A: Grange, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland | E: info@mullingarharriers.com

Q1, 2019 News & Reports – January to March




All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors, days 1 & 2


Running quicker than the time that won him the Leinster bronze medal in February saw Brian Martin finish fourth in his heat of the u/19 boys 400m on Saturday morning 30th March at day one of the All-Ireland Juvenile Indoors in Athlone IT. His time was good enough to qualify as a fastest loser to the final where he put in an excellent display and competed strongly to finish a close fifth, only narrowly outside the bronze medal position, showing that he has plenty of pace and giving him a boost of confidence for the 800m the following day.

Moving to the middle-distance events, Phoebe Bate battled hard throughout the u/16 girls 1,500m and with a ferocious turn of pace on the final lap closed right down on the medal places but just missed bronze by less than one second to finish fourth but an excellent new personal best of 4:48.88 was great consolation. Colin Smith worked hard in the u/17 boys 1,500m and began to make up ground in the closing stages and finished very strongly in an excellent seventh place, which is a great result in an All-Ireland final and his time of 4:17.09 was a new personal best. Keeping with the leading group that slowly whittled down to just four for the final laps of the u/18 boys 1,500m it looked like Eoin Quinn would win a medal but despite using every ounce of effort over the last lap he had to settle for a place just out of the medal in fourth, but took great satisfaction from a new personal best of 4:08.21.

Mullingar Harriers is becoming synonymous with race walking excellence due to the great work put in by coach Michael Lane and all five our race walkers won medals. Andrew Glennon took silver in the u/15 boys 1,000m walk, Matthew Glennon was a clear winner by a distance of the u/17 boys 1,500m walk, Jayne Walsh Smith worked hard in the u/17 girls 1,500m walk and was delighted to win bronze, Jennifer Fidgeon took silver in the u/18 girls 1,500m walk and we left the best to last with Sarah Glennon who gave a polished performance in the u/19 girls 1,500m walk to win with ease and take the gold medal.

Recent illness robbed Criostoir Ormsby of his best in the u/13 boys long jump where his first round jump was his best and he placed just out of the medals in fourth place but he’s sure to make amends come the outdoor Championships. Jayne Charles contested the u/12 girls high jump but a contentious judge’s ruling saw her eliminated for a third foul on a technicality, which was very disappointing but she too will make amends in the outdoors.

Kyle Faherty, Kyle Birney, Charles Okafor and Eve Wallace all safely negotiated the competitive 60m heats, but unfortunately Eta Oviahon didn’t advance from his heat of the u/17 boys 60m despite a fine run. Kyle Faherty ran quicker in the final of the u/13 boys 60m but was edged into third place in a close finish but was still very happy with his All-Ireland bronze medal. Kyle Birney also ran marginally quicker in the final of the u/15 boys 60m and was delighted to finish second and win the silver medal, his first All-Ireland sprint medal. Charles Okafor blasted from the blocks in the final of the u/17 boys 60m but appeared to stumble slightly mid-race though he recovered very well and still managed to run a fantastic 7.03 seconds, which placed him a very close second to win his first All-Ireland sprint medal too. We finished with the final of the u/19 girls 60m where Eve Wallace lined up in her final juvenile indoor 60m race, as she will be junior next year, but finished out of the medal places.


The clocks changed overnight, but not the relentless hunt for medals by the Mullingar athletes and first into action on day two on Sunday morning 31st March were the 200m sprinters where Charles Okafor and Eta Oviahon contested the heats of the u/17 boys 200m. Unfortunately Eta didn’t advance to the final to join Charles who had won his heat comfortably to advance to the final where he blasted away to an early lead but was closed down at the top of the second bend and despite his best efforts on the home straight he couldn’t retake the lead and finished a close second to win his second All-Ireland silver medal of the week-end. Awa Fane was clearly under the weather in her heat of the u/19 girls 200m and though she still qualified as a fastest loser for the final she wisely decided not to run and risk making herself more ill.

Kyle Birney competed in the u/15 boys high jump but finished out of the medal places but enjoyed the experience. Criostoir Ormsby competed in the u/13 boys high jump and finished an excellent fifth place in a great competition.

Matthew Molloy surged to the front from the start of the u/12 boys 600m final and was never troubled and went on to win by a big margin. Conor Liston employed similar front-running tactics in the u/13 boys 600m final and was only troubled for a brief spell at 300m but quickly regained the lead and surged ahead at the bell to win well, even having time to raise a celebratory arm as he crossed the line. Making short work of her heat of the u/14 girls 800m, Aimee Wallace bided her time in the final and ran with the leading group for three of the four laps, only taking the lead and striking for home at the bell to open a small lead, which she managed to keep until she was caught and passed with less than ten metres to go and crossed the line in second place to win the silver medal. Another casualty to illness was Callum Costello and he just never got going in his heat of the u/14 boys 800m and didn’t advance to the final. Diarmuid Fagan safely negotiated the heats of the u/15 boys 800m but by the third lap of the final he began to slowly drop off the pace, perhaps a sign of some residual tiredness from his recent efforts over schools cross country and though he worked very hard was unable to get back on terms and despite a good finish he placed sixth, out of the medal places. A temporary set-back for sure and we’re sure to see Diarmuid successfully compete for All-Ireland honours in the outdoors this summer. Unfortunately Colin McGee finished out of the qualification places in his heat of the u/17 boys 800m and didn’t advance to the final to join Colin Smith who qualified for from his heat. In the final, Colin Smith worked himself nicely into the leading group and lay third at the bell but was slowly pulled back and pushed into fifth by the finish but took satisfaction from a new personal best of 2:01.24 and edges ever closer to breaking the two minute barrier. We got back in the medals thanks to Eoin Quinn who timed his move perfectly on the final lap of the u/18 boys 800m final when he moved into third place and accelerated smoothly and go clear of the pack to finish third and win the bronze medal. Brian Martin was very unlucky in the u/19 boys 800m to miss qualifying for the final by just one place, only about a half second away.

That concluded day two and over the two days, Mullingar athletes had won 13 medals and 3 finished in fourth place to put this among the best All-Ireland juvenile indoor finals for the Club for many years, which is a great testament to the hard work everyone put in at training.

Dunboyne 10k

Previously the Dunboyne 4 Mile, the new Dunboyne 10k on Sunday afternoon 31st March proved a huge success for Dunboyne AC and great organisation by the host Club attracted entrants from Counties near and far and had 850 finishers. The flat fast course was very well received by everyone, many recording personal bests for the distance. Padraig Moran finished well up in eighth place in 31:29 to continue his current streak of good form and Enda Seery was satisfied with his finish in 39:55. Aine O’Reilly finished in 37:53, fifth woman and second in her master category, and with support from Elizabeth Carr (38:09), Michelle Bohan (40:58), Michelle O’Halloran (45:17) third in her master category and Emer Foley (46:21) fourth in her master category, led the Mullingar women team to 1st Club to transfer cross country team success to the road. The women collected a nice cash prize for their efforts and a cup to show off at the Club! Well done to all the Mullingar athletes, particularly our victorious women team.

World Masters Indoors

Even though it’s obviously an Indoor Championships, the World Masters Indoors in Toruń (Poland) included some outdoor events such as 10k road race, 10k road walk and even cross country. Among the very large Irish team and flying the flag for Mullingar were Sean McMullin and Eileen Kenny.

Sean McMullin started his campaign on Monday afternoon 25th March with the 3,000m race walk where he finished just out of the medals in fourth place, only missing the bronze medal by a narrow margin. As a measure of the standard of competition that Sean was up against, the event was won in a new World record and it took a season’s best performance by the athlete in third to hold off Sean in the battle for the bronze medal. This was a great result against the very best master athletes in the World and while he obviously would have liked to win a medal, Sean has to be very satisfied with his performance. Sean had until Friday lunchtime 29th March to recover for the 10k Road Walk and the longer distance clearly suited him better and he lived up to his pre-race billing as a realistic medal prospect by finishing second to win the silver medal, showing great determination and grit to pull clear and hold off a late challenge and earn his place on the medal podium.

The 8k Cross Country on Monday afternoon 25th March took place over a very challenging course and despite a good effort to finish in 41 minutes 46 seconds, Eileen Kenny had to settle for a place out of the medals in seventh. She had much better fortune two days later in the 10k Road Race early on Wednesday morning 27th March, which was a combined men and women race with a huge entry of 340, where Eileen dug deep and with a strong run that produced a season’s best of 46 minutes 41 seconds, she was delighted to place third in her master category and win the bronze medal, within striking distance of the silver medal, to add another World masters medal to her growing collection.

Tullamore 5k

The first of the eight-race Offaly road race series, the Tullamore 5k, took place on Sunday morning 24th March and among the impressive entry of nearly 600 was Stephen Campbell who raced hard from the start and had plenty of good company to keep the pace going throughout the race and finding an extra bit for his customary fast finish was happy to place thirteenth overall in a time of 17:18.

SIAB Schools Cross Country International

Diarmuid Fagan (Colaiste Mhuire) became the Club’s latest International athlete when he competed for Ireland at the SIAB Schools Cross Country International on Saturday 23rd March in Santry Demesne, Dublin against teams from England, Scotland and Wales. It was cool but sunny and there was very little wind, so conditions were perfect for running. Underfoot conditions were firm and while the hilly twisting course in Santry was not easy, it provided a testing but fair challenge for all participants. Diarmuid was part of the eight strong Irish team in the junior boys (u/15) 4,000m race and despite suffering a sore ankle he gave an excellent account of himself, finishing sixth score for Ireland, which helped Ireland to finish third team and secure the bronze team medals. This was a really well deserved honour for Diarmuid and just reward for the dedication and diligence he has shown in training and now that he has made his International debut his name will be added to the Club’s International Roll of Honour.

St. Patrick’s Festival 5k

The St. Patrick’s Festival 5k had to be cancelled last year due to the weather, so its return on holiday Monday 18th March was eagerly awaited and host Club Metro St. Brigid’s AC were delighted to welcome nearly 1,300 runners, joggers and walkers for one of Ireland’s fastest city 5k races that attracts locals and plenty of overseas visitors. Mullingar was ably represented by Patrick Muldoon and he finished well up in sixtieth place in a time of 17:43, which he was more than satisfied with.

Mullingar Half Marathon

All the hard work and graft in training over many months put in by a group of more than forty of our adult members came to fruition on St. Patrick’s Day when they lined up with nearly 1,400 others in the middle of Mullingar Town at the start of the Mullingar Half Marathon, the fifth edition of the event that has gained a very strong reputation and continues to grow and go from strength to strength. The event was a fundraiser for TEAM (Temporary Emergency Accommodation Mullingar), a very deserving local cause. Whatever about the cold, or the heavy rain showers, it was surely the wind that was the main talking point after the race. In previous years the runners faced near freezing conditions but at least the wind was on their backs for the second half, but this year they started with a tailwind but on the return leg had to run into a stiff headwind with quite a biting wind chill factor for the last few miles along the exposed stretches of the Royal Canal, guaranteed to take its toll on tired legs trying to press for home and the finish in Mullingar Town Park. Every runner knows that no amount of tail wind assistance going out makes up for a stiff headwind on the way back!

Even though it was a charity event, and for most the event was simply a chance to run the distance in company, a race is still a race and they ran hard from the start looking to record a good time on a fast mostly flat course. Despite the wind, the winning time of 1:08:01 was actually the quickest yet and in fact the top 4 men all ran quicker than any previous winner, so clearly they weren’t disadvantaged by the conditions! The race winner was Tom Fitzpatrick (Tallaght AC) in 1:08:01, closely followed by Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham) in 1:08:06 and JP Carty (Sligo) in 1:08:18. The first woman was Adrianna Mulligan (Longford AC) in 1:22:44, closely followed by Elizabeth Carr (Mullingar Harriers) 1:22:59 and Aisling O’Connor (Edenderry) in 1:23:08.

The first finisher for Mullingar Harriers was Andrew Nevin in eleventh place (1:16:21), followed by James Keegan in sixteenth (1:18:52), Eddie Newman eighteenth overall (1:19:04) and first in his master category, Kieran Nolan (1:22:39), Elizabeth Carr (1:22:59) second woman to finish, Alan Crowley (1:23:01), Brian Collentine (1:29:07), James Cribbin (1:29:27), Ger Brady (1:31:46), Paul Ginnell (1:34:11), Joan Flynn (1:35:22) and Nollaig McEntegart (1:35:42) first in his master category. There then followed a steady stream of finishers in the distinctive maroon and white of Mullingar, including Robin Jackson, Ollie Gaffney, Breda Daly, Stephen Naughton, Michelle O’Halloran, Bernard Groenewald, Willie Ahearne, Declan Costello, Joan Hickson, Colm Walsh, Jenny Algar, Criona Reid, Gerard Flynn, Jane Creevy, Andy Quinn, Emer O’Hanlon, Joe Fagan, Michael O’Sullivan (despite being clipped from behind at 5 miles and taking a bad fall but he did very well to get up and run on), Stephen Olwell, Ann Hall, John Bannon, Siobhan Farry, Caroline Mullen, Tommy Archbold, Pauline Troy, Thomas Cully, Kevin O’Brien, Caroline Robinson, Ruth Greene, Raymond Smith, John Callaghan, Anna Redmond, Des Walsh (second in his master category) and Geraldine Walsh (first in her master category). Congratulations to them all from everyone at the Club.

Streets of Portlaoise 5k

Drawing such top class athletes as John Travers (Donore Harriers) and Linda Byrne (DSD) the Streets of Portlaoise 5k continues to grow in popularity and over 900 runners, joggers and walkers took part on St. Patrick’s Day. Padraig Moran kept in contention in what was a very competitive race upfront and was rewarded with an excellent sixth place finish in 15:01 and has good reason to be very pleased with his effort. Sinead Whitelaw finished strongly alongside Ken Whitelaw in an excellent 18:07, which placed her sixth woman in a very competitive women’s entry. These were fast times by Padraig and Sinead and will give them great confidence for the season ahead.

AAI Masters Indoors

The AAI Masters Indoors took place in Athlone IT on Sunday 10th March and we know the Mullingar group that competed were very thankful to be indoors and out of the cold wind, the rain and the occasional shower of sleet!

Demonstrating that he reacts well to the pressure of better competition, Sean McMullin won his category of the 3,000m race walk with ease, finishing faster than the week before when he won the Leinster Masters, so he is coming right into form and this will give him a boost of confidence for the World Masters Indoors in Poland in two weeks time. Colm Walsh also competed in 3,000m race walk and was very satisfied to come away with silver in his category in a new event for him.

Gerard Gavin worked hard in the 3,000m run and was understandably a bit disappointed to finish down the field and out of the medals, but knows he left nothing behind. It was a similar fate for Pauric Brady in the 1,500m where he ran quicker than in the Leinsters the week before but finished out of the medal places. Tom Walsh was in great form and delighted to take the bronze medal in the shot putt, but even happier to win the weight for distance event in his category and finish the day on top of the medal podium.

Bohermeen Half Marathon

Most of the Club’s adult distance runners were saving themselves for the Mullingar Half Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day but an exception was Patrick Muldoon who celebrated his birthday on Sunday 10th March by competing with over 1,200 others in cold and windy conditions at the Bohermeen Half Marathon and he was very pleased to finish well up in seventieth place overall in 1:21:59. We hope he celebrated his performance and birthday with a slice of well earned cake after the race!

All-Ireland Schools Cross Country

The Irish Schools Cross Country Championships were held in ideal conditions at Clongowes College, Clane, Co Kildare on Saturday 9th March. Underfoot conditions were excellent and the flat course meant the pace was fast in every race. There were many excellent Mullingar performances and for Diarmuid Fagan (Colaiste Mhuire) it was a day to remember, as he secured selection to represent Ireland for the first time at the Home Countries International which will be held at Santry Demesne in two weeks.

First into action was Aimee Wallace (St Finian’s) in the Minor Girls. Aimee has been in excellent form during the indoor season and raced bravely at the front of the field for much of the race. In the end she placed sixth which was an excellent result. Aimee will now turn her attention back to the All Ireland indoors in three weeks when she races over 800m.

The Minor Boys from Colaiste Mhuire had won the Leinster title and were among the leading contenders for the All Ireland team title. Ross Killalea had a fine race to lead the team home in tenth, his highest finish at an All Ireland Cross Country to date. He was closely followed by Tadgh Sheridan and Adam Brady who were both comfortably in the top twenty finishers and with great team support including John Ryan, the rest of the team packed closely behind to ensure victory by a thirty seven point margin.

Amy Geoghegan (Mercy Kilbeggan) had an excellent race in the Junior Girls to finish in eighth place. Amy was in the leading group from the start of the race and finished strongly to gain two places over the final 400 metres. Amy is a consistent performer and can be very pleased with another top ten finish at National level.

Hopes were high that Diarmuid Fagan (Colaiste Mhuire) could become the next Mullingar Harriers athlete to represent Ireland. Diarmuid started strongly in the Junior Boys and in the early stages he made a determined move into the lead. At this point, Diarmuid lost a spike and had to race the remainder of the race with just one shoe. While this would unsettle many young athletes, Diarmuid, although disadvantaged by this occurrence, battled bravely to secure fourth place and a place on the Irish Junior Boys team that will face teams from England, Scotland and Wales in two weeks time. This is a well deserved reward for Diarmuid who has trained with dedication and consistency over the past number of months to achieve this goal.

The Intermediate Girls race saw Loreto Mullingar finish in sixth place with Phoebe Bate leading them home, ahead of Meabh Killalea. Bea Drummond (Athlone Community College) finished close behind Meabh and they were closely followed by Jennifer Fidgeon, Karla Cunningham and Meghan Bates (Loreto Mullingar).

Colaiste Mhuire had a team in the Senior Boys race and despite their best efforts they narrowly missed out on team medals in fifth place. They were led home by Euan Lagan and closely followed by Eoin Quinn and Jack Moran. Brian Martin was the fourth scorer and they were well supported by John Whitelaw, Ciaran Luby and Paul McCool.

Bundoran 10 Mile

Extremely high winds, blustery showers and a location right on the Atlantic coast meant that there was no escape from the very tough conditions for the more than 1,100 runners, joggers and walkers that competed in the Bundoran 10 Mile on Saturday morning 9th March. Among those that faced the challenge and more than up to it was Eddie Newman who battled hard and finished twenty first overall in 60:14. This was more than good enough to win his master category by a big margin to send him home to Mullingar in high spirits after the event.

Leinster Juvenile Indoors – day 3

Thankful to be indoors and out of the early morning rain that turned to sleet as the day progressed, the final day of the Leinster Juvenile Indoors took place at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, Dublin on Sunday 3rd March when the juvenile relays and a limited number of field events were held.

Having won the u/12 indoor Leinster and All-Ireland titles over 4x100m last year, all eyes were on the Mullingar team in the u/13 boys 4x200m to see how they would fare over the longer distance. Thanks to a great start from Matthew Molloy in the heat, Conor Liston, Criostoir Ormsby and Kyle Faherty were never troubled and led all the way, Kyle finishing over eight seconds clear in 1:54.32. Having got the team off to the best possible start in the heat, Matthew who is only u/12 stood aside for Jamie Wallace in the final and could sit back and cheer on the team in the final. A shuffle of running order to Criostoir, Conor, Jamie and Kyle for the final worked very well and the boys again led from the gun, increasing their lead with each runner to win in an even quicker 1:52.72 with a margin of nearly five seconds, which is very big in a sprint. With five very talented boys to select from, this team is sure to feature in the All-Ireland finals in early April.

Despite a strapping to her calf to protect it from recent injury, Shauna Leydon competed in the u/18 girls triple jump where she eased herself into the competition in the early rounds to pull comfortably clear in the fourth round, increasing her lead in the fifth with 10.19m, which was good enough to win the Leinster title. This was a good result for early in the year and is a result that should see her realistically competing for All-Ireland honours in early April.

Leinster Junior, Senior and Masters Indoors

Being among the youngest competitors competing in the junior ranks, the Leinster Junior, Senior and Masters Indoors at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, Dublin on Saturday 2nd March gave Charles Okafor and Eta Oviahon an excellent opportunity to hone their racing skills without the pressure of expecting to win. There were three very competitive heats of the Junior Men 60m and despite an excellent run in his heat, Eta didn’t advance to the final but a third place finish for Charles despite a poor start in his heat was enough to advance to the final. He had a much better start in the final and competed aggressively to finish in fourth, only narrowly missing a medal, which is an excellent performance given that he was the youngest in the race and gave away up to three years on some of the others. Competing in the Senior Men 60m, Patrick Leydon competed strongly but didn’t advance from his heat.

Pauric Brady put in a strong effort in the Master Men 1,500m but had to settle for fifth place, just out of the medals and while he was disappointed, knows he gave every effort. Sean McMullin used the Master Men 3,000m Race Walk as part of his preparations for the World Masters Indoors in Poland in three weeks time and as expected he easily took the gold medal in his category. Sean expressed satisfaction with his race after and as a measure, Sean’s time was quicker than men twenty years his junior, so he’s in fine racing form!

Eta Oviahon ran much quicker than in the Leinsters a few weeks ago but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to advance from his heat of the Junior Men 200m. Better fortune for Charles Okafor in his heat where he finished second to qualify for the final. Lane two in the final really did him no favour and though he ran a fine race, had to settle for fourth, out of the medal places, but this was another great performance from someone so young to make a Leinster junior final. Interestingly, the time he ran in the Leinsters a few weeks ago would have seen him take bronze and be right in the hunt for silver, so he’s definitely a rising sprint star. Second place in his heat of the Senior Men 200m saw Patrick Leydon qualify for the final but being so tall, drawing lane three was not ideal for him and though he worked hard he finished fourth, just out of the medal places.

Always in contention, Colin Smith put in an excellent performance in the Senior Men 800m and was rewarded with a silver medal, only losing by a very narrow margin. We ended the day with the Master Men 3,000m where Gerard Gavin ran a solid race and was very satisfied to finish second and take the Leinster silver medal in his category.

Irish Universities Cross Country

The competitors at the Irish Universities Cross Country at St. Mary’s College in Galway on Saturday morning 2nd March had to endure very harsh cold, wet and windy conditions guaranteed to test the mettle of them all.

Competing for DCU, Claire Fagan put in a great performance to finish very strongly in sixth, the fourth scorer for the DCU team, just mere seconds away from the bronze medal, and with Linda Conroy right on her heels in seventh competing “one year down” for DCU as she graduated last year, and Susan Glennon also playing her part, the DCU women finished 1st team by a big margin. In the men’s race Jamie Battle (DCU) put in a great shift to finish in fifth place, the third score for the DCU team, and with great support from Oisin Quinn (DCU), the result was an equally emphatic victory for the DCU men team.

Kinvara Half Marathon and 10k

Taking place in what could be best described as conditions from hell with near gale force winds and driving rain, the Kinvara Half Marathon and 10k in Galway on Saturday morning 2nd March still attracted huge entries, despite the awful conditions. Mullingar had three among the nearly 580 for the 10k race, led home by Vera McCool in 49 minutes 30 seconds to take third prize in her master category, followed by Paul McCool and Joanne Charles. Just over 500 toed the line for the half marathon where Geraldine Langtry was very happy to survive the horrendous conditions and finish in 1 hour 56 minutes and 8 seconds. Once they were done running, all were extremely happy to retreat quickly indoors to the warm and dry and to enjoy the post-race beverages and refreshments and no doubt trade war stories of their efforts!




Duleek & District AC 5k

Nearly 400 runners, joggers and walkers took part in the Duleek & District AC 5k in Duleek, Co. Meath on Sunday afternoon 24th February in cool but dry conditions, which were perfect for running. Gerard Gavin finished 25th overall in 17:49 and Linda Cunningham finished in 23:33, both well up in their respective master categories and after the race expressed satisfaction with their performances.

Kinsale 10 Mile

It was a bit dull and grey on Sunday morning 24th February for the first holding of the Kinsale 10 Mile, a new race in Kinsale, Co. Cork which took place on a demanding but fair course with plenty of ups and downs and a very strong headwind on the final two miles. For a debut race, it attracted an impressive entry of over 650, among them Patrick Muldoon finishing 35th overall in 62:18 and Pat Muldoon Senior in 77:03. By all accounts, the race was extremely well organised and there is no doubt but it is set to grow in popularity in the coming years and the Muldoon men are sure to be regular repeat participants.

Connacht Indoors

Jamie Battle and Cormac Dalton raced in the 5,000m at the Connacht Indoors on Saturday 23rd February in Athlone IT and finished the indoor season with fine performances. Jamie was targeting the European Junior 5,000m qualification standard of 14:40. It was his first indoor 5,000m indoor race but was undaunted by the twenty five laps. He stuck diligently to his race plan and produced an excellent final 400m to finish in a time of 14:37.10, a PB by a margin of twenty eight seconds. This was inside the standard required and he can now look forward to the European Junior Track & Field Championships, which will be held in Borås, Sweden in July. This is a great achievement for Jamie who has previously represented Ireland at the European Cross Country Championship and can now look forward to his first major track championship.

Cormac Dalton also produced an excellent race to finish closely behind Jamie in a time of 14:46.86. This was also a PB by over thirty seconds. Following an excellent cross country season, Cormac is continuing to make rapid progress as a distance runner and is firmly established as one of Ireland’s leading u/23 endurance athletes. Both Cormac and Jamie have shown great dedication to their training over the past few years and are consistently improving as a result.

Manx Harriers “Murray Lambden Memorial Open Walks”

The annual Manx Harriers AC Open Race Walking Festival held on Saturday morning 23rd February at the National Sports Centre in Douglas, Isle of Man was re-named this year as the “Murray Lambden Memorial Open Walks”. It had a new name, but the event still provides the same excellent early year competition opportunity for race walkers.

Oisin Lane won the 10k Race Walk in 46:09, a new PB by 51 seconds and comfortably inside the Athletics Ireland standard for the Junior Men 10k at the European Race Walking Cup in Lithuania in May and nearly two and a half minutes inside last year’s European Youth T&F standard, which is important, as Oisin is still eligible this year to compete in the European Youth Olympics in Azerbaijan in July. Following Oisin home in an excellent third place was Matthew Glennon in 48:54, an excellent 10k debut for Matthew who is still 15 years of age and doesn’t turn 16 until November this year.

Armagh 5k

Organised by Armagh AC and attracting elite athletes from all over the World, including the UK, Europe and the USA, the Armagh 5k on Thursday evening 21st February saw Finland’s Topi Raitanen win the Men’s 5k race in 13:43, a new course record by 11 seconds to add to the event’s reputation as one of the fastest 5k road races in the World. Among the 204 men that toed the line for the 5 lap race around The Mall in Armagh City, was Padraig Moran and Timmy Murphy and they were very satisfied to finish in 14:50 and 15:44 respectively and be part of a super fast race.

AAI Senior Indoor Championships

Mullingar was represented by Sarah Glennon, Rachel Glennon, Claire Fagan and Shane Fitzsimons at the AAI Senior Indoor Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Abbottstown on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February.

Sarah and Rachel were first into action on Saturday in the 3,000m race walk. Sarah tagged on to the back of the leading group right from the start and kept in close contact until about half way when she had to let the leaders go but by then was comfortably lying in third place and she kept her position to finish in 14:18.78 and win the bronze medal, her first All-Ireland senior indoor medal. Rachel also put in a strong performance and finished very strongly to place seventh.

Running in the second of two women 1,500m heats, with only the first four and next two fastest times advancing to the final, Claire Fagan put in a very fast final lap and closed right up on the leading group in the home straight to finish a close fifth but her time was fast enough to qualify for the final on Sunday. The final was run at a good honest pace from the start and Claire did her best to stay in touch but despite a good effort and fast finish she finished down the field out of the medal places.

In contrast, Shane Fitzsimons took no chances in his heat of the men 1,500m and taking the lead at the halfway mark he pushed on to win it well and qualify for Sunday’s final. The opening laps of the final were run at a typically cautious Championship pace and biding his time at the back of the closely packed group to the halfway point, Shane reprised his tactic of the heat and surged to the front and led the field into the final lap. Going down the back straight for the final time, Shane had to surrender the lead and was slowly pushed into fourth, a place he held to the finish, out of the medals but an excellent effort and it was a great race to watch.

AAI Juvenile Star Award for Awa Fane

On foot of gold in the All-Ireland indoor and outdoor 200m and silver in the All-Ireland outdoor 100m last year, Awa Fane was honoured by Athletics Ireland at a Gala Function in the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore on Saturday evening 16th February when she was presented with the National Juvenile Star Award for Westmeath for 2018, a very worthy winner for Westmeath.

The Club was honoured too and received the Kennedy Cup for Best Juvenile Cross Country Club in Ireland in 2018, marking four years in a row that Mullingar has won this cup. This comes as a result of the nine sets of team medals won by Mullingar in the autumn cross country championships in 2018. Leinster also retained the Bishop McFeeley Cup for Best Juvenile Cross Country Region and with Mullingar athletes scoring on seven of the thirteen Leinster teams that won medals we can take some of the credit for helping Leinster to win this cup too. These cups are a great testament to the hard work put in by our outstanding juvenile athletes and their coaches. They are all to be congratulated and can be very proud of themselves and their achievements.

AIT International Grand Prix

The capacity crowd at the AIT International Grand Prix on Wednesday evening 13th February was treated to a feast of top class athletics from a number of International athletes and some of the best Irish athletes. The results are littered with personal bests, season’s bests and stadium records, further reinforcing the reputation of AIT as a very fast track. The home-crowd pleasers included Ciara Mageean winning the 1,500m in 4:06.76, a National record and stadium record, victory for Mark English in the 800m and Thomas Barr taking second in the 400m by hurling himself over the finish line.

Having become the first Irishman to run a sub-four minute mile indoors on Irish soil last year, John Travers (Donore Harriers) improved on his time when he finished fourth in the men’s mile in 3:58.48, behind Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski (3:56.41) and Australia’s Stewart McSweyn (3:56.46) and Ryan Gregson (3:56.85). Other highlights included Gayon Evans (Jamaica) winning the women’s 60m final in 7.27 seconds and Asia’s fastest man, Bingtian Su (China) setting a new stadium record of 6.52 seconds in the men’s 60m final.

Mullingar was represented by Shane Fitzsimons and he clearly reveled in being pitted against some top class International and domestic opposition in the 800m, including eventual winner Mark English, and Shane rose to the occasion by recording a new indoor PB of 1:50.26. As an indication of the standard of competition Shane was one of three in the race that recorded personal bests and though he would have liked to have dipped under 1:50, was still pleased and more than justified his invitation to compete.

Leinster Schools Cross Country

In mild conditions and with good underfoot conditions, the Leinster Schools Cross Country took place in Santry Demesne on Wednesday 13th February, and a number of the Club’s athletes were competing for their schools and colleges looking for qualification to the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Finals in Clongowes Wood College in March.

Aimee Wallace (St. Finian’s College) secured her place at the finals with an excellent 8th place finish in the Minor Girls race. In the Minor Boys race, Ross Killalea (Colaiste Mhuire) finished a close 4th place and with great support from Adam Brady in 10th, John Ryan and Tadhg Sheridan, the boys finished 1st team to book their places in the All-Ireland Finals. Amy Geoghegan (Mercy Kilbeggan) was delighted with her 5th place finish in the Junior Girls race to advance to the finals. In the corresponding Junior Boys race Diarmuid Fagan was in the leading group from the start and with 300m to go made his move for home but was outsprinted and finished a close 2nd place and will be someone to watch in the All-Ireland finals. A 10th place finish saw Phoebe Bate, supported by Jennifer Fidgeon, Meabh Killalea and Meghan Bates, lead the Loreto Mullingar Intermediate Girls team to 2nd place. Colin Smith gave a very good account in the Intermediate Boys race where he fought hard all the way and finished in the top twenty. Caoimhe O’Brien (Loreto Mullingar) finished in 7th place in the Senior Girls race to advance to the finals. In the final race of the day, Euan Lagan finished strongly in 13th place in the Senior Boys race to lead the Colaiste Mhuire team of Jack Moran, Eoin Quinn, John Whitelaw, Ciaran Luby, Andrew Daly, Brian Martin and Paul McCool to 3rd place.

Leinster Juvenile Indoors – days 1 & 2

The Leinster Juvenile Indoors were held over two action-packed days in Athlone on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February and despite a number unable to compete for a variety of reasons, Mullingar was very well represented on both days and 31 medals were won, records broken, personal bests achieved, and personal goals met, but most importantly everyone gave it their best effort.

As is customary in recent times, the Mullingar race walkers were in absolutely brilliant form and they all won medals. Andrew Glennon won the u/15 boys 1,000m walk, Jayne Walsh-Smith was second in the u/17 girls 1,500m walk, Jennifer Fidgeon won the u/18 girls 1,500m walk, Sarah Glennon won the u/19 girls 1,500m walk in a new Championship Best Performance (CBP) of 6:45.90, taking 5.72 seconds off the previous best set in 2014, Matthew Glennon won the u/17 boys 1,500m walk in a new CBP of 6:33.55 taking a whopping 43 seconds off the previous best set way back in 2006, and finally Oisin Lane won the u/18 boys 1,500m walk in a new CBP of 6:02.07, bettering the previous 2004 best by an impressive 33 seconds. Our race walkers continue to lead the way under the expert guidance of their dedicated coach, Michael Lane.

Shauna Leydon competed in the u/18 girls 400m where she ran a very aggressive opening lap in the second of three heats, leading at the bell to put herself in contention for qualification to the final. She had to concede the lead on the final bend and though finishing strongly, finished third and missed a place in the final but deserves top marks for effort. The u/19 boys 400m was a straight final and Brian Martin must have been inspired by Shauna’s performance as he too blasted from the start to lead at the bell and his strength from 800m and cross country really showed as he made the rest of the field work very hard to catch him. The early fast pace caught up with him though and he was passed in the closing stages but fought very hard to stay in the medal places and finished third, only a shade away from second, but was still very pleased with his bronze medal.

All the 1,500m races were straight finals and it was great to see Phoebe Bate back in medal winning form as she took bronze in the u/16 girls 1,500m. Tadgh Kenny competed well in the u/16 boys 1,500m but finished out of the medal places. Colin Smith fought tooth and nail in the home straight of the u/17 boys 1,500m and was rewarded with a well deserved silver medal. Also rewarded for fine effort was Eoin Quinn in the u/18 boys 1,500m taking bronze, with Oisin Lane finishing strongly in fifth place. We finished with the u/19 girls 1,500m where Aoife Darby competed well but finished out of the medals in fourth place.

Meanwhile, in the field events, Mullingar had three boys in the u/13 long jump, where Criostoir Ormsby left the best to the last of his jumps to clinch the silver medal, with James Flynn in fourth missing a medal by a very small margin of a few centimetres, and Alex Lynch also jumping very well and to finish well up in the big field of competitors.

It’s hard to emulate the performances of our race walkers, but Mullingar’s 60m sprinters certainly gave it a good go! It took five heats to narrow the numbers down in the u/12 girls 60m but Lydia McDonnell, Jayne Charles, Emily Farrell, Eileen Farrell and Síofra O’Reilly didn’t advance to the semi-finals to join Katie Kilmurray who won her heat and placed second in her semi-final to earn her place in the final where she battled hard but finished out of the medals. Alex Lynch ran well in his heat of the u/13 boys 60m but didn’t advance to the final to join Kyle Faherty, Criostoir Ormsby and James Flynn who qualified with ease from their heats. Leading from the gun, Kyle was untroubled and won very comfortably, followed in by Criostoir in third and James finishing well, but out of the medals this time. Newcomer Kyle Birney impressed by winning his heat of the u/15 boys 60m and in the final was delighted to win the silver medal, his first Leinster medal. Equally impressive were newcomers Charles Okafor and Eta Oviahon who qualified for the final of the u/17 boys 60m where Charles was simply too good and recorded a convincing victory to earn his first Leinster title, with Eta running strongly but finishing out of the medals on this occasion. Eve Wallace has reason to be very satisfied with her fourth place finish in the u/19 girls 60m final and continues to make excellent progress as a sprinter. Odhran Mulvihill had a straight final in the u/19 boys 60m and though he finished out of the medals was happy to have run in a Leinster sprint final. Also competing in the 60m but not advancing to their finals from the very competitive heats was Eoin Donohue (u/12 boys), Muireann Donohue and Orla Manning (u/13 girls), Anna May Flannery and Caoimhe McGee (u/14 girls), Callum Costello (u/14 boys), and Aoife O’Connor and Alanna Costello (u/16 girls) but top marks for effort.

Day two on Sunday started with the 200m sprints and Mullingar’s sprinters impressed over the longer distance, just as they had done over the shorter 60m the day before. Alanna Costello contested the u/16 girls 200m but despite good effort didn’t advance form the extremely competitive heats. Charles Okafor easily won his heat of the u/17 boys 200m to advance to the final as the clear favourite, but unfortunately wasn’t joined by Eta Oviahon who didn’t advance from his heat. Charles wore the mantle of pre-race favourite with ease and stormed to victory to win his second Leinster title of the week-end. On to the u/19 girls 200m where Awa Fane and Eve Wallace qualified for the final and in the final Awa dominated to win at a canter to take the title, with Eve finishing strongly in fifth place. Odhran Mulvihill ran his second sprint final of the week-end, the u/19 boys 200m and though he finished out of the medals can take satisfaction from competing in Leinster sprint finals.

Jayne Charles, Katie Kilmurray, Ella Barry and Lydia McDonnell contested well in the u/12 girls 600m heats but didn’t qualify for the final. Cian Corcoran and Matthew Molloy won their heats of the u/12 boys 600m to qualify for the final, but weren’t to be joined by Arthur Drummond, Niall Brady, Luke Greene or Txema Lozano, despite them competing well in their respective heats. In the final, Matthew had to work hard but had enough in reserve in the closing stages to win in 1:41.98, a new Championship Best Performance previously held by our own Philip McCartan. Cian ran quicker than in his heat, always a sign of a good competitor, but finished out of the medals. Morgan Corcoran and Orla Manning made it safely through the heats of the u/13 girls 600m but unfortunately not so for Rachel Murphy and Muireann Donohue though they raced well. In the final, Morgan finished at a fierce pace and dived at the line only to finish fourth, denied the bronze medal by just three hundredths of a second, with Orla running quicker than in her heat and finishing strongly but out of the medals. Unfortunately Daniel McDermott and Ryan Bell didn’t advance from their heats of the u/13 boys 600m to join Conor Liston and Jamie Wallace who impressed in their heats to reach the final. Going hard from the gun in the final, Conor raced to victory by a good margin and while for much of the race it looked like Jamie might join Conor on the medal podium, Jamie had to relinquish third place on the final bend and though he rallied on the home straight came home in fifth place, out of the medals places but gave it every effort and you can’t ask for more than that.

Eoin Donohue contested the u/12 boys 60m hurdles but didn’t advance from the tough heats. A heavy fall by Kyle Faherty in his heat of the u/13 boys 60m hurdles put paid to any chance he had of advancing to the final. Sonny Drummond was delighted to qualify for the final of the u/15 boys 60m hurdles where he ran well but finished out of the medals. Shauna Leydon put Mullingar in the hurdles medals with a fine run in the u/18 girls 60m hurdles where she finished very strongly in third place, only a few hundredths of a second away from the silver medal.

It wasn’t all track action of course, and Jayne Charles leaped to bronze in the u/12 girls high jump, Criostoir Ormsby took silver in the u/13 boys high jump, missing the gold only on count-back, and 60m sprint silver medal winner Kyle Birney showed great versatility by winning silver in the u/15 boys high jump. Taking part in the very competitive long jumps but finishing out of the medals was Arthur Drummond, Eoin Donohue and Niall Brady (u/12 boys), Caoimhe Donohue (u/14 girls) and Alanna Costello (u/16 girls).

Moving to the 800m, Aimee Wallace looked comfortable in her heat of the u/14 girls 800m to advance to the final, but unfortunately wasn’t joined by Caoimhe Donohue, Orla McDermott or Lucy Donnelly. Aimee bided her time in the final and when the time came on the last lap she unleashed her trademark sprint to come home the winner in an impressive 2:19.07, a new Championship Best Performance. We had three in the final of the u/14 boys 800m, Philip McCartan, Callum Costello and Daire McDonald, but unfortunaly we couldn’t make it five as Pablo Lozano and David Burke didn’t advance form the fiercely competitive heats. Philip took up the running in the final, with Callum tracking him in third place and Daire also running well. Coming into the final bend, Philip looked to be too far ahead to catch but Callum dug deep and with great determination went into second place and chased Philip hard right to the line, but just ran out of track to finish a very close second to Philip who took the Leinster title. We had five entered in the u/15 boys 800m but Adam Brady, Lucas Lozano and Adam Smyth were unlucky not to advance to the final with Diarmuid Fagan and Ross Killalea who put in sterling performances, Diarmuid coming home in second place and Ross in fifth. Colin Smith showed impressive determination in the u/17 boys 800m final to take second place in a tight battle to the finish, with Colin McGee also finishing well up but out of the medals. There was no stopping Eoin Quinn who won the u/18 boys 800m with ease, and Aoife Darby was very satisfied to take silver in the u/19 girls 800m, and Brian Martin showed why he had won a medal in the 400m as he put in a very fast finish to take silver in the u/19 boys 800 to finish the day off for Mullingar on the medal podium.

We ended an excellent Championship where Mullingar was represented by a total of 65 athletes in 96 events and won 14 gold medals, 5 of them in new Championship Records, 11 silver medals and 6 bronze medals, and another 4 finished in fourth place to make this a truly memorable Leinster Championships. Mullingar is going to be very well represented at the All-Ireland Finals and quite a number of our athletes are real medal prospects.

Irish University Indoors

The Club was very well represented by a strong group of athletes at the Irish University Indoors in Athlone IT on Friday 8th February. Cormac Dalton (DCU) took the pace out for much of the 3,000m, with team-mate Jamie Battle (DCU) close behind but as the pace increased in the closing stages they had to ease off a bit but still finished strongly, Jamie in 5th and Cormac close behind in 7th. First medal of the day came from Sarah Glennon (DCU) in the 1,500m race walk where she raced strongly keeping in contention throughout, finishing second and winning the silver medal.

On to the 200m where Vicky Harris (Athlone IT) won her heat, followed in by Awa Fane (Waterford IT) and both qualified comfortably for the final where Vicky just had the edge to finish third and win the bronze medal, with Awa close behind in 4th. Vicky graduated last year, so was competing “one year down” in her final intervarsity indoors and was delighted to go out with a medal; for Awa, her intervarsity career is just beginning and fourth in her first outing was an excellent result. Patrick Leydon (NUI Maynooth) was 3rd in his heat just outside his PB for the distance indoors, with Odhran Cully (Trinity College) close behind him in fourth, but unfortunately neither qualified for the final.

Second place with ease in his heat of the 800m saw Colin Smith (DCU) line out in the final as a serious medal contender 800m but was very unlucky to finish just out of the medals in fifth place in a very close race. Claire Fagan (DCU) gave a polished performance in the 3,000m and was rewarded with a very well earned bronze medal.

Vicky Harris finished her day by taking the lead leg for the Athlone IT 4x200m relay team that finished 2nd in their heat and 6th overall on time, and Odhran Cully ran the 3rd leg for Trinity in the 4x200m relay to finish 2nd in their heat and 5th overall on time. Congratulations to all our Club members that competed with distinction for their colleges.

AAI Intermediate and Masters Cross Country

The AAI Intermediate and Masters Cross Country took place in cool damp conditions in Dundalk IT on Sunday afternoon 3rd February, a welcome relief from the bitter cold of the week leading up to the event. Underfoot conditions were generally very good and the course was relatively flat with a few short sharp hills here and there, making it a fast course. Mullingar had entered an Intermediate women team and we had teams in the master men and master women races where of course everyone was also competing for individual success in the various master age categories.

First race was the Master Women 4,000m where Mullingar fielded a competitive team that stuck to their task and ran strongly throughout, led home by Maura Dervin, followed by Emer O’Hanlon, Patricia Broderick, Eileen Kenny (taking silver in her category) and Geraldine Walsh (taking gold in her category). When the results were sorted after the race, the Mullingar ladies were unlucky to finish 4th Club, just out of the team medal places by only a few points but they know they competed well and can take great satisfaction from their performances. Instead of running 7,000m in the later master men race, the older Master Men ran with the master women over 4,000m too and Des Walsh was delighted to finish third in his age category and win an individual All-Ireland bronze medal.

Nearly 250 runners competed in the Master Men 7,000m where the pace was fast from the gun but the Mullingar men ran well, digging deep and finishing strongly, led home by Eddie Newman, followed by Gerard Gavin, Patrick Muldoon, Tom McGrath, Kieran Nolan, Paddy Daly, David Fagan, Hans De Raeymaeker, Paul Ginnell and Thomas Cully. There was no individual medal success but the team of Eddie, Tom, Paddy, David, Paul and Thomas were delighted to finish 3rd Club and richly deserved their All-Ireland team medals for their efforts.

Mullingar had a very strong team in the Intermediate Women 5,000m and they kept right in touch throughout, packing well to keep themselves in the hunt for team honours. Aine O’Reilly had the signal honour of leading the Mullingar team home with a fantastic 10th place finish, just ahead of Linda Conroy in 11th and Sinead Whitelaw in 13th in a very close finish, building a solid base for team success. It was down to Breda Daly and Linda Cunningham to provide the vital remaining team score but the team was in safe hands as Breda and Linda fought hard all the way to finish well up and ensure the team finished 1st Club and 3rd County. Crowned All-Ireland Champions is a thoroughly deserved award for this very talented team and was a great way to end the day for Mullingar.

Trim 10 Mile

The weather improved dramatically just in time for the Trim 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday morning 3rd February, and the bitter cold of the previous week gave way to cool but excellent conditions for running, which clearly suited the big Mullingar group that competed among the more than 1,300 participants, and many of the Mullingar group recorded best times for the distance.

First in for Mullingar was Evan McCormack finishing well up in 30th place in 59:02 and happy to finish well inside the hour mark. Next in was Alan Crowley (64:04), then Nollaig McEntegart (68:05), 1st in his master category, Enda Seery 70:51, Ollie Gaffney (71:47), Colm McCormack (72:42), Richard Ferris (74:05) a new best time by five minutes, Mervyn Kennedy (74:33), Jane Creevy (75:17) a new best time, Joan Hickson (76:52) a new best time, Criona Reid (77:23), Declan Costello (77:31) a new best time, Ann McDonnell (79:21), Michael O’Sullivan (80:11), Pauline Troy (79:43) a new best time and 4th in her master category, and Tommy Archbold (82:31) completing the Mullingar group.

This race continues to go from strength to strength and it was great to see so many from the Club supporting it and running so well into the bargain, giving everyone plenty to cheer about.

AAI Indoor Games

The AAI Indoor Games were held at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown on Saturday 2nd February and Mullingar Harriers was well represented with five athletes in action.

Shane Fitzsimons and Colin Smith were in action in the 800m and both raced aggressively in what was their opening race of the season. Shane finished in third place in a time of 1:50.90, which is his second fastest time over 800m indoors. Colin was marginally outside his personal best and both can progress further throughout the indoor season.

Jamie Battle, Cormac Dalton and Timmy Murphy raced in the 3,000m which was surprisingly tactical in the early stages. As a result personal best times were not obtained but all three raced well in their first track race of the season. Jamie finished one place ahead of Cormac, both recording a time of 8:31, with Timmy just a few places behind.

Westmeath Examiner Sports Awards for 2018 presented

At a magnificent Gala Function in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Friday evening 1st February, the Westmeath Examiner Sports Awards for 2018 were presented. Eileen Kenny won the bronze medal in the 10k road race at the World Masters T&F Championships in Málaga, Spain, which earned her the September Award. Jamie Battle had a truly memorable breakthrough year when he finished 3rd in the All-Ireland Junior Cross Country in November 2018, which earned him automatic selection for the European Junior Cross County in the Netherlands in December where he finished 21st and led the Irish team to 5th place and earned the November Award. Eileen was there with her sisters but Jamie couldn’t be there as he had a race the following day, so his Coach Joe Ryan accepted the award on his behalf. Eileen and Joe were interviewed by the host Robbie Irwin of RTE watched by proud family and friends and a group of supporters from the Club. Congratulations to Eileen and Jamie on their Awards.




AAI Junior & u/23 Indoors

A long day of competition at the AAI Junior & u/23 Indoor Championships in Athlone IT on Sunday 27th January began with the 60m heats. There were three very competitive heats in the Junior Women 60m and Awa Fane battled well to finish a very close fourth in her heat but didn’t advance to the final. Patrick Leydon also competed well in his heat of the u/23 Men 60m but didn’t advance to the final.

Mullingar’s race walkers continue to make their mark thanks to the expert coaching by Michael Lane. In the Junior Women 3,000m walk, Sarah Glennon raced to a fine 2nd place in a new PB of 13:55.53, with Jennifer Fidgeon giving a spirited performance despite recent illness to finish just out of the medals in fourth place. Sarah is underage for one more year and Jennifer for another two, so no doubt they’ll both be challenging for honours over the next few years. Rachel Glennon stuck to her task in the u/23 Women 3,000m walk and was rewarded with a silver medal for her efforts. Oisin Lane went straight to the front in the Junior Men 3,000m walk and was never challenged to come home a clear winner in a new PB of 12:38.08, with Matthew Glennon 2nd in 13:48.01, also a PB. Oisin is underage for two more years and Matthew for three, so will set their sights on similar medal winning performances a few more times.

After the walks, the sprinters returned to the track for the 200m. Awa Fane won her heat of the Junior Women 200m at a canter to qualify for the final where she blasted from the blocks and stormed around the track to place second by just three hundredths of a second in a very tight finish with third place and earn her first All-Ireland indoor junior medal. Second in his heat of the u/23 Men 200m saw Patrick Leydon qualify as of right for the final where he ran quicker to finish just out of the medals in fourth place. Conor McHugh and Brian Martin contested the Junior Men 800m, both running strongly and with great intent and finishing third in their respective heats but just missing a place in the final by narrow margins in each case. The experience gained will stand to them for the season ahead. Shauna Leydon competed in the Junior Women Triple Jump and though she finished out of the medal places the experience of competition at this level in this very technical event will stand to her in the upcoming Leinster indoors.

Congratulations to the small group of 9 Mullingar athletes who competed with great determination, winning 4 medals between them and recording 3 PBs and they can look forward with confidence to further competition indoors in the coming weeks and months.

Raheny 5 Mile

Expertly organised as always by Raheny AC and rightly regarded as one of the very best road races in the Country, the Raheny 5 Mile drew nearly 3,900 runners, joggers and walkers to the roads around a very cold Raheny in Dublin on Sunday morning 27th January. Mullingar was represented by four, led home by Timmy Murphy in 33rd place in 26:14, followed by Eddie Newman (28:29) 2nd in his master category, Enda Seery (31:26) and Eileen Kenny (37:21) 2nd in her master category, all very satisfied with their performances, especially Eddie and Eileen who collected individual prizes.

AAI National Indoor League 2019, Round 2

Not having run sub-25 seconds for 200m in 5 years, Vicky Harris set that as her target for 2019. Competing as a guest in the Senior Women 200m at the round two of the AAI National Indoor League in Athlone IT on Saturday 26th January, Vicky dominated the race from the outside lane to win in 24.98 seconds. After the race she was naturally very happy and hugely encouraged by her performance and, as it’s so early in the season, can now revise her target downwards again.

Annual General Meeting 2019

The Club’s Annual General Meeting was held on Friday evening 25th January in the Annebrook House Hotel and was very well attended. It gave everyone present an opportunity 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 members from the very youngest juveniles up to our most senior master athletes.

There were many highlights during 2018, really too many to list them all but worthy of being singled out were Jamie Battle and Cormac Dalton who took excellent domestic cross country form to the International stage. Jamie led the Irish team to 5th place at the European junior cross country in the Netherlands and Cormac led the Irish u/23 team to victory when he won the Celtic u/23 XC International in Belfast, his first International victory. They were among 12 Club members that competed on Irish teams in 2018, including International debuts for Jennifer Fidgeon and Matthew Glennon in the Schools International T&F and Awa Fane in the Celtic International T&F. Worthy of mention too were Sarah Glennon and Oisin Lane who competed in the race walk at the European u/18 T&F in Hungary. Our masters too were prominent at International level with Eileen Kenny winning bronze in the 10k road run at the World Masters in Spain and Sean McMullin took silver in the 3k track walk and 5k road walk at the European Masters Indoors in Madrid.

Chairperson, Margaret Daly opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and introduced the Secretary’s report by Colm Walsh, the Treasurer’s report by Tom McGrath and Competition Report by Greg Duggan. These were followed by Margaret’s own Chairperson’s Address and finally the President’s Address by Sean McMullin. Club membership increased dramatically in 2018 to an all time high and the Club’s finances are in a healthy state. Some important issues and motions were discussed and debated, including major works planned at the Club grounds, some changes to the Club’s Constitution, and the increasing pressure on the coaches due to increased membership and an appeal was made for more parents to step forward and assist the existing coaches, even if only occasionally. An extra pair of hands and eyes is really all that is asked for and no coaching experience is required, as they’ll be working alongside experienced coaches, though any that wish to gain a coaching qualification will be gladly assisted. The subscriptions rates for 2020 were also agreed and only the family rate will increase a little due to the increased cost of entries met by the Club in Leinster and National competitions, especially for our underage members. The new membership rates will not apply until 2020.

The following were elected as officers and committee members for the coming year:

Sean McMullin (President), Breda McDonnell (Vice-President), Margaret Daly (Chairperson), Caitríona Duffy (Vice-Chairperson), Joanna Tyrrell (Treasurer), Colm Walsh (Secretary), Greg Duggan (Assistant Secretary, PRO, Registrar and Competition entries), Tom McGrath (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, Bobbie Begley, John Mulvihill, George Bell and Christy Creagh, and will be joined by Mark Bate, Declan Costello, Amanda Dalton, Joan Flynn, Gerard Gavin, Nuala Moran, Clare O’Donnell, Aine O’Reilly, Joe Ryan and Tom Wallace who were elected to the committee. Excluding trustees and Life-Vice presidents who are automatically on the Committee, the more or less fifty-fifty gender balance in the Club membership in general is very well reflected in the elected Committee and Officers.

Concluding the meeting, Margaret Daly thanked all present for their attendance and input and closed a successful AGM.

Offaly Indoors

Open to guest athletes, the Offaly Indoors in Athlone IT on Sunday afternoon 20th January gave a chance for some Mullingar athletes to have a competitive race in advance of the imminent indoor season proper. It was great to see four Mullingar vests in the women’s invitation 60m where Vicky Harris, Awa Fane, Eve Wallace and Shauna Leydon gave strong performances, Vicky and Awa dipping nicely under 8 seconds. In the corresponding invitation men’s 60m, Charles Okafor impressed in his debut for Mullingar and Patrick Leydon also had a good race. Charles ran 60m again later in the day and was very happy to run even quicker.

On to the 200m where Awa Fane and Eve Wallace lined up, Awa just edged into second place in a very close finish, but running a fast time, as did Eve behind her. In the corresponding men’s 200m, Charles Okafor drew the difficult inside lane in his race and though he had a few problems negotiating the tight indoor bends, ran home a clear winner and will only improve with more races. Patrick Leydon was equally impressive in his 200m race and also had a clear victory. Making her debut over 400m, Shauna Leydon looked strong and finished well and will have learned a lot from the experience for when she tackles the distance next time.

It wasn’t all sprinters in action and we finished the day with the men’s 3,000m where Stephen Campbell had an excellent race and was very satisfied to finish in 9 minutes 13 seconds, close to his personal best and being so early in the year, augurs very well for the year ahead.

Celtic u/23 Cross Country International

Well done to Cormac Dalton on a great win at the Celtic u/23 Cross Country International held at the Billy Neill Centre of Excellence in Belfast on Saturday afternoon 19th January. The race was run in conjunction with the IAAF Northern Ireland Cross Country International 10,000m where Cormac was in contention throughout and produced an excellent finish to place 15th overall and comfortably win the u/23 race. As a mark of how good a race Cormac had, he was just three seconds behind Liam Brady, the first finisher on the Irish senior team. Cormac led the Irish u/23 team to a convincing victory over Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This augurs very well for the year ahead for Cormac who is going from strength to strength and has made a seamless transition from Junior to Senior athletics.

Westmeath Juvenile Indoors

Mullingar had a very big squad of over 100 young athletes in action at the Westmeath Juvenile Indoors on Friday evening 189th January held in the magnificent AIT indoor stadium. The numbers from the Club taking part was a very big increase on the number that took part in previous years, reflecting the big increase in membership among our younger members. This was the first time many of the younger 8, 9 and 10 years old boys and girls in particular had the opportunity to compete there and they really made the most of it and thoroughly enjoyed themselves at what is one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures for our youngest athletes in particular.

Thanks to great organisation by AIT AC, over 300 boys and girls from AIT AC, East Westmeath AC, North Westmeath AC and Mullingar Harriers, aged 8 years to 15, 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. Mullingar athletes were regular visitors to the medal podium throughout the evening, but so many it was impossible to keep track, so we’ll have to wait until the final results are published to see how medals they won. It wasn’t all about medals of course and it was obvious everyone had a great time.

Many thanks to the parents for bringing the children to Athlone or they wouldn’t have been able to take part in such numbers. Thanks also to 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.

Leinster Intermediate & Masters XC

We’re accustomed to our underage teams performing brilliantly at Leinster cross country but on Sunday 13th January it was the turn of our senior teams to showcase their talents. Gowran, Co. Kilkenny was the venue for the Leinster Intermediate and Masters Cross Country, held on an excellent course that was mostly dry and firm and with just enough tight corners and uphill stretches to provide an ideal test for all the runners. It was quite windy but dry and the facilities and organisation by the host Club Gowran AC were top class and couldn’t be faulted. Every race was keenly contested, especially the masters races where individual medals in the various age categories in addition to club and county team medals were up for grabs.

Maura Dervin led the Mullingar women home in the Master Women 4,000m, finishing well up overall and 3rd in her age category. With Jane Creevy only a few places behind her and great team support from Emer O’Hanlon, Linda Cunningham, Patricia Broderick, Eileen Kenny (1st in her age category) and Caroline Boyle. Every one of them finished strongly and left nothing behind on the course. The team of Maura, Emer, Patricia and Eileen combined to win gold for 1st Club and silver for 2nd County in their age category, to get the day off to a terrific start for Mullingar.

The Master Men 6,000m had the biggest entry of the day, 149 men, including an impressive squad of twelve men from Mullingar, led home by Gerard Gavin finishing well up overall. Running hard and competing for every place was Eddie Newman, Tom McGrath, Kieran Nolan, Paddy Daly, Pauric Brady, David Fagan, Hans De Raeymaeker, Paul Ginnell, Thomas Cully, Mark Bate and Andy Quinn. The team of Eddie, Tom and Paddy, with support from David, Paul, Thomas, Mark and Andy won gold for 1st Club in their age category and won silver for 2nd County in a very close contest for the gold medal position.

Linda Conroy led out the Intermediate Women 4,000m at a furious pace to open a sizeable gap on the others leading into the second of two laps. She paid for the early pace however and was caught and pushed into fourth place inside the final kilometre but with a terrific sprint finish reminiscent of her glory days on the track as an outstanding juvenile 1,500m runner, she timed her finish brilliantly to take herself back into the medal places and finished 3rd, only a few seconds behind the gold and silver places. With Sinead Whitelaw 8th, Aine O’Reilly 12th and brilliant support from Michelle O’Halloran and Alanna Bate the Mullingar women team finished 3rd Club and 2nd County.

We finished the day with the Intermediate Men 8,000m where Oisin Quinn was the Club’s sole representative and he put in a solid performance over the tough four lap course to finish well up in 13th place and after the race he expressed satisfaction with his performance. Congratulations to our master men and women and our Intermediate women on their team successes and they can look forward with confidence to the All-Ireland Intermediate and Masters Cross Country in Dundalk in early February.

Lough Lene Gaels 10k/5k New Year Challenge

The Lough Lene Gaels 10k/5k New Year Challenge in a windy but dry Collinstown on Sunday 13th January attracted an impressive entry of 278 for the 5k race. Catriona Kennedy made a welcome return to racing and was the 2nd woman to finish in 21:26. Also competing for Mullingar was Karen Gaffney and Christy Creagh, 1st in his master category. The longer 10k race attracted 99 runners, among them a good number from Mullingar, many using the race as part of their preparation for the Trim 10 mile in early February. Best of the Mullingar group was James Keegan, finishing 2nd in 36:29, then Alan Crowley 8th (38:56), Enda Seery (42:17), Colm McCormack (42:38), Nollaig McEntegart (43:05) easily winning his master category, Ollie Gaffney (44:56), Michael O’Sullivan (47:30) 3rd in his master category, Joan Hickson (48:05), Criona Reid (48:07), Kevin O’Brien (48:24), Ann McDonnell (48:31), Declan Costello (51:14) and Ruth Greene (53:50).

Athletics Leinster Star Awards for 2018

Congratulations to Vicky Harris, Awa Fane, Eoin Quinn and Sarah Glennon who were presented with their Athletics Leinster Star Awards for 2018 at a Gala Dinner in the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore on Saturday evening 5th January. They earned their awards based on their performances in Leinster Championships in 2018. Vicky won gold in the 60m indoors and silver in the 200m outdoors to earn the senior Award, Awa won gold in the indoor 200m in a new Championship record and outdoors won gold in the 200m and silver in the 100m to earn the juvenile girl Award, Eoin won gold in the outdoor 800m and silver in the outdoor 1,500m to earn the juvenile boy Award, and Sarah won the indoor race walk in a new Championship record to earn the race walk Award. They picked up their Awards for Westmeath along with athletes from the other Countries in the Province.

After the hugely successful cross country season where Mullingar won Club team medals in sixteen of the eighteen underage races in Leinster cross country, there’s no surprise that our juvenile athletes retained the Morrissey Cup for best juvenile Club in cross country in Leinster, which Club Secretary Colm Walsh accepted on behalf of the Club. Mullingar has won this trophy every year since 2001. Westmeath also finished third County in the Foley Cup, behind Meath and Kilkenny, so congratulations to all our underage athletes that played a part in this success. For the record, Mullingar finished well up in the Mick Byrne Cup for juvenile Indoors, and also well up in the Mick Quinn Cup for u/12 to u/15 T&F and the Euro Tab Cup for u/16 to u/19 T&F.

Westmeath Examiner Sports Awards for 2018

The Westmeath Examiner announced the final nominations for the Westmeath Examiner Sports Awards for 2018 on 2nd January, which included two Mullingar Harriers athletes. After winning the All-Ireland cross country title in her master category in February, Eileen Kenny capped off the year with a bronze medal in the 10k road race at the World Masters T&F Championships in Málaga, Spain, which earned her the September Award. For Jamie Battle, 2018 was a memorable breakthrough year when he finished third in the All-Ireland Junior cross country in November, which earned him automatic selection for the European cross county in the Netherlands in December where he finished just outside the top twenty, a brilliant performance in his debut at this level and earned him the November Award. Congratulations to Eileen and Jamie on their Awards, which will be presented at a Gala Function in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Friday evening 1st February.