions with a strong breeze in the home straight do not assist fast times, so she had to settle for sixth place amongst the vastly experienced senior walkers. Next up was Colm Walsh taking on the challenge of 25 laps in the demanding 10,000m race walk. Walking with determination Colm stuck to the task and fought the conditions bravely to finish a highly commendable fourth and making him the clear favourite for the National Masters Championships later in the season.