Week ending Saturday 21st August
National Juvenile T&F concludes
The final day of the All-Ireland Juvenile T&F finals took place in Tullamore last Saturday, where the focus for Mullingar was on the 1,500m events.
Jamie Wallace made his intentions clear from the start of the under 15 boys 1,500m where he took the early lead and never letting up the pressure, stayed in front as the leading group slowly reduced to just three at the bell. He came under pressure with 200m to go and was passed around the final bend to put him in second place. He never gave up chasing though and kept digging deep to hang on to second place as best as he could but coming into the home straight he was relegated to third place, crossing the finish line to take a well-earned All-Ireland bronze medal.
The very fast early pace of the under 16 girls 1,500m did not suit Adele Geoghegan, but she kept in touch with the chasing group and settled into her rhythm. Unfortunately she fell off the back of the group at the mid-way point and was left in limbo running alone between the two main chasing groups, which is a very difficult place to be. Continuing to work as hard as she could in the closing stages though, she finished very strongly in a very creditable seventh place.
In contrast, the early pace of the under 16 boys 1,500m was shockingly pedestrian, setting the stage for a two lap burn-up in the finish, which suited the 800m specialists in the group but did not suit Conor Sherwin who is more an endurance athlete and better suited to a 1,500m raced at a more honest pace or the longer 3,000m distance. When the inevitable rapid acceleration came at the bell, he battled on bravely and never letting up he finished in an excellent sixth place and the experience will definitely stand to him.
The under 19 girls 1,500m was a cagey tactical race but Meabh Killalea kept well in contention in the opening laps. A surge in pace with two laps to go began to split the field and unfortunately Meabh found herself drifting slowly to the back of the chasing pack but she battled on to finish strongly in seventh place.
Lorcan Mullen contested the under 19 boys 1,500m race, which was run at a good pace from the start. Lorcan kept close to the action in the opening stages but when the final push for home came it split the field and despite a good effort Lorcan had to settle for a place out of the medals, but top marks for effort.
Five Mullingar athletes but only one medal to show was a clear indication of the quality of the competition in Tullamore but all the Mullingar athletes can hold their heads high and be satisfied with their performances against the very best of their peers.
Plenty of Mullingar success at Castlepollard 5k
Cancelled last year due to Covid-19, the Castlepollard 5k made a very welcome return last Wednesday evening. Historically always an excellent event hosted by North Westmeath AC, this year was no exception. There was a limit of 200 allowed, which quickly filled up when entries opened, and on the night there was the usual great racing and hotly contested battles in all age categories all through the field of runners. Competitors came from far and wide, and naturally Mullingar Harriers was very well represented and turned out in good number to support our near neighbours in North Westmeath AC. Starting near the square in Castlepollard, the course was out and back to Tullynally Castle, taking in a loop of the beautiful grounds and with the wind on their backs on the final 1k back to the finish, it was fast and furious to the line with most running their fastest kilometre in that last section. It’s a fast course, highlighted by the sub-15 minute finishing time in the men’s race and 17 minute time in the women’s race.
Coming quickly on the back of the Kilbeggan 10 mile, where several members of Mullingar Harriers ran personal best times, they continued this good form in Castlepollard with more personal best times, but a special mention must go to James Keegan though who ran a personal best in Kilbeggan and followed it up with a personal best of 15 minutes 28 seconds in Castlepollard, finishing fourth overall and leading the Mullingar group home. Next in was Diarmuid Fagan in seventh place (15:45), first junior man, followed by Timmy Murphy (15:48), Ian McCormack (15:53), Brian Martin (16:20), John Whitelaw (16:43), Alan Crowley (17:05), Eddie Newman (17:19) second in his master category, Kedagh Geoghegan (17:27), Ken Whitelaw (18:10), Sinead Whitelaw (18:11) second senior woman, Aine O’Reilly (18:23) third in her master category, Enda Seery (18:39), Stephen Naughton (18:56), Jenny Algar (19:06), Michelle Bohan (19:08), Amy Mahony (19:44), Grace Byrne (19:45) second junior woman, Mary Stuart (20:32) second in her master category, Pat Muldoon Senior (22:09) second in his master category, Criona Reid (22:29), Eva McMorrow (22:56), Terri Greene (22:59), Caroline Mullen (22:59), Patricia Broderick (23:03), Brigid McCabe (23:29) first in her master category, Martin Mullen (23:29), Gemma Kelly (23:59), Eamonn O’Reilly (24:06), Emer Savage (24:55), Nuala Daly (25:30) and completing the Mullingar group was Christy Creagh who placed third in his master category.
Well done to the local organising committee in North Westmeath AC on hosting such a great race.
International Duty for Maurice Looby
This Saturday, Maurice Looby will take to the start line of the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k Home International at Mondello Park in Naas, Co. Kildare. Maurice will be part of a five man Irish team to compete against teams from England, Scotland and Wales. Despite the arduous undertaking of running 100k, Maurice is both delighted and honoured to be selected to represent Ireland and everyone at Mullingar Harriers wishes him the very best.
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