Week ending Saturday 11th March
Glennon Brothers secure European Team Qualifications
The Murray Lambden Open Meeting walking events held in the Isle of Man two weeks ago proved to be a golden competitive opportunity for the Mullingar Harriers racewalkers. On a surprisingly good Saturday morning for the time of year, the combined 5k, 10k and 20k race walk starts meant plenty of company for all, as everyone faced the challenge of the ticking stopwatch. With each athlete having their own target times to aim for, leading the way was Andrew Glennon who set out to achieve the qualifying standard of 46 minutes 45 seconds set by Athletics Ireland for the European Team Championship Junior 10k. With plenty of early company from fellow junior and senior athletes, Andrew walked a strong and composed pace close to 7 minute 30 second per mile pace to reach the half way mark in 23 minutes 21 seconds, precisely on schedule. Then, over the second 5k, he increased the tempo to do his second 5k in 23 minutes 4 seconds, finishing with a particularly strong last mile and a qualification standard of 46 minutes 25 seconds achieved.
Next home was young Aisling Lane, who as a junior was still taking on both the junior and senior walkers. With plenty of support in the race, she finished in 53 minutes 40 seconds and a comfortable lead of one minute and 45 second over the second placed female finisher. This was a good solid performance on which she can build for the future. While the juniors faced a challenge over 10k, the true test for all developing walkers is in making the jump from 10k to 20k when they move into the senior ranks. This is a challenge which many fear to take, but not young Matthew Glennon. Having completed one 20km at the end of last year while coming to the end of his junior career, he faced his first 20k as a Senior with a focused determination. With astute pacing Matthew walked 5ks of 22:16, 22:17 and 22:17. Then, when the real race pressure came on, he fought bravely to cover the last 5k in 22:40 and a final time of 89 minutes 30 seconds for a comfortable race victory and more importantly half a minute inside the qualifying standard for the European Team Racewalking Championships to be held in May. This was a very happy day for the Glennon family and Andrew and Matthew can assist and encourage each other in anticipation of a probable unique double family Major International representation in the months ahead.
Good medal haul for Mullingar at Leinster Juvenile Indoors
We’re well accustomed to Mullingar taking all the honours in Leinster race walking, and last week-end at the Leinster Juvenile Indoors in Athlone was no exception. Early on Saturday morning, Daniel Glennon and Ronan Kelly contested the u/15 boys 1,000m race walk, where Daniel recorded a clear victory by nearly a minute, with Ronan delighted to finish in fourth place and secure a place in the All-Ireland finals. John Glennon made it look easy in the u/17 boys 1,500m race walk, winning easily. He was only 0.24 seconds off the Championship record, so it was a shame he had no one to push him or he would surely have broken the record. Aisling Lane cruised to an easy victory by a big distance in the u/19 girls 1,500m and Andrew Glennon did likewise in the u/19 boys 1,500m race walk, giving Mullingar gold medals in each race that they contested. Any wonder our race walking squad are both feared and respected, all brilliantly guided under the expert eye of Michael Lane.
Rather than facing heats and a final, the u/17 boys 400m was run as time trials, with the medals awarded to the fastest times over the three races. Kyle Faherty competed in his first 400m race and attacked the first 200m, leading well at the bell and drove on hard to win in 54.20 seconds, which was good enough to win the bronze medal, which was a great result for his debut over the distance.
We only had two girls competing in the 1,500m, where Ailbhe O’Farrell (u/17) battled hard in a very competitive race but finished out of the medals and Caoimhe Donohue (u/18 girls) was rewarded with a close fifth place in a very fast race.
There were so many entered in the u/12 girls 60m, it took seven heats to run them all off. Liadan Gavin ran well but didn’t advance from her heat. Chloe Bell and Clodagh Keane had better success, both qualifying from their heats and even though both ran faster in the semi-finals, they were unlucky not to qualify for the final, especially Chloe who came so close with a third place finish and only narrowly missed a place in the final. Donncha Doyle and Rian Gavin battled well in their heats of the u/12 boys 60m but didn’t advance to the semi-finals.
Isla Brennan qualified from her heat of the u/13 girls 60m and running just as quick in the semi-final, was very unlucky not to reach the final but top marks for effort. Antonio Bertolo was drawn in the fastest heat of the u/13 boys 60m and was unlucky to miss a spot in the final by just one place. Like the u/12 girls, the entry for the u/14 girls 60m was very big and required 7 heats. Hui Fen Bartley and Tara Lynch ran well but didn’t advance to the semi-finals. Aobh Smith fared better with a fine third place finish in her heat to advance to the semi-finals, where despite running a great race she didn’t qualify for the final, but can be very proud of reaching the semi-finals.
Evan Nohilly (u/14 boys 60m) and Aaron Conroy (u/15 boys 60m) ran well but didn’t advance to their finals. Making his sprint debut for Mullingar, Finn Roddy finished second in his heat of the u/16 boys 60m to qualify automatically for the final. Absolutely blasting from the blocks in the final, he powered his way to an excellent fourth place, narrowly missing a medal. Finn ran much faster in the final than in his heat, the real mark of a Championship runner and is someone we can watch for in the future. Quyen Bartley contested the u/17 girls 60m where there were four heats and despite a terrific effort in her heat where she placed fourth, narrowly missing a place in the final. We ended the sprints with the u/17 boys 60m where Barry Walsh put in a great effort in his heat didn’t advance to the final.
Over in the field events, Antonio Bertolo jumped further and further in each round of the u/13 boys long jump to place a very creditable seventh place overall. Donncha Doyle placed a very creditable sixth place in the u/12 boys high jump and can take satisfaction from his efforts. In the morning, Evan Nohilly competed in the u/14 boys high jump but didn’t feature in the medals. He returned for the u/14 boys shot putt in the afternoon where he finished ninth, just missing a place in the final eight, which was a fine result for Evan. Also competing in the field events but finishing out of the medals was Hui Fen Bartley (u/14 girls shot putt) and Aaron Conroy (u/15 boys long jump).
Returning to the track early on Sunday morning, Finn Roddy placed second in his heat of the u/16 boys 200m and in the later final put in a terrific effort but had to settle for a place out of the medals. Two Leinster finals over the week-end will give Finn great confidence for future competition. There were five heats of the u/17 girls 200m with only the six fastest advancing to the final. Quyen Bartley finished strongly in her heat but didn’t qualify for the final. Kyle Faherty won his heat of the u/17 boys 200m, while Barry Walsh ran strongly in the heat but didn’t advance. In a thrilling final Kyle led into the finish straight and was only passed in the closing stages to finish second by a narrow margin and earn his second Leinster medal of the week-end.
Ellen Gallagher, Michelle Wallace, Liadan Gavin, Aoife Gouldsbury, Amelie Kelly and Chloe Bell contested the u/12 girls 600m heats, but only Chloe advanced to the final, winning her heat well. She battled hard in the final but finished out of the medal places, though top marks for effort. Gareth Glennon, Seamus Clarke, Alex Sochanski and Harry Flanagan ran in the u/12 boys 600m, but only Harry advanced to the final where he put in a great effort but had to settle for a place out of the medals. Mullingar was out in number for the u/13 girls 600m where Isla Brennan, Ruby Brennan, Lucy Kilmurray, Aaliyah Downes, Emily Tully, Lucy Mulvany and Lily Walsh ran well but didn’t advance to the final, though Lily came very close in her heat and only missed a place by a very narrow margin. Antonio Bertolo, Louis Kiernan, Oisin Clarke, Aonghus O’Reilly and Cillian Galvin ran in the u/13 boys 600m but didn’t advance from the very tough heats.
Moving up to 800m, Chloe Duggan and Lisa O’Brien ran well in their heats of the u/14 girls 800 but didn’t advance to the final to join Beibhinn O’Reilly who finished second in her heat to reach the final. Even though Beibhinn ran quicker in the final, it wasn’t enough and she had to settle for a place out of the medals. Scott Cogan won his heat of the u/14 boys 800m and Aaron Wallace was second in his heat to advance to the final, but Greg McDonnell couldn’t make it three from Mullingar in the final though he ran well in his heat. The final was run at a furious pace from the start where Scott tucked in well and bided his time in the pack. With a terrific last lap he chased the early leader hard to pull clear of the pack into second place, pushing hard to the end to cross the line in second to win the silver medal, followed home by Aaron running well but out of the medals on this occasion.
Also competing over 800m but not advancing from tough heats was Blathnaid Peters, Emma Lagan and Sadhbh Carey (u/15 girls), Conor Walsh (u/15 boys) though he came very close, Lydia McDonnell and Siofra O’Reilly (u/16 girls), Conor Mulvany (u/16 boys), Ailbhe O’Farrell (u/17 girls). Running in the final of the u/18 girls 800m, Caoimhe Donohue and Jessica Cunningham were unlucky to finish out of the medals.
Mullingar had a good number entered in the 60m hurdles events. Alex Sochanski contested the final of the u/12 boys 60m hurdles but finished out of the medals. Chloe Duggan came close in her heat of the u/14 girls 60m hurdles, missing a qualification spot by a narrow margin. Aaron Wallace qualified from his heat of the u/14 boys 60m hurdles, but no luck for Scott Cogan and Cormac McGrath who didn’t advance to the final to join Aaron, who ran quicker in the final but finished out of the medals. Also competing strongly over the hurdles and enjoying the competition was Liadan Gavin, Amelie Kelly and Michelle Wallace (u/12 girls), Lucy Kilmurray, Lily Walsh, Aaliyah Downes and Ruby Brennan (u/13 girls), and Quyen Bartley (u/17 girls).
It wasn’t all track action though and in the field events Mullingar athletes were busy, though none were fortunate enough to finish in the medal places. Aoife Gouldsbury jumped really well in the u/12 girls long jump, improving with each round and narrowly missed a place in the final eight by only a few centimetres. Also competing alongside Aoife and enjoying the competition was Michelle Wallace and Maria Gouldsbury. Chloe Duggan jumped very well in the u/14 girls long jump, improving with each round and narrowly missed a place in the final eight by just a few centimetres. Hui Fen competed with Chloe and enjoyed the competition too. Also competing in the field events and enjoying the experience was Harry Flanagan, Rian Gavin and Seamus Clarke (u/12 boys long jump), Aaron Wallace, Greg McDonnell and Scott Cogan (u/14 boys long jump) and Louis Kiernan (u/13 boys shot putt).
Mullingar finished the week-end with four gold medals, two silver, one bronze and two of our athletes finished in fourth place, giving us eight automatically qualifying for the All-Ireland finals.
Kinsale 10 mile
Set in the beautiful surroundings of Kinsale on a great course with a fast final 5 mile net downhill section, the Kinsale 10 mile two weeks ago attracted a very big entry of nearly 800. Finishing strongly in a very enjoyable and excellently organised run on a lovely scenic course in fine Spring weather, Patrick Muldoon was very happy to finish well up in 67 minutes 5 seconds.
All-Ireland Schools Cross Country Finals
Good luck to all the members of Mullingar Harriers that will be competing for their schools and colleges at the All-Ireland Schools Cross Country in Waterford this Saturday morning, namely Tianna O’Leary and Eleanor Kiernan (Ursuline Convent Thurles) in the junior girls, Caoimhe Kilmurray and Grace Byrne (Loreto Mullingar) in the Intermediate girls, Conor Sherwin, Jamie Wallace, Conor Liston, Jorge Martin, Luke Greene and Daniel Hickey (Colaiste Mhuire) in the Intermediate boys, Diarmuid Fagan and Ross Killalea (Colaiste Mhuire) in the Senior boys, and Aimee Wallace (St. Finian’s College) in the Senior girls.
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