ClubsAthlone IT AC
Bros. Pearse Athletic Club
Trim Athletic Club
Athenry Athletic Club
Craughwell Athletic Club
Dunshaughlin Athletic Club
Leevale Athletic Club
Rathfarnham Athletic Club
Ardagh 10 Mile
Now an established race that continues to grow in popularity, the Ardagh 10 Mile on Sunday 31st December drew an entry of 152, despite the bitter cold and wet weather and a course that included a brutal Category 5 hill – a long steady climb to sap the energy of the best! Never one not to race in his Club colours, Eddie Newman had to make an exception because he was suffering from a heavy head cold and opted to dress up extra warm as a precaution. Despite the extra layers he still managed an excellent 4th place finish, just outside the hour mark by one second and comfortably winning his master age category to continue his return to racing form. Following in behind was Kieran Nolan in 6th place (62:53), Joan Flynn (66:50), 2nd woman to finish, Enda Seery (70:35) and Michael O’Sullivan (75:48), 1st in his master age category. Well done to them all and we know they were relieved to finish and get out of the cold and enjoy the post-race refreshments in the comfort and warmth of the Community Hall.
Navan AC Christmas 5k
The Rita and Robbie 5k organized by Navan AC on Wednesday 27th December attracted a large crowd of nearly 350 finishers who competed in very cold but sunny conditions in a fund raiser for Claremont stadium. This year’s race changed its name from the Robbie Byrne 5k to the Rita and Robbie 5k in memory of the late Rita Brady who was an integral part of Athletics not only in Navan but also in County Meath. Among the big entry was Mullingar’s Pauric Brady who finished 16th in 18:24, so was very pleased with his race.
Fields of Athenry 10k
After a difficult summer hampered by injury, Eddie Newman was delighted to be back competing again at one of the top road races in the country, the Fields of Athenry 10k, which took place on St. Stephen’s Day. Organised by local club Athenry AC, this ever-popular annual race attracted nearly 1,100 entrants. Running in very cold conditions, Eddie finished an impressive 23rd overall in 36:04, winning his master age category with ease by nearly three minutes. Well done to Eddie on his winning return to competitive racing.
A regular favourite of Mullingar athletes and a great way to run off the Christmas turkey and pudding, the annual “Shane Brennan 5k” on St. Stephen’s Day, a charity event for MS Therapy this year organised by Fr. Kieran McGovern, a long time friend of Mullingar Harriers, attracted nearly 370 finishers including a small group from the Club, with most of them getting in the prizes. Leading the Mullingar group home was Oisin Lane in 9th place in 17:56, winning a prize for 1st junior man, followed by Liam Woods (19:07), 2nd in his master age category, Aine O’Reilly (19:20), 3rd woman to finish, Matt Glennon (20:53), 1st in his master age category, Susan Glennon (20:53), 1st junior woman, Andrew Glennon (21:42), Sarah Glennon (22:34), 3rd junior woman, Nicky McCabe (23:37), 1st in his master age category, Aisling Lane, Eamonn O’Reilly and PJ Ballesty.
The Kilbeggan 6k in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin on St. Stephen’s Day attracted a huge entry of 324 runners and walkers from far and wide looking to work off the Christmas excesses and support a worthy cause into the bargain. Leading the field home in 1st place was Johnny Daly (19:26), followed by Malcolm McDonnell in 4th place (19:48), first in his master category, then fellow Club members Lorcan Mullen (22:36), first junior man, Kieran Nolan (22:44), Nollaig McEntegart (23:49), first in his master category, Sean Liston (24:59), Gillian Walsh (26:10), Criona Reid (28:14) and Mervyn Kennedy (28:34). A local race like this deserve local support and it was good to see Mullingar Harriers out in good numbers.
AAI Novice & Juvenile Uneven Ages XC (Waterford)
The final cross country fixture of the year was the AAI Novice and Juvenile Uneven Ages Cross Country in Waterford IT on Sunday 17th December where despite the ravages of illness that forced some key team members out, Mullingar Harriers still emerged as the dominant Club in Ireland in juvenile cross country for the third year in a row. The host Club, Waterford AC, laid out a great course in the magnificent grounds of Waterford IT, and with terrific car parking and facilities, the venue proved an ideal choice for an All-Ireland final. The course was tough and hilly, and mucky in many places, but the Mullingar athletes train in Belvedere, so hills hold little fear for them.
Leading up to Sunday, we knew 3 of our athletes were ill during the week and could not travel and compete, another 2 opted not to compete for their own reasons, but on the day another 7 didn’t turn up due to illness, and to really test us, another 6 had to stop during their races due to illness. That made a total of 18 athletes from a squad of about 70 that were ill or missing. Despite the high attrition rate, Mullingar still had 2 individual wins, Conor Liston (u/11) and Jamie Battle (u/19), another 4 finished in the top-12, 7 won medals with Leinster teams, 3 Club teams won gold and 2 County teams won gold. When added to the two Club gold and one Club silver at the even ages cross country in Abbottstown three weeks before, Mullingar Harriers is certain to retain the Kennedy Cup for best juvenile cross country Club in Ireland for the third year in a row. To do so in the face of the loss of so many athletes on the day is testament to the strength of our teams and of course to the huge amount to time and effort put in by Club coaches preparing them for competition.
Morgan Corcoran led the Mullingar team home in the girls 1,500m u/11 in an excellent 20th place, just missing a Leinster team gold medal by one place. Following in was Orla Manning, Lydia McDonnell, Jayne Charles, Rose Macken and Muireann Donohue who all ran very well on the tough hilly course but finished out of the medal places. The u/11 girls had been missing a few key athletes but no problem for the Mullingar team in the boys 1,500m u/11, which was at full strength. Disaster struck for Jamie Wallace as he fell heavily at the start but despite his young age, he knew enough to get back up without delay and do his best to get back in the race as quickly as he could. Conor Liston took the early lead and opened a sizeable gap but with two hundred metres to go the gap on the chasing group closed and he was passed. Into the home straight in second place, Conor dug deep and used his terrific speed to take the lead again in the dying stages to cross the line and take the All-Ireland title. Piling in behind him were his team mates, Luke O’Leary making up huge ground with his customary sprint finish in 7th, James Flynn in 10th, Matthew Molloy in 11th, and with four in the top twelve, it was gold for 1st Club by a huge margin. Jamie Wallace recovered brilliantly to finish very strongly, and with great support from Criostoir Ormsby, Niall Brady, Arthur Drummond, Rory McDonnell and Alex Lynch, it was gold for 1st County too. Luke, James and Matthew also won gold medals with the Leinster team in the Inter-Provincial competition.
In the girls 2,500m u/13, both Leah Geoghegan and Lucy Donnelly had to stop due to illness and with the loss of two such key members, the team faced an uphill battle to take anything from the race. Aimee Wallace gave it her customary best effort and finished just outside the top twenty, missing a Leinster team medal by just one place, and was followed home by Adele Geoghegan, Grace Byrne, Katie Boyle (Athlone IT), Robyn Bates and Aisling Lane. The team finished out of the medals, but in a very creditable 8th place. Ryan Jenkins led Mullingar home in the boys 2,500m u/13, finishing just outside the top twelve places, and with Philip McCartan on his heels, followed by Diarmuid Fagan, Ross Killalea, Tadhg Sheridan and Callum Costello packing brilliantly, and with great team support from Daire McDonald, John Ryan, Adam Brady and Adam Smyth, the boys were rewarded with double gold, 1st Club and 1st County. They won the County gold by just a single point, a very clear demonstration of why coaches always emphasize that every place counts in cross country team racing! Ryan also won a gold medal with the Leinster team.
The girls 3,500m u/15 team was led home by Amy Geoghegan, winning silver with the Leinster team, followed by Bea Drummond, Phoebe Bate, Meabh Killalea, Meghan Bates and Francesca Walshe who all battled well on a course that by now was really breaking up into long stretches of very soft mud in many places, packing well to finish in a fine 6th Club place. Aoife McGouran was forced to stop due to illness. On to the boys 3,500m u/15 where Colin Smith had a great run and finished well up, followed in by Sam Smyth, Colin McGee, Mark Langtry and Kevin Martin who gave it their best but the team finished out of the medal places. Unfortunately, Lorcan Mullen had to stop due to illness, which really affected the team score.
The Mullingar team in the girls 4,000m u/17 put the smiles back on our faces again. Caoimhe O’Brien led the team home in 11th place, and with great support from Jennifer Fidgeon, Susan Glennon, Aoife Darby, Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT), Ciara Smith and Elysia Greene, the girls finished 1st Club but missed the County bronze by just a few points. Susan also won a silver medal with the Leinster team. All our bad luck with illness was really visible in the boys 5,000m u/17 where of a team of ten, only five took to the start line but only three finished, as both Andrew Daly and John Whitelaw were too ill to finish. Eoin Quinn had a great race and finished well up, and also running well was Brian Martin and Paul McCool, but with only three finishing, no team medals were possible.
We had no team either in the girls 4,000m u/19 but that didn’t stop Andrea Brady and Laura Shaw putting in Trojan efforts nevertheless on the muddy course, finishing well up and despite the inevitable fatigue, knew they had run very well and but for the want of a third runner, would have finished well up in the Club placings. The final underage race, the boys 6,000m u/19, had us on our feet cheering for Jamie Battle. Staying with the early leaders, Jamie never put a foot wrong, negotiating the sticky mud on the corners and covering an early break that saw the leading group reduce to three. With a lap to go, Jamie surged to the front and drove on hard on the flat section and the gap he opened gave him sufficient cushion on the long uphill section, so that when he turned for the final downhill run into the finish, he had a good lead and was not going to be beaten, despite the best efforts of the man in second place chasing him hard. Jamie’s victory and All-Ireland title in his final underage race as he will turn junior next year, neatly rounded off an excellent day for the Mullingar underage teams. Jamie also led the Leinster team to gold.
We weren’t quite finished though and it was great to see Mullingar field a full team in the Novice Men 6,000m. Cormac Dalton ran an excellent race and finished a fine 12th place and has to be satisfied with his effort. Following in was Ian McCormack, followed by Michael Moran, Garry Gavin, James Keegan, Andrew Nevin, Hans de Raeymaeker and Liam McGlynn. No team medals, but our men’s team finished a very creditable 7th place.
That rounded off a memorable day for Mullingar. The parents of our younger athletes are to be commended for having the interest and taking the trouble of booking accommodation nearby the night before rather than face a very early start for the long journey on the day, which ensured that the athletes were as refreshed as possible. The fixture was only a week before Christmas, which is not nice ideal for families. Many thanks too to the parents and supporters and to the coaches for their assistance and vocal support on the day from the first race right to the last. Most will now take a well earned break over the Christmas and come back refreshed for the indoor season in the New Year but for Jamie Battle and Caoimhe O’Brien the break will be brief as they must keep in shape for the Celtic Cross Country in Antrim in January, where Jamie will compete with the Irish Junior men team and Caoimhe will compete with the AAI Development team in the u/18 race.
AAI 20km Race Walk Championships
Competitors and officials had to brave the chilling cold weather in St. Anne’s Park in Raheny on Saturday morning 9th December for the AAI National 20km Race Walk Championships. Well done to Raheny Shamrock and all the officials who laid out an excellent course on the picturesque tree-lined main avenue, which really made for an enjoyable event for all. No strangers to All-Ireland success, both Rachel Glennon and Sean McMullin took bronze in the senior races, so congratulations to them.
In addition to the AAI Championships, there were some support races for juveniles over non-standard distances where Oisin Lane (1st in 7k), Matthew Glennon (2nd in 3k), and Sarah Glennon (1st in 4k) delivered some very encouraging performances.
Ballyroan 10 Mile Road Race
Nollaig McEntegart ran his last race of 2017 when he competed in the Ballyroan 10 Mile Road Race on Saturday 9th December. Joining over 200 others on a tough enough course in very cold but dry and calm conditions, he was very happy with his 19th overall placing in 64:08, to easily win his master category.
AAI Inter-Club & Juvenile Even Ages XC (Abbotstown)
We were very lucky on Sunday 26th November that the freezing cold weather on Saturday gave way to cold but bright and dry conditions for the AAI National Inter-Club and Juvenile Even Ages Cross Country Finals at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin. In case anyone wonders why every year we warn to allow plenty of time to get to an All-Ireland venue because of the big crowds, last Sunday was a stark reminder and there were such long delays at the entrance that the first race had to be held back for half an hour. Arriving just in time and flustered is poor preparation for a race but thankfully everyone from Mullingar got there in plenty of time, so could relax and walk the course and get well settled before their races. While all our athletes got there in plenty of time, quite a number were not well on the day and between head colds, coughs, throat and chest infections, some of our underage teams were hit, some badly, but that’s sport and there’s nothing that can be done about it.
In the eight underage races, our athletes took Club team medals in three of them and County team medals in one, and we also had two fourth Club finishes and one fifth Club. Five juvenile Mullingar athletes won individual medals by finishing in the top twelve places and eight medals were won with Leinster teams. These are very good results by any standard and show that despite facing the adversity of illness and injury, our underage athletes have plenty of fighting spirit.
The day started with the 2,000m u/12 girls where we were able to field a full team. The two laps were run at a very fast pace and passed very quickly and first to finish from Mullingar was Aimee Wallace in an excellent ninth place, ahead of Adele Geoghegan, Caoimhe Kilmurray and Morgan Corcoran providing the vital team scores to finish 1st Club. Finishing strongly in support was Leah Geoghegan, Grace Byrne, Síofra O’Halloran, Jessica Cunningham, Ellen Daly and Robyn Bates and the girls were unlucky to finish 5th County, just of the medal places.
Having taken the top four places in Leinster in the 2,000m u/12 boys, all eyes were on the Mullingar team and they sure didn’t disappoint. Led home by Philip McCartan in eighth place, followed by Ryan Jenkins who recovered well from an early fall to finish twelfth, then Callum Costello on his heels in thirteenth, just missing an individual medal, and backed up by Luke O’Leary with his customary very fast finish, the team easily finished 1st Club. With great team support from Conor Liston, Daire McDonald, James Flynn, Rory McDonnell and Darragh Smith the boys also easily finished 1st County. Philip, Ryan, Callum and Luke also won gold medals with the Leinster team in the inter-Provincial competition, so they were well weighed down with medals going home! Jamie Wallace warmed up with the team but was too unwell to run though he stayed to cheer for his team mates from the sideline. We wish Jamie a speedy recovery and he’ll next compete in Waterford.
Our first team to be badly impacted by illness was in the 3,000m u/14 girls where despite great efforts from Amy Geoghegan, Phoebe Bate, Meghan Bates, Aoife McGouran, Eva Farrell and Anna McCartan the girls finished sixth Club, out of the medals places. With athletes of the calibre of Phoebe, Aoife and Anna clearly out of sorts due to illness, it was always going to be a big task to win team medals but they still tried their very best and showed great team spirit and ran anyway so as not to let their team mates down. A consolation for Amy was a silver medal with the Leinster team.
Third Club in Leinster meant that our team in the 3,000m u/14 boys was always going to be up against it to win All-Ireland team medals in the but you couldn’t fault the efforts of Diarmuid Fagan, Tadhg Sheridan, Ross Killalea, John Ryan, Adam Brady and Adam Smyth who left nothing on the track and were very unlucky to finish 4th Club, just out of the medals. These boys really deserved something from the race for their Trojan efforts! Diarmuid was happy to win a silver medal with the Leinster team and take something from the race.
Caoimhe O’Brien had the honour of leading the Mullingar team home in the 4,000m u/16 girls with a great eleventh place finish. With Meabh Killalea, Karla Cunningham, Bea Drummond, Ciara Smith and Francesca Walshe providing great team support the team finished 2nd Club so the girls were rewarded with silver medals for their efforts. Bravery marks must go to Bea who sustained a nasty spike injury during the race that required stitches after, but she ran on anyway, so as not to let the team down. Jennifer Fidgeon fell ill during the race and had to stop. Everyone at the Club wishes Bea and Jennifer speedy recoveries. The team finished out of the County medal places but not for lack of effort and commitment. Caoimhe also won a gold medal with the Leinster team.
The Mullingar team in the 4,000m u/16 boys gave it their best and despite strong performances by Andrew Shaw, Colin Smith, Rian Hogan, Sam Smyth, Eoin Quinn, Paul McCool, Paddy Rafferty, Ruairi Fagan and Colin McGee had to settle for places out of the Club and County medals in what was a typical highly competitive All-Ireland final.
The 4,000m u/18 girls and Junior Women was a combined race and athletes could declare on both teams, as well as score individually. Claire Fagan (junior) ran a very good race to lead the Mullingar team home, followed in by Aoife Darby (u/18), Andrea Brady (u/18), Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT, u/18), Laura Shaw (u/18), Catriona Kennedy (u/18) and Elysia Greene (u/18). When the junior and u/18 results were separated and calculated after the race, the Mullingar u/18 team of Aoife, Andrea, Laura, Catriona and Elysia finished 6th Club, and with Lisa they finished 6th County. Adding Claire, the junior team finished 5th Club and 5th County. Excellent team results against top class opposition. Aoife didn’t go home empty handed though, as she won a silver medal with the Leinster team.
The 6,000m u/18 boys and Junior Men was also a combined race and again athletes could declare on both teams, as well as score individually. Pre-race hopes of a high enough place to earn selection for the Irish team at the European Junior Cross Country were dashed for Jamie Battle (u/18) as he was very unlucky to be ill on the day. He tried very hard though and he finished ninth overall (second u/18). Any hopes that Cormac Dalton (junior) had of Euro selection were dashed too when disaster struck at 2k as a competitor accidently caught Cormac’s heel and he lost one of his spiked shoes. Cormac had to run the final two laps with just one spike, which obviously had a serious impact on his final place and though he still finished well up he must wonder what might have been if not for losing a spike. Cormac was followed in by Jack Moran (u/18), Aidan Daly (junior), Conor McHugh (u/18), Ciaran Nolan (junior), John Whitelaw (u/18) and Brian Martin (u/18). When the junior and u/18 results were separated and calculated after the race, the Mullingar u/18 team of Jamie, Jack, Conor, John and Brian were very unlucky to finish 4th Club, just out of the medal places. The junior team of Jamie, Cormac, Jack, Aidan, Conor, Ciaran, John and Brian finished 4th Club and 5th County.
Moving to the senior races, in the 10,000m for Senior and u/23 Men, the Club’s sole representative was Ian McCormack who competed well over the tough five lap course to finish strongly and after the race he expressed great satisfaction with his performance and was delighted to have competed in such a top quality race.
Clontarf Half Marathon
Despite being billed as the flattest half marathon in Ireland, the Clontarf Half Marathon in Dublin on Saturday morning 25th November was a real test of toughness and resolve because the weather was so bitterly cold and the runners had to contend with a difficult breeze, adding to the chill. That still didn’t deter over 1,500 taking part, among them Michael O’Sullivan who finished well up in 1:42:23, which was good enough to win his master category. Following in not far behind was Aidan Rafferty in 1:44:25. Conditions are reckoned to have added two or three minutes to everyone’s time, so Michael and Aidan were pleased with their times.
British & Irish Masters International Cross Country
Second place in her master category at the AAI Autumn Open cross country in October, which doubled as a trial for the Irish Masters team, earned Eileen Kenny a place on the Irish team at the British & Irish Masters International Cross Country in Gransha Park, Derry on Saturday 18th November. Ireland was competing against some of the best master athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Eileen was delighted to be making her International debut and capped the day by finishing third score on the Irish team that won their age group race, giving Eileen a gold medal to remember her debut by. To really make the day special, Eileen’s daughter, Michelle Kenny (runs with Leevale AC in Cork) also took gold with the winning Irish team in her master category, so it was a really memorable day for the Kenny family. Congratulations from everyone at the Club to Eileen on her success and her name will now be added to the International Roll of Honour in the Clubhouse.
Leinster Cross Country – Day 3 (Adamstown)
The best way to summarise the results of the Leinster Senior and Juvenile Uneven Ages Cross Country Championships in Adamstown, Co. Wexford on Sunday 12th November, is to let the numbers speak for themselves. Nearly 100 juvenile athletes on 9 teams; 2 individual Leinster titles; 19 other top-12 finish places; 7 Club teams and 5 County teams won medals. All the numbers add up to one result – Mullingar Harriers is again acknowledged as the primary force in underage cross country in Leinster and we can look forward to some excellent results in the All-Ireland finals in the coming weeks. We also fielded a senior men team and they finished a very creditable 7th Club thanks to good team running and support.
Great compliments are due to Wexford Athletics, and the local Adamstown AC, for providing an excellent venue, constructing the course the day before in very testing wind and rain. The course held up remarkably well on the day, though got broken up in places and was sticky on some corners, but it was a proper cross country course and provided a tough but fair test for all competitors. The weather on the day was cool and windy by thankfully there was no rain.
The day began with non-Championship races for girls and boys under 9 years of age hosted by Wexford Athletics. Mullingar had runners in both and they ran really well and enjoyed the races, some winning medals into the bargain, so we still have youngsters coming through and we’ll see these girls and boys in the coming years racing in Championships proper.
In a change of format to previous years, the first Championship races were the u/19 girls and boys, as many are third level students and need to get home early in the day to travel back to University and College. The Mullingar team of Andrea Brady, Catriona Kennedy and Laura Shaw finished close together in the mid-teen places in the 4,000m for girls u/19, which was enough to place them 4th Club and book their places in the All-Ireland finals. We had just one runner in the 6,000m for boys u/19, Jamie Battle. He took the lead in the early stages and as the laps unfolded, he simply ran away from the opposition to win by a very big margin and set down clear intent for the European Junior Cross Country trials in two weeks time.
Getting their first taste of Leinster competition, the Mullingar and Westmeath team in the 1,500m for girls u/11 took it all in their stride, helped by a good warm up and reassuring words of advice and encouragement from parents and Club coaches before they took to the start line. Saoirse Sheridan took the early pace and set off as the girl to chase, keeping ahead for a long way but had to surrender the lead in the closing stages and by Morgan Corcoran led the Mullingar girls home in an excellent 5th place. Saoirse rallied well in the home straight and clinched the final individual medal place right on the line, crossing in 12th. There was great team support from Katie Kilmurray, Orla Manning, Lydia McDonnell, Orlaith Dolan (North Westmeath AC), Jayne Charles, Rose Macken, Muireann Donohue, Emma Boyle (Athlone IT), Aideen Langtry, Hannah Boyle, Quyen Bartley, Eileen Farrell, Síofra O’Reilly, Emily Farrell, Anna Geoghegan, Charlotte Butler-Clyne and Norah Garry. The girls finished 2nd Club but were unlucky to finish 5th County team, out of the medal places. Ellen Daly had warmed up but unfortunately, she was too ill to compete with the team. Mullingar absolutely dominated the 1,500m for boys u/11 from the start and Conor Liston led the team home, overtaking Jamie Wallace in the home straight to win the Leinster title, the Club’s second individual win of the day, with Jamie on his heels in 2nd place. Luke O’Leary stormed through to finish 4th, followed by James Flynn (8th), Matthew Molloy (9th), Criostoir Ormsby, Alex Lynch, Rory McDonnell, Niall Brady, Arthur Drummond, Sean Byrne, Hugo Sleator, Charlie Foy, Luke Greene, Ryan Bell and James Ryan. With five in the top twelve and the rest of the team packing well in support it was no surprise that the boys finished 1st Club and 1st County team.
Adele Geoghegan battled hard in the 2,500m for girls u/13 and her reward was a great 5th place for her efforts. Continuing to return to form after recent illness, Aimee Wallace placed 10th and with Caoimhe Kilmurray, Leah Geoghegan, Lucy Donnelly, Grace Byrne, Aisling Lane, Katie Boyle (Athlone IT), Sarah Fitzgerald (Athlone IT), Robyn Bates, Síofra O’Halloran, Adi Cronin, Jessica Cunningham, Eva Farrell and Shauna Traynor providing great team effort and support, the girls finished 1st Club and 4th County team. Fourth County still earns the team a place in the All-Ireland finals. We got in the medals again in the 2,500m for boys u/13 where Diarmuid Fagan and Ryan Jenkins stormed through to 5th and 6th place respectively, and with Callum Costello (10th) and Tadhg Sheridan just missing an individual medal in 13th place, it was gold for 1st Club. Philip McCartan, Ross Killalea, Adam Brady, John Ryan, Daire McDonald, Adam Smyth, Eoin McGrath, Matt O’Leary, Darragh Smith, Matthew Shaw, Shane Ormsby, Sonny Drummond, Conleth Mullen and Ben Bose provided great support to ensure the boys also finished 1st County team.
The medals continued to come Mullingar’s way in the 3,500m for girls u/15 thanks to Amy Geoghegan (6th), Bea Drummond (8th), Phoebe Bate (10th), Meabh Killalea, Karla Cunningham, Aoife McGouran, Meghan Bates and Francesca Walshe packing well to finish 1st Club and 2nd County team. Colin Smith (4th) and Sam Smyth (6th) battled hard for their individual medal places in the 3,500m for boys u/15. Great efforts by team mates Colin McGee, Mark Langtry and Kevin Martin saw the team finish 4th Club team to advance to the All-Ireland finals. Lorcan Mullen warmed up but still carrying remnants of a recent injury, he made the wise decision not to run and risk aggravating it again.
More team success followed in the 4,000m for girls u/17 where Aoife Darby (6th), Susan Glennon (9th), Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT), Sarah Glennon, Ciara Smith and Elysia Greene combined brilliantly and richly deserved their medals for 1st Club team and 3rd County team. The final underage race was the tough 5,000m for boys u/17 where Andrew Daly had the honour of leading the Mullingar team home in 7th place. Great support from Eoin Quinn, Oisin Lane, Andrew Shaw, Rian Hogan, Brain Martin, Paul McCool, Ciaran Luby, Ruairi Fagan and Callum Greene meant the team finished 2nd Club and 3rd County team.
We had no senior women but Mullingar fielded a team in the 10,000m for senior men. Five laps of a tough and by now slippery and mucky course made for hard work but Padraig Moran, Gerard Gavin, Ian McCormack and Hans de Raeymaeker worked hard and finished a very creditable 7th Club. Timmy Murphy suffered a flare up of a recent injury at the halfway point and wisely decided to stop and not risk further injury.
That rounded off a memorable day for the Club where Jamie Battle and Conor Liston won individual titles, another 19 won other top-12 finishers’ medals, the Club won 5 gold and 2 silver Club team medals, and Westmeath won 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze County team medals.
North East Regional XC (USA)
Jack O’Leary returned to action after a recent injury to represent Iona College in the North East Regional Cross Country Championships at the University of Buffalo on Friday 10th November. In just his second race of the season, Jack ran an excellent race to finish in 28th position and in doing so was the sixth scorer on the Iona team. This helped Iona finish in second place in the team standings and secures qualification for the NCAA All American finals, which will be held this on Saturday 18th November in Louisville, Kentucky.
New York Marathon
Mullingar’s MJ Delaney realised a long-held ambition and joined over 50,000 others on Sunday morning 5th November to run the New York Marathon. Conditions were good for running, a cool 14degC temperature with a light wind and enough dampness in the air to keep runners cool. MJ was delighted to complete the distance safely, crossing the finish line in 3:39:30 to collect his souvenir finisher’s medal and relish the atmosphere generated by such an event.
National & Leinster Marathon medals for Mullingar athletes
The Dublin City Marathon incorporated both the AAI National Marathon Championships and the Leinster Marathon Championships and when the results were published, the Mullingar team of Sinead Whitelaw, Joan Flynn and Jane Creevy finished 2nd 4th senior women team and the team of Kevin Baker, Maurice Looby and Mark Carroll finished 6th in their master category in the AAI National Championships. In the Leinster Championships, it was individual silver for Sinead Whitelaw, 2nd senior woman, silver for Joan Flynn, 2nd in her master category, and bronze for Maurice Looby, 3rd in his master category. Congratulations to our marathon athletes on these awards.
Dublin City Marathon
Record numbers of about 20,000 men and women took to the streets of Dublin on Sunday morning 29th October for the Dublin City Marathon, making it the fifth biggest city marathon in Europe. Temperatures on the day made conditions ideal for running, though there were gusting headwinds here and there, especially coming into the finish at Fitzwilliam Square. The event incorporated the AAI National Marathon Championships and the Leinster Championships, so there were individual and team medals on offer but we’ll have to wait until later in the week to learn if any of the thirty two Mullingar members that finished were lucky to win any.
The marathon is one of the ultimate endurance tests and for some their race went exactly to plan, running personal bests in some cases, while others will have to chalk it up to experience and wait until the next time to achieve theirs. First for Mullingar to finish was Kevin Baker in an excellent 54th place in a time of 2:40:40. Our first woman home was Sinead Whitelaw, dipping under 3 hours with 2:58:58, the 15th woman to finish overall and 5th 10th in her AAI category. Other taking part included Maurice Looby (2:42:01) 5th in his AAI master category, Mark Carroll (2:52:49), Ken Whitelaw (2:59:01) doing a brilliant job pacing Sinead to her sub-3 hour finish, Mark McCann (3:05:13), Joan Flynn (3:05:33) 4th in her AAI master category, Patrick Muldoon (3:08:54), David Fagan (3:13:09), Brian Collentine (3:13:59), Matt Glennon (3:14:57), Bernard Groenewald (3:20:11), Stephen Naughton (3:31:59), Sean Liston (3:34:23), Jude Whelehan (3:35:06), JP O’Brien (3:41:59), Enda Seery (3:42:01), Jane Creevy (3:46:46), Colm Walsh Enda Mimnagh (3:51:02), Richard Ferris (3:56:15), Criona Reid (3:56:29), John Callaghan (3:57:46), Stephen Olwell (3:58:17), Siobhan McCarthy (4:01:06), Declan Costello (4:04:05), Jason McCabe (4:14:10), Olivia Cooney (4:18:09), Ruth Greene (4:20:38), Michael Byrne (4:20:51), Alan Crowley (4:21:27), Tommy Archbold (4:22:08) and Eva McMorrow (4:26:33). Congratulations to them all for flying Mullingar flag so well.
Leinster Cross Country – Day 2 (Navan)
The first round of the Leinster Cross Country was held on Saturday 28th October at Navan Racecourse in perfect running conditions where the Meath Athletics Board had laid out a fantastic course that provided a good challenge for the huge number of competitors that took part, with good long gradual hills and some tight turns to test everyone. Competition was for boys and girls u/12, 14, 16 and 18 years and for Junior and Novice men and women. Mullingar was represented in 11 of the 12 races, being absent only from the Novice women race. By day’s end, every Mullingar team had won medals, in addition to 22 individual medals for finishing in the top-twelve places, including a Leinster title for Ryan Jenkins in the u/12 boys race and third place for Claire Fagan in the Junior women race. These results show how Mullingar absolutely dominated in the Inter-Club competition. Helped by Athlone IT athletes, our athletes did very well in the Inter-County competition too. This means that Mullingar and Westmeath will be well represented in the All-Ireland finals in Abbottstown at the end of November and Mullingar will be well represented on Leinster teams too.
The day began with non-Championship races over 1,000m for boys and girls under 10 years of age, and athletes as young as 7, 8 and 9 years of age from Clubs across Leinster competed with great enthusiasm. We had seven girls in the u/10 girls 1,000m race and seven boys in the u/10 boys 1,000m race and they all ran brilliantly, in fact five of them won medals. Some of these youngsters will be underage again next year, but we’ll see others in action again in two weeks time in Adamstown, Co. Wexford competing at u/11 and the u/10 races provided an ideal taste of competition for them.
When the excitement of the u/10 races was over and before the first Championship race, asked by the Meath Board, our own Meghan Bates sang Amhrán na bhFiann and you could have heard a pin drop as she sang and she received great applause when she finished. It was on then to the first race of the Championships, the 2,000m for girls u/12 where Mullingar had a very big squad of 20 girls running, the biggest number from any Club there. In a very tight race to the line, Adele Geoghegan placed 2nd, just ahead of Aimee Wallace in 3rd. Leah Geoghegan (5th) and Caoimhe Kilmurray (6th) also got in the top-twelve medal places. Following in and giving great team support was Morgan Corcoran in 13th place, unlucky to miss an individual medal by just one place, followed by Grace Byrne, Jessica Cunningham, Síofra O’Halloran, Ellen Daly, Robyn Bates, Saoirse Sheridan, Caoimhe Donohue, Orla Manning, Anna May Flannery, Quyen Bartley, Shauna Traynor, Rose Macken, Muireann Donohue and Aideen Langtry (unfortunately, Lucy Donnelly and Ellen Foran were ill during the race and had to stop). The hard work paid off handsomely as the girls finished 1st Club and 2nd County team to get Mullingar on the scoreboard and get the day off to a great start.
Clearly inspired by the girls efforts, and not to be outdone, in the 2,000m for boys u/12, Ryan Jenkins, Philip McCartan, and Callum Costello took the early lead, pulling clear to make certain of their places, with Luke O’Leary closely behind them. Thanks to a phenomenal last gasp effort by Luke just a few metres from the line, he managed to edge into fourth place to give Mullingar a fantastic 1-2-3-4 finish, meaning Club team gold was assured. The excitement wasn’t finished though, as Conor Liston (8th) and James Flynn (12th) got into the individual medal places too. Great team running and support from Daire McDonald, Jamie Wallace, Criostoir Ormsby, Darragh Smith, Rory McDonnell, Alex Lynch, Hugo Sleator, David Burke and Ryan Bell saw the team also finish 1st County. This will be the team to watch in the All-Ireland finals!
In one of the closest finishes of the day in the underage races, Amy Geoghegan just had the better of Phoebe Bate right on the line to finish 11th and 12th respectively in the 3,000m for girls u/14. With Aoife McGouran, Meghan Bates, Eva Farrell and Anna McCartan providing great team support, the girls finished 2nd Club but were unfortunate to finish out of the County medals in 6th place.
Diarmuid Fagan ran a great race in the 3,000m for boys u/14, keeping with the leaders throughout and was delighted with his 4th place finish. Running well in support was Ross Killalea, Tadhg Sheridan, John Ryan, Adam Brady, Adam Smyth, Matt O’Leary, Eoin McGrath, Conor Heavin (Athlone IT), Andrew Glennon, Martin Foran, Conleth Mullen and Ben Böse to secure the bronze medals for 3rd Club (unfortunately, Lorcan Mullen was injured during the race and had to stop). The boys were very unlucky to finish 5th County, narrowly missing 4th place, which would have given an automatic qualification spot for a Westmeath team in the All-Ireland finals.
The 4,000m for girls u/16 gave us more excitement where Caoimhe O’Brien (6th), Jennifer Fidgeon (7th), Bea Drummond (8th) finished in quick succession, followed home by Meabh Killalea in 13th, unlucky to miss an individual medal by only a narrow margin. Karla Cunningham, Francesca Walshe and Ciara Smith were in brilliant form providing important scores to play their part in helping the team finish 1st Club and 2nd County to keep Mullingar to the fore.
In the 4,000m for boys u/16, Eoin Quinn (10th) narrowly beat Colin Smith (11th) in a tight finish and with Rian Hogan, Sam Smyth, Colin McGee, Paddy Rafferty, Ruairi Fagan, Paul McCool, Matthew Glennon, Kevin Martin and Callum Greene packing well in support, the boys finished 1st Club and 4th County to book their places in the All-Ireland finals.
The 4,000m for girls u/18 and Junior women was a combined race where the u/18 girls could win medals in both the u/18 and junior race. The Mullingar girls were led home by our sole junior, Claire Fagan, taking a well-deserved 3rd place in the Junior race, followed by our u/18 girls, Aoife Darby, Catriona Kennedy, Lisa Gavin (Athlone IT), Andrea Brady, Laura Shaw, Sarah Glennon and Elysia Greene (unfortunately, Susan Glennon was ill during the race and had to stop). Aoife and Catriona finished 5th and 9th in the u/18 race, so received individual medals there. When officials separated out the u/18 and Junior results both the u/18 and Junior women teams finished 1st Club and 1st County, so it was a big medal haul for the girls!
The final underage race on the programme was another combined race, the 6,000m for boys u/18 and for Junior men, where like the corresponding women’s race, medals could be won in u/18 and junior. Aidan Daly had the honour of leading the Mullingar men home in 9th place in the Junior race, followed by the u/18 boys, Conor McHugh (12th in the u/18 race), Andrew Daly, John Whitelaw and Brian Martin. When officials separated out the u/18 and junior results both the u/18 and Junior men teams finished 2nd Club.
The final race of the day was the Novice men 6,000m where the Mullingar stuck to their task in the tough three lap race. Mal McDonnell led the team home, and with Gerry Gavin, Ian McCormack, Andrew Nevin and James Keegan finishing strongly, providing great support and packing well, the men were delighted to finish 2nd Club and take home the silver medals to round off an excellent day for the Club.
AAI Open Cross Country
The AAI Autumn Open Cross Country at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin on Sunday afternoon 22nd October attracted a large entry of junior, senior and master athletes. As well as a good test of early season form, the event was also a qualifying event for the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International in Derry in November. Weather conditions were perfect for running, with only a light wind but no rain. The course itself was testing, with some muddy patches in places to provide a good early season test.
Jamie Battle was keen to show form ahead of the AAI National Cross Country Championships that will take place at the same venue in November and will be the trial for the European Cross Country Championships in Slovakia in December and he certainly made his mark. Competing in the combined junior, senior and master men with over 220 others, the junior men raced over 6,000m and in a close finish, with only seconds separating the top places, Jamie came through to place 2nd and put down a serious marker for the season ahead. The senior and master men raced over 7,500m where Ian McCormack was pleased with his race and master athletes Kevin Baker, Gerry Gavin and Eddie Newman competed well but finished outside the automatic selection places for the Irish Masters team on this occasion.
Earlier in the afternoon was a combined race for junior, senior and master women, and included the older master men, so over 160 toed the start line. The junior women and older master men and women raced over 4,500m while the senior and rest of the master women raced over 6,000. Sean McMullin finished 5th in his master category but must wait to learn if he will be selected on the Irish Masters team or not. Finishing an excellent 2nd place in her category, Eileen Kenny has to be confident of selection. Breda Daly finished well up overall but not high enough in her category. There was better fortune for Maura Dervin who finished behind Breda, but 4th place in her category means she has an anxious wait to learn the decision of the selectors.
Longwood 5k and 10k
Strong winds didn’t deter the entrants for the Longwood 5k and 10k races on Sunday morning 22nd October, when 154 took part in the 5k race and 256 in the 10k race, so numbers continue to grow for this popular local race. Last year’s winner of the 5k, Andy Nevin, had to settle for 2nd place this year but he was using the race as a good blow out and was pleased to finish in 17:27. Eoghan Bracken finished strongly in 7th place (18:13) and Enda O’Carolan (26:27) was happy with his race. Malcolm McDonnell finished 3rd in the very competitive 10k race in 34 minutes exactly, placing 1st in his master category. Joan Flynn had an excellent race to finish 20th overall in (38:57), 4th woman to finish. Following in was Mel Carthy (39:25) 1st in his master category, Nollaig McEntegart (40:03) to comfortably win his master category, Robin Jackson (43:26), Ollie Gaffney (44:56), Michael O’Sullivan (45:02) 2nd in his master category and Declan Costello (50:26), some using the race as a final run out before the Dublin City Marathon.
Westmeath AAI Cross Country
DAY 2 – Sunday 8th Oct
In contrast to Day 1, there was no rain or wind and conditions were absolutely perfect for running on Sunday 8th October in Belvedere on Day 2 of the Westmeath AAI Cross Country where athletes from Athlone IT AC, North Westmeath AC, East Westmeath and of course Mullingar Harriers AC competed for places on Club and County teams in the upcoming Leinster Cross Country Championships. Competition was for boys and girls under 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18 and 19 years of age and for men and women Novice, Senior and Master. Many of the juveniles who took part on Day 1 the previous week were back in action again either running in their own age or moving up an age group to get in some race experience. As on Day 1, the competitors on Day 2 came from all across the County and included a number of welcome newcomers, with everyone keen to perform well. All the underage races were keenly contested, especially the u/9 and u/11 races, and the last race of the day was a combined race for girls u/17 and older, boys u/18 and older and men and women Novice, Senior and Master. Each group ran over the same course but with different numbers of laps, so with nearly forty athletes starting together, it was a great event for spectators.
Thanks to all who helped recording results and stewarding on the course, and to the many parents who came and supported the competitors, but in particular to all the athletes who competed.
Selection for juvenile Club and County teams for the Leinster Championships will be based on the results from both days and on application in training. A few juveniles unavoidably missed one day or the other, or were ill, but they can still be considered for team selection if officials are happy that they are fit and able to train.
The results of Day 2 are:
|Under 9 girls 500m||Under 9 boys 500m|
|1||Tianna O’Leary||1||Jake Bell|
|2||Katie Glennon||2||Cian Matthews|
|3||Therese Daly||3||Daniel Boyle|
|4||Niamh Whelan||4||Matthew Webb|
|5||Amy Fitzgerald (AIT)||5||Liam Weblin|
|6||Isabel Daly (AIT)||6||Oliver Lynch|
|7||Christine Waldron||7||Oisin O’Muiri|
|8||Sadbh Leonard||8||Greg McDonnell|
|9||Mia Armstrong||9||Conor Corcoran|
|10||Aiveen Lynch||10||Aaron Fennell (AIT)|
|11||Elsa Allen (AIT)||11||Conor Doran (AIT)|
|12||Roisin Flynn||12||Sean Mulleady|
|13||Hazel O’Grady||13||Darren Corcoran|
|14||Eva Longe||14||Aaron Wallace|
|15||Zara Scanlon||15||Conor Walsh|
|16||Sara Doyle||16||Thomas Daly|
|17||Beibhinn O’Reilly||17||Senan Brady (E/WH)|
|18||Rachel Cunningham||18||Cormac McGrath|
|19||Charlotte Ripley||19||Aengus O’Reilly|
|20||Lucy Fleming (AIT)||20||Oisin Kilmurray|
|Under 11 girls 1,500m||Under 11 boys 1,500m|
|1||Morgan Corcoran||1||Luke O’Leary|
|2||Saoirse Sheridan||2||Conor Liston|
|3||Katie Kilmurray||3||James Flynn|
|4||Orla Dolan (N/WH)||4||Jamie Wallace|
|5||Lydia McDonnell||5||Matthew Molloy|
|6||Ellen Daly||6||Criostoir Ormsby|
|7||Orla Manning||7||Alex Lynch|
|8||Rachel Murphy||8||Niall Brady|
|9||Quyen Bartley||9||Sean Byrne|
|10||Rosie O’Grady||10||Arthur Drummond|
|11||Anna Bocols||11||Rory McDonnell|
|12||Rose Macken||12||Conor Mulleady|
|13||Hannah Boyle||13||Con Fennell (AIT)|
|14||Muireann Donohue||14||Cian Corcoran|
|15||Eileen Farrell||15||Hugo Sleator|
|16||Emma Boyle (AIT)||16||Criostoir O’Brien (AIT)|
|17||Sophia Webb||17||Conor Deeney (AIT)|
|18||Aideen Langtry||18||Gareth Sweeney|
|19||Charlotte Butler-Clyne||19||Brian Longe|
|20||Lucy Doran (AIT)||20||Ryan Bell|
|21||Emily Farrell||21||Shane Moroney|
|22||Saoirse O’Reilly||22||Conor Maloney|
|23||Siofra Murray||23||John Glennon|
|24||Sophie Hynes||24||Donncha Flynn|
|25||Ruth Doolin||25||James Ryan|
|Under 13 girls 2,500m||Under 13 boys 2,500m|
|1||Leah Geoghegan||1||Ryan Jenkins|
|2||Caoimhe Kilmurray||2||Philip McCartan|
|3||Adele Geoghegan||3||Tadhg Sheridan|
|4||Katie Boyle (AIT)||4||Ross Killalea|
|5||Sarah Fitzgerald (AIT)||5||Diarmuid Fagan|
|6||Lucy Donnelly||6||John Ryan|
|7||Grace Byrne||7||Callum Costello|
|8||Aisling Lane||8||Adam Brady|
|9||Jessica Cunningham||9||Daire McDonald|
|10||Eva Farrell||10||Eoin McGrath|
|11||Siofra O’Halloran||11||Adam Smyth|
|12||Ciara Glennon||12||Matthew O’Leary|
|13||Robyn Bates||13||Andrew Glennon|
|14||Ellen Foran||14||Shane Ormsby|
|15||Laura Madden (AIT)||15||David Burke|
|16||Grace McGloin (AIT)||16||Sonny Drummond|
|17||Lucy Brett (AIT)||17||Conleth Mullen|
|18||Shauna Traynor||18||Ben Bose|
|Under 15 girls 3,500m||Under 15 boys 3,500m|
|1||Bea Drummond||1||Sam Smyth|
|2||Amy Geoghegan||2||Lorcan Mullen|
|3||Phoebe Bate||3||Colin McGee|
|4||Meabh Killalea||4||Matthew Glennon|
|5||Meghan Bates||5||Oisin Sheridan|
|Under 17 girls 4,000m||Under 17 boys 5,000m|
|1||Caoimhe O’Brien||1||John Whitelaw|
|2||Aoife Darby||2||Andrew Shaw|
|3||Susan Glennon||3||Oisin Lane|
|4||Lisa Gavin (AIT)||4||Andrew Daly|
|Under 18 girls 4,000m||Under 18 boys 6,000m|
|1||Catriona Kennedy||1||Jamie Battle|
|2||Andrea Brady||2||Conor McHugh|
|Under 19 girls 4,000m||Under 19 boys 6,000m|
|Junior Women 4,000m||Junior Men 6,000m|
|1||Laura Whitelaw||1||Aidan Daly|
|Novice Women 4,000m||Novice Men 6,000m|
|1||Caroline Mullen||1||James Keegan|
|Senior Women 4,000m||Senior Men 8,000m|
|1||Miriam Walsh||1||Andrew Nevin|
|Master Women 4,000m||Master Men 6,000m||m35+||m50+|
|1||Breda Daly||1||Gerry Gavin||m45||1|
|2||Eileen Kenny||2||Paddy Kelly||m35||2|
|3||Linda Cunningham||3||Padraig Daly||m50||1|
DAY 1 – Sunday 1st Oct
There was a noticeable increase in numbers taking part on Day 1 of the Westmeath AAI Cross Country Championships in Belvedere on Sunday morning 1st October, especially in the younger age groups, though nothing compared to the great crowd that attended mid week for the successful Westmeath Schools cross country. Parts of the course were still quite mucky but everyone managed okay and did not let it affect their performances and the older age groups focussed on the competition for places on Club and County teams for the upcoming Leinster Cross Country Championships.
Day 1 was for boys and girls u/8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 years of age. Boys and girls u/18 years of age will compete on Day 2 (Sunday 8th October). There was good representation of Club athletes from all across the County and there were a good number of newcomers that had run in the Westmeath Schools Cross Country just days before. If not members of a Club they’re strongly encouraged to join their nearest Club. The boys and girls that ran in the non-Championship u/8 and u/10 races certainly enjoyed themselves and were delighted with their medals, one for everyone that finished.
Moving to the Championships proper, the race distances were longer than in the Westmeath Schools but that was no problem for those that have been training regularly. The course in Belvedere is a great test of cross country endurance and those that train there regularly will have no problem with any courses chosen for the Leinsters. There were some very good individual performances on Day 1 but Championship cross country is also about team running, so everyone’s performance was being closely watched by Club officials, particularly the newcomers. The results of Day 1 and Day 2 will be used to select teams to represent the Club and Westmeath in the upcoming Leinster Championships.
The results of the Novice men and women races on Day 2 will also be used to select Club and County teams for the Leinster Championships, so all adult members that won’t be competing in the Dublin City Marathon but want to run in the Leinster Championships must run on Day 2.
Thanks to all who helped on Day 1 recording the results and stewarding on the course and particularly to the many parents who came and supported the competitors.
Day 2 on Sunday morning 8th October will be for boys and girls u/9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and u/18 and 19 years, and for men and women junior, novice, senior and master. The Leinster Championships take place over two days, with two weeks between each, so juvenile athletes can run in their own age group and can move up an age group to make up teams. Therefore, we expect all juveniles to compete on both days of the Westmeath Championships unless ill or injured or they might be disappointed if not selected.
The first race will be at 11am so the younger runners should be in Belvedere before 10.30am to get ready and know where they have to run. The Westmeath AAI Cross Country is an open competition and you don’t have to be a member of a Club to take part, so everyone who took part in the schools cross country is very welcome to compete.
The results of Day 1 are:
|Under 8 girls 400m||Under 8 boys 400m|
|1||Sally Fleming (AIT)||1||Oisin Murray|
|2||Maeve Shaw||2||Oliver Lynch|
|3||Aiveen Lynch||3||Greg McDonnell|
|4||Beibhinn O’Meara (AIT)||4||Cathal Murray|
|5||Aoibheann (AIT)||5||Sean Higgins (E/WH)|
|6||Aoife Lowe (E/WH)||6||Aaron Wallace|
|.||total 20 finishers||.||total 20 finishers|
|Under 10 girls 1,000m||Under 10 boys 1,000m|
|1||Katie Kilmurray||1||Matthew Molloy|
|2||Lydia McDonnell||2||Dan Costello (AIT)|
|3||Jayne Charles||3||Jake Bell|
|4||Tianna O’Leary||4||Arthur Drummond|
|5||Katie Dalton||5||Niall Brady|
|6||Charlotte Butler Clynne||6||Daniel Boyle|
|7||Aleesha Joyce Whyte (AIT)||7||Sean Keegan (AIT)|
|8||Katie Glennon||8||Gareth Sweeney|
|9||Muireann Rehill (E/WH)||9||Jake O’Brien|
|10||Eileen Farrell||10||Eoin Donohue|
|11||Isobel Daly (AIT)||11||Liam Weblin|
|12||Siofra O’Reilly||12||Brian Longe|
|13||Hazel O’Grady||13||Ross McCabe (AIT)|
|14||Isobel O’Meara (AIT)||14||James Pettit (AIT)|
|15||Emily Farrell||15||Thomas Daly (AIT)|
|16||Mia Armstrong||16||Braiden Shaw (E/WH)|
|17||Sadhbh Leonard||17||Oisin Kehoe|
|18||Zara Scanlon||18||Thomas Kelly (AIT)|
|.||.||19||Donnacha Lee (AIT)|
|Under 12 girls 2,000m||Under 12 boys 2,000m|
|1||Adele Geoghegan||1||Philip McCartan|
|2||Leah Geoghegan||2||Callum Costello|
|3||Caoimhe Kilmurray||3||Ryan Jenkins|
|4||Morgan Corcoran||4||Luke O’Leary|
|5||Lucy Donnelly||5||Conor Liston|
|6||Jessica Cunningham||6||James Flynn|
|7||Siofra O’Halloran||7||Jamie Wallace|
|8||Saoirse Sheridan||8||Daire McDonald|
|9||Robyn Bates||9||Darragh Smith|
|10||Ciara Glennon||10||Rory mcDonnell|
|11||Ellen Daly||11||Alex Lynch|
|12||Ellen Foran||12||Matthew Shaw|
|13||Louise Callaghan||13||Darragh Weblin|
|14||Amy Kehoe||14||David Burke|
|15||Alva McCabe||15||Neil Pearson|
|16||Shauna Traynor||16||Sean Clarke|
|17||Shauna Callaghan||17||Rourke Shaw|
|18||Rosie O’Grady||18||Ryan Bell|
|19||Caoimhe O’Donoghue||19||John Glennon|
|22||Anna May Flannery||.||.|
|Under 14 girls 3,000m||Under 14 boys 3,000m|
|1||Amy Geoghegan||1||Tadhg Sheridan|
|2||Phoebe Bate||2||Ross Killalea|
|3||Aoife McGouran||3||Diarmuid Fagan|
|4||Meghan Bates||4||Adam Brady|
|5||Helen Lynch (AIT)||5||Eoin McGrath|
|.||.||10||Conor Heavin (AIT)|
|Under 16 girls 4,000m||Under 16 boys 4,000m|
|1||Caoimhe O’Brien||1||Sam Smyth|
|2||Meabh Killalea||2||Colin Smith|
|3||Karla Cunningham||3||Andrew Shaw|
|4||Franscesca Walshe||4||Eoin Quinn|
|5||Ciara Smith||5||Rian Hogan|
Irish Three Quarter Marathon
Longwood in Co. Meath was the venue for the Irish Three Quarter Marathon on Sunday morning 8th October where nearly 1,200 competitors enjoyed near perfect running conditions on a good flat course, providing ideal preparation ahead of the Dublin City Marathon in three weeks time. Nollaig McEntegart was in his customary great form, finishing well up in a terrific 34th place in 2:12:28, which saw him win his master age category by a distance. Next to finish from Mullingar and running very well was Sean Liston (2:39:12), followed by Siobhan McCarthy (2:56:58), Criona Reid (2:58:27) and Jason McCabe (3:06:09). Sean and Criona managed to pace themselves perfectly and actually ran quicker on each quarter. Congratulations to them all.
Galway Bay 10k
Timmy Murphy headed west and was very happy with his 3rd place finish in the Galway Bay 10k on Saturday morning 7th October, crossing the line in 34:07 ahead of nearly 1,500 opponents. Timmy continues to feature strongly in road races across a variety of distances.
Westmeath Schools Cross Country
Cross country runners are a very tough bunch, so it really takes something extreme to cancel a cross country event, but rain, no matter how heavy, certainly doesn’t count. Despite the rain and wind on Wednesday morning 27th September, there was still a very big turnout of students from primary and secondary schools all across Westmeath for the annual Westmeath Schools Cross Country Championships held in Belvedere. Despite the weather, the grounds still looked great and the hard work put in by volunteers from the Club in setting up the course meant that everything was ready on the day. It was great to see such enthusiasm in the competitors from first class in primary school all the way up to sixth year in secondary school, braving the elements and cheered on by a big crowd of teachers and parents.
Numbers taking part were obviously down a bit on last year due to the weather, but the event continues to be very popular and we hope that competitors and schools will continue to support this excellent event in future years. We are indebted to the many volunteers who turned up to help officiate and make the day a success. The rain and wind meant that some youngsters got very cold quickly after their races but a bit of time wrapped in blankets in the first aid tent did the trick and they recovered in no time, so sincere thanks to the Westmeath Civil Defence for putting in a Trojan shift all morning. Thanks too to Gerry Gavin who ran as the “rabbit” in the primary schools races, giving all the young competitors a clear person to chase so no one got lost on the course.
The management and staff at Belvedere House and Gardens were also of great help in organising the day at a venue that is ideal for hosting such an event. Finally, our thanks to the teachers and schools for competing in great numbers to ensure that the event continues to be one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events on the calendar for those of school going age in Westmeath.
Congratulations to all who took part and as usual, the standard of competition was extremely high and medals were hard won for all the competitors. All the individual and team results are available below and they show a great distribution of medals to schools throughout the county. Team medals will be distributed to the schools this week.
Scroll down for individual medal winners
Primary Schools – team results (3 to score, excl. first 20 finishers)
|1st class Girls||1st class Boys|
|1||Raharney||21||25||43||89||1||Presentation Junior School||27||34||35||96|
|2||St. Fechin’s, Fore||28||33||38||99||2||Ardnagrath||23||33||41||97|
|3||St. Joseph’s, Rathwire||35||36||50||121||3||St. Tola’s||32||40||46||118|
|4||St. Tola’s||37||40||45||122||4||The Downs||22||48||50||120|
|5||The Downs||32||41||55||128||5||St. Fechin’s, Fore||24||44||56||124|
|7||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||27||70||74||171||7||St. Michael’s, Castletown||28||36||80||144|
|.||.||.||.||.||.||8||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||29||58||61||148|
|2nd class Girls||2nd class Boys|
|1||St. Fechin’s, Fore||27||34||36||97||1||St. Tola’s||24||32||33||89|
|2||Presentation Senior School||25||43||58||126||2||St. Colman’s||23||26||42||91|
|3||St. Mary’s CBS||35||45||48||128||3||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||25||43||44||112|
|4||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||28||59||60||147||4||Curraghmore||35||37||46||118|
|6||Raharney||32||40||82||154||6||Milltown NS, Rathconrath||48||49||55||152|
|7||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||41||51||70||162||7||Presentation Junior School||41||51||64||156|
|9||Curraghmore||42||69||78||189||9||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||30||71||84||185|
|11||Dysart||72||91||96||259||11||St. Mary’s CBS||75||78||80||233|
|3rd class Girls||3rd class Boys|
|1||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||26||41||43||110||1||St. Colmcille’s, Gainstown||21||26||49||96|
|2||St. Colmcille’s, Gainstown||22||40||49||111||2||St. Colman’s||30||33||39||102|
|3||Delvin NS||28||36||54||118||3||St. Mary’s CBS||25||54||56||135|
|4||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||33||42||48||123||4||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||36||55||53||144|
|7||St. Mary’s CBS||30||38||73||141||7||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||46||66||63||175|
|10||Mullingar ETNS||34||58||74||166||10||St. Fechin’s, Fore||29||74||94||197|
|12||St. Colman’s||51||60||76||187||12||Delvin NS||57||72||101||230|
|4th class Girls||4th class Boys|
|4||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||48||51||59||158||4||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||32||34||62||128|
|8||Loughegar||47||61||98||206||8||St. Mary’s CBS||54||80||86||220|
|5th class Girls||5th class Boys|
|3||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||26||42||43||111||3||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||28||38||43||109|
|5||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||25||47||67||139||5||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||26||49||57||132|
|6||St. Tola’s||23||44||86||153||6||Mullingar ETNS||35||56||61||152|
|8||St. Mary’s CBS||54||58||89||201||8||St. Tola’s||53||84||75||212|
|9||St. Fechin’s, Fore||60||72||75||207||9||St. Mary’s CBS||27||90||97||214|
|10||Ardnagrath||77||79||84||240||10||Scoil Phadraig Milltown||54||93||80||227|
|6th class Girls||6th class Boys|
|2||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||22||35||38||95||2||Gaelscoil An Mhuilinn||32||33||37||102|
|3||St. Tola’s||25||30||64||119||3||St. Mary’s CBS||27||36||42||105|
|4||St. Colman’s||33||41||55||129||4||St. Etchen’s, Kinnegad||28||30||50||108|
|6||Mullingar ETNS||29||57||83||169||6||Rathwire NS||21||48||83||152|
|.||.||.||.||.||.||11||St. Fechin’s, Fore||38||82||84||204|
Individual medal winners
National School Individual Medal Winners
|1st. Class Girls||1st. Class Boys|
|1||Madison Hagan||Boher NS||1||Caolan Keavney||St. Cremin’s|
|2||Zara Hanniffy||Curraghmore||2||Darren Corcoran||Dysart|
|3||Elsa Bird||Curraghmore||3||Ryan Denning||St. Tola’s|
|4||Vivienne Daly||The Downs||4||Ethan Joyce||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|5||Macy Gilligan||Presentation||5||Aaron Wallace||Dysart|
|6||Caragh Mullen||Loughegar||6||Kyle Carthy||St. Tola’s|
|7||Niamh Brady||Edmonton||7||Cathal Kilmurray||St. Kenny’s|
|8||Elizabeth Klimantavichius||Presentation||8||Jonah Hassett||Curraghmore|
|9||Erin McHugh||Ardnagrath||9||Ben Whyte||Ballymore|
|10||Isabel Murphy||The Downs||10||Sean Higgins||Rathwire|
|11||Kinga Koloczek||Presentation||11||Scott Oliver Coogan||Rathwire|
|12||Lyla Dalton||Coralstown||12||Darragh Clune||St. Tola’s|
|13||Tatlor Enright||Raharney||13||Lucas Ivan||Presentation|
|14||Florence Geelan||Curraghmore||14||Calvin Flynn||St. Tola’s|
|15||Danielle Munkoka||Presentation||15||Jude Murtagh||Coralstown|
|16||Aisling Lillis||Presentation||16||Shane Canning||St. Kenny’s|
|17||Rachel Ennis||Ballinagore||17||Jack Murray||St. Tola’s|
|18||Nina Nessa||St. Tola’s||18||Liam Coyne||St. Tola’s|
|19||Taylor Fitzgerald||St. Tola’s||19||Aidan Taylor||Presentation|
|20||Emily Maguire||Mullingar??||20||Zack Kilbride||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|2nd. Class Girls||2nd. Class Boys|
|1||Eleanor Kiernan||Loughegar||1||Jake Bell||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|2||Aoibheann Murphy||Loughegar||2||Daniel Boyle||Fore|
|3||Happiness Aifuwia||St. Etchen’s||3||Cian Matthews||St. Colman’s|
|4||Theresa Daly||Ballinagore||4||Cory Haverty Dunne||St. Michael’s|
|5||Tianna O’Leary||St. Tola’s||5||Liam Weblin||Dalystown|
|6||Muireann Galvin||Loughegar||6||Oisin O’Muiri||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|7||Emily Maxwell||Raharney||7||Hugo Corroon||Curraghmore|
|8||Maeve Shaw||St. Colman’s||8||Stephen McQuaid||St. Kenny’s|
|9||Caoimhe Ginnell||St. Michael’s||9||Leigh Gunning||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|10||Naomi Whelan||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||10||Sean Coleman||The Downs|
|11||Emma Lagan||The Downs||11||Jack Connaughton||St. Colman’s|
|12||Cara Andrews||St. Etchen’s||12||Joshua McGouran||Rathwire|
|13||Eleanor Mulligan||St. Tola’s||13||Tadgh Kennedy||Rathwire|
|14||Carol Ann Downs||St. Cremin’s||14||Shane Farrell||Coralstown|
|15||Shauna Gilsenan||St. Fechin’s||15||Tom Shaw||Raharney|
|16||Jamie Bell McCormack||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||16||Cian McGee||Raharney|
|17||Pippa Jackson||Gainstown||17||Colm Clinton||Loughegar|
|18||Cara Finnegan||Curraghmore||18||Conor Geoghegan||St. Kenny’s|
|19||Roisin Fitzgerald||St. Tola’s||19||John Gilbride||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|20||Ruth Hynes||Killucan||20||Gearoid Farrell||Ardnagrath|
|3rd. Class Girls||3rd. Class Boys|
|1||Katie Kilmurray||St. Kenny’s||1||Matthew Molloy||Sonna|
|2||Lydia McDonnell||Gainstown||2||Sean Byrne||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|3||Jane Charles||Gainstown||3||Will Scahill||St. Kenny’s|
|4||Amy Crowley||Milltown Emper||4||Niall Brady||Loughegar|
|5||Charlotte Butler Clynne||Gainstown||5||Cormac Murphy||Loughegar|
|6||Olwyn Farrell||Milltownpass||6||Jake O’Brien||St. Kenny’s|
|7||Grainne Cleary||St. Kenny’s||7||Sean Graham||St. Kenny’s|
|8||Eva Jackson||Gainstown||8||Luke Greene||Taghmon|
|9||Eabha Moran||Curraghmore||9||Emanuel Afolazpi||Rathwire|
|10||Caoimhe Burke||Gainstown||10||Tom O’Brien||St. Kenny’s|
|11||Nicole Galat||St. Colman’s||11||Cian Corcoran||Dysart|
|12||Lucy Kennedy||Raharney||12||Eoin Donoghue||Milltown Emper|
|13||Aisling Whelan||Gainstown||13||Jack Whyte||Ballymore|
|14||Katie Glennon||Loughnavalley||14||Eoin Duncan||St. Mary’s Mullingar|
|15||Emily Farrell||Milltownpass||15||Jack Duignan||St. Etchen’s|
|16||Mia Loughlin||St. Kenny’s||16||Cillian Walsh||Curraghmore|
|17||Isabella Murphy||Colehill||17||Luke Kiernan||Raharney|
|18||Alison Tourich||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||18||Brian Longe||St. Etchen’s|
|19||Sophie Healy||Tubberclaire||19||Conor Mulleady||Loughegar|
|20||Caitlin Reddin||Curraghmore||20||Arthur Drummond||Ardnagrath|
|4th. Class Girls||4th. Class Boys|
|1||Orla Dolan||St. Fechin’s||1||Criostoir Ormsby||Gainstown|
|2||Sarah O’Sullivan||St. Etchen’s||2||James Flynn||Gainstown|
|3||Lauren Cole||Loughegar||3||Jamie Wallace||Gainstown|
|4||Eva Hogan||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||4||Conor Liston||Curraghmore|
|5||Orla Manning||Milltownpass||5||Eoin Mullen||Loughegar|
|6||Polly McCormack||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||6||Cian Loughlin||St. Tola’s|
|7||Hannah Boyle||Fore NS||7||Michael Moloney||The Downs|
|8||Sophie McCabe||Fore NS||8||Brian Ronan||Gainstown|
|9||Eadaoin Langtry||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||9||Henry Duncan||Milltown Emper|
|10||Nicola Byrne||St. Tola’s||10||Hugo Sleator||Curraghmore|
|11||Rachel Murphy||Tyrrellspass||11||Aaron Kavanagh||St. Etchen’s|
|12||Roisin Connaughton||Raharney||12||Jamie Kelleghan||Loughegar|
|13||Cliodhna McGinley||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||13||Karl Burke||Milltownpass|
|14||Keelin Burke||St. Colman’s||14||Darragh Weblin||Dalystown|
|15||Alice Galvin||Loughegar||15||Peadar Glennon||St. Kenny’s|
|16||Mia Farrell||St. Etchen’s||16||Andrew Henson||Tubberclaire|
|17||Zara Corroon||Curraghmore||17||Darragh Burke||Tubberclaire|
|18||Anna Geoghegan||St. Kenny’s||18||Paul Keating||St. Mary’s Mullingar|
|19||Toni Stack||St. Etchen’s||19||Rodney Haverty||Castlepollard|
|20||Casey O’Connor||St. Etchen’s||20||Alex Lynch||Loughnavalley|
|5th. Class Girls||5th. Class Boys|
|1||Caoimhe Kilmurray||St. Kenny’s||1||Philip McCartan||Gainstown|
|2||Adele Goeghegan||Castletown Geo.||2||Callum Costello||Gainstown|
|3||Lucy Donnelly||St. Kenny’s||3||Darragh McDonnell||St. Kenny’s|
|4||Morgan Corcoran||Castletown Geo.||4||Darragh Smith||St. Tola’s|
|5||Grace Byrne||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||5||John Rogerson||St. Etchen’s|
|6||Siofra O’Halloran||Curraghmore||6||Mohammed Elnugtab||Mullingar ETNS|
|7||Leah Geoghegan||Castletown Geo.||7||Alex Sheerin||Sonna|
|8||Millie Hagan||Boher NS||8||Karl McCormack||Loughegar|
|9||Robyn Bates||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||9||Oisin O’Hara||St. Colman’s|
|10||Ellen Foran||St. Kenny’s||10||Mark Doherty||Raharney|
|11||Erin Hagan||Boher NS||11||Cory O’Brien||Loughegar|
|12||Catherine Fallon||St. Tola’s||12||Kealan Connell||Tubberclair|
|13||Ciara Glennon||Loughnavalley||13||Michael McLoughlin||The Downs|
|14||Jessica Cunningham||Coralstown||14||Conor Nolan||Fore NS|
|15||Anusha Smullen||Milltownpass||15||Matthew Shaw||St. Colman’s|
|16||Saoirse Sheridan||St. Colman’s||16||Conor Sheerin||St. Ernan’s|
|17||Anna May Flannery||Milltown Emper||17||Luke Jackson||Gainstown|
|18||Robyn Carey||St. Fechin’s||18||Conor Heffernan||Loughegar|
|19||Kate Whyte||Ballymore||19||Jack McCann||Curraghmore|
|20||Meabh O’Hara||St. Colman’s||20||Rory McDonnell||Gainstown|
|6th. Class Girls||6th. Class Boys|
|1||Aimee Wallace||Gainstown||1||Tadhg Sheridan||St. Coleman’s|
|2||Lauren Keane||Rathwire||2||Eric McLoughlin||St. Kenny’s|
|3||Nicole Crouch||Raharney||3||Ross Killalea||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|4||Amy Smullen||St. Etchen’s||4||John Ryan||Gainstown|
|5||Adi Cronin||Rathwire||5||Shane Corcoran||Dysart|
|6||Aisling Lane||Colehill||6||Adam Brady||Loughegar|
|7||Holly Dowdall||Loughegar||7||Louis Greene||Rathowen|
|8||Aine Newman||Sonna||8||Adam Smyth||Raharney|
|9||Albha McCabe||Fore NS||9||Callum McKeogh||Raharney|
|10||Michaela Murphy||St. Tola’s||10||Peter Ballesty||Milltown Emper|
|11||Hannah McGuire||Rathwire||11||Thomas Farrell||Tubberclaire|
|12||Torie Coyne||St. Etchen’s||12||Ryan Kelly||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn|
|13||Emma Finnegan||Clonmellon||13||Abdul Abourezk||St. Etchen’s|
|14||Caoimhe Donoghue||Milltown Emper||14||Tiernan Purcell||Clonmellon|
|15||Joanna Megkenaite||St. Tola’s||15||Charlie Kennedy||St. Kenny’s|
|16||Ruth Langtry||Gaelscoil an Mhuilinn||16||Sean Dillon||Milltown Emper|
|17||Ellie O’Sullivan||Gainstown||17||Ali Abourezk||St. Etchen’s|
|18||Naomi McNamee||St. Joseph’s||18||Aaron O’Brien||Clonmellon|
|19||Paige Matthews||St. Coleman’s||19||Daniel Connaughton||St. Coleman’s|
|20||Leah Tuite||Loughegar||20||Eoin McGrath||Loughegar|
Secondary School Individual Medal Winners
|1st Year Girls||1st Year Boys|
|1||Phoebe Bate||Loreto Mullingar||1||Diarmuid Fagan||Colaiste Mhuire|
|2||Amy Geoghegan||Mercy Kilbeggan||2||Ross Clinton||Colaiste Mhuire|
|3||Meghan Bates||Loreto Mullingar||3||Ben McDonald||Mercy Kilbeggan|
|4||Sinead Seery||Our Lady’s Bower||4||Brendan Greene||Colaiste Mhuire|
|5||Erica Lowe||Our Lady’s Bower||5||Cillian Plunkett||Colaiste Mhuire|
|6||Emily Martin||Our Lady’s Bower||6||Finian Carroll||St. Joseph’s R’bridge|
|7||Katie Boyle||Our Lady’s Bower||7||Jamie McDonnell||Mercy Kilbeggan|
|8||Eva Farrell||St. Finian’s Mullingar||8||Alex Scally||Colaiste Mhuire|
|9||Sally O’Meara||Our Lady’s Bower||9||Oisin Kelly||Colaiste Mhuire|
|10||Michelle Lynn||Loreto Mullingar||10||Aaron Hanley||St. Joseph’s R’bridge|
|2nd Year Girls||2nd Year Boys|
|1||Bea Drummond||Athlone CC||1||Colin Smith||Colaiste Mhuire|
|2||Aoife McGouran||Loreto Mullingar||2||Donal Mulvihill||Colaiste Mhuire|
|3||Meabh Killalea||Loreto Mullingar||3||Oisin Loughlin||Colaiste Mhuire|
|4||Caoimhe Brady||Columba College Killucan||4||Colin McGee||St. Joseph’s R’bridge|
|5||Aoife O’Brien||Loreto Mullingar||5||Jack Wallace||Colaiste Mhuire|
|6||Katie Clynne||St. Joseph’s R’bridge||6||Tiernan Clarke-McMahon||Mercy Kilbeggan|
|7||Chloe Kearney||St. Joseph’s R’bridge||7||Kevin Martin||Colaiste Mhuire|
|8||Evie Daly||Loreto Mullingar||8||Phelim Brady||Mercy Kilbeggan|
|9||Sophie Quirke||St. Finian’s Mullingar||9||Bonvie Ndefi||St. Finian’s Mullingar|
|10||Alanna Ní Chuinneagáin||Our Lady’s Bower||10||Eoghan Hogan||Colaiste Mhuire|
|3rd Year & TY Girls||3rd Year & TY Boys|
|1||Caoimhe O’Brien||Loreto Mullingar||1||Adam Treanor||Colaiste Mhuire|
|2||Jennifer Fidgeon||Loreto Mullingar||2||Philip King||Moate CC|
|3||Rebecca Lowe||Our Lady’s Bower||3||Sam Smyth||St. Joseph’s R’bridge|
|4||Karla Cunningham||Loreto Mullingar||4||Eoin Quinn||Colaiste Mhuire|
|5||Francesca Walshe||Loreto Mullingar||5||Rian Hogan||Colaiste Mhuire|
|6||Ciara Smith||Loreto Mullingar||6||Ciaran Daly||St. Joseph’s R’bridge|
|7||Eabha Crehan||Our Lady’s Bower||7||Conor Gibney||Colaiste Mhuire|
|8||Hannah McQuaid||St. Joseph’s R’bridge||8||Brian Martin||Colaiste Mhuire|
|9||Sinead Igbomma||Loreto Mullingar||9||Tadhg Hunwick||Colaiste Mhuire|
|10||.||.||10||Michael Skrzypek||St. Finian’s Mullingar|
|5th & 6th Year Girls||5th & 6th Year Boys|
|1||Aoife Darby||St. Joseph’s R’bridge||1||Eoghan Bracken||St. Joseph’s R’bridge|
|2||Catriona Kennedy||Loreto Mullingar||2||Euan Lagan||Colaiste Mhuire|
|3||Andrea Brady||Loreto Mullingar||3||Sean Kennedy||St. Finian’s Mullingar|
|4||Laura Shaw||Loreto Mullingar||4||David Mills||Colaiste Mhuire|
|5||Elysia Greene||Loreto Mullingar||5||Adam Shaw||St. Finian’s Mullingar|
|6||Aoife Greene||Our Lady’s Bower||6||Samuel Oluwafunmilade||St. Finian’s Mullingar|
|7||.||.||7||Dylan McKeon||St. Finian’s Mullingar|
In contrast to the day before conditions for the Rathfarnham 5k on Sunday morning 24th September were perfect, being cool dry and calm, which added to the huge success of the 20th edition of this well regarded race, on one of the flattest and fastest 5k courses in Ireland. Any wonder the race, expertly organised by Rathfarnham WSAF AC, attracted an entry of nearly 760 runners, joggers and walkers, among them a talented trio from Mullingar.
Timmy Murphy (15:55) was first for Mullingar to finish in an excellent 25th place, followed closely by Mal McDonnell just three seconds behind (15:58), and the Mullingar trio was completed by Laura Whitelaw, better known as a track athlete, so very pleased to finish in 20:44, which earned her 3rd prize in the junior women race.
Star of the Sea AC Open XC
For a long time the Star of the Sea AC Open Cross Country in Stamullen, Co. Meath has been the traditional opening fixture of the cross country season for Mullingar, but sadly, on Sunday 24th September there was a poor attendance by Club athletes. Mullingar usually has a team of over 40 youngsters and a good number of adults in action but this year we only managed to field 23 juveniles, 2 junior athletes and no senior or master athletes at all. Unbelievably, we had no one competing from u/14 and up in the underage races, traditionally where Mullingar gets to show its strength in depth ahead of the Leinsters. From a normal two dozen top-ten finish places and a dozen or so team medals, this year the Club managed just eight top-ten places and only two underage team medals. Many team medals were lost for the want of a third runner. Mullingar had won the shield for best juvenile Club for the past twelve years in a row but Mullingar all but disappeared off the scoreboard this time. It was certainly a case of unlucky thirteen!
The Westmeath Schools and the AAI Westmeath Championships just don’t measure up in terms of race quality, so it means that for most of the Club’s youngsters, their first proper race of the season will be the first round of the Leinster cross country a month from now. Time will tell if they regret the decision to forego a good blow out on a testing course in a proper race to measure their progress in training.
The small squad that did compete however turned in some great performances and results were of a high standard, it was just there were not enough teams of three to win team medals and team points.
Tianna O’Leary was full of running in the u/9 girls 500m and finished well up in 8th place, just missing an individual top-six place medal. With support from Aoife Longe and Chloe Duggan, the team finished well up but out of the medal places. Liam Weblin led the Mullingar team home in the u/9 boys 500m, followed by Cathal Kilmurray and Blaise Drummond but unfortunately the boys also finished out of the team medal places.
We scored our first individual medal thanks to Katie Kilmurray in the u/10 girls 500m who finished very strongly in 6th place. Despite good support from newcomers Eileen Farrell and Emily Farrell, the girls finished out of the team medals this time. Mullingar finally got on the team scoreboard in the u/10 boys 500m when Matthew Molloy stormed to the finish to take 3rd place, and with Arthur Drummond, Brian Longe and Ciaran Duggan packing well in behind him, the boys won silver medals for 2nd team.
Orla Manning was our sole representative in the u/11 girls 1,000m where she finished well up with a solid performance. Conor Liston was the runaway winner of the u/11 boys 1,000m with a fine display of tactical racing, and a perfectly timed push for home. With James Flynn tearing into the home straight in 3rd place, and Darragh Weblin finishing strongly to provide the vital third score, the team finished second and the boys were rewarded with team silver medals for their efforts.
With no team to support her in the u/12 girls 1,500m, Caoimhe Kilmurray knew any medal chance was down to her own efforts and she duly delivered with a fine 5th place finish after an excellent race over the testing one lap course. Callum Costello used the u/12 boys 1,500m as a good test of fitness and he simply ran away from the opposition to win easily by a distance. David Burke finished well up in his first race for Mullingar but with no third runner, team medals were definitely lost here.
Eve Farrell competed well in the u/13 girls 1,500m where she finished well up and was happy with her performance. The final juvenile race with a Mullingar interest was the u/13 boys 1,800m where Matt O’Leary got into the top-ten with a fine 9th place finish, and with Sonny Drummond finishing strongly not far behind, it was a real shame we hadn’t a third runner or team medals would have been a certainty.
With no Mullingar athletes in u/14, u/15 or u/17 races, we had an unusually long wait before we could exercise our vocal chords again, finally getting to do so as we shouted our encouragement for Catriona Kennedy in the women’s 3,000m, which was a combined race for junior, senior and master athletes. Unfazed by running against older opposition, Catriona stayed right with the early pace and her bravery was rewarded with an excellent 2nd place overall finish, also finishing 1st Junior woman into the bargain.
The final race of the day was the junior, senior and master men’s 6,000m race where Conor McHugh competed well over four laps of the tough hilly course and with a strong finish took 3rd place in the Junior men race to win a well-deserved prize.
Despite the low numbers from Mullingar, we saw some great individual performances in Stamullen, especially from some of our newcomers. Sadly lacking was the team element, essential for success in cross country competition and we’ll have to wait and see how Mullingar fares in the upcoming Leinster Championships. Thanks to the parents and other supporters who travelled to Meath to support our athletes, as it does help them if they’re cheered on.
Dublin Half Marathon
Moving from the Phoenix Park to a new course this year in Donabate, Co. Dublin certainly didn’t go to plan for the organisers of the Dublin Half Marathon on Saturday morning 23rd September. Over 9,000 runners had signed up to take part but many were forced to abandon their plans to run when they were caught up in severe traffic congestion coming off the M1 Motorway. In fact, the results show just under 6,600 finishers, so clearly a lot didn’t make it to the start in time. Thankfully the Mullingar athletes made it safely to the start in time, though when reflecting on the very challenging course including the hills for the first eight miles, not helped by the strong winds on the day, especially the headwind over the last few miles perhaps they wished they had missed it too!
No surprise given his form on the road that first from Mullingar to finish was Kevin Baker in 9th place overall in 1:14:48, which is excellent running on this course and in these conditions. He was followed home Siobhan McCarthy (1:40:11), who was very pleased to finish 2nd in her master category. Well done to both of them for getting to the start in time and running so well in the less than ideal conditions.
Charleville Half Marathon
The Club was well represented at the Charleville Half Marathon in Co. Cork on Sunday 17th September. The day was very suitable for distance running and the athletes had a nice flat course to race on. The race was very well supported with 1,133 finishers. Mal McDonnell led the Mullingar athletes home in a fine PB of 72:19 to finish an excellent 8th place. He was followed by Mark McCann who ran really well to finish in 80:01. Mark was agonisingly close to breaking the 80 minutes mark but looks sure to rectify that at the next opportunity. Right behind Mark were Colm Walsh (80:46) and Pauric Brady (82:23). Ken Whitelaw and Sinead Whitelaw ran together and Sinead was rewarded with an excellent 5th place finish in a fine time of 82:37. Joan Flynn also can feel really satisfied with her performance of 86:57 and Mel Carthy also with 88:11.
Br. John Doyle XC “Meet of Champions”
Jack O’Leary was in action for Iona College at the Brother John Doyle Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park, New York on Saturday 16th September and he opened his season with an excellent second place finish. Jack raced aggressively from the start and featured prominently throughout the race before finally having to settle for second place in a thrilling sprint for the line. In the process, Jack led Iona to third place in the team standings and he looks set to have a very strong cross country season.
“Tony O’Donoghue” Moone 10km
Malcolm McDonnell had an excellent race to finish 2nd in the “Tony O’Donoghue” Moone 10km in Moone, Co. Kildare on Saturday 9th September in a time of 33:59. Kieran Nolan also made the top 5 with a time of 36:29.
Dingle Half Marathon
Billed as the Ireland’s most scenic half marathon, the Dingle Half Marathon on Saturday 2nd September started at the marina in Dingle town and headed off in the direction of Ventry and onto Slea Head, which was closed to traffic for the day, ensuring complete safety for runners. From Ventry the course continued past Dunbeg Fort and at Fahan the road crossed a ford where the water was redirected from the road so the runners wouldn’t get their feet wet, the only day in the year that water does not pass over the road ford, such is the attention to detail by the organizers! The course then reaches Slea Head itself and then on to the finish at Dunquin village, outside the door of a pub, where the runners could take the opportunity to enjoy well deserved refreshments before being taken by buses back to Dingle to continue the celebrations. Any wonder the race attracted a huge entry of 1,717 competitors?
Continuing her terrific return to racing form, Aine O’Reilly was delighted to finish in 1:26:28, 21st place overall and 1st woman, earning a prize for her efforts. Eamonn O’Reilly was also very satisfied with his time of 1:51:51, his quickest time for the distance yet. It was a long way to go for a race but clearly well worth the effort.
Hosted by Ardee and District AC, the “Seamie Weldon Memorial 5k” on Saturday 2nd September drew an impressive entry of 387 runners, among them Mal McDonnell who finished 4th in 16:36, to take 2nd prize in his master category. Mal continues to be one of the most consistent prize winners from the Club on the road race circuit.
England Athletics u/17 T&F Championships
It was extremely warm in Bedford on Sunday 27th August at the England Athletics u/17 T&F Championships where Mullingar’s underage race walkers really made their mark. Fortunately, the race walks were first on the programme and escaped the worst of the heat, but even at 10am when they got underway, the thermometer was already hitting 19degC in blazing sunshine.
Oisin Lane seized the initiative from the gun in the u/17 boys 5,000m race walk and was never headed, winning with more than two minutes to spare in 24:07.58, which is a new PB. The u/17 girls 5,000m race walk title took longer to decide as Sarah Glennon took the leading group through 2k in under ten minutes before stamping her authority on the field, easing away over the final 3k to win in 26:02.66, piling on the pressure despite suffering sore shins over the final laps. Following behind in her first time competing over 5k, Jennifer Fidgeon developed pains in her knees at 3k, but she is a very determined girl and ignored any temptation to stop and was delighted to finish third in 28:32.03 and win the bronze medal. These are magnificent performances against the best in England and in very testing hot conditions but thanks to the work put in under the expert eye of their Coach, Michael Lane, they are more than able for anything that’s thrown at them. The only cloud on the day was the forced late withdrawal from competition for Matthew Glennon (u/15 boys 3k race walk) due to illness and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Longford Half Marathon
There was a great choice of race distances in Longford on Sunday 27th August where there was a 10k, Half Harathon, Marathon and even an Ultramarathon on offer, so something to suit all tastes! Now in its 16th year and well established on the road race circuit, and being a “local” event, it was good to see a group of Mullingar athletes out in support. They all competed in the Half Marathon, which drew an entry of 215 and was run in very hot sweltering conditions. Nollaig McEntegart was the first of the Mullingar group to finish in 26th place overall and easily win his master category. His time was an impressive 1:28:18, which would have given men up to 15 years his junior a real run for their money too. Being able to run along with a small group that were running at a similar pace helped Sean Liston to finish well up in a very good 1:35:59, followed home by John Bannon (1:50:36) and Tommy Archbold (1: 50:42) who covered the distance in sight of each other.
Tara AC 5k
Opting for the shorter 5k race distance, Mal McDonnell headed to Meath on Sunday 27th August to compete among nearly 200 others in the Tara AC 5k where he finished an excellent 2nd place in 16:32 to reinforce his reputation on the road race circuit. Mal continues to be a great representative for the Club in road races.
Tullamore Half Marathon
Conditions were tough for distance running in Tullamore on Saturday 26th August for the Tullamore Half Marathon where the huge entry of 745 had to endure extremely hot and humid conditions, which must have really tested some of them to their limits. Being organised by Tullamore Harriers of course no stone was left unturned in preparation and attention to detail to ensure everyone had a wonderful and safe experience.
The stand out performance for Mullingar was that of Joan Flynn who really left nothing behind her to finish in 1:29:01, placing her 6th woman overall and taking the prize for 3rd senior woman. In the men’s race, finishing a fine 18th place overall in 1:19:11, Mark Carroll led the small but talented Mullingar men’s group home, followed by Patrick Muldoon in 1:25:46, and with great support from Colm Walsh (1:31:19) and Eddie Newman (1:32.21) continuing to make steady progress back to full racing fitness after being sidelined with injury for so long, the Mullingar men finished a very creditable 4th team. Also running well in the tough conditions was Mel Carthy (1:34:04), Paul Ginnell (35:59), MJ Delaney (1:41:29) and Declan Costello (1:51:39). Well done to them all in tough conditions.
Frank Duffy 10 Mile
As if the course wasn’t tough enough, the hot humid conditions only added to the pain for the more than 4,200 competitors at the Frank Duffy 10 mile in the Phoenix Park on Saturday 26th August. Leading the hardy group of eight from Mullingar home was Kevin Baker with an excellent race to finish 12th overall in 55:38 and taking 3rd prize in his master category to continue his excellent form on the road. Also finishing strongly was Mark McCann (59:56), happy to get under the hour mark, followed by Sinead Whitelaw (63:25) placing 4th senior woman, then Alan Crowley (63:51), Enda O’Carolan (70:01), Murty Hanley (70:54), Siobhan McCarthy (74:57) finishing well up in her master category, and Mervyn Kennedy (84:47) making up the Mullingar group that were happy to finish and get out of the heat and recover.
Continuing to buck the general trend of reducing numbers taking part in 5k road races, the North Westmeath AC Castlepollard 5k on Wednesday evening 16th August drew an impressive entry of nearly 370, a good increase on last year’s entry meaning that the enormous effort by Andy MacEoin attending road races near and far over the summer to publicize the race paid off very well. On a good evening for running, the course took the runners from the Square in Castlepollard out to the beautiful grounds of Tullynally Castle and back for the now legendary spread of food and refreshments and the very generous prizes on offer across a wide range of categories. Mullingar Harriers was well represented by 23 Club members and between them they won the men and women team prizes, 11 individual master prizes and an impressive 1-2-3 in the junior men race.
The race was won by Sean Doran (Clonliffe Harriers) in 15:57, Peter Mooney was 2nd in 16:02, just ahead of Malcolm McDonnell in 3rd (16:03) who won his master category and led the Mullingar men to first team. Following in was Gerry Gavin (16:37) 3rd in his master category, John Whitelaw (16:38) 1st junior man, Tom McGrath (17:24) 1st in his master category, Ian McCormack (16:41), Aidan Daly (16:43) 2nd junior man, Eoghan Bracken (17:04) 3rd junior man, Kieran Nolan (17:46), Mel Carthy (17:51) 3rd in his master category, Aine O’Reilly finishing an impressive 29th overall in 17:51, the 2nd woman to finish and 1st in her master category, then Alan Crowley (17:53), Sinead Whitelaw (17:55) 3rd woman, Hans de Raeymaeker (18:01) 3rd in his master category, James Keegan (18:03), Enda Seery (18:59), Nollaig McEntegart (19:49) 1st in his master category by a distance, Maura Dervin (21:14) 3rd in her master category, Michael O’Sullivan (21:29) 2nd in his master category, Sean McMullin (23:22) 2nd in his master category, Joanna Tyrrell (23:40) 3rd in her master category, Christy Creagh (26:58), Ollie Gaffney (27:42) and Brian Gaffney (27:43). The full results are available at www.myrunresults.com.
AAI National Half Marathon
The “Rock ‘n’ Roll” half marathon in Dublin on Sunday 13th August attracted a huge entry of just over 11,000 and the event also incorporated the AAI National Half Marathon Championships where Mullingar had 7 athletes among the nearly 1,000 entered in the Championship. Starting at the 3 Arena and finishing in the Phoenix Park, the course was quite tough in places, especially the hilly sections in the Park but conditions were good for running. Results were delayed a few days, but when they were finally published it was great to see that given his recent form on the road race circuit, it was no surprise that the Mullingar contingent was led home by Nollaig McEntegart in an impressive 1:23:59 to place 2nd in his master category. Following behind was Colm Walsh (1:24:55), Eddie Newman (1:28:19) making a very welcome return to competition after being sidelined for too long due to injury, then Alan Crowley (1:42:27), Gerry Gavin (1:47:58), Des Walsh finishing 2nd in his master category and winning his first ever National medal, and finally Geraldine Walsh who finished 2nd in her master category to win another All-Ireland medal. Congratulations to Nollaig, Des and Geraldine on winning All-Ireland medals, especially to Des on winning his first.
Streets of Galway 8k
Enjoying excellent conditions, there were over 2,500 finishers at the Streets of Galway 8k on Saturday 12th August where Hans de Raeymaeker finished in 30:22, which placed him well up in his master age category. Also competing and enjoying running with so many others was MJ Delaney who finished in 36:58.
Streets of Athboy 5k
Building year on year, the fourth edition of the Streets of Athboy 5k on Friday evening 11th August again attracted a good entry for this popular event hosted by Fr. Murphy AC. The sole representative in the Club colours was Ian McCormack who was more than pleased with his performance in excellent racing conditions.
Celtic International T&F
It was day of mixed emotions for Awa Fane on Saturday 5th August in Santry at the Celtic International T&F. The day started on a high of excitement and anticipation of competing on the AAI Development Team 4x100m relay but ended in terrible disappointment for Awa and her team mates as the team was disqualified. However, it was still an excellent experience to spend the day mixing with teams from Scotland and Wales and Awa is eligible again next year so is very determined to try to make amends by qualifying for the Irish team next year and making her first full International debut.
European Masters T&F
Depending on where the World Masters T&F is held will affect the entries from some countries and therefore the standard can vary each time but the standard at the European Masters T&F is consistently high and athletes have to be on top of their game to compete for awards. No problem with form for Sean McMullin in Aarhus, Denmark who was very satisfied with his effort in the 5,000m track walk on Monday evening 31st July where he finished within striking distance of the silver medal but had to settle for bronze behind Etorinno Formentin (Italy) and Fernand Rabatal (France), after a flawless performance where he received no warnings in this very technical event, as is his custom. With only a little over two days to recover, Sean was back in action again at lunchtime on Thursday 3rd August in the tough 20k road walk to take his second bronze medal of the Championships, finishing again behind Formentin (Italy) and Rabatal (France) to give the same 1-2-3 result as in the 5,000m track walk. Sean has had a very long season and will now take a well-earned break to recharge his batteries.
Dublin Graded Meeting #8
The final Dublin Graded Meeting of the season took place on Wednesday evening 2nd August in Tallaght, where conditions were warm but very windy, with quite a stiff headwind on the home straight that affected the 100m times in particular. Maimouna Fane dominated the 100m, leading from gun to tape to win comfortably clear of the rest (13.11sec) to end her season on a positive note. Mervyn Harris made a welcome return to competition when he won his 100m race by a distance (11.44sec), looking comfortably in control and it will give him great confidence heading into winter training. Declan Brady started conservatively in the 400m just keeping in touch at the mid-way point but it worked to his advantage as it left him plenty in the tank to attack the second bend and gave him great momentum on the home straight where despite the stiff breeze he moved up several places to finish third in 52.43sec and end finish his season with an excellent performance. There was a big entry for the 3,000m where Ian McCormack placed third in his race in 9:53.21 and in the next race, Johnny Daly (9:24.95) and Stephen Nea (9:29.54) competed well and they were happy with their performances.
Clonard 4 Mile Road Race
Despite the forecast, which was accurate as regards the heavy showers, the inaugural Clonard 4 mile road race in Co. Meath on Wednesday evening 2nd August attracted an impressive entry of over 400 and given how close Clonard is, Mullingar was naturally well represented among that number. Kevin Baker had an excellent race and finished strongly in 3rd place in 20:52, ahead of Malcolm McDonnell with a fine 4th place finish in 21:24 to win his master age category, followed by Joan Flynn (24:32) to take the prize for 3rd woman, then Enda Seery (25:11), Nollaig McEntegart (25:44) to win his master age category by a distance, Declan Costello (29:19), Tommy Archbold (31:50), Christy Creagh (35:55) and Michelle Kavanagh (36:21) making up the Mullingar contingent proudly wearing the Club colours.
Awa Fane to get a taste of International competition
The Irish team for the Celtic International T&F against Scotland and Wales in Santry on Saturday 5th August was selected based primarily on results from the recent u/18 AAI T&F finals. As it is being held in Ireland this year, AAI has also selected a Development Team to compete and among those invited to compete on the Development Team is Awa Fane, in the 4x100m relay. Awa clearly impressed the selectors with her clear victories in the 100m and 200m at u/17, as she is one of only a handful of u/17 girl to be selected. It’s not a full International for Awa, but it will certainly give her a great taste of International competition and spur her on to work hard to try and earn full International selection next year.
It was a long way to go for a race, but “Run Killarney” on Saturday 22nd July, billed as the “the World’s most beautiful road race”, included a half marathon and a 10k race that attracted over one 1,000 competitors in each and the total running in both races was 600 more than last year, so clearly a very popular fixture. The half marathon started in Molls Gap and the route included Ladies Views, the National Park, Muckross House and Abbey and the competitors were treated to stunning views of the Lakes of Killarney. Among those competing was Criona Reid who was very pleased to complete the half marathon in 1:48:25, which will give her a good gauge of how training is going for the Dublin City marathon in October. Opting for the shorter 10k that started at the Gleneagle Hotel, Kieran Nolan was delighted to finish an excellent 6th overall in 37:43 and placed him 1st in his master category.
AAI Senior T&F
Awa Fane, Vicky Harris, Eve Wallace and Maimouna Fane made a bit of Club history on Saturday evening 22nd July in Santry at the AAI Senior T&F by being the first Mullingar senior women’s 4x100m sprint relay team to compete in an AAI Senior Championship. That alone would have been great, but the girls went one better when after turning in a stunning display they emerged victorious and earned their first All-Ireland senior track medals. All the more remarkable is that two of the team (Awa and Eve) are just 16 years of age, Maimouna is 19 and Vicky is 21, so this team could be around for a very long time yet! Before the girls relay, Padraig Moran contested the first of two heats of the 1,500m where he ran well but 4:05 wasn’t quite enough to advance to Sunday’s final.
Given the current strength in Irish female sprinting it’s great to see that Vicky Harris can still hold her own among the best in Ireland. Early on Saturday afternoon she qualified from the tough 200m heats to earn her place in the final where she ran very well but finished out of the medal places. Vicky was back in action again on Sunday afternoon where she qualified from the heats of the 100m to take her place in the final and again despite a good race, coming close to her PB, she finished out of the medals. A great relay gold but no individual medal for Vicky but she can take a lot of satisfaction from knowing that year on year she consistently qualifies for the last 8 in AAI senior finals.
AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F – Day 3
Awa Fane put down a big marker when she cruised to victory in her morning heat of the 200m u/17 at day 3 of the AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F finals in a warm and sunny Tullamore on Sunday 16th July, which set her up as the undisputed favourite to win the afternoon final and add to her 100m title from the week before. Awa wore the mantle of pre-race favourite with ease and lost no time making up the stagger on the girls outside her, coming off the bend in pole position and finishing strongly to win convincingly and take her 2nd All-Ireland title in a week. This has been a breakthrough year for Awa, going from bronze indoors, to silver in the Schools All-Ireland, and now two All-Ireland sprint titles.
Because they’ll be moving up to the junior ranks next year, Patrick Leydon and Odhran Cully were competing in their last juvenile All-Ireland track final when they lined up in the final of the 200m u/19. They gave good accounts but finished out of the medal places, but it was great to see Mullingar field two male sprinters in an All-Ireland final. The target for Shauna Leydon was to make the final eight in the u/16 shot, which she duly did and though she competed well finished out of the medal places but was satisfied with her performance.
Mullingar has a strong reputation in the 1,500m event but this time medals proved elusive for Bea Drummond (1,500m u/15), Aoife Darby and Susan Glennon (1,500m u/17) and Andrea Brady (1,500m u/18) though none were found wanting for grit and determination but had to settle for places out of the medals on this occasion.
Despite winning just one medal on day 3, these Championships have been hugely successful for the Club with a total of 6 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals won over the three days, in addition to two fourth place finishes and plenty of other great performances, making them one of the best for the Club in recent years.
Mullingar 10 Mile Road Race
The weather was absolutely beautiful on Sunday 16th July when a very large number of athletes competed in the fourth edition of the Mullingar 10 mile road race that took place under clear blue skies on the quiet country roads around Dalystown. The hard work put in by Tom McGrath, Race Director, and the entire organizing committee over the past number of months paid off and the race built on the success of last year and was deemed a great success by everyone that took part. A 10 mile road race in the middle of July fits perfectly into the schedule of those training for the Dublin City Marathon in October and attracted by the chance to run a quality race on quiet country roads, the event drew entrants from Clubs, running groups and keep fit groups in Counties near and far including a very big number from Offaly in particular, but also many from Longford, Meath, Kildare, Laois, Dublin, Mayo, Sligo and Galway, as well as a huge number from Westmeath of course, including more than twenty from the Club alone, to give a total of 240 finishers and proving the popularity of the fixture. There were more from the Club that competed, but in keeping with Club policy, runners who didn’t compete in the Mullingar colours (or the event T shirt) won’t have their performances recorded in the Club notes.
The race winner by a comfortable distance was Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrocks AC) in 54:02, which is a good time in the hot conditions, followed by Pauric Ennis (Tullamore Harriers AC) second in 54:20 and Robb Cross (Crusaders AC) third in 54:39. The women’s race was won by Breege Connolly (58:44), with Maria O’Loughlin (Longford AC) second in 67:55 and Michelle Murray (Longford AC) was third in 68:49. The first man home from Mullingar Harriers was Timmy Murphy in 5th place (55:12), followed in by Mal McDonnell in 7th (56:11) to take 2nd in his master category, then Kieran Nolan (60:41), John Whitelaw in an impressive 60:49 to place 1st junior man, Colm Walsh (60:57), James Keegan (64:03), Bernard Groenewald (65:19), David Fagan (65:47), Nollaig McEntegart (66:59) easily winning his master category, Sean Liston (69:00), Robin Jackson (72:42), JP O’Brien and buggy! (74:24), Alan Crowley (74:53), Eva McMorrow (77:07), Michael O’Sullivan (77:56), Jane Creevy (79:36), Criona Reid, Joanna Tyrrell, Marna Groenewald, Sean McMullin who used the event as training session and race walked the distance, Geraldine Walsh (2nd in her master category) and Des Walsh. Full results are available at www.myrunresults.com or HERE.
The weather was fantastic for the spectators that a bit tough on the runners but everyone made it safely back to the finish at Wallace’s Pub in Dalystown, glad to finish but more glad to take water on board and when sufficiently recovered to tuck into the refreshments, which could be enjoyed outdoors thanks to the fine day. Thanks to the many friends of the Club that dropped lots and lots of food from early morning and the mountain of food wasn’t long being eaten and enjoyed.
An event that caters for such large numbers doesn’t just happen and special thanks is due to the army of volunteers who helped on the day with parking, registration, stewarding, water stations, post-race refreshments and all the other components needed to help make a success of the event. First aid and ambulance cover was provided by Westmeath Civil Defence to whom we are very grateful. We’re very grateful too to our sponsors, including T&T Fitness Systems, O’Brien’s Centra, McDonnell Property Partners, Grange Motors and Allied Irish Bank. Of course, the greatest thanks are due to everyone who took part and we hope they’ll return again next year and help make the event an even bigger one.
Post-race feed-back has been very positive and many are already looking forward to making a return journey next year. Coming in for particular praise were the facilities at Wallace’s Pub and at Dalystown NS, which provided great bases for the event and Wallace’s in particular was perfect for the post-race refreshments. Many thanks from the Club to Paul Fox of Wallaces’s Pub and to Dympna Alford of Dalystown NS for allowing us the use of their excellent facilities.
SIAB T&F International
The Mullingar race walkers were the talk of Santry on Saturday 15th July when the annual SIAB T&F International between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales took place in very blustery conditions. Sarah Glennon was in excellent form in the 3,000m race walk where she won in 14:29.41, a new PB and comfortably clear with more than twenty seconds to spare on 2nd place to earn maximum team points and help the Irish girls to second place behind England in the team competition. If we thought that was impressive, Oisin Lane absolutely dominated his 3,000m race walk to win in 3:58.07, one minute ahead of 2nd place to also earn maximum points for the Irish boys who also placed second place behind England in the team competition. These were remarkable performances and further testament to the amazing job the Club’s race walking coach, Michael Lane, is doing developing race walking at underage level.
Unfortunately Jack Moran suffered an injury in the 3,000m run but despite struggling he still managed to finish and earned valuable team points for the Irish team.
AAI “B” T&F Finals
It was warm but overcast and very windy in Tullamore on Saturday 15th July at the AAI “B” T&F finals where Mullingar had a small number in action. Shannon Liston made a significant improvement on her performance in the Leinster finals a month ago, improving by over a metre, to win a well deserved silver medal in the u/14 shot putt. Mullingar had four girls in the 600m u/12 where the medals were decided on the times in two heats, and despite strong running by Adele Geoghegan and Leah Geoghegan in the first heat and Síofra O’Halloran and Lucy Donnelly in the second heat, the girls finished out of the medals, though Adele came closest with a great 5th place finish overall. Daire McDonald had a straight final in the 600m u/12 where he put in a great performance, running two seconds faster than in the Leinsters to finish an excellent 6th place, out of the medals but a fine run nevertheless. We finished with Lorcan Mullen in the 800m u/15 where he battled well and was unlucky to finish out of the medals in 5th place but he can be satisfied with his performance.
AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F – Days 1 & 2
All-Ireland T&F action continued on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July when the AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F finals took place in Tullamore Harriers Stadium and the Mullingar athletes gave their supporters plenty to cheer about.
Second place in her heat of the 80m hurdles u/16 on a warm sunny Saturday morning saw Shauna Leydon qualify comfortably for the final where she put in a strong performance in a very competitive race but had to settle for a place out of the medals in 6th place. Shauna also competed in the u/16 discus where she put together a consistent series but finished out of the medals in 6th place.
Aimee Wallace ran a perfectly judged race in the 600m u/12, which was a straight final, tracking the leaders and keeping out of trouble in a tightly packed group and when she made her move coming off the final bend, it was decisive and she went to the front, holding off a late challenge to win the All-Ireland title in 1:40.75, a new Championship Record, bettering the old one of 1:42.30 set in 2015. In the corresponding boys 600m u/12, which was also a straight final, Philip McCartan and Callum Costello found themselves adrift of the leading group over half way through but with a late surge, Philip made up a lot of ground on the final bend, followed by Callum also finishing quickly, and in the home straight Philip moved into third place and held his place to the line, but the finish came too soon for Callum and he finished 7th, out of the medals but a good effort.
Amy Geoghegan gave a very good account in the 800m u/14, a straight final, finishing out of the medals in 8th place but can be proud of her determined effort. The 800m u/17 was also a straight final but was a very tactical race which meant the field was very tightly bunched going into the final bend where Aoife Darby had to check her stride, losing momentum that she never recovered, and was unable to use her trademark sprint finish to best effect, coming home out of the medals in 8th place.
Conor McHugh qualified comfortably from his heat of the 800m u/18 to take his place on the start line in the final. Running an even effort race in the final, Conor looked good to take something as he moved well up on the leading group on the final bend but just hadn’t the extra edge needed in the home straight and finished just out of the medals in 5th place, but deserved more than this after such a good performance. Winning his heat in style meant Colin Smith was a real medal prospect in the 800m u/19 final where he ran an excellent race and kept right in contention but just when it looked like he would take at least the silver medal, it was snatched from him in a fast and furious sprint finish on the home straight and he was pushed into 4th place, just out of the medals, which was a bitter disappointment for him and the Mullingar supporters.
Still a relative newcomer to the event but clearly learning very fast, Susan Glennon didn’t put a foot wrong in the 2,000m steeplechase u/17, safely negotiating the difficult wooden barriers and water jumps in this energy-sapping event to finish 2nd and was delighted to win the All-Ireland silver medal.
Sunday was cooler and cloudy but still humid enough to test the middle-distance athletes in particular. We’ve come to expect only the very best results from our race walkers, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Jennifer Fidgeon stormed into action right from the gun in the 2,000m u/16 race walk and after a tough battle it came down to a fierce sprint finish in the home straight and it took the photo finish camera to separate the top two, Jennifer judged 2nd by just one tenth of a second. In contrast, Sarah Glennon enjoyed a resounding victory in the 3,000m u/17 race walk to reinforce her dominance in the event. It was victory too by a good margin for Matthew Glennon in the 2,000m u/15 race walk, but performance of the day had to be that of Oisin Lane in the 3,000m race walk u/16 where he was simply a class apart and took the National title with a new Championship Record of 13:51.93, taking five seconds off the previous set in 2010.
On to the 400m u/19 where Odhran Cully really showed that he has a future in the event by taking it out hard and coming into the home straight was in a medal position but it’s a very unforgiving event and despite a great effort he dropped into 4th place, but top marks for effort and will only improve with more racing experience over 400m. Aimee Wallace dropped down to the 60m u/12 and ran well in her heat, only missing qualification to the final by less than one tenth of a second, probably explaining her great sprint finish in the 600m. Odhran Cully, Patrick Leydon and Nadine Molloy didn’t advance from their fiercely competitive 100m u/19 heats but gave good accounts. Awa Fane made it look easy in her heat of the 100m u/17 to win and qualify for the final where she put in an absolutely brilliant display to take the lead in the last twenty metres and went on to win and take the National title.
Over in the shot putt circle, Shane Ormsby put together an excellent set of attempts in the u/13 shot including a new PB of 13.06m and was absolutely delighted to win the bronze medal. Not content with a record breaking race walk in the morning, Oisin Lane was back on the track in the afternoon in the 3,000m u/16 run where he put in a very strong performance to finish a very creditable 6th place. John Whitelaw competed well in the 3,000m u/17 but finished out of the medal places. Jamie Battle got us back in the medals again with a spirited performance in the 3,000m u/18, staying with the leaders throughout and after a terrific final lap had enough in reserve to hold on and finish third to win the bronze medal. Determined to overcome her disappointment in the 800m the previous day, Aoife Darby was not going to be denied in the 3,000m u/17, staying in contention throughout and was able to use her sprint finish count to take her into second place and take the silver medal.
These Championships are not over yet and there’s still the final day next Sunday with very realistic expectations of further National honours, but so far Mullingar athletes have won five gold, three silver and three bronze medals, and had two 4th place finishes and of course there were plenty of other fine performances, so these Championships are right up there with the best for the Club in recent years.
Letterkenny AC Invitation T&F
Given her recent good form, it was no surprise that Vicky Harris was invited to compete in the women’s 200m at the Letterkenny AC Invitation T&F on Friday evening 7th July, where she lined up against some very fast women in a super fast race. The race was won by Nardhia Kidd-Walker (England), just ahead of Janine Boyle (Finn Valley AC) who will be competing in the upcoming European Junior T&F, and Vicky placed a close third, a fine performance and one that more than justified her invitation.
Nearly three hundred runners enjoyed a lovely summer evening run on Wednesday 5th July at the Kinnegad 5k, which was narrowly won by Kevin Baker in 15:52, with just one second to spare on second place. Also competing in the Mullingar colours and supporting a local road race was Malcolm McDonnell (16:11), Eoghan Bracken (17:10), Colm Walsh (17:50), Alan Crowley (17:57), Nollaig McEntegart (18:58), Enda Seery (19:00) and Aidan Rafferty (21:15).
AAI Juvenile Relays
Conditions were much improved on Sunday 2nd July and Athlone IT was the venue for the AAI Juvenile u/12 to u/19 Relays where Mullingar had two teams in action. Awa Fane got the 4x100m u/17 team off to a great start, handing over to Whitney Imafidon, who passed to Eve Wallace, before Shauna Leydon anchored the team to an excellent 6th place, out of the medals but everyone gave one hundred percent effort. The 4x100m u/12 team of Callum Costello, Criostoir Ormsby, Philip McCartan and Conor Liston qualified from the very competitive heats and in the final were unlucky to finish just out of the medals in 4th place despite an excellent performance.
AAI Masters T&F
Sean McMullin was in fine form at the AAI Masters T&F in Tullamore on Sunday 2nd July, winning his master 5,000m race walk category in a time that would have won a medal against men twenty years his junior, such is his class in the event. No luck for Dolores Whyte in the master 100m where she turned in a very good performance but had to settle for 6th place, out of the medals. The day finished with Mullingar back in the medals again thanks to Ben Vaitkevichius who took bronze in his master 1,500m category.
AAI Junior and u/23 T&F
Conditions were less than ideal in Tullamore on Saturday 1st July for the AAI Junior and u/23 T&F, as a cool and windy morning deteriorated into a cold and showery afternoon but that wasn’t going to put anyone off giving their best in a Championship.
Sisters Sarah Glennon and Rachel Glennon competed in the Junior 3,000m race walk, giving excellent accounts in this very technical event to finish 3rd and 4th respectively against some top class opposition. Vicky Harris was in sparkling form in the sprints, blasting from the blocks in the 100m u/23 and leading all the way to win with two metres to spare in 12.15 seconds with a legal wind, which is a new PB. Later in the day, Vicky qualified comfortably from her heat of the 200m u/23 and turned in an excellent performance in the final and despite running quicker than in her heat she finished just out of the medals in 4th place.
Following his recent wins in the CSIT Games and Irish Milers Club events, Shane Fitzsimons was a leading contender in the 800m u/23 and once again his ability to win races was clearly evident. In a tactical race, Shane was always prominent and took control at the halfway point before accelerating clear of his rivals over the final 200m to record a convincing victory. His winning time was 1:54.92 but most noteworthy was his final 400m, which he completed in just over 53 seconds. Shane is one of a very small number of athletes who have won National titles at every available age group from under 11 to under 23 years.
In the Junior 800m Declan Brady and Conor McHugh were both drawn in heat one. With just two automatic qualifiers from each heat, Declan and Conor narrowly missed out, finishing in 3rd and 4th place in 2:01.39 and 2:02.67 respectively. Still new to the event, Odhran Cully drew the difficult outside lane in his heat of the Junior 400m where he ran well but finished out of the qualifying places for the final.
Cormac Dalton was in action in the Junior 1,500m and was in the leading group for much of the race. In the end Cormac finished out of the medals in 7th place in 4:08.39. The 1,500m u/23 saw Padraig Moran in a very tactical encounter and he finished out of the medal places on this occasion.
Achill Half Marathon
The weather in Achill on Saturday 1st April was simply dreadful with strong winds and driving rain for the early stages of the Achill Half Marathon, and the rain only cleared for the latter stages when the harm had been done, but that didn’t deter over 900 runners who braved the elements and the tough hilly course, among them JP O’Brien who finished an excellent 38th overall in 1:35:50 and Michael O’Sullivan who won his master category with 1:51:58.
St. Coca’s AC 5k
Over 440 runners assembled in Kilcock on Friday evening 30th June in ideal conditions to race on the flat fast St. Coca’s AC 5k course, among them Malcolm McDonnell who finished 23rd overall in a very close finish that came right down to the line, crossing in 16:06 to place 3rd in his master category by the narrowest margin.
AAI Juvenile Games & Juvenile Relays (u/9, 10, 11)
The first of the underage All-Ireland T&F finals took place in a sun-drenched Tullamore on Saturday 24th June where Mullingar had a small but extremely talented group of youngsters in action at the AAI Juvenile Games for u/9, u/10 and u/11.
Katie Kilmurray finished 2nd in her 60m u/10 race and when her time was added to that of Norah Garry who finished 3rd in her race, their combined time placed them 3rd overall in the u/10 Pairs 60m to win bronze All-Ireland medals. They competed later in the day in the u/10 Pairs 500m and despite running very well they finished 5th, just out of the medal places but they can be very proud of their performances.
Criostoir Ormsby and Conor Liston showed early intent in the 60m u/11 heats, each dominating and winning their races and when their times were combined, they easily won the u/11 Pairs 60m. They returned to the track later in the day for the u/11 Pairs 600m and again absolutely dominated, each winning their race by a distance and took the All-Ireland gold medals with 10 seconds to spare on 2nd place. These boys have competed together in the Pairs since u/9 and won the sprint and middle-distance double gold in u/9, u/10 and now u/11, which is a string of double-gold track titles that will be difficult to match for any Pair in future.
Also competing in the u/11 Pairs 600m was James Flynn and Jamie Wallace but to their utter frustration they were boxed in early in their races and only got into full flow late, which affected their times and they finished out of the medals. Had they repeated their performances from Leinster, they would have been in line for the silver medals.
However, any disappointment was soon alleviated when James, Conor, Jamie and Criostoir dominated the heats in the 4x100m u/11 to win comfortably and showing what perfect baton passes look like. In the final, all four boys repeated the super run and stormed to a convincing victory and All-Ireland gold medals, winning with yards to spare. These medals meant that by the end of the day, all the Mullingar athletes took All-Ireland medals home with them.
Tailteann Inter-Provincial T&F
Based on results from the Leinster Schools T&F, top three in distance and field events and top two in the sprints, a number of the Club’s athletes had the honour of being selected to represent Leinster at the Tailteann Inter-Provincial T&F in a sunny and warm Santry on Saturday 24th June. As well as representing Leinster, at stake was possible selection for the Irish Schools team that will compete in Santry in July.
Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar) took up where she left off in the All-Ireland Schools T&F and simply dominated the girls 3,000m walk to win by a distance and is in contention for selection. Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) was equally dominant in the boys 3,000m walk to also win very comfortably and is also in contention for selection.
Inexplicably and it beggars belief that despite having finished 2nd in Leinster and 2nd in the All-Ireland Schools in the 200m, Awa Fane (Loreto Mullingar) was not selected by Leinster in the 200m but was instead dropped into her weaker event, the 100m where despite giving it her best she didn’t finish in the medal places. There was some small come consolation later in the day when she ran the lead leg for Leinster in the 4x300m relay and the team finished 2nd to earn silver medals.
Still a newcomer to the event, Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar) competed bravely in the 1,500m steeplechase and finished 4th, just outside the medal places. Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) turned in a solid performance in the 1,500m but finished out of the medals. Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) competed in the 3,000m and as the laps unfolded and the leading group was slowly whittled down, Jack kept in touch until it was just down to the last two at the bell and despite a strong effort he had to settle for 2nd place but this puts him nicely in contention for selection.
European Athletics Team Championships First League
Mark Christie sets himself a very high standard, so when he competed for Ireland in the 5,000m at the European Athletics Team Championships First League in Vaasa, Finland on Saturday 24th June, he was disappointed to finish 9th in 14:25.14. However, he still took 4 valuable team points to help Ireland to finish 8th overall of the 12 Countries in the competition, keeping Ireland safely out of the relegation zone that sees Estonia, Bulgaria and Denmark relegated to the Second League in 2019.
Congratulations to Niamh Fogarty from North Westmeath AC who made her Senior International debut in Finland in the shot putt. At just 18 years of age she was the youngest by far in the competition, competing against women in their twenties and early thirties, so Niamh was up against some hugely experienced International athletes. Despite this, Niamh still managed to equal her PB of 13.10m to place 10th of the 12 Countries, so a fantastic result for Niamh.
Irish Milers Club Meeting
Mullingar Harriers were well represented at the Irish Milers Club meeting at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday 24th June. The Men’s 800m A race was one of the strongest fields of the day including Shane Fitzsimons and Colin Smith. Shane featured prominently from the start, tracking the race leader throughout before unleashing a powerful sprint finish with 150m to go. This took Shane comfortably clear of his rivals and he was extending his lead all the way to the finish. Shane’s winning time of 1:50.33 was very impressive in windy conditions. Indeed, the manner in which he increased his pace over the final stages of the race suggests that he will break the 1:50 barrier over the coming weeks.
In the same A race, Colin Smith had the race of his life to finish in the chasing pack in a new PB of 1:55.42. Colin is running competitively for just fifteen months and is rapidly emerging as one of the leading junior 800m athletes in the Country. Oisin Quinn also competed over 800m and won his race in a season’s best of 2:00.80 and will now target breaking the 2 minute barrier over the coming weeks. Padraig Moran had his first race of the track season over 3,000m and finished strongly to post a time of 8:47.29.
Dunshaughlin AC “Michael Manning Memorial” 10k
Perfect conditions, a flat fast course and excellent organisation as always by the host Club attracted a huge entry of nearly 800 runners to the ever-popular Dunshaughlin AC “Michael Manning Memorial” 10k on Saturday 24th June. Among the runners was a good number from Mullingar. They didn’t all wear their Club colours, so in line with Club policy, their performance won’t be recorded in Club records. Finishing well up in 17th place and the first finisher from Mullingar was Timmy Murphy (33:07) leading the Mullingar men’s team to 3rd place, closely followed home by Kevin Baker (33:31), then Malcolm McDonnell (34:00) taking 3rd prize in his master category, Gerard Gavin (35:24), Ollie Donnelly (36:19), Pauric Brady (37:07), Sinead Whitelaw (37:11), 3rd woman to finish, Colm Walsh (37:21), Alan Crowley (37:49), Stephen Naughton (41:01), Siobhan McCarthy (43:40) and Niamh Molloy (45:33).
Leinster Junior T&F
Switching from the customary Sunday, the Leinster Junior T&F took place on Friday evening 23rd June at the Le Chéile AC track in Leixlip where conditions were cool and there was quite a stiff breeze at times. Rachel Glennon was too strong for the opposition in the 3,000m race walk, winning in 14:51.82, just one second outside the Championship record. Just finished exams, Declan Brady took it out hard from the gun in the 800m and led all the way to win comfortably in 2:06.45, which was a respectable time in the conditions and the fact that he ran from the front all the way. Congratulations to Rachel and Declan on their Leinster titles.
Sligo City Games
Sligo AC hosted an excellent meeting on Wednesday 21st June, the Sligo City Games, where some of Ireland’s leading athletes such as European medallists Ciara Mageean and Mark English were in action. The Men’s 5,000m provided Jamie Battle and Jonathan Daly with an opportunity to improve on their 5,000m times. Jamie’s time was 15:27, which is excellent running for a youth and Jonathan dipped well under the 16 minute barrier for the first time with a PB of 15:45.
Hill of Down 5k
On the longest day of the year, Wednesday 21st June, Enda Seery competed in the Hill of Down 5k, near Clonard, where he was pleased to finish 8th in 19:14.
Leinster Juvenile u/12 to u/19 T&F
It wasn’t only the sun that was shining in a hot sweltering Tullamore on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June at the Leinster u/12 to u/19 T&F. The large Mullingar squad was also shining as they amassed a haul of 19 medals, in addition to 5 fourth place finishes, meaning the Club will be very well represented at the All-Ireland finals in a wide range of events in July. Temperatures reached 28degC, which really suited the sprinters and field event athletes but seriously tested the race walkers and other middle-distance athletes and added to the physical stress of their events, but to their credit they are all very well conditioned thanks to their coaches and they coped admirably while around them many others fell with the effects of heat exhaustion after their races.
The only cloud on proceedings was the number of Club athletes that asked to be entered, some in several events, but then failed to turn up and compete in even a single event. Some had legitimate excuses such as injury and indicated in advance that they would not be competing, which is perfectly fine, but many didn’t. Given the high cost of entries, as clearly stated on the application forms, the Club has no option but to recover the cost of these entries from the individuals that simply didn’t turn up.
Once again, it was the Mullingar race walkers that blazed a spectacular trail in the opening events. Matthew Glennon got the day off to a great start with a win in the u/15 boys 2,000m race walk. In the u/16 girls 2,000m race walk Jennifer Fidgeon was denied victory by a very narrow margin, taking silver on the line after a furious sprint finish in the home straight. Also competing but finishing out of the medal places was Jayne Walsh-Smith. Oisin Lane kept the medals coming with a dominant display in the u/16 boys 3,000m race walk to win another Leinster title. Also winning was Sarah Glennon in the u/17 girls 3,000m race walk where she was simply unchallenged such is her class in this event, winning in a new CBP of 14:34.4.
Aisling Lane tried her hand in a new event for her, the u/13 girls 60m hurdles, safely negotiating the barriers but not advancing from her heat. No stranger to hurdles, Shauna Leydon got away to a brilliant start in the u/16 girls 80m hurdles but was very unlucky to finish just out of the medals in 5th place in a very tight blanket finish for third place. Rachel Cornally was another girl making her debut in a new event when she lined up for the u/18 girls 400m and worked hard but was unlucky not to take a medal, finishing in 4th place, though she will have gained huge experience. Odhran Cully and Patrick Leydon contested the u/19 boys 400m where just as it looked like Patrick would take third place and Odhran fourth, Odhran found something extra in the final 50m and came through with a blistering sprint to take second place, relegating Patrick to 4th place, just out of the medals.
Shauna Leydon made up for her earlier disappointment in the hurdles with a well earned silver medal in the u/16 girls shot putt later in the day. Alanna Costello and Shannon Liston competed well in the u/14 girls shot putt but finished out of the medals on this occasion.
By the time the 3,000m were taking place, temperatures had soared but Susan Glennon battled well in the stifling heat in the u/17 girls 3,000m and was very unlucky to finish just of the medals in 4th place. There was better fortune for John Whitelaw in the u/17 boys 3,000m and it was great to see him coming back into form to take the bronze medal in a close race.
Niamh Cully competed in the u/15 girls 200m but didn’t advance from the very competitive heats. We got back in the medals again in the u/17 girls 800m thanks to Aoife Darby where she used her trademark finish to great effect, moving from third in first a matter of a few strides coming off the final bend and going on to record an excellent win. Brian Martin (u/17 boys 800m) and Laura Shaw (u/18 girls 800m) worked hard but finished out of the medals in their races.
The heat during the 1,500m races took its toll on a big number of athletes but the Mullingar athletes took it all in their stride. Amy Geoghegan and Phoebe Bate contested the u/14 girls 1,500m where Amy finished strongly in 5th place, just out of the medals and Phoebe close behind. It took Bea Drummond to put us back in the medals when she finished 3rd in the u/15 girls 1,500m after a tough contest, with Meabh Killalea finishing well but out of the medals. In the u/15 boys 1,500m Sam Smyth kept in close contention for most of the race but had to settle for 5th place in the end, followed home by Lorcan Mullen.
Nadine Molly was very happy to finish 2nd in the u/19 girls 100m and in the u/17 girls 100m it was great to see three girls from Mullingar in action, led by Awa Fane who qualified from her heat with a new PB of 12.20 seconds, but despite performing well, neither Whitney Imafidon nor Eve Wallace advanced from their heats. Always a serious medal prospect in the final, Awa blasted from the blocks and in an extremely close race that was decided on a photo she placed third in 12.25 seconds, missing silver by the extremely tiny margin of just three thousandths of a second to win Mullingar’s final medal of the day, a bronze.
Sunday dawned bright and clear and like Saturday, it wasn’t long before temperatures began to climb in the stadium. Amy Geoghegan turned in a solid performance in the u/14 girls 800m but finished out of the medal places. Bea Drummond went one better than the day before when she took silver in the u/15 girls 800m with a tremendous sprint finish. Sam Smyth and Lorcan Mullen (u/15 boys 800m) and Eoin Quinn and Ruairi Fagan (u/16 boys 800m) ran well but finished out of the medals in extremely competitive races. Aoife Darby was involved in a ferocious sprint finish in the u/17 girls 1,500m and crossed the line in 2nd place, denied victory by just two hundredths of a second. John Whitelaw (u/17 boys 1,500m) and Andrea Brady (u/18 girls 1,500m) battled hard and ran well in the sweltering conditions but finished out of the medal places in their 1,500m races.
Alanna Costello and Shannon Liston competed in the u/14 girls 80m where Alanna finished an excellent 2nd place, followed in by Shannon Liston, but with only the winner of each of four heats and the next four fastest times advancing to the final, Alanna missed out by a very narrow margin. There was disaster for Niamh Cully in the u/15 girls 100m when she stumbled at the start, losing a lot of ground, which was impossible to make back in such a short race and that ended her involvement in the event.
The Mullingar sprinters continued to make their mark, as Awa Fane easily won the u/17 girls 200m and Eve Wallace finished strongly in 6th in a fast final, Rachel Cornally just missed out on a medal in the u/18 girls 200m where she finished 4th, Nadine Molloy added to her 100m silver medal with a silver in the u/19 girls 200m, and in the u/19 boys 200m Patrick Leydon reversed the finishing order of Saturday’s 400m when he took the silver in a very close finish, with Odhran Cully finishing just out of the medals in 4th place.
Oisin Lane worked hard in a fast u/16 boys 3,000m and rewarded with an excellent silver medal. Susan Glennon is a new to the event but in the u/17 girls 2,000m steeplechase, she safely negotiated the barriers in this tough event to win by a distance earn her place in the All-Ireland finals.
In the field events, Amy Kehoe and Shauna Traynor really enjoyed competing in the u/12 girls long jump even though they didn’t win any medals, and Alanna Costello jumped well in the u/14 girls long jump but couldn’t reach the medal places. Shauna Leydon led for four rounds of the u/16 girls discus but was passed in the fifth round and finished 2nd to win the final medal of the week-end for the Club. This was an excellent Championship for the Club and very well done to everyone for competing so well in what were very challenging hot conditions for many.
“Thoroughbred 10k Run”
Braving the searing heat in Kildare on Sunday 18th June along with just over 300 others that competed in the “Thoroughbred 10k Run”, Kieran Nolan was happy with his 4th place finish in 37:28.
“Irish Runner” 5 Mile
The “Irish Runner” 5 mile took place in the Phoenix Park on Saturday morning 17th June in absolutely glorious summer sunshine. Nearly 2,000 runners started on the main road in the Park and the course took them around the Park to finish on Furze Road. Enjoying the great atmosphere generated by music, race commentary and the big crowd, Sinead Whitelaw was very pleased with her performance, crossing the line in 30:23 to place an excellent 68th overall and 4th senior woman.
They say a good leader leads from the front. Shane Fitzsimons was the Captain of the Irish team at the CSIT Games in Riga, Latvia where all 12 athletes on the team won medals, some more than one, and Shane certainly played his part and led by example when he won his 800m race in 1:51.05 on Friday morning 16th June. This marks another important step on his return to full competitive fitness after being side-lined with injury for too long.
Trim AC “Braveheart” 5k
The Trim AC “Braveheart” 5k, so named because it takes place in the Porchfields along the banks of the River Boyne in the shadow of the impressive Trim Castle that featured in the Braveheart film continues to grow in popularity year on year due to the tremendous effort put in by everyone at Trim AC and on Friday evening 16th June in glorious summer weather it surpassed itself again when over 700 took part, including a few from Mullingar. Kevin Baker led the Mullingar group home in 6th place in a time of 16:44, followed by Matt Glennon 20th overall (18:34) to place 3rd in his master category, then Siobhan McCarthy (21:25) 2nd in her master category and Michelle O’Halloran (21:59) 2nd in her master category.
Mullingar Park Hotel 10k
In wet and very windy condition on Sunday morning 11th June, the Mullingar Park Hotel 10k in aid of Crumlin Hospital attracted a modest entry of 132, including a number from the Club happy to be able to race so close to home even though the competition was light enough. The race was won by Timmy Murphy in 33:56, ahead of Malcolm McDonnell (34:07) to win his master category, Kieran Nolan (37:17) 4th, Sinead Whitelaw (37:32) 5th overall and 1st woman, Ken Whitelaw (37:32), Aine O’Reilly (37:56) 2nd woman, Nollaig McEntegart (39:56) 1st in his master category, Murty Hanley (40:52), Paul Ginnell, JP O’Brien, Jane Creevy, Tommy Archbold, Maurice Looby and Deirdre McHugh. They all must have very glad to get to the finish line and change into some dry clothing after getting several soakings during the race!
Leinster u/9 to u/12 T&F
The Leinster u/9 to u/13 T&F on Saturday 10th June was a chance for some of the Club’s younger athletes to show their talents and they certainly didn’t disappoint with some fantastic races and efforts and a few trips to the medal podium ensuring Mullingar will be well represented in the All-Ireland Finals but more importantly showing that the Club’s future looks very bright.
The u/9, u/10 and u/11 athletes competed in pairs, which meant their times in track races or distances jumped or thrown in field events were added together to give them a team score, adding to the excitement as each depended on their partner to perform as well as themselves. The older u/12 and u/13 athletes competed as individuals. As with any Championships, medals are very hard to win but our young athletes competed to the very best of their abilities and were delighted to be competing, whatever the outcome in terms of medals.
The day started with the girls 600m u/12, where despite running very well, unfortunately Adi Cronin, Ciara Glennon, Caoimhe Donohue, Shauna Traynor and Shauna Callaghan didn’t advance from the very tough heats to join Aimee Wallace, Adele Geoghegan, Leah Geoghegan and Lucy Donnelly in the final. The final was run at a blistering pace and the four Mullingar were competitive throughout, led home by Aimee in a close second place, followed by Adele, Leah and Lucy all finishing very strongly just out of the medal places but they all can be delighted to have run in a Leinster final.
All four Mullingar athletes in the boys 600m u/12 qualified comfortably from their heats and in the final Philip McCartan was the eventual winner but not without a battle with Callum Costello who pushed him hard to the finish to take second place. Ryan Jenkins finishing strongly just out of the medal places and Daire McDonald made up the Mullingar quartet and will have gained great experience from running in a final in his first Leinster Championship.
Ross Killalea was our sole qualifier from the heats of the boys 600m u/13 as unfortunately John Ryan, Adam Smyth and Adam Brady just missed reaching the final to join him despite competing well in their respective heats. Ross battled well in the final and despite a brave effort had to settle for a place out of the medals.
A late surge in the home straight saw Katie Kilmurray win her girls 500m u/10 race in a close finish and when her time was added to that of Norah Garry who finished well up in her race, the girls were delighted to win the silver medals in the pairs competition. In the boys 500m u/10, Niall Brady, Arthur Drummond, Matthew Molloy and James Ryan competed gamely but didn’t finish in the medal places this time. We had an embarrassment of riches in the boys 600m u/11 where Criostoir Ormsby won but he had to work hard to overtake Jamie Wallace on the final bend to win the race, with Jamie in second. In the other race, Conor Liston ran out the victor with James Flynn finishing an excellent third place. When the times were added, it was gold for Conor and Criostoir and silver for Jamie and James, and these lads will go head to head again in the All-Ireland final in two weeks time.
Over in the field events Shane Ormsby was busy in the u/13 shot putt and was very pleased to win the bronze medal for his efforts. Caoimhe Donohue competed in the u/12 shot putt and Niall Brady and Arthur Drummond took part in the u/10 long jump and enjoyed the competition but finished out of the medal places.
On to the sprints where there were so many entered in the u/12 and u/13 age groups that there were heats and semi-finals to negotiate before you could even think about a medal, so competition was very fierce. Running well in their heats but not advancing were Lucy Donnelly (u/12), Shauna Traynor (u/12), Ciara Glennon (u/12), Amy Kehoe (u/12), Shauna Callaghan (u/12), Amy O’Donoghue (u/13), Philip McCartan (u/12), Daire McDonald (u/12), Ryan Jenkins (u/12), Adam Smyth (u/13), Ross Killalea (u/13) and Shane Ormsby (u/13). Excellent sprinting by Aimee Wallace in her 60m u/12 heat and semi-final saw her advance to the final as a real medal prospect but she was edged into 4th place in a very tight finish, missing the bronze by a tiny fraction of just two hundredths of a second. Callum Costello safely negotiated his 60m u/12 heat and semi-final to reach the final where he competed very well but finished out of the medals in 5th place, just missing 4th and a place in the All-Ireland finals by a mere five thousandths of a second.
With Katie Kilmurray winning her race in the girls 60m u/10 and Norah Garry narrowly beaten into second place in her race, when their times were added, it was no surprise that the girls comfortably won gold in the pairs competition to add to their silvers in the 500m earlier in the day. Despite finishing out of the medal places, Matthew Molloy and James Ryan were still delighted to have raced in the boys 60m u/10. In the boys 60m u/11, Conor Liston, Criostoir Ormsby and Jamie Wallace won their heats and James Flynn was second in his and when the times were added, Jamie and James had to settle for a place out of the medals this time but Conor and Criostoir finished first to secure the gold medals and round off an excellent day of competition for Mullingar.
All told, the group of 30 youngsters from Mullingar took home 4 gold, 4 silvers and 1 bronze medal between them, and plenty of other close finishes. They all competed brilliantly and made their coaches Clare O’Donnell, Margaret Daly, Alan McGouran, Vera McCool, James Carton and Karen McGouran very proud and repaid them well for all the time and effort they put into training and getting them ready for competition. Thanks to the many parents for bringing the youngsters to Tullamore and providing terrific vocal support and encouragement.
Bohermeen AC “Patrick Bell 5k”
Four Mullingar athletes made the short journey to Co. Meath on Saturday 10th June for the Bohermeen AC “Patrick Bell 5k”, part of the hugely successful Meath Road Race Series that attracted a big entry of 407 who competed in the beautiful rural setting on the back roads not far from Navan. Leading the Mullingar group home in 20th place overall was Ollie Donnelly in 17:28, followed by Mel Carthy (18:09), Mervyn Kennedy (19:46) and Liam McGlynn (20:43) who only recently ran a marathon for charity in Sierra Leone in West Africa. Well done to the Mullingar quartet.
Leinster Senior and Masters T&F
At the Leinster Senior and Masters T&F in Tullamore on Sunday 4th June, the Club was represented by four master athletes, one senior athlete and we also had a senior women sprint relay team and by day’s end everyone took home a medal – three individual gold, one silver and two bronze medals and team gold in the relay.
Pauric Brady got his first taste of outdoor track racing when he competed in the masters 1,500m and was delighted to take home a bronze medal. Sean McMullin did what he does best by winning his masters 3,000m race walk, which is not too surprising given his collection of World medals won earlier in the season. Vicky Harris took the senior 200m title with ease in 25.14 seconds, just one hundredth off her season’s best and followed up with a win in the 100m for u/23 in a new PB of 12.25 seconds. The 5,000m saw Gerard Gavin and Ollie Donnelly make their master track debuts where Gerard was very pleased to win the silver medal in his category and Ollie equally so to win the bronze medal in his category. Can’t remember when Mullingar last fielded a senior women’s sprint relay team but Awa Fane, Vicky Harris, Whitney Imafidon and Eve Wallace combined brilliantly to see Eve anchor the team to first place in the 4x100m relay in 51.43 seconds, a new Championship record beating the previous 29 year old record set way back in 1988, and win the gold medals, ensuring everyone from Mullingar that competed last Sunday went home with a medal. Congratulations to them all for representing the Club so well.
All-Ireland Schools T&F
It’s hard to credit breaking a nine year old schools record and still finishing third but that’s what Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) did when she finished third in 5 minutes 24.60 seconds in the Junior girls 1,200m race walk at the All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals in Tullamore on Saturday 3rd June, where the first three girls were all under the previous record of 5 minutes 27.27 seconds set in 2008. Needless to say, Jennifer was still delighted with her bronze medal, as All-Ireland Schools medals are extremely hard to win. Finishing behind Jennifer in this extraordinarily fast race was Jayne Walsh Smith (Mercy Ballymahon) who competed well but finished out of the medals. Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s College) really stepped up and with a determined performance in the Junior boys 1,200m walk he was rewarded with a silver medal in a close contest. Adding to the medal tally, Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s) dominated in the Intermediate girls 2,000m walk to record an easy win and Oisin Lane (Mercy Ballymahon) was in top form and comfortably won the Intermediate boys 2,000m walk. Four medals from five athletes shows that Michael Lane certainly has the Midas touch when it comes to spotting and developing race walk talent!
In all, eleven athletes from Mullingar Harriers were representing their Schools and Colleges and they won two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze, three more finished just out of the medals in fourth place, and the remaining three gave very good accounts but also finished out of the medals. These were great results from an extremely talented group against the best opposition drawn from the four corners of Ireland and where medals are always very hard won.
The senior boys 800m race saw Colin Smith (Oaklands CC Edenderry) in a medal position with 100m to go but was run out in a fierce sprint finish to the line to place 4th, just out of the medals. Awa Fane (Loreto) absolutely stormed the bend in the Intermediate girls 200m to put herself in a great position in the finish straight. Keeping her form and racing hard to the line to cross in 25.19 seconds, a huge PB, she was rewarded with an excellent silver medal in a very close race, only three hundredths of a second away from gold.
Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) took up the running midway through the Intermediate boys 3,000m and really deserved more from the race than a 4th place finish, but top marks for effort. Bea Drummond (Athlone CC) competed well in the Minor girls 800m as did Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) in the Intermediate girls 1,500m but finished out of the medals, though they can be proud of their performances. Jamie Battle (Colaiste Mhuire) gave himself every chance in the Senior boys 5,000m but just couldn’t find the extra edge needed to take a medal and finished in 4th place to finish off an excellent day from the Club’s point of view.
Also competing for Westmeath schools were Niamh Fogarty (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) 1st in the Senior discus and 2nd in the Senior shot, Conor Fogarty (St. Joseph’s) 2nd in the Intermediate shot, Darragh Gaffney (St. Finian’s) 1st in the Senior discus and Charles Okafor (Mullingar CC) a close 4th in the Junior 200m and congratulations to them too.
In contrast to the previous day, conditions in Santry on Sunday 28th May for the AAI Games were absolutely excellent. Vicky Harris dropped down to the 100m where she ran twice over the distance. The first time she was feeling a bit jaded from the previous day and ran 12.46 seconds but later in the day she got her second wind and felt much sharper and was very pleased to clock 12.27 seconds, which is only one hundredth of a second off her PB.
“Bertie Quinn” – Irish Milers Club Meeting
The Irish Milers Club in conjunction with Tullamore Harriers staged the “Bertie Quinn Memorial” T&F meeting on Saturday 27th May in very unseasonal weather conditions. We were well represented in the middle distance races. In the men’s A 800m Shane Fitzsimons faced some quality opposition but he showed he is returning to his very best with an excellent second place finish. Shane moved steadily through the field to lead the race down the home straight and he was caught just metres from the finish forcing him to settle for second place on this occasion. However, his time of 1:52.01 was a fine season opening run in the conditions and he looks sure to improve further over the coming weeks.
Colin Smith was involved in an exciting sprint finish in his 800m race finishing in third in 1:57.38. Conor McHugh also featured well in this race taking fifth place in a time of 1:58.64. Also in action in the 800m were Declan Brady who had a strong run in his race to finish second in 2:01.18 with Oisin Quinn also getting his track season off to a positive start immediately behind. John Whitelaw was in action in the 3,000m and finished in a time of 9:44.62 in his first senior race.
Aoife Darby ran in the 1,500m in preparation for the All Ireland Schools and finished strongly in 4:57.94. Odhran Cully raced in the 200m and battled well to finish third in wet and windy conditions that were most unfavourable for sprinters.
Celtic T&F International
The atrocious weather on Saturday morning 27th May played havoc with the programme at the Celtic Track & Field International in Santry where an Irish Universities team was competing against a team from the Scottish Universities. There were some long delays due to torrential rain showers and some events like the hurdles had to be cancelled because there was too much surface water lying on the track. The heavy rain and the delays made warming up and preparing for competition very difficult but despite this Vicky Harris competed well in the 200m where she placed 3rd in 25.4 seconds, which was quite respectable in the conditions, and finished the day by anchoring the 4x100m relay team to a close 2nd place and earn additional points to help the Irish Universities team win the overall competition.
Mullingar Road League – Round 4
The final night of the O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5k Road League took place on Wednesday evening 24th May with another great race. With the best of three of the four races to count, this was everyone’s last chance to put in a good performance to secure league places and category prizes. The race took place in scorching temperatures of 20deg C and a warm breeze off the lake but it wasn’t only the weather that was scorching hot. The men’s race was won by Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) in 16:02, his fastest time of the series, which was to prove vital, ahead of Peter Mooney second (16:06) and Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) third (16:16). The league came right down to the wire and on the combined times of their three best races, Mick won the overall men’s trophy by a very narrow margin of just two seconds from Timmy, with Peter just ten seconds further back. In the women’s race victory went to Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) in 18:25, with Joan Flynn (Mullingar Harriers) second (18:44) and Fiona Gettings third in 19:04, and on the combined times of their three best races, Aine retained the overall women’s trophy with Joan taking second place and Fiona in third.
These were the results for the overall trophies in the senior category, but there were plenty of battles taking place throughout the entire field for prizes in the junior and master categories. After the race, there were plenty of refreshments for everyone in the Courtyard Café at Belvedere and the prizes were presented to the various category winners including the Pat Finnerty Memorial Trophies for first man and first woman presented to Mick Fogarty and Aine O’Reilly.
The numbers taking part in the 1,500m race for boys and girls that preceded the 5k were well up on the previous week and the 76 young runners quickly completed the 1,500m loop around to the finish line, led home by Rian Hogan in 4:45 and the first girl to finish was Amy Geoghegan in 5:07. After presenting medals to all the finishers of the 1,500m race and prizes to the first three in each age group, everyone stayed on near the finish line to cheer home the finishers of the 5k race.
This concluded a successful League with good numbers registering over the four nights. The success of the League is due to the very many volunteers who gave up their free time to make it the success it is. These are the people who took registrations, organized parking, stewarded the course, organized prizes, and did all the other tasks required to run a race series successfully. With set-up for the “Life” festival going on last Wednesday too, car parking presented its own particular challenge and many thanks to George Bell and Ollie Raleigh, Brendan White, Tom Shaw, Peter Dardis and Liam Whelan who took care of car parking.
Full results of the 5k race and details of all junior and master prize winners are available on www.myrunresults.com and the results of the 1,500m race can be found below.
Finally, many thanks to the Management and Staff of Belvedere House, My Run Results for looking after results in a professional manner, the Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid cover every evening, to O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar for their very generous sponsorship of the event, but especially to everyone who took part in the series. The next big event for the Club will be the Mullingar 10 Mile road race in July.
Na Fianna AC “Bob Heffernan 5k”
The warm beautiful summer evening on Tuesday 23rd May certainly added to the enjoyment of the Na Fianna AC “Bob Heffernan 5k” in Johnstownbridge, Co. Meath, which attracted an impressive 476 entrants, among them 12 from Mullingar Harriers. Kevin Baker was first finisher for Mullingar in 18th place (16:14), followed closely by Maurice Looby (16:20), then Gerard Gavin (16:37), Alan Crowley (17:42), Sinead Whitelaw (18:09) placing 4th senior woman, Matt Glennon (18:13), Enda Seery (19:05), Robin Jackson (19:40), JP O’Brien (20:22), Siobhan McCarthy (20:32), Gordon Ward (20:33) and Rachel Glennon (22:40) rounding off the dozen runners from Mullingar.
Leinster Juvenile Relays
The opening Leinster T&F fixture of the season for the Club took place on Sunday 21st May when Le Chéile AC hosted the Leinster Juvenile Relays at their new all-weather track in Leixlip. Mullingar doesn’t often enter teams in relays, but when we do we have a habit of doing very well and this time was no exception.
The 4x100m u/11 team of Charlie Foy, Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace and Criostoir Ormsby won their heat with ease and in the final Charlie blasted off to a great start and the boys led all the way to the finish to win well and earn their place in the All-Ireland Finals in early July. Awa Fane, Whitney Imafidon, Eve Wallace and Shauna Leydon ran brilliantly in the 4x100m u/17, each running to their best and delighted to take the bronze medals for third place. Having won their heat of the 4x100m u/12, albeit by a narrow margin, Callum Costello, Criostoir Ormsby, Ryan Jenkins and Conor Liston lined up in the final confident of success and ran really well to place third in a very close finish. We thought we had finished the day on a high when Awa Fane, Whitney Imafidon, Eve Wallace and Rachel Cornally absolutely dominated in the 4x100m u/18 to win by a good margin but celebrations were short-lived when they were judged to have passed the baton outside the zone on one of the changes, so they were disqualified, but they knew they were the best team in the race by far and took some consolation from that.
Highgate Night of 10,000m PBs
The A race at the Highgate Harriers night of 10,000m PBs in London on Saturday evening 20th May included the trial for the Great Britain team for the World Championships in London in August and among the top quality field of 34 athletes invited to race before a packed crowd of thousands was Mark Christie, running in the colours of Mullingar Harriers. The entry standard for London is a very tough 27:45 and Mark was using the race to set down an early marker of form. Pre-race favourite Andy Vernon ran out victorious in 28:21.15 and Mark finished with a brisk 65 second last lap to cross the line fifteenth in 29:26.61, which is an excellent time.
Leinster Schools T&F
On Wednesday 17th and Saturday 20th May over twenty of the Club’s underage athletes competed for their Schools and Colleges in the Leinster Schools T&F, on the final step to the All-Ireland Schools T&F Finals in June. Competition was fierce as every event was a straight final and only the top two in the sprints and top three in the longer track races (four in the u/16 mile) and top three in the field events advancing to the All-Ireland Finals.
Nine of the Club’s athletes earned qualification across a range of events. Sarah Glennon (St. Finian’s College) qualified with a gold medal winning performance in the Intermediate 2,000m walk, as did Jamie Battle (Colaiste Mhuire) in the Senior 5,000m. Winning silver medals were Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) in the Junior 1,200m walk, Matthew Glennon (St. Finian’s) in the Junior 1,200m walk, Jack Moran (Colaiste Mhuire) in the Intermediate 3,000m and Awa Fane (Loreto) in the Intermediate 200m. Joining them will be Colin Smith (Oaklands CC Edenderry) thanks to a bronze in the Senior 800m, Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) who took bronze in the Intermediate 1,500m and bronze was enough for Andrew Daly (Colaiste Mhuire) in the u/16 mile, the only u/16 event that advances to the All-Ireland Finals.
Also competing but missing out on qualification was Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s) Intermediate 1,500m steeplechase, Sam Smyth (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) Junior 800m, James Drumm (Colaiste Mhuire) Senior 2,000m steeplechase, Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s) Intermediate 1,500m steeplechase and 3,000m, Catriona Kennedy (Loreto) Intermediate 3,000m, Maimouna Fane (Colaiste Mhuire) Senior 100m and 200m, Eoghan Bracken (St. Joseph’s) Senior 800m, Declan Brady (Colaiste Mhuire) Senior 800m, Conor McHugh (St. Finian’s) Senior 400m, Patrick Leydon (St. Finian’s) Senior 200m, Shauna Leydon (St. Finian’s) Intermediate discus and Cormac Dalton (St. Joseph’s) Senior 5,000m.
For the record, Shauna Leydon (St. Finian’s) won the u/16 shot with a new record of 10.76m but this event isn’t on the programme in the All-Ireland Finals. Awa Fane also competed in the Intermediate 100m where she was denied the bronze medal by just six thousandths of a second in a very close photo finish. Whitney Imafidon, Shauna Leydon and Rachel Cornally were on the St. Finian’s Intermediate 4x100m relay team that finished out of the medals but the girls gave a spirited performance.
Finally, it was a great Championships for our near neighbours, North Westmeath AC, and congratulations to Conor Fogarty (St. Joseph’s) Intermediate shot, Darragh Gaffney (St. Finian’s) Senior discus and Niamh Fogarty (St. Joseph’s) Senior shot and discus who all won gold in their events, with the bonus of a new record of 13.10m for Niamh in the shot.
Mullingar Road League – Round 3
Three down and one to go after Round 3 on Wednesday evening 17th May of the O’Brien’s Mullingar Road League and the slightly cooler evening helped everyone perform to their best, with many recording their fastest times so far. Not everyone takes part in all four races, knowing that the best times of three are all that’s needed to score in the overall results for prizes but we saw another good number of just under two hundred finishers. Once again, My Run Results was on hand to effortlessly handle the results, which were available on-line within hours.
In the men’s race, Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) won in 16:06, just four seconds ahead of Peter Mooney (Inverse). With Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) missing round three, this puts Timmy in the driving seat for the overall trophy. Third to finish was Andy Nevin (Mullingar Harriers) in 16:32, ahead of Malcolm McDonnell (Mullingar Harriers) fourth in 16:39, Gerry Gavin (Mullingar Harriers) fifth in 17:03 and Peter Sharkey (Longford AC) in sixth place with 17:05.
In the absence of Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC), victory in the women’s race went to Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) in 18:07, with Fiona Gettings third in 19:02, just ahead of Joan Flynn (Mullingar Harriers) third in 19:08. Charlotte is still the favourite for the overall trophy but she needs to compete on the final night. Right back through the field there were great battles for positions in the junior and master categories.
There were nearly 60 finishers in the 1,500m race for boys and girls aged 15 years and younger, which has proved a tremendous success again this year, with victory going to Philip McCartan (5:01), Callum Costello second (5:06) and Conor Liston (5:14). First girl to finish was Amy Geoghegan (5:12), with Francesca Walshe second (5:26) and Meghan Bates third (5:31). Everyone who finishes the 1,500m on the final night will receive a medal, and there will be trophies for the winners in the various age groups, under 10, 12, 14 and 16 years, based on the total of the best three times of the four races, which we hope to present right after the race.
The weeks have flown by and the final round on Wednesday evening 24th May promises to be a thrilling race with many competing for a share of the many prizes to be won in the various categories, including the overall trophies for best man and best woman, prizes for juniors and masters, as well as many spot prizes, which will be presented afterwards in the Courtyard Café in Belvedere, so we expect another big turn-out. We’re appealing to everyone to come early, especially those looking to run just the single race. As always, many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out for Round 3 and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again for Round 4. Thanks also to Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid and ambulance cover and to the staff of Belvedere House and Gardens.
Full results of the 5k race are available on www.myrunresults.com and the results of the 1,500m race can be found below. As it’s the final night, it’s obviously too late to enter the series but individual entries are very welcome, either online at www.myrunresults.com or on the night in the Courtyard Café up to 7.30pm. Remember, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for the last night or your place and time will not be recorded. Entries for the 1,500m race are taken on the night and costs just €2.
International selection for Vicky Harris
Congratulations to Vicky Harris who learned on Sunday 14th May that she has been selected to compete at the Celtic Track & Field International for the third year in a row. Vicky, in third year on an athletics scholarship at Athlone IT, will be part of the Irish Universities team that will compete against a team from the Scottish Universities and a team from Athletics Northern Ireland in Santry on Saturday 27th May and everyone at the Club wishes her the very best.
Navan AC 6k
Part of the Meath road race series, the “Simon Cumbers” Navan AC 6k on Friday evening 12th May drew a huge entry of 865, among them two from Mullingar Harriers enjoying the damp but nicely cool summer evening. Sinead Whitelaw had an excellent run to finish in 21:53, placing an impressive twenty first overall and third senior woman. Siobhan McCarthy also had an excellent run with 25:10 to finish just outside the top one hundred, the fourth woman in her master category, just outside the prizes.
Mullingar Road League – Round 2
Just like for Round 1 the week before, weather conditions were perfect for running in Belvedere on Wednesday evening 10th May for Round 2 of the O’Brien’s Mullingar “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5k Road League and the warm sunny evening brought out the best in everyone, with many recording faster times than in round one, helped no doubt by being more familiar with the course, particularly the fast downhill last kilometre. Numbers increased a little on the first night and we had 212 finishers. Not everyone takes part in all four races, knowing that the best times of three are all that’s needed to score in the overall results for prizes.
In the men’s race, Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) managed to turn the tables on the winner of Round 1, Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC), and came through to win in a PB of 16:02, with Mick close behind in 16:09, which puts them both on the same aggregate time after two rounds, so the competition to win the overall trophy still hangs in the balance. Having had to miss Round 1, Peter Mooney (Inverse) and Andy Nevin (Mullingar Harriers) were locked in battle to the line where both recorded the same time of 16:15, though Peter just got the edge on Andy to take third place in a very close finish. Finishing fifth was John Whitelaw (Mullingar Harriers) in 16:43 and Oisin Quinn (Mullingar Harriers) filled sixth place with 16:49.
In the women’s race, Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC) led them home in 17:55, clear of Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) second in 18:09 and Fiona Gettings third in 18:53, so, barring calamities, it’s looking like Charlotte is well on course to win the women’s overall trophy but needs one more good race to be sure.
The 1,500m race for boys and girls aged 15 years and younger again proved very popular and entries jumped from 42 the first night to 58 youngsters taking part on the second night. Leading the group home for the second night in a row was Rian Hogan (4:51), ahead of Philip McCartan (4:56) and Callum Costello (4:59) to give the same 1-2-3 as the first round. First girl to finish was Amy Geoghegan (5:14), with Francesca Walshe second (5:33) and Meghan Bates third (5:38).
Round 3 on Wednesday evening 17th May will be very interesting and while the men’s race is still wide open, it will give Charlotte Kearney the perfect opportunity to stamp her claim on the overall trophy for best woman. We expect to see another big crowd and we’re appealing for participants to come early, especially those looking to run just the single race. As always, many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out last week and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again this week. Thanks also to Westmeath Civil Defence for providing first aid and ambulance cover and to the staff of Belvedere House and Gardens.
Full results of the 5k race are available on www.myrunresults.com and the results of the 1,500m race can be found below. With two rounds over, it’s too late to enter the series but individual one-race entries are very welcome, either online at www.myrunresults.com or on the night in the Courtyard Café up to 7.30pm. Entries for the 1,500m race are taken on the night and costs just €2. Finally, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for round three or your place and time will not be recorded.
Dublin Graded Meeting #2
Tallaght was the venue for the second Dublin Graded T&F Meeting of the season on Wednesday evening 10th May, which attracted a big entry of 19 for the women’s 200m sprints, resulting in four races. Best of the lot was Vicky Harris who took won the grade A race with ease, clocking 25.25 seconds in good sprinting conditions to continue her steady early season progress.
We would really encourage Club members, including our older juveniles from age 16 and up and indeed our masters too, to compete in some of the Dublin Graded Meetings to get some race experience, with a grade or level to suit all abilities.
Greystones AC Irish Milers Club Meeting
Four Mullingar Harriers athletes were in action at the Irish Milers Club Meeting in Greystones on Saturday 6th May. Aoife Darby was first into action in the 800m and ran a great race to finish in a time of 2:18.81. This was a PB for Aoife by over two seconds, providing her with a great start to the track season. Jack Moran and Jamie Battle raced the 1,500m and both were rewarded with PBs. They spurred each other on throughout with no more than a stride between them at any point in the race. In the end, Jack finished with a time of 4:05.83 while Jamie was 4:06.03, both PBs. In one of the best domestic 5,000m races for quite some time, Mark Christie was in contention throughout and finished an excellent second place. Mark actually led for much of the final mile and was just passed in the sprint to the finish line in a time of 13:55.56. Overall it was an excellent start to the track season and provided our athletes with a good benchmark for the months ahead.
National Community Games Cross Country Relays
The Westmeath teams that competed at the Community Games Cross Country Relays at a windy National Sports Campus in Abbottstown, Co. Dublin on Saturday 6th May were packed with Mullingar Harriers athletes. The relays were mixed distance made up of 2 x 400m and 2x 600m. The boys team of Callum Costello, Criostoir Ormsby, Philip McCartan and Conor Liston finished a comfortable second in their heat and in the final had to pull out all the stops and were always in contention for a medal throughout but it was only on the final 400m leg that Conor took the lead and went on to win and together with substitutes Jamie Wallace (and Hugh O’Sullivan Sexton) the boys were awarded the gold medals. The girls team of Aimee Wallace, Caoimhe Kilmurray, Claire Gaffney, Síofra O’Reilly, Jessica Cunningham and Rosie O’Grady qualified from their heat and in the final battled well against tough opposition but finished out of the medal places.
CSIT Selection for Shane Fitzsimons
Following an excellent return to competitive action during the indoor season, Shane Fitzsimons has been selected on the Irish team for the CSIT games in Riga, Latvia in June. A team of twelve Irish athletes will be in action and Shane will have the honour of being team captain for the event. Shane will participate in the 800m and it will mark a return to International competition for him having represented Ireland at World Youth and European Junior competitions as a juvenile.
Mullingar Road League – Round 1
It might have been a bit windy on Wednesday evening 3rd May but the glorious sunshine more than made up for it at Round 1 of the O’Brien’s Renault Mullingar “Pat Finnerty Memorial” 5k Road League in Belvedere, and thanks to the natural shelter provided by the woods, conditions were perfect for running. The event continues to attract a strong entry and it was great to welcome back so many familiar faces again this year and of course to welcome many newcomers too. Numbers were a little down on last year’s opening night but we still had more than two hundred finishers, which is a good start to the league and we know from previous years that number will grow in the coming weeks. Thanks to the chip timing system the results were posted shortly after the race on the My Run Results website. We know not everyone can enter for the full series, but if you can only run one or two nights, we’ll accept individual entries on any night.
Timmy Murphy (Mullingar Harriers) led the race out at a fast pace, tracked by Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) for 3km but Mick made his move on the hilly sections in the woods and emerged in the lead at the 4km mark, holding it to the finish and crossing the line in 16:07, with Timmy seven seconds behind in second place. There was a gap to third place, but Garry Gavin (Mullingar Harriers) finished strongly in third place in 16:56, followed by Ashton Farrell (Newbridge AC) fourth in 17:03, just holding off Rory Mooney (Raheny Shamrocks) fifth in 17:05 and Patrick Sharkey (Longford AC) in 17:11 filling the sixth place.
In the women’s race, Charlotte Kearney (Donadea AC), a previous winner of the overall trophy, was first woman in 17:53, clear of last year’s overall winner Aine O’Reilly (Mullingar Harriers) second in 18:17 and very happy to be back competing again after a prolonged lay-off due to injury, and third woman was Fiona Gettings in 18:49. It looks like Charlotte and Aine will be the two to watch for the overall trophy this year.
We know that AAI policy is to discourage children competing in too many 5k races, especially one a week for four weeks, so before the 5k race there was a 1,500m race for boys and girls aged 15 years and younger, which is a race distance much more suited to their ages. Starting at 7.45pm, so they could finish at the “My Run Results” finish gantry before the 5k race, a good entry of 42 youngsters raced the one lap loop to the finish. Rian Hogan (u/16) was first to finish in 4:56, followed by Philip McCartan (u/12) second in 5:01, Callum Costello (u/12) third in 5:08 and Paul McCool (u/16) fourth in 5:15. First girl home was Amy Geoghegan (u/14) in 5:15, with Meghan Bates (u/14) second in 5:28, and Adele Geoghegan (u/12) 5:46 and Leah Geoghegan (u/12) 5:48 filling third and fourth places respectively. As all the boys and girls were finished before the 5k race, they stayed on at the finish line to cheer in the finishers of the 5k race.
Full results of the 5k race are available on www.myrunresults.com and the results of the 1,500m race can be found below. With the best three races of the four to count, there’s still time to enter the league online at www.myrunresults.com or on the night in the Courtyard Café. Entries for the 1,500m race are taken on the night and costs just €2.
Round 2 on 10th May should see another good entry and we’re appealing for participants to come early, especially those who will be registering for the first time and those looking to run just the single race. Many thanks to everyone who gave up their free time and helped out on the first night taking entries, organizing car parking, helping as stewards on the course etc, and we appeal to everyone who can spare a couple of hours to help out again this week. Thanks also to the staff of Belvedere House and of course to Westmeath Civil Defence for their invaluable input providing first aid and ambulance cover.
Finally, it’s really important to remember to bring your number with the timing chip for Round 2 or your place and time will not be recorded.
World Masters Games
It’s only a month since Sean McMullin won two race walk silver medals at the World Masters Indoors in Daegu, South Korea, but straight afterwards he travelled to Auckland in New Zealand to prepare for the World Masters Games, looking for more success. Sean faced a tough competition schedule, the 1,500m race walk on Tuesday evening 25th April, followed by the 3,000m race walk early the following morning, Wednesday 26th April, and finally the 5,000m race walk on Saturday afternoon 29th April; however, Sean is tough and all the hard work put in at training came good as he took gold in all three events.
Sean won the 1,500m walk on Tuesday in 8:20.06, just three seconds clear of Norman Frable (USA) with Thomas Kok (Malaysia) in third and won the 3,000m walk on Wednesday in 17:20.91, with Frable and Kok also in second and third, but this time Sean had a very comfortable twenty five second gap, so he was sure to have had time to savour the moment as he crossed the finish line to win his second World gold medal. Three days recovery and Sean was back on track on Saturday afternoon where he won his final gold medal of the Games in the 5,000m walk, winning in 29:47.47, nearly two minutes clear of Kok in second and local New Zealander Alexander Payne in third. Three races, three victories; you can’t ask for better than that! Three World gold medals is a fantastic achievement and congratulations to Sean from everyone at the Club.
Dublin Graded Meeting #1
The opening fixture of this season’s Dublin Graded Meetings took place in a bitingly cold Santry on Wednesday evening 26th April where Vicky Harris powered to 3rd place in the Grade A women’s 100m and despite the cold ran a new PB time of 12.26 seconds, which augers really well for the season ahead and she can look forward to running even quicker when she gets to compete in more suitable warmer conditions.
Cushinstown AC Open T&F Sports
A number of the Club’s youngsters made the short journey to Kilmoon Cross near Ashbourne in County Meath on Sunday 23rd April to compete in the Cushinstown AC Open T&F Sports where they enjoyed great success. Mullingar recorded a 1-2-3 in the 80m u/11 thanks to Criostoir Ormsby, Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace after a close contest in the final. The boys attempted the same in the 600m u/12, where Criostoir ran a fine race to win, with Jamie second and Conor just missing a medal in fourth place. No rest for Criostoir and Conor as they competed in the u/12 shot putt, not an event they have much experience in, but Criostoir was happy to take silver and Conor was happy with his bronze medal. All three boys also competed in the u/12 long jump, which Criostoir won, Conor took bronze and while Jamie finished out of the medals he jumped a personal best. With the 1-2-3 from the 80m sprint, a fourth boy was needed to make up a team for the 4x100m u/12, so a boy from Boyne AC was recruited and ran a great opening leg to set the boys up for a fantastic win to see them on top of the medal podium again.
It was great to see Shane Ormsby back in action after a break of nearly two months recovering from an appendectomy and he finished second in the u/13 shot putt with a best of over 10m. He also ran in the 100m u/13 where he finished third and finished his day when he teamed up with Criostoir, Jamie and Conor in the 4x100m u/14 and Mullingar duly ran away with the race.
Not forgetting the girls who also brought home a huge haul of medals and trophies. Rosie O’Grady ran very well in the 80m u/11 and just missed reaching the final by one place. Aimee Wallace had to dig really deep in the 100m u/12 to hold on for the win. Aimee also took gold in her specialty event, the 600m u/12, where she led all the way and won with ease. As it was an Open Sports, trying other events was part of the fun, so Aimee also took part in the Turbo Javelin and while it might not be her forte, she still enjoyed taking part.
Shannon Liston was unlucky to miss the final of the 100m u/14 by one place but finished second in the u/14 shot putt to the reigning All Ireland Champion. Eve Wallace ran a great race in the 100m u/16 and was very pleased with her silver medal. Aimee and Rosie combined with two girls from other Clubs and they finished second in the 4x100m u/12. We finished the day in the medals again as Aimee, Shannon and Eve teamed up with a girl from Cushinstown AC to take silver in the 4x100m relay. All in all, it was a great day out and everyone from Mullingar won medals. Well done to everyone that competed with great success in Cushinstown. Open Sports are all about fun and the way Clubs “lend” athletes to other Clubs to make up relay teams is a great example of how relaxed Open Sports are!
Wexford Half Marathon
Starting in Wexford town and taking the more than one thousand runners through the surrounding countryside including through the beautiful gardens of Johnstown Castle Estate, the Wexford Half Marathon on Sunday 23rd April was run in ideal “sunny south east” conditions and Michael O’Sullivan was more than happy with his time of 1:46.
Near to home at the Athlone 10k in Clonown on the Roscommon side on Sunday 23rd April, Kieran Nolan was happy with his 3rd place finish in 38:01, ahead of Nollaig McEntegart finishing in 8th place (40:35) and comfortably winning his master age category.
Royal Canal Marathon & Half Marathon
Run as a number of 5.2k loops of the Royal Canal in Longford, making it a fast flat course, the Royal Canal Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday 22nd April attracted a reasonable entry across the race distances on offer. Among the 37 finishers of the marathon was Gerard Flynn dipping under four hours with 3:58:30, followed not far behind by Criona Reid who was very pleased with her time of 4:02:26. There was a bigger entry of nearly 200 in the half marathon where Sean Liston (1:39:06), John Bannon (1:44:27) and Declan Costello (1:48:41) were happy with their performances.
Battle of Clontarf 10 Mile
The Leinster 10 Mile Championship was run in conjunction with the “Battle of Clontarf 10”, which was held in St. Anne’s Park, Raheny on Easter Monday 17th April. With expert organisation as always by Raheny Shamrocks, the event attracted just over 400 entrants and the cool, cloudy and very light wind made for excellent running conditions. Finishing well up in 26th place overall was Pauric Brady, just outside the hour mark with 60:49 to finish eighth in his master category, followed by Colm Walsh in 36th place in a time of 62:03 to also place eighth in his master category. Mullingar got in the medals thanks to Geraldine Walsh who won her master category and Des Walsh who placed second in his category to win Championship medals. Well done all four for representing the Club in this Leinster Championship.
Edenderry 10 mile
On Easter Monday 17th April, Kieran Nolan finished 12th of nearly two hundred and fifty finishers in 60:32 at the Edenderry AC 10 mile.
Fr. Murphy AC 10k
The country roads around Kildalkey in County Meath was the picturesque setting for the Fr. Murphy AC 10k road race on Easter Sunday 16th April and this popular race again attracted a good entry, among them our own Timmy Murphy. Always in contention from the start, Timmy was satisfied with his second third place finish in a very respectable 34:09.
Crookstown-Millview AC Open T&F Sports
Looking for some early-season outdoor competition, a small group of the Club’s youngsters went to Kildare on Sunday 9th April to take part in the Crookstown-Millview AC Open Sports. Eager to make the most of the day, everyone took part in several events, including some they wouldn’t normally try such as long jump. Shannon Liston competed well in the 100m u/14, finishing out of the medals, but made up for it with a good win in the u/14 shot putt. Conor Liston, Jamie Wallace and Charlie Foy finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in both the 80m and the 600m u/11 and they also competed in the u/11 long jump, which was won by Conor, with Jamie and Charlie enjoying the competition even though they finished out of the medals. Aimee Wallace made it double gold in the 80m and 600m u/12 and rounded off the day by making up a relay team with Conor, Jamie and Charlie, finishing just out of the medals in 4th place. Well done to everyone for representing the Club so well.
Great Ireland Run
The Great Ireland Run in a blustery Phoenix Park on Sunday 9th April incorporated the AAI National 10k Championships and giving the home crowd plenty to cheer about, Mark Christie was first to finish, giving him overall victory in the Great Ireland Run and also winning the National 10k title. This is a challenging hilly course, where the first 5km is always fast because it is mostly downhill before the runners get to the hillier section, including the Furry Glen, in the second half of the course. It was around the 8km point that Mark began his push for home, chased by Graham Rush (England) and Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock). The hills and wind made Mark’s winning time of 29:30 all the more impressive and he was delighted to have won the race and clinch the National title.
The way the Great Ireland results are presented, it is impossible to search through all 10,000 finishers looking for Club members, but we know the Club members that were entered in the AAI 10k and can search those results easily and record their performances, so apologies for all the others that were missed.
Coming in behind Mark Christie was Timmy Murphy in 33:40, which is a new PB and placed him an excellent 26th senior man. Next to finish in order was Maurice Looby (34:49), Tom McGrath (35:27), Gerry Gavin (35:35), Ollie Donnelly (36:43), Pauric Brady (36:57), Colm Walsh (38:02), Alan Crowley (38:03), Mel Carthy (40:24), Mervyn Kennedy, Ray Daly, Maura Dervin (44:28) 3rd in her master category, Eddie Newman, Brigid McCabe (47:58), Terri Greene (48:44), Tommy Archbold, Pauline Troy, Lorraine Brady, Michelle Kavanagh, Des Walsh and Geraldine Walsh 2nd in her master category. Looking at the AAI team results, the master women team of Maura Dervin, Brigid McCabe and Terri Greene finished 2nd team and the master men team of Tom McGrath, Mel Carthy and Eddie Newman finished just out of the medals in 4th place, missing the bronze by about thirty seconds.
Before the 10k race, there were races for boys and girls where they had the chance to show their talents before a very large crowd that gathered for the 10k race. As we have come to expect, the maroon and white of Mullingar was prominent on the podium after the junior races.
In the boys 9 to 11 years 2,900m, winner was Ross Killalea, Adam Brady was 3rd and Sonny Drummond was 19th. The mini boys race was won by Niall Brady and Arthur Drummond was 3rd. On to the girls 12 to 15 years 2,900m race which was won by Aoife McGouran, ahead of Meabh Killalea in 7th and in the corresponding boys race, victory went to Andrew Daly. This was a really good day out for the Club’s youngsters and they could all stay on to cheer Mark Christie to victory in the 10k.
While Ireland basked in glorious sunshine on Sunday 9th April, albeit quite windy, it was even warmer in the Netherlands where the thermometer hit 22degC during the Rotterdam Marathon, which by anyone’s standards is a bit too warm for a marathon. Undeterred and having travelled that far, the heat wasn’t going to stop the intrepid group from Mullingar taking to the start line along with over 14,200 others looking to complete the classic distance in one piece, though they naturally had to revise down their expectations regarding finish times. In its favour, being the Netherlands, at least the course was very flat!
Very happy with a new PB of 3:07 despite the heat, Eoin Clarke was delighted to lead the Mullingar group home, followed in by Philip Burke (3:21), also a PB despite the heat, then Robin Jackson (3:45), Tommy Conroy (4:05), Suzanne Scanlan (4:16), Jason McCabe (4:19), Richard Ferris (4:29), Criona Reid (4:48) and Linda Driscoll (5:33) completing the group who could then relax and enjoy the post-race refreshments that they had worked very hard for. Well done to them all.
Irish Universities T&F
The strong winds on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th April made for quite difficult conditions at times at the Irish Universities T&F Championships, which were held at Cork IT.
Vicky Harris (AIT) cruised comfortably through her heats of the 100m and 200m on Friday afternoon and in the finals on Saturday was very pleased to take third in the 100m, a bonus being a new PB of 12.32 seconds, which she ran into a stiff headwind of 2.1 m/s, so there’s plenty more fast times to come in more favourable conditions. Despite running a new AIT record of 25.13 seconds in the 200m final, again into a headwind, Vicky was pushed into 4th place. She had little time to rest though and played her part in the AIT 4x100m relay team that placed 6th and the 4x400m team that placed 7th in an AIT record of 4:12.59. The points accumulated by Vicky helped AIT to finish third team overall in the women’s competition.
Elizabeth Carr (DCU) also took a bronze medal, in the 1,500m on Friday, finishing in 4:40.48 and very close to the silver medal. She was back in action again on Saturday in the 3,000m where she finished strongly in fourth and earned valuable points to help the DCU women’s team win the team title. Competing for IT Sligo, Moya Leydon finished out of the medal places in the discus but was happy to have thrown an IT Sligo record of 27.23m.
Also competing in Cork was Johnny Daly (UCD) where he finished well up in the 5,000m on Saturday in 16:28.26, just ahead of Andy Nevin (IT Blanchardstown) who had also competed in the 10,000m on Friday where he finished an excellent 8th place.
Poděbrady Race Walk Grand Prix
The Czech Republic’s National Race Walking Championships in Poděbrady on Saturday 8th April incorporated an open Junior 10k and an open 5k for u/18 athletes. Among the small contingent from Ireland getting a flavour of International competition were sisters Rachel Glennon and Sarah Glennon. Rachel finished a very creditable 25th in the 10k event in 54:45, not far off her best for the distance, while Sarah showed great competitive spirit to place 2nd in the 5k event in an excellent 24:43.
AAI Spring Throws
The non-Championship AAI Spring Throws that took place on a glorious sunny day in Athlone IT on Sunday 2nd April gave those taking part an early taste of competition ahead of the season’s outdoor Championships. For sisters Moya Leydon and Shauna Leydon it gave them an opportunity to compete together for the first time in the same competition. Moya was happy with her best effort of over 29m in the 1kg discus, a PB, which will give her confidence ahead of the Irish Universities T&F in Cork IT this week-end where she will compete for Sligo IT. Shauna was throwing the 1kg discus for the first time in competition, an increase from the 0.75kg weight she has used up to now and was happy with a consistent set of throws that shows she is rapidly getting used to the new weight and will help her to identify what she needs to work on ahead of the North Leinster Schools T&F at the end of the month.
AAI Juvenile Indoors – Day 3
The domestic indoor season came to a close on Saturday 1st April when the final day of the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors took place in Athlone IT. The focus for Mullingar athletes was the 200m, 600m and 800m and by the end of the day, a total of five medals were won – two silvers and three bronze.
Awa Fane booked her place in the final of the girls 200m u/17 with a dominant display to win her heat with ease. Lining up in the final as a serious medal contender, Awa didn’t disappoint and blasted to third place in a new PB of 25.88 seconds to win her first All-Ireland medal. A fine third place for Odhran Cully in his heat of the very competitive boys 200m u/19 unfortunately wasn’t enough to see him qualify for the final, though third for Patrick Leydon in his heat was quick enough for him to advance. Drawing lane two in the final, Patrick worked hard around the tight bends, running quicker than in the heat to finish a very creditable fifth place in his final indoor juvenile competition.
Aimee Wallace cruised to a comfortable second place in the girls 600m u/12 heats to advance to the final. In the final Aimee took the early lead and controlled the race from the front, but was passed at the bell and despite a huge effort had to settle for second place at the finish but can be very proud of her performance in a great race. Philip McCartan and Callum Costello were equally impressive in their heats of the boys 600m u/12 to advance to the final. The final was a fantastic race and was run at a very fast pace right from the gun, Philip tracking the leader and Callum close behind also running strongly but despite Philip giving every last ounce of effort he just couldn’t close the gap and he finished second, with Callum finishing very fast in fourth and denied bronze by a narrow margin. As a measure of the quality of the race, the winning time of 1:40.37 smashed the 11 year old Championship Best Performance of 1:42.24 set by Mullingar’s Shane Fitzsimons back in 2006, Philip’s time of 1:41.34 was also well inside Shane’s mark, and Callum’s 1:43.02 in fourth place was not far outside it.
Phoebe Bate put in a very good effort in her heat of the girls 800m u/14 but didn’t advance to the final. Aoife Darby had a straight final in the girls 800m u/17 where she put herself in an excellent position throughout and when the final push for home came she was right there to respond and was rewarded with a third place finish to add bronze to her 1,500m gold won the week before. Brian Martin was very unlucky to draw the much quicker heat of the boys 800m u/17 and despite running a time that would have seen him qualify comfortably as an automatic qualifiers in the other heat, he didn’t advance to the final. Rachel Cornally kept in contention for the early laps of the girls 800m u/18 but such is the competition at this level she just didn’t have the edge on the day to keep in touch with the leaders in the closing stages and finished out of the medals. Conor McHugh made short work of his heat of the boys 800m u/18 to advance to the final where he turned in a fine sub-two minute performance of 1:59.09, enough to clinch the bronze medal in a close finish to round off the day for Mullingar on the medal podium.
All told, it has been one of the best indoor seasons for the Club’s juvenile athletes in several years, winning a total of ten All-Ireland medals to maintain Mullingar’s proud tradition.
AAI Juvenile Indoors – Days 1 & 2
The first two days of the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors took place in Athlone IT on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th March. On Saturday the Club’s sole focus was on the 4x100m boys u/12 relay team of Callum Costello, Ryan Jenkins, Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace. Having finished third in Leinster, the boys knew they were really going to have to step up to make a mark against the best relay teams in the Country and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Competing in the third of three heats, the Mullingar team cruised to victory to earn automatic qualification for the final. The mark of a true Championship performance is to go faster in each round and the Mullingar boys achieved that by running their quickest time of the season in the final when it mattered and even though they finished fifth, just outside the medals places, they can be justifiably very proud of how they ran, especially considering Conor and Jamie are only u/11 and were running out of age. Fifth in Ireland is a fantastic result.
Sunday’s programme was race walks, 60m and 1,500m and Mullingar athletes finished the day with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze. Aoife Darby gave us a perfect start to the day in the girls 1,500m u/17 when with less than one hundred metres to go she unleashed her trademark sprint to catch the long time leaders by surprise and moved quickly from third to first and open a lead in the home straight that couldn’t be closed, winning in 4:55.78, which is a new PB by four seconds. Susan Glennon also ran well and battled hard to finish strongly but out of the medals.
There had to be heats in the boys 1,500m u/17 where John Whitelaw ran well but was unlucky to miss a place in the final. Better fortune for Andrew Daly who earned automatic qualification to the final, which was a very tactical race and despite a good effort, Andrew finished out of the medal places. There were also two heats in the boys 1,500m u/18 where both Conor McHugh and Jack Moran qualified comfortably for the final. Both Jack and Conor settled well into the early pace of the final but with three laps to go as the pace increased only Jack could maintain the effort and Conor was forced to drop back, as Jack went on to finish strongly in second place, with Conor finishing behind him but out of the medals.
On to the walks where Matthew Glennon was just too good for the opposition in the boys 1,000m walk u/15 and won with ease to take the National title. Jayne Walsh-Smith competed in the girls 1,000m walk u/15 but had to settle for a place out of the medals. Jennifer Fidgeon got us back in the medals with an excellent bronze in the girls 1,500m walk u/16 in an absorbing race where she stuck to her task and finished very strongly. What was to be Mullingar’s final gold medal of the day came from Sarah Glennon in the girls 1,500m walk u/17 with a comfortable win to add to her growing collection of National titles.
Aimee Wallace ran very well in her heat of the girls 60m u/12 but fourth wasn’t enough to advance to the final. It was the same for Nadine Molly in her heat of the girls 60m u/19, finishing fourth too. No problem for Callum Costello with a third place in his heat of the boys 60m u/12 saw him reach the final but where despite competing well he had to settle for a place out of the medals.
Dunboyne 4 Mile
Well done to Pauric Brady who was the Club’s sole representative among over 630 finishers of the Dunboyne 4 Mile road race on Sunday 26th March, taking full advantage of a brilliantly warm and sunny day, and finishing well up in forty eighth overall in 23:29.
SIAB Schools Cross Country International
Bea Drummond (Athlone Community College) made her International debut on Saturday 25th March in Margam Park, near Port Talbot, Swansea in Wales when she competed for Ireland at the SIAB Home Countries Schools Cross Country International against teams from England, Scotland and Wales. Bea was part of the eight strong Irish junior girls (u/15) team that competed over 4,000m and she gave an excellent account of herself, finishing fifth score for Ireland, who finished fourth team, a mere three points away from the bronze team medals. This was a really well deserved honour at the end of what had been a breakthrough season for Bea where she applied herself with dedication in training and now that she has made her International debut her name will be added to the Club’s International Roll of Honour.
World Masters Indoors
Going into a race as a medal favourite is all well and good but the pressure is then on to deliver on the expectation. No problem for Sean McMullin though with his huge experience in International masters competition and in the 3,000m track race walk at the World Masters Indoors in Daegu, South Korea on Monday 20th March he stuck to his task with determination and delivered a great performance to finish second in 17:20:54, winning the World silver medal, behind Andrew Jamieson of Australia and just ahead of Norman Frable of the USA who had battled with Sean all the way for the silver medal.
Never one to rest on his laurels and not content to settle with just one World medal, Sean was back in action again on Friday 24th looking to add another. Competing in the 10,000m road walk, Sean used all his considerable experience of competing at this level to avoid falling foul of the judges in this very technical event and came home safely in second place to win his second silver medal of the Championships, again behind Andrew Jamieson of Australia and ahead of Norman Frable of the USA to give the same 1-2-3 result as in the 3,000m track walk earlier in the week. Two medals in a World Championship is a fantastic achievement and congratulations to Sean from everyone at the Club.
Mullingar Half Marathon
The third edition of the Mullingar Half Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day attracted a huge entry of nearly 1,300, a significant increase on the nearly 900 last year and double the number that took part in the inaugural event two years ago, so it is clearly an event that has really caught the imagination and goes from strength to strength. This year’s event was a charity fundraiser for Temporary Emergency Accommodation Mullingar (TEAM), an extremely worthy cause. In contrast to last year, the weather was simply awful, being cold, windy and wet, absolutely what nobody wanted as they faced into a 13.1 mile long run, never mind anyone wishing to watch the race from the various vantage points along the route. It was fantastic to see such a throng of runners fill the street as they made their way from the start, cheered on by a good gathering of hardy supporters. Among the throng was over 50 from the Club, though with such a large entry it is easy to miss someone out of the results.
Even though it was a charity event, and for most the event was simply a chance to run the distance in company, for some a race is still a race and they ran hard from the start looking to record a good time on a fast relatively flat course.
First to finish was Peter Mooney (Inverse) in 1:13:21, which was a respectable time considering the conditions, especially the very strong headwind over the last few miles. First from the Club was Mal McDonnell 5th in 1:15:42, 1st in master age category, followed by Maurice Looby 6th (1:15:57), Andrew Nevin 10th (1:16:36), Eddie Newman 15th (1:17:24) 1st in his master age category, Elizabeth Carr having a particularly good run to finish 26th overall (1:21:06), 2nd woman to finish, Gerard Gavin (1:21:08), Kieran Nolan (1:22:26), Ian McCormack (1:23:23), Colm Walsh (1:24:42), Alan Crowley (1:25:29), Enda O’Carolan (1:26:06), Philip Burke (1:26:07), Nollaig McEntegart (1:28:56) 1st in his master age category, Joan Flynn (1:30:45), JP O’Brien, James Carton, David Fagan, James Cribbin, Doug Bates, Enda Seery, Michelle O’Halloran (1:37:06), Siobhan McCarthy (1:37:06), Sean Liston, Tommy Conroy, Sharon Bates (1:40:04), Aiden Rafferty, Gillian Walsh (1:41:40), John Callaghan, Michael O’Sullivan, Patricia Broderick, Dearbhail Gibney, Declan Costello, Mark Bate, Andy Quinn, Richard Ferris, Criona Reid, Brian Boyle, Tommy Archbold, Eamonn O’Reilly, Anna Redmond, Dara Feiritear, Olivia Cronin, Barry Hogan, Jane Creevy, Gerardine Martin, Frank Kavanagh, Liam Dalton, Marna Groenewald, Linda O’Driscoll, Shauna Kavanagh, Christy Creagh and Geraldine Walsh. A fantastic turn out from the Club in support of a local race for a good cause.
All-Ireland Schools Cross Country
We had several Club athletes competing for their schools and colleges at the Irish Schools Cross Country Championships at Mallusk Playing Fields in Belfast on Saturday 11th March. Conditions were mild on the day but heavy rain in the days before the event took its toll on the ground, which was very soft in places, but there was still plenty of good running. First into action, in the minor boys race was Lorcan Mullen (Cistercian Roscrea) who ran a fine race to finish well up in his first All Ireland Schools. Next into action were the junior girls and for Bea Drummond (Athlone Community College) it was a day to remember as she battled bravely to finish in fifth place and more importantly, gain selection for the Irish team for the upcoming Schools International in two weeks time in Wales. Bea has been a model of consistency over the entire season and thoroughly deserves the opportunity to run for Ireland. Right behind Bea was Jennifer Fidgeon in sixth place who ran the race of her life and led Loreto Mullingar to the silver team medals. She was well supported by Meabh Killalea and Karla Cunningham who ran great races.
Colin Smith led home the Colaiste Mhuire team in the junior boys race, a team that included Rian Hogan, Paul McCool and Ruairi Fagan but finished an agonising fourth place, just five points away from the bronze medal. In the intermediate girls, Aoife Darby (St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) and Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s) battled bravely on the mucky course to finish just outside the top ten in the race. In the intermediate boys, Colaiste Mhuire was again fourth with Andrew Daly, Jack Moran, John Whitelaw, Eoin Quinn and Enda Gaffney amongst the team members. Competing for Mercy Ballymahon, Oisin Lane also had a fine run and finished well up.
Loreto College were defending team Champions in the senior girls and current Leinster Champions. Claire Fagan and Alanna Bate were once again the two leading scores and they were well supported by the third scorer Andrea Brady whose excellent finish, and with great support from Daria Fidgeon and Laura Shaw ensured Loreto College retained their title with ease. The senior boys race gave Colaiste Mhuire the opportunity to get amongst the medals after two fourth place teams and they grasped it with both hands. Jamie Battle, despite having to overcome a fall at the start, led by example and was always in the leading group where he was joined by Cormac Dalton (St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) and team-mate Ciaran Nolan. On the final lap the leading pack was reduced to three with Jamie, who is rapidly emerging as one of the leading endurance athletes in the Country, still in contention and running a superb race to take the bronze medal. Cormac, who has shown great resilience to come back from injury, battled bravely to finish ninth. Cormac can look forward to further improvement on the track over the coming months. Ciaran produced his best race of the season to finish eleventh and a strong run from Michael Moran among others secured team victory.
This ensured that Mullingar schools were victorious in both senior team races, rounding off another very successful cross country season. Special mention is due to the teachers in all the schools represented, and particularly to Damian Lawlor (Colaiste Mhuire) and Susan Hogan (St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) for their support on the day.
Ballycotton 10 Mile
The increase in the number of longer road races nearer to home means the Ballycotton 10 mile in Cork has lost much of its attraction for members of the Club. However, on Sunday 12th March Patrick Muldoon made the long journey and joined nearly 3,000 other entrants and was happy with his finish time of 59:01, going through five miles in just under thirty minutes, so retuning with a very satisfying negative split. Also competing in Cork and happy with her performance was Breda McDonnell.
Meath Spring Half Marathon & 10k
Near to home, the Meath Spring Half Marathon and 10k in Bohermeen, Co. Meath was where Miriam Walsh went on Sunday 12th March, to take part in the 10k race, finishing in 48:15, placing an excellent eighty fifth overall of over 330 finishers.
AAI Masters Indoors
Sean McMullin dominated his category of the 3,000m race walk at the AAI Masters Indoors in Athlone on Sunday 5th March, winning with ease to add another National title to his collection but more importantly an added boost in confidence ahead of the World Masters Indoors later in the month. Paddy Kelly competed in the 800m and finished fifth in a very tactical race, a very respectable place in an All-Ireland though he had higher expectations, but that’s what can happen in a Championship. Dolores Whyte also finished fifth in her 60m final in what was a very close race with only hundredths of seconds separating the runners. Well done to the three of them on their performances.
Longford AC 10k
Mel Carthy finished 12th overall of the over eighty finishers at the Longford AC 10k on Sunday 5th March in a time of 38:50, which was good enough to win his master age category. Fourth woman to finish was Maura Dervin, 29th overall in 44:00 to also win her master category, followed closely by Mervyn Kennedy completing the distance in 44:24.
Irish Universities Cross Country
Breaking with the norm for several years, the Irish Universities Cross Country Championships didn’t take place alongside the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country this year, and instead were held on Saturday 4th March at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown, Co. Dublin on a cold wet morning. Given the rain of recent days, it was no surprise that the going was heavy, an absolute muddy mess in some places, but nowhere in Ireland would have been any better and the athletes just got on with it knowing that it was the same for everyone; proper cross country conditions!
In the women’s 4,900m race, Elizabeth Carr (DCU) was part of the chasing group on the early leaders and turned in an excellent performance to finish 5th, only a few seconds away from the bronze medal, and she was the second score for the victorious DCU team. Also competing was Linda Conroy (DCU), delighted to be competing again, and also Vicky Harris (AIT), better known as a sprinter but selflessly competing for AIT to make up a team and helping AIT to 6th team overall.
Johnny Daly (UCD) had a really good run in the men’s 8,000m race to finish an excellent 16th place to earn valuable points to help UCD finish second team. Finishing close on his heels was Padraig Moran (DCU) contributing to the victorious DCU team, followed by Andrew Nevin (IT Blanchardstown), Oisin Quinn (DCU), Jack Tyas (AIT) a scoring member of the AIT team that finished 3rd and Ian McCormack (UCD), all finishing well up in the very big entry of nearly one hundred.
Leinster Junior, Senior & Masters Indoors
The curtain came down on the Leinster Indoors on Sunday 26th February at the National Indoor Arena in Abbottstown where the Leinster Junior, Senior and Master Indoors took place. Vicky Harris was first into action in the senior 60m sprint where she qualified comfortably from her heat and in the final came through very strongly to take third. Dolores Whyte contested the master 60m and came safely through the heats but in the final was unlucky to be edged out of the medal places in a very close race, but finishing a very creditable fifth place.
Pauric Brady made his track debut in the master 1,500m and was delighted to win his category and clinch the gold for Mullingar, which is sure to encourage him to contest more track races in the future. On to the walks where Sean McMullin easily won his category of the master 3,000m race walk to give him added confidence ahead of the World Masters Indoors in mid-March. Moving to the 200m sprints, Patrick Leydon was unlucky to miss qualification for the junior 200m final despite running an excellent race in the very competitive heats. Vicky Harris was back in action again in the senior 200m with a polished run in her heat to qualify for the final where she was edged into fourth place in a very good race, out of the medals but a good performance nonetheless.
In the junior 800m, Laura Whitelaw was just too good for the opposition and though it was a close race she drew on her experience and pulled clear to win in style. Declan Brady placed a very good sixth place in the junior 800m in a season’s best time of 2:03.61 to show steady improvement with every race. Shane Fitzsimons’ comeback continues to gather momentum when a scorching early pace set him up nicely for a runaway victory in the senior 800m in 1:52.89, a 4 second season’s best. In the master 800m, Paddy Kelly tracked the leaders throughout but on the final lap with a little over 100m to go unleashed a ferocious turn of pace to hit the front and went on to comfortably win his category and win another 800m gold for Mullingar.
Another Club member trying track racing for the first time was Mel Carthy who was delighted to come away with a very satisfying bronze medal in the master 3,000m. Mel followed up with the master 400m where he competed well but a combination of the unfamiliar short distance, the faster pace and tight indoor bends saw him finish out of the medals but he was still very happy to have attempted the distance. We finished back in the medals courtesy of Sean McMullin who secured gold in the master 3,000m run.
All told this was an excellent day’s competition for the Mullingar contingent, which though small in number was huge in commitment and effort. Congratulations to them all.
Manx Race Walking Festival
The annual Manx Harriers AC Open Race Walking Festival at the National Sports Centre in Douglas, Isle of Man on Saturday morning 25th February took place in quite windy and wet conditions, but thankfully the storm that was forecast didn’t materialize. The less than ideal conditions didn’t faze Oisin Lane though who won the 5k race walk in 24:29, with Sarah Glennon third in 25:38, excellent results that will give them both a real boost in confidence ahead of the All-Ireland Indoor finals at the end of March.
Leinster Juvenile Indoors – Day 3
A small number from the Club got the chance to try out the new National Indoor Arena in Abbottstown, Dublin on Saturday 25th February when they competed on the final day of the Leinster Juvenile Indoors. Competition was for the sprint relays and 1,500m and a limited number of field events. There’s no doubt it’s a fast track, which can’t be faulted, but the layout and facilities for spectators and athletes inside the new arena are quite different from what they’re used to in Athlone and will take getting used to; it’s fair to say, for some the jury is still out on Abbottstown. However, it’s early days, it’s a new facility, and improvements in crowd flow around the arena and in the warm up area should improve with learning as more competitions are held there.
The day started with the 1,500m events, traditionally a rich medal vein for Mullingar, given the Club’s strength in cross country and middle distance running. We had entered 15 but on the day, 7 inexplicably failed to turn up and if they wish to compete in the All-Ireland finals, they will have to plead their case with Leinster to be given a bye.
First into action for Mullingar was Eoin Quinn in the boys 1,500m u/16 where he competed well but unfortunately couldn’t get into the medal places. We got in the medals in the girls 1,500m u/17 thanks to a very strong finish from Aoife Darby that took her into 3rd place in a close finish, with Susan Glennon also finishing very fast on her heels in 5th place, just out of the medals. Andrew Daly and John Whitelaw contested the boys 1,500m u/17. Andrew ran a fine race and was unlucky to finish just outside the medals places in 5th, followed by John in 6th, doing very well to recover from an early knock that nearly put him off the track but the effort needed to get back in contention clearly cost him in the closing stages. On to the girls 1,500m u/18 where Catriona Kennedy and Andrea Brady kept right in contention throughout and with a very fast final lap, Catriona began to close down on the leader but the line came too soon and she crossed the line in 2nd place in a close finish, followed home by Andrea also finishing very fast but denied a medal by a close margin, finishing 4th. We kept the best to last with the boys 1,500m u/18 where Conor McHugh ran a clever measured race, ignoring the early leader and running his own race. As the gap to the front increased to about 50m, it looked like Conor would have to settle for second but we didn’t reckon on his ferocious turn of speed on the last lap that saw him close the lead right down and clinching victory on the line to give the Mullingar supporters plenty to cheer about.
Over at the boys u/19 triple jump, Patrick Leydon put in a polished performance and with the minimum of fuss took gold by a clear margin to book his place in the All-Ireland finals in March. Ross Killalea, Adam Brady, Darragh Smith and John Ryan contested the highly competitive heats of the boys 4x100m u/13 relay and despite finishing 3rd in their heat with an impressive performance this wasn’t enough to advance to the final. Equally impressive was Adele Geoghegan, Leah Geoghegan, Aimee Wallace and Jessica Cunningham in the girls 4x100m u/12 relay, where a fine 2nd place finish still wasn’t enough to advance to the final. In the boys 4x100m u/12 relay, Callum Costello, Ryan Jenkins, Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace gave us a scare in their heat when they mishandled some baton passes, but they were still good enough to finish 3rd with a fast enough time to advance to the final. Clearly the ensuing baton practice in warm up under the watchful eyes of their coaches paid dividends as the boys absolutely aced the changes in the final and ran a whopping three seconds quicker to go from qualifying as fastest losers in the final to taking bronze in a very close race. As a measure of the quality of the race, the winners set a new Championship Best Performance and even in third place, Mullingar was also inside the old mark.
That wrapped up the Leinster Juvenile Indoor programme for this season. When the five medals and one fourth place from the final day are counted with the seventeen medals and five fourth place finishers on days one and two a few weeks ago, it means that Mullingar will be very well represented at the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoor Finals at the end of March.
AAI Senior Indoors
At the AAI Senior Indoor Championships at the new National Indoor Arena in Abbottstown, Rachel Glennon and Shane Fitzsimons were in action. Rachel was first into action on Saturday 18th February in the 3,000m race walk and had an excellent race to finish fifth in a personal best time of 14:34.28. This was an excellent result for Rachel who is still eligible for Junior competition and was several years younger than many of her competitors.
In the 800m, Shane Fitzsimons comfortably negotiated his way through his heat on Saturday. The final on Sunday proved to be a very tactical race and Shane was in contention throughout and finished strongly to take fourth place in a blanket finish in a time of 1:56.74. Shane was less than one second behind the winner and inches from a medal, marking an excellent comeback to competitive action. Based on the rapid progress he has made in recent weeks, Shane looks set to return to his very best over the summer months.
AAI Juvenile Star Awards
At the Athletics Ireland Juvenile Star Awards in Tullamore on Saturday 18th February, Mullingar Harriers was presented with the Kennedy Cup for best juvenile cross country Club in Ireland in 2016, retaining the award won in 2015. This comes as a result of the 5 Club titles, 1 Club silver and 5 Club bronze won by Mullingar in the National cross country finals last year and a great testament to the hard work put in by our outstanding juvenile athletes. They are all to be congratulated and can be very proud of themselves and their achievements.
Westmeath Juvenile Indoors
Now a firmly established fixture, the Westmeath Juvenile Indoors on Friday evening 17th February drew an entry of over 70 excited youngsters from the Club eager to compete in the magnificent AIT indoor stadium, which was the first time many of them had the opportunity to compete there.
Thanks to brilliant organisation by AIT AC, over 300 boys and girls from AIT AC, East Westmeath AC, North Westmeath AC and Mullingar Harriers, aged u/9 to u/17, competed in a range of events. Even though every event was competitive, the atmosphere was still relatively relaxed compared to a Leinster indoors and our youngest athletes in particular made the most of the chance to compete in the state-of-the-art facility, giving them a taste of what’s to come in a few years when they can compete at a Leinster indoors. Everyone could compete in two events each, so there was plenty of action on the track and in the field events to keep the big crowd of parents, supporters and coaches occupied following proceedings. Judging by visits to the medal podium, we knew that the Mullingar youngsters were doing well and by the end of the evening 35 of them had won medals – 17 of them more than one – a great collection of 52 medals in total. A nice touch is that there are participation medals for our u/9 and u/10 athletes that didn’t win a medal on the night and these will be presented at the Club this week, so be sure to be there to collect it.
Medal winners on the night in u/9 were Aoibhin Murphy (60m), Tianna O’Leary (60m and 300m) and Jake Bell (60m and 300m); in u/10 were Katie Kilmurray (60m and 500m), Norah Garry (60m), Luke Greene (500m), Sean Byrne (60m) and Eoin Donohue (long jump); in u/11 were Saoirse Sheridan (60m and 600m), Criostoir Ormsby (60m and 600m), James Flynn (600m), Jamie Wallace (60m and 600m) and Conor Liston (60m and 600m); in u/12 were Anna May Flannery (60m), Jessica Cunningham (600m and long jump), Shauna Traynor (long jump), Leah Geoghegan (600m), Adele Geoghegan (60m and 600m), Philip McCartan (60m and 600m) and Callum Costello (60m and 600m); in u/13 were Aisling Lane (600m), Shane Ormsby (60m), John Ryan (600m), Tadhg Sheridan (600m) and Ross Killalea (600m); in u/14 were Phoebe Bate (800m and long jump), Anna McCartan (800m), Amy Geoghegan (800m and long jump) and Shannon Liston (60m and shot); in u/15 were Karla Cunningham (800m and long jump), Caoimhe Brady (60m and 800m) and Jennifer Fidgeon (800m and long jump); in u/16 were Oisin Lane (800m) and Colin McGee (800m) and in u/17 was Eve Wallace (60m).
Others that competed with spirit were Aoibhin Brady, Katie Glennon, Sarah Davitt, Liam Weblin, Arthur Drummond (u/9), Síofra O’Reilly, Lydia McDonnell, Niall Brady, Cormac Murphy, James Davitt, James Ryan, Conor Maleady, Luke Robinson, Liam Heffernan (u/10), Rose Macken, Muireann Donohue, Rosie O’Grady, Graham Duggan, Ryan Bell, Darragh Weblin, Charlie Foy, Cillian Traynor, Ciaran Connelly (u/11), Grace Byrne, Dearbhla Murphy, Ciara Glennon, Robyn Bates, Lucy Donnelly, Amy Kehoe, Caoimhe Donohue (u/12), Amanda Klimova, Aine Newman, Matt O’Leary, Sonny Drummond, Adam Brady, Eoin McGrath, Enda Newman (u/13), Meghan Bates and Aoife McGouran (u/14).
Needless to say, if it wasn’t for the parents bringing them to Athlone, the youngsters wouldn’t have been able to take part in such numbers, so many thanks to them and the very many who also helped on the night providing encouragement, making sure everyone got to their event in time, or volunteering as officials at the various events. We hope it gives them the confidence to step forward at future events, as they now know what’s involved and that it’s not so daunting.
AIT International Grand Prix
Stadium records and Irish all-comers records tumbled at the AIT International Grand Prix on Wednesday evening 15th February as the capacity crowd was treated to a fantastic display of World-class athletics.
The evening began with relay races to showcase local underage talent, including a mixed 4x200m for u/13 where Mullingar was invited to enter a team. Callum Costello led off the Mullingar quartet with a fantastic run, handing over in second place to Aimee Wallace, who powered around the tight bends to consolidate the team’s position. Third runner was Philip McCartan who began to eat into the lead as he stormed around the track to hand over to Adele Geoghegan who ran a brilliant anchor leg, closing down on the leader all the time but the line came too soon and Mullingar finished 2nd. This was a great performance by this young team, especially as they are all only u/12 and were giving away a year on the other teams.
Onto the Grand Prix then, where among the big name stars was Christina Manning (USA) who won the 60m hurdles in 7.82 seconds, the second fastest time in the World this year, and in the process relegating the 2012 Olympic champion Sally Pearson (Australia) into third spot, Sean Safo-Antwi (Ghana) who won the 60m in a stadium record of 6.56 seconds, pushing the World indoor bronze medallist Ramon Gittens (Barbados) into second place, but the race that really had the crowd on its feet was the men’s mile where Ryan Gregson (Australia) won in 3:56.49 and the first three men broke four minutes, which is still the benchmark time in World class mile racing.
Our own Vicky Harris qualified comfortably from her heat of the 60m sprint where she lined up against some top-class talent. The final was won by Lekeisha Lawson (USA) in a very swift 7.20 seconds, with Phil Healy (Bandon) third in 7.31 seconds, just one hundredth of a second off the Irish record. Exposure to top class competition like this is what every athlete aspires to and it will stand Vicky in great stead. She was very pleased to be mixing in such company and to have been part of such a great evening’s entertainment.
Leinster Schools Cross Country
A number of the Club’s underage athletes competed for their schools and colleges at the Leinster Schools Cross Country Championships in Santry on Wednesday 15th February in perfect conditions, many securing individual and team qualification for the All-Ireland Schools Finals in Belfast in March.
The top 15 individuals and the top 3 teams in each race qualify automatically for the All-Ireland finals, so advancing to the finals are Jennifer Fidgeon (Loreto Mullingar) 5th junior girl and as the team finished 2nd she will be joined by Meabh Killalea and Karla Cunningham; Colin Smith (Colaiste Mhuire Mullingar) 13th junior boy and as the team finished in 1st place he will be joined by Paul McCool and Ruairi Fagan; intermediate girls Caoimhe O’Brien (Loreto) 7th, Susan Glennon (St. Finian’s Mullingar) 10th and Aoife Darby (St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge) 15th; from Colaiste Mhuire in the intermediate boys are Jack Moran 5th, John Whitelaw 10th, Andrew Daly 11th and as the team finished 2nd they will be joined by Enda Gaffney, Brian Martin and Eoin Quinn; Claire Fagan (Loreto) 5th senior girl and as the team finished 1st she will be joined by Alanna Bate, Andrea Brady, Daria Fidgeon, Laura Shaw and Niamh Quinn; Cormac Dalton (St. Joseph’s) 2nd senior boy and from Colaiste Mhuire are Jamie Battle 3rd, Ciaran Nolan 8th and Michael Moran, as the team finished 1st.
Also competing but unfortunately missing out on qualification were Colin McGee (St. Joseph’s) in the minor race, Sam Smyth (St. Joseph’s) in the junior race, Loreto intermediate girls Catriona Kennedy, Caoimhe Gaffney and Elysia Greene, and Eoghan Bracken (St. Joseph’s) in the senior race. Colaiste Mhuire capped an excellent day by winning the trophy for best overall boy’s school and Loreto Mullingar was runner-up for the best overall girl’s school trophy.
Leinster Juvenile Indoors – Days 1 and 2
Given the bitterly cold day on Saturday 11th February, it was very fortunate that the big squad of nearly sixty juvenile athletes and their parents and coaches could be safely ensconced out of the elements in the Athlone IT International Indoor Arena for day one of the Leinster Juvenile Indoors.
Proceedings got underway with the girls 600m u/12 where Mullingar had one of the biggest groups of any Club, twelve athletes, taking part. Qualification from the heats was very tough but Aimee Wallace and Adele Geoghegan made it safely though but unlucky for Leah Geoghegan, Lucy Donnelly, Jessica Cunningham, Síofra Smyth, Caoimhe Donoghue, Ciara Glennon, Robyn Bates, Ellen Foran, Sara Assebbane, Anna May Flannery and Shauna Traynor who competed well in their heats but didn’t advance. As expected, the final was run at a very fast pace from the start, but Aimee and Adele kept in contention. On the final lap Aimee showed an amazing turn of pace to suddenly pull clear and went on to win in convincing manner, closely followed home by Adele very unlucky to just miss a medal in fourth place.
On to the boys 600m u/12, where Philip McCartan put down an early marker of intent by winning his heat in a new Championship Best Performance of 1:45.24 to better the performance of our own Shane Fitzsimons that has stood for eleven years. Callum Costello and Ryan Jenkins also made it safely through the heats, but unfortunately Darragh Smith couldn’t make it four from Mullingar in the final, though he ran well in his heat. Clearly all eyes were on Philip in the final and he didn’t disappoint with a blistering last lap to tear the field asunder and win with an even quicker time of 1:44.73 to set another record. Coming around the final turn it looked like Mullingar could make it a clean sweep of the medals as Callum and Ryan gave chase on the boy that had bravely tried to stay with Philip, closing down on him very fast but the line came too soon and Callum crossed in third, just ahead of Ryan in fourth. A fantastic race to watch!
Amanda Klimova was our sole representative in the girls 600m u/13 where she put in a good performance but didn’t advance from her heat to the final. In the boys 600m u/13, Adam Brady, Eoin McGrath, Matt O’Leary, John Ryan and Adam Smyth gave one hundred percent effort in the heats but didn’t advance to the final. No problem for Ross Killalea and Tadgh Sheridan who safely negotiated the heats but despite great efforts in the final had to settle for places out of the medals.
Moving to the 800m, unfortunately Aoife O’Brien, Francesca Walshe and Meghan Bates didn’t advance from the fiercely competitive heats of the girls 800m u/14 to join Phoebe Bate, Aoife McGouran and Amy Geoghegan in the final. As expected at this level, the final was run at a very fast pace from the gun but the Mullingar trio stuck to the task and worked well to keep in touch with the leading group but despite terrific turns of pace, especially by Aoife, in the closing stages, Phoebe was denied a medal by a close margin, finishing fourth with Aoife and Amy coming in behind in close order. Martin Foran contested well in the boys 800m u/14 race but didn’t reach the final.
In the girls 800m u/15, Caoimhe Brady, Karla Cunningham and Meabh Killalea were unlucky not to reach the final and join Bea Drummond who ran a very good race and was unfortunate to be run out of the medals in a close race, finishing fifth, just out of the medal places. Colin McGee ran well didn’t advance from the very competitive heats of the boys 800m u/15. Sam Smyth and Colin Smith advanced from their heats and despite a solid race in the final finished out of the medals.
It took Caoimhe O’Brien to finally put Mullingar back in the medals with a typically gutsy run in the girls 800m u/16 and with a very fast finish was delighted to finish second and win the silver medal. Eoin Quinn followed in the boys 800m u/16 where he ran well but didn’t advance to the final. Elysia Greene didn’t advance from her heat to join Aoife Darby who put in a determined performance in the girls 800m u/17 where she showed her class to finish second in a very close run race. That was followed by Brian Martin who took out the boys 800m u/17, leading from early on and increasing his lead as each lap ran by but he was overhauled on the final bend and in the home straight fell back into third place but was still very satisfied with his front-running performance.
Despite running well in the final of the girls 800m u/18, Catriona Kennedy was disappointed not to take a medal, which is a clear indication of how she has matured as an athlete and doesn’t want to settle for second best. We got back in the medals again as Conor McHugh turned in a sparkling performance in the boys 800m u/18 to finish second in a very close race where he battled hard all the way. If we thought Conor’s race was close, it was nothing compared to the boys 800m u/19 where Colin Smith was in majestic form as he stormed around the track and just as it looked like he might take the victory he was passed on the final bend but rallied on the home straight and was denied the gold right on the line, finishing second by the closest of margins.
It was great to see Mullingar field seven in the girls 60m u/12, where Aimee Wallace progressed through the heats to the semi-finals and into the final and despite having run a 600m heat and final earlier in the day showed no sign of fatigue and put in a terrific performance to finish second in a thrilling race to claim her second medal of the day. Not so fortunate for Caoimhe Donohue, Annamay Flannery, Lucy Donnelly, Ellen Foran, Ciara Glennon and Shauna Traynor who didn’t advance from the very competitive heats but full marks for effort. In the corresponding boys 60m u/12 event, Callum Costello advanced through the heats and semi-finals to take his place in the final where he too showed no sign of tiredness after the 600m and reprised the blistering finishing pace he had shown earlier in the 600m to run a brilliant sprint and finish second to claim his second medal of the day too.
Alanna Costello advanced to the semi-finals of the girls 60m u/14 but just missed a place in the final. Shannon Liston competed well but didn’t advance from her heat. Mullingar had three in the girls 60m u/17 with Awa Fane reaching the final only to lose out on a medal by the narrowest margin, finishing fifth. Whitney Imafidon and Eve Wallace were making their track debuts for the Club and though they enjoyed the competition, didn’t advance form their heats. Another newcomer, Nadine Molloy made her debut for the Club in the girls 60m u/19 where she finished out of the medals in fourth place but will have learned a lot from the experience. Patrick Leydon qualified for his final of the boys 60m u/19 but finished out of the medal places on this occasion, while Odhran Cully was very unlucky not to advance from his heat. Others competing with spirit in the 60m sprints but not advancing from their heats were Amanda Klimova (u/13), Darragh Smith (u/12), Aaron Dowdall, Eoin McGrath, Matt O’Leary (u/13), and Niamh Cully (u/15).
It wasn’t all track events of course and in the girls u/16 shot putt, Shauna Leydon made a welcome return to competition after injury and was too good for the opposition and won well to add another Leinster title to her collection. Shannon Liston competed well but finished out of the medals in the u/14 shot putt, as did Ellen Foran in the u/12 shot putt.
Day two on Sunday 12th February was a shorter programme but the competition was just as intense. Jayne Walsh-Smith was very unlucky to finish just of the medals in fourth place in the u/15 girls 1,000m race walk but showed great determination and skill in this very technical event. Matthew Glennon got us in the medals with a sure-footed victory by a big margin in the u/15 boys 1,000m race walk. Jennifer Fidgeon almost snatched victory on the line in the u/16 girls 1,500m race walk, coming through very strongly on the last lap but denied on the line to finish second. Sarah Glennon demonstrated why she is so well regarded as a star in race walking with an emphatic victory in the u/17 girls race walk, with a new Championship Best Performance of 6:44.93. Well done to our four race walkers and we’ll follow their progress with interest in the All-Ireland finals in March.
Shane Ormsby qualified comfortably from his heat of the boys 60m hurdles u/13 but in the final disaster struck as he hit a hurdle early in the race and being such a short race there is little time to recover and he was disappointed to finish sixth, out of the medal places where he knows he belongs. Aaron Dowdall also contested well in the hurdles but didn’t advance to the final to join Shane.
Moving to the sprints, with three heats of the girls 200m u/17, qualification was always going to be very difficult. Running well in their first time over the distance, Whitney Imafidon and Eve Wallace competed with enthusiasm but didn’t advance. Awa Fane ran a tremendous heat to qualify for the final where she ran even quicker than the heat, which she needed to do, dipping hard at the line in such a close finish that it took the camera to determine that she had taken third right on the line, winning the bronze medal by just one hundredth of a second. Odhran Cully and Patrick Leydon contested the boys 200m u/19 where Odhran was very unlucky to miss a place in the final by a mere five hundredths of a second but Patrick advanced with some ease. Drawing the favoured lane five, Patrick ran a storming race and finished third with a new indoor personal best and can look forward to the All-Ireland finals with confidence.
In the field events, Shane Ormsby made amends for his disappointment in the hurdles by winning silver in the boys u/13 shot putt, with Aaron Dowdall also taking part but finishing out of the medal places. Others competing in the packed field events but finishing out of the medals were Shauna Traynor (u/12 long jump), Alanna Costello and Grace Loughrey (u/14 long jump).
We concluded the week-end with an impressive collection of 17 medals, another 5 close finishes in fourth place and many more qualifying for finals, which marks a resounding success for the Club’s underage athletes but whether medals were won or not, everyone competed to the best of their abilities and that’s all anyone can ask.
AAI Masters Cross Country
Cross country racing can be tough enough, but throw in a tough hilly course and cold windy sleety conditions, makes the task even more of an endurance. That’s what faced competitors in Waterford on Sunday morning 12th February at the AAI Masters Cross Country. In the master men 7,000m Kieran Nolan turned in a solid performance to finish well up overall and just outside top twenty in his category. In the master men 4,000m Sean McMullin used the event as a tough work-out ahead of his participation at the World Masters Indoors in March and he had an excellent run to finish 2nd in his category. The master women group was led home by Maura Dervin, followed in by Patricia Broderick, Emer O’Hanlon, Brigid McCabe, Nuala Moran, Terri Greene, Pauline Troy, Eileen Kenny (3rd in her category to win her first individual All-Ireland medal) and Michelle Kavanagh. In the team rankings, the Mullingar women followed a very creditable 5th Club to round off an excellent cross country season for them all.
Donadea 50k Ultramarathon
Imagine running a marathon and then carrying on for another five miles? Braving the bitter cold on Saturday morning 11th February, Stephen Naughton joined 162 hardy souls for the Donadea 50k at Donadea Forest Park in Co. Kildare. The event incorporated the AAI 50k Ultramarathon Championship, so not content with just completing the gruelling challenge, there were National honours to be won too. The course was ten laps of woodland trails that provided some shelter from the biting cold wind but with three long uphill sections per lap, thirty energy sapping hills was enough to test anyone’s mettle and not for the faint hearted. Just to add to the pressure, there was a cut-off time of five hours, after which even if you finished your time wouldn’t be recorded in the results. Stephen didn’t have to worry about the cut-off time though, as he finished well up in 43rd overall in a time of 4:09:25, good enough for third in his master category and secure the All-Ireland bronze medal. Congratulations to Stephen on a super performance.
Irish Universities Indoors
Elizabeth Carr carried her excellent cross country form into the indoors when she competed for UCD at the Irish Universities Indoors in AIT on Friday 10th February, finishing 3rd in the 3,000m in 9:56.60, a PB. Laura Whitelaw (DCU) was feeling under the weather but still competed in the 800m and with Rachel Glennon (DCU) finishing 5th in the 1,500m race walk, earned valuable points that helped the DCU women’s team to 1st place in the Inter-Varsity competition. Vicky Harris (AIT) qualified comfortably from her heat of the 200m but drew the difficult inside lane for the final, but her 6th place finish still earned team points for AIT. Vicky also took the lead leg in the 4x200m relay, leading the team to an excellent 5th place finish, helping the AIT women’s team to an overall 3rd place finish in the Inter-Varsity competition.
In the men’s competition, Jonathan Daly (UCD) won his heat of the 3,000m and his time placed him an excellent 6th place overall to earn team points. Andrew Nevin (IT Blanchardstown) also competed well in the 3,000m and later in the day was very satisfied with his performance in the 1,500m where Jack Tyas (AIT) was also in action and finished well up.
AAI Indoor Games
The AAI Indoor Games were held in the superb new National Indoor Arena in Abbottstown on Sunday 5th February, giving some Club members an early opportunity to test the new track. First into action for Mullingar Harriers was Sean McMullin in the 3,000m race walk where he showed good early season form and completing the distance in 17:14 to claim sixth position in the race.
In the 3,000m Cormac Dalton transferred his excellent cross country form onto the track when he finished in a PB of 8:53. Jack Moran was also in action is the next 3,000m and he also completed the distance in 8:53, which was a PB by two seconds. Jamie Battle was next in 9:04. These three junior athletes were using this track race to sharpen their fitness for the upcoming Leinster Schools cross country where they can be expected to feature prominently.
In the 800m races, Colin Smith was first into action. Having finished fourth in the National Junior 800m the week before Colin was hopeful of a strong performance. Colin took the lead in his race on the last lap and looked set to win but inadvertently got clipped on his heels by another athlete. This forced Colin to settle for sixth place in a time of 1:58, which was excellent given the tactical nature of this race. Oisin Quinn and Paddy Kelly were very competitive also and will benefit greatly from these races as the indoor season progresses.
Trim 10 Mile
The nearly 1,300 athletes that journeyed to Trim on Sunday 5th February for the third running of the Trim 10 mile had to endure a calm dry but bitterly cold start to the day but once they warmed up, the day was perfect for running. For many from Mullingar Harriers this race provided a useful test of how their training is progressing, as many are planning to run a half marathon in March, for some it will be in Lisbon and for others it will be in Mullingar. Mullingar was out in force, with 36 completing the distance. Leading the Mullingar group home in 16th place was Mal McDonnell (56:41) and 3rd in his master age category, followed by Eddie Newman in 22nd place (57:58) to win his master category, just ahead of Patrick Muldoon (58:05), then Gerry Gavin (58:56), Kieran Nolan (60:35), John O’Reilly (60:43), Enda O’Carolan (61:31), Matt Glennon (61:33) third in his master category, Eoin Clarke (61:57), Alan Crowley (63:41), Philip Burke (65:39), Stephen Naughton (67:46), Ollie Gaffney (68:50), Paul Ginnell (69:14), Sean Liston (69:13), Robin Jackson (69:40), Joan Flynn (71:17), Enda Seery, Siobhan McCarthy (72:43), Tommy Conroy, Michelle O’Halloran (73:12), Doug Bates, Mervyn Kennedy, Bernard Groenewald, Jason McCabe, Suzanne Scanlan, Richard Ferris, Stephen Bell, Eamonn O’Reilly, Criona Reid, Michael O’Sullivan, Olivia Cronin, Marna Groenewald, Deirdre McHugh and Lucia Brady. In the team results, the Mullingar men finished 1st Club and there was a team prize for the Mullingar women too, so a very successful day out in Trim.
Raheny 5 Mile
Continuing his excellent pre-Christmas form, Mark Christie got 2017 off to a winning start in the Raheny 5 mile on Sunday 29th January, a race he last won in 2014. Despite the cool, wet and windy day the event organized by Raheny AC attracted a huge attendance of more than 3,300 finishers, all eager to run in one of the best regarded road races on the circuit. Pre-race commentary was all about the contest between Mark and Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrocks) and that’s exactly how it turned out as the race quickly turned into a two-way battle between the two but Mark had the edge in the closing stages and when he took the lead there was only going to be one result and he went on to win in 23:44, with three seconds to spare on Clohisey.
Among the huge field Mullingar had four more men in action, Eddie Newman finishing just outside the top one hundred in 28:44, followed by Ian McCormack (29:13), Kieran Nolan (29:39) and Enda Seery (34:08), and all were pleased with their performances.
AAI Junior & u/23 Indoors
Mullingar Harriers was well represented at the AAI Junior & u/23 Indoor Championships in Athlone IT on Sunday 29th January. Claire Fagan ran with her usual determination in the junior 1,500m to finish an excellent 2nd place. Claire has had an excellent cross country season and is showing good early season form indoors.
Sarah Glennon is one of the brightest young talents in Irish race walking and was a commanding winner of the junior 3,000m walk in an excellent time of 14:32.33. This was remarkable considering Sarah only turns 16 this year so is eligible for a further three years. Rachel Glennon was in contention for a medal throughout the race but in the end she had to settle for 4th place.
Another athlete with three year’s eligibility for this competition is Aoife Darby who competed in the junior 800m. Like Sarah, Aoife was undaunted by the challenge of facing older rivals and produced a stunning finish to claim 2nd position and the silver medal in a time of 2:21.20.
Odhran Cully had a good run in the very competitive heats of the junior 200m, where only the winners of each of the five heats was guaranteed to advance to the final, but unfortunately he was disqualified for a lane infringement on the tight indoor bends. This was a harsh lesson but one that will stand to him in future indoor competition.
Colin Smith is still in his first year in the sport but he negotiated his way through his heat of the junior 800m with ease. In the final, he produced an excellent effort to finish 4th in a tactical race. Colin has improved rapidly and is gaining experience with every race and he is certainly an athlete to watch this season.
Oisin Quinn contested the heats of the 800m u/23 but didn’t advance to the final. In the other heat, Shane Fitzsimons was having his first track race in over two years due to illness and injury. Despite a recent injury setback he won his heat with ease. In the final, Shane was in contention throughout and was actually leading the race with 100m remaining. However, he ultimately had to settle for 3rd place. Shane is arguably the most successful juvenile the Club has produced and it is great to see him back competing on the National stage. There is little doubt that he can re-establish himself as an International class athlete on the track over the coming months.
AAI Indoor League (Round 2)
As in the first round, the second round of the AAI Indoor League in Athlone IT on Saturday 28th January was an inter-Club event but also included a number of open races. Conor McHugh ran well in the 1,500m and to mimic the rounds in Championship racing, he followed this with the 800m where he also ran well to finish 3rd in his race in a fast time to give him great encouragement and confidence ahead of the Leinster indoors in two weeks time.
North Leinster Schools Cross Country
Well done to the many juvenile members of the Club that competed for their schools and colleges at the North Leinster Schools Cross Country in the ALSAA Grounds near Dublin Airport on Friday 27th January. No surprise that the Mullingar athletes were to the fore across all races and featured strongly in the individual and team results so will compete in big numbers at the Leinster Schools Cross Country in Santry in two weeks time.
Celtic International Cross Country
Blackweir Fields, a park right in the middle of Cardiff with the River Taff flowing through it, was the stunning setting on Sunday morning 22nd January for the Celtic International Cross Country where Mullingar had four young women competing on Irish teams against Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Aoife Darby and Caoimhe O’Brien competed in the u/17 race where Aoife had a resurgence of form and finished an excellent 20th overall in the big field of over 70 runners, the 5th finisher for Ireland and with Caoimhe also running strongly close behind they were delighted to play their part in helping Ireland to finish 2nd team behind Scotland. Also running extremely well in perfect conditions, Claire Fagan finished well up in 16th place overall in the field of over 40 that competed in the junior race, 6th Irish woman to finish on the victorious Irish team. The senior and u/23 women competed together and Elizabeth Carr continued the terrific form she had shown before Christmas to finish 2nd score for the Ireland u/23 team that finished second to Scotland. Great to see Ciara Hewson, a former Mullingar Harrier but now running with Le Chéile AC in Co. Kildare finishing well up in the u/23 race with Elizabeth and providing the vital fourth score for Ireland. Well done to Aoife, Caoimhe, Claire and Elizabeth for contributing so well to Irish success in Wales.
Leinster Star Awards for 2016
At a Gala Function in the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow on Saturday evening 21st January, supported on the night by Club officials from Mullingar Harriers and North Westmeath AC and family and friends, Athletics Leinster Star Awards for 2016 were presented to Mullingar’s Vicky Harris (senior athlete) and Aoife Darby (juvenile girl) and to North Westmeath’s Conor Fogarty (juvenile boy) and Niamh Fogarty (throws award). As Aoife was in Wales competing in the Celtic International Cross Country she obviously couldn’t be in Carlow to accept the Award in person, so Hilary Harris stepped in and accepted it on her behalf. As well as the Star Award, Vicky was delighted with a surprise birthday cake as it was her twenty first birthday on Saturday.
In addition to the individual awards, various cups and shield were also presented, among them the Jimmy Morrissey Memorial Cup for the best Club in Leinster in Juvenile cross country, which was presented to Mullingar Harriers for the sixteenth year in a row; Mullingar has won this Cup every year since it was first presented in 2001. We came a very close second in the Foley Cup for the best County in Leinster in Juvenile cross country, third in the Euro Tab Cup for juvenile u/16 to 19 outdoor T&F, but closest of all was second by just a single point in the Leinster Shield for u/9, u/10 and u/11 Pairs T&F, which is a new Club award for Mullingar to be so competitive in but reflects the brilliant performances by the Club’s youngest members last summer.
The Club continues to go from strength to strength and we expect 2017 to be another terrific year of competition. Congratulations to Aoife and Vicky on their Awards and to all the Club’s juvenile cross country teams that helped Mullingar to win the Morrissey Cup at the Leinster Star Awards for 2016.
Annual General Meeting
There was a very good attendance for the Annual General Meeting held on Friday evening 20th January in the Annebrook House Hotel and it gave an opportunity for everyone present to be reminded of the many successes enjoyed by the Club over the last year on the road, at indoor and outdoor track and field and in cross country thanks to the performances of everyone from juveniles to seniors to master athletes, and among the many highlights was Mark Christie and Jack O’Leary leading the Irish junior and senior teams respectively at the European Cross Country in Sardinia. Chairman, Joe Ryan, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and introduced the Secretary’s report and the Treasurer’s report. These were followed by the Chairman’s Address by Joe Ryan and the President’s Address by Christy Creagh. Some important issues were discussed and debated and the subscriptions rates for 2018 were also agreed and they will remain at this year’s rates. The following were elected as officers and committee members for the coming year:
Sean McMullin (President), Breda McDonnell (Vice-President), Joe Ryan (Chairperson), Caitríona Duffy (Vice-Chairperson), Tom McGrath (Treasurer), Margaret Daly (Secretary), Greg Duggan (Assistant Secretary – PRO, Registrar and Competition entries), Joanna Tyrrell (Minutes Secretary), Pauline Quinn, Margaret Daly and Greg Duggan (Child Officers), Cormac Finnerty, Pat Muldoon Senior, Vera McCool and John Shaw (Trustees). The officers and trustees are automatically on the new committee, as are Life Vice-presidents Seamus Gibney, Cormac Finnerty, Martin Fagan and now Bobbie Begley, John Mulvihill, George Bell and Christy Creagh, and will be joined by Mark Bate, Philip Burke, Declan Costello, Amanda Dalton, Joan Flynn, Colm Geoghegan, Clare O’Donnell, Aine O’Reilly and Tom Wallace who were elected to the committee.
Concluding the meeting, Joe Ryan thanked all present for their attendance and input and closed a successful AGM.
Leinster Inter. & Masters XC & Juvenile XC Relays
Dry, cool and breezy Dunboyne in Co. Meath was the convenient venue for the Leinster Intermediate and Masters Cross Country and the Juvenile Cross Country Relays on Sunday 15th January where the Club’s master teams in particular were in terrific form. Well done to Dunboyne AC for hosting the Championships and laying out an excellent course. Rain and snow in the days leading up to the event made the ground soft and sticky in places, which was tough and testing, but there was enough good running to compensate and overall it was a proper cross country course.
Before the master races, the Juvenile cross country relays were run. The Mullingar team of Adele Geoghegan, Leah Geoghegan, Lucy Donnelly, Caoimhe Kilmurray and Aimee Wallace gave a spirited performance in the 4x250m u/12 girls and with great team work and effort it came right down to a sprint finish as Aimee clinched the silver medals right on the line. No such drama in the 4x250m u/12 boys where the Mullingar quartet of Jamie Wallace, Criostoir Ormsby, Conor Liston and Callum Costello dominated from the start and led from gun to tape to win the gold medals by a distance. This was a great performance from these very talented boys. All the Mullingar team in the 4x500m u/16 boys were giving away a year but that didn’t stop Sam Smyth, Colin Smith, Lorcan Mullen and Colin McGee battling hard all the way and they were very unlucky to finish just out of the medals in fourth place, despite a great final leg by Colin McGee that brought them right back into contention but the finish line came too soon.
Moving to the master women 4,000m it was great to see Mullingar field thirteen athletes, the biggest of any Club and we had Club and County teams in the over 35 and over 50 categories. Finishing an excellent twenty fourth overall, Maura Dervin placed 2nd in her category, and was followed in by Gillian Walsh, Emer O’Hanlon just beating Nuala Moran on the line, Patricia Broderick, Brigid McCabe with a very fine run to finish 3rd in her category, Anna Martin, Siabhra Durcan, Caroline Mullen, newcomer Eileen Kenny delighted to be competing in her first outing for the Club, Lorraine Brady, Michelle Kavanagh and Geraldine Walsh. When the team scores were calculated, the team of Maura, Nuala and Patricia finished 1st Club by a big margin and 2nd County.
The master men 6,000m was the biggest race of the day, with nearly one hundred and sixty finishers. Fifteen Mullingar athletes toed the line, making it one of the biggest Club’s on the day and we even left some at home due to injury and illness, so it was a great turn-out by Mullingar. Like the women, the men had Club and County teams in the over 35 and over 50 categories. The big Mullingar group was led home by Mal McDonnell, finishing just outside the top twenty, followed by Gerry Gavin, Tom McGrath (2nd in his category), Eddie Newman, Pauric Brady, Paddy Daly, Mark McCann, Mel Carthy, Stephen Naughton, James Carton, Paul Ginnell, Pat Muldoon Senior, Sean McMullin (1st in his category) and Greg Duggan. Unfortunately Nicky McCabe was forced to stop due to a recurrence of a niggling injury, not too serious but a wise decision to stop and prevent further damage. When the team scores were calculated after the race, the Mullingar team of Tom, Eddie, Paddy and Mel were delighted to finish 1st Club and go one better that the Mullingar women and finish 1st County too.
We had no entries in the Intermediate women and Ian McCormack was the Club’s solo entrant in the final race of the day, Intermediate men 8,000m, but team or no team, Ian was determined to give it his best and he competed strongly over the tough four lap course and finished very strongly to place well up and was very satisfied with his performance.
Antrim International XC
Braving the cold in the Antrim International Cross Country on Saturday morning 14th January, Jack Moran was very pleased with his performance in the Junior men race, finishing an excellent 7th overall and 3rd finisher on the Athletics Ireland Development Squad to help the team finish 1st team by a big margin. This will give Jack added confidence ahead of the upcoming Schools cross country season where he is expected to compete for high honours.
AAI Indoor League
Some Club members got an early taste of indoor competition on Saturday 14th January in AIT in the open events at the AAI Indoor League. In action in the 60m were Mervyn Harris and Vicky Harris, and in the 800m, Colin Smith ran a fine 1:57.35 in his heat, young Conor McHugh dipped under two minutes with 1:59.31 in his heat, and it was great to see Declan Brady back competing again. It’s early yet in the season and they’ll all take something away to work on in training.
Westmeath Examiner Sports Awards for 2106
On the back of a brilliant sixth place finish in the European Junior Cross Country in Sardinia against the cream of European athletes, Jack O’Leary was nominated for the December Award of the Westmeath Examiner Sports Awards for 2016, which was presented at a Gala Function in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Friday evening 13th January. Jack couldn’t be there as he has returned to the USA where he is on an athletics scholarship at Iona College, so Joe Ryan his Coach accepted the award on his behalf and was interviewed by the host Robbie Irwin of RTE watched by Jack’s proud parents and family and a large group of supporters from the Club. At the end of the evening, it was announced that Jack also won the “Reader’s Choice” Award, accepted again by Joe, but Jack was able to say a few words of thanks by telephone, which was a lovely touch. Two awards for Jack was fantastic but the icing on the cake was the presentation of Overall Sports Award for 2016 to Gigginstown House Stud, accepted by Jack’s father, Eddie, so even more reason to celebrate for Jack and the entire O’Leary family.
With an eye ahead to the World Masters Indoors in South Korea in March, some early season competition is important to Sean McMullin, so on Sunday 8th January he competed as a guest in the 3,000m race walk at the Munster Indoors in Nenagh and came away victorious in his masters age category in a fine time of 17:20.4 to get his indoor season off to the best possible start.
Collinstown 5k and 10k
The incredibly mild and calm unseasonable weather conditions on Sunday 8th January were absolutely perfect for running and a number of Club members made the short journey to Collinstown to take part in the Lough Lene Gaels 5k or 10k.
Staying with the shorter 5k, best of the Mullingar group of the 163 finishers was Andy Nevin, finishing second in 17:06, ahead of Tom McGrath third in 17:21 and first in his master age category, then James Keegan fourth (18:31), Alan Crowley (19:18), Catriona Kennedy (20:39), first junior woman, Eoin McGrath (23:46), second junior man and Ciara Smith (24:05), third junior woman. There was a smaller entry of 83 in the longer 10k where Timmy Murphy was very pleased with his finish time of 35:31 to place second, ahead of Eddie Newman third in 35:51 and first in his master age category, then Ian McCormack (36:30), Sean Liston and PJ Ballesty completing the Mullingar contingent. Well done to all for flying the flag for Mullingar in the Club colours.
International Roll of Honour updated
Recently, when reviewing the long list of Club athletes that have been selected to represent Ireland in International competition, we discovered that because a large number of results and reports from 1990 were either lost or misplaced, two of our top stars of that year were unfortunately missed when compiling the list for our International Roll of Honour. Sharon Corcoran was one of the top underage discus throwers at that time, winning Regional and All-Ireland titles, including the All-Ireland Schools intermediate discus title for Loreto Mullingar, which earned her a well deserved selection on the Irish Schools team. We also missed Catherine Boland from Rosemount, another outstanding performer of that era and a member of a very strong Mullingar Harriers ladies squad that included Mary Gallagher, Gráinne Butler, Brigid McCabe, Paula Gowran, Maura Dervin, Glynnis Lynch, Betty McDermott and Mary Joyce (RIP). Catherine also really excelled in hill running with her amazing strength and stamina. Apologies to both ladies for the omission but better late than never and Sharon and Catherine’s names will be added to the Club’s International Roll of Honour.