Week ending Saturday 11th September
Mullingar Masters in the medals
Because the track in Tullamore is being resurfaced, the AAI National Masters T&F had to move from its usual Tullamore venue and was held in Santry last Sunday. Due to Covid health restrictions, all track events this year were stretched out over several days, resulting in a very crowded T&F calendar all summer, so this year’s masters T&F was held about a month later than normal, but despite this, entries were very big across all events, reflecting the strong pent up desire for competition.
The first Mullingar athletes in action were in the 5,000m race walk where Colm Walsh worked hard all the way in this very technical event. Sparing no effort and sticking to his task and clearly spurred on by the quality of the opposition, he finished third overall but placed first in his age category, delighted to add the All-Ireland title to his growing collection of awards. Also competing really well, Sean McMullin crossed the finish line in ninth place overall but won his age category very comfortably, and such is his class that he even finished ahead of some men twenty years his junior.
All the master women ran together in the 3,000m and with such a wide range of ages it was hard at times to keep track of the placings in the various age groups as the race unfolded. Managing really well to judge her pace and keep track of her competitors, Maura Dervin tracked some of the younger women and used them to keep her pace strong and even and was delighted to come home in second place in her age category. Meanwhile, Brigid McCabe was having her own battle behind her but in the final kilometre pulled clear to win her age category with ease, her first All-Ireland title on the track as a master athlete.
There was plenty of action in the field events too where Aidan O’Donoghue doubled up in the javelin and high jump, performing brilliantly to take bronze in both events and end an excellent season competing for the first time as a master athlete. No stranger to master competition, Tom Walsh competed with great determination in the weight for distance event and with a very consistent set of throws of the heavy 35 pound implement, was rewarded with a well-earned bronze medal to add to his growing collection of All-Ireland master medals and ensure that all the Mullingar masters that competed in Santry went home with a medal.
Leinster Schools Tailteann T&F Trials
Based on the results of the Schools Provincial T&F finals, the Tailteann Inter-Provincial T&F is usually the trial event to select teams for the SIAB Schools T&F International. However, because there were no schools T&F competitions this year, a new system had to be devised to select the Irish team to compete at this year’s International to be held in Derbyshire (England) at the end of September. Each province, including Leinster, invited athletes to apply to compete at a provincial trial to qualify for the Tailteann T&F to be held next week. Based on their performances at Club events on the track this season, Ross Killalea and Diarmuid Fagan were invited to compete at the Leinster Schools Tailteann T&F Trials held in Santry last Saturday. Running in the Colaiste Mhuire colours, Ross and Diarmuid contested a very competitive 3,000m where they finished in fourth and fifth place respectively, unfortunately just outside the qualifying places for the Tailteann T&F. There was better fortune for Ross in the 1,500m where he finished second to advance to the Tailteann T&F, but finishing fourth meant Diarmuid just missed out by one place.
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