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

Week ending Saturday 22nd June

Lots of Leinster medals and records for Mullingar

The Leinster Juvenile T&F took place in Tullamore last Saturday and Sunday where conditions were cool but dry and sunny at times, so excellent for competition. Mullingar athletes had some great successes over the two days, winning 8 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals, two of them set new Championship Records, one finished in fourth place, and others recorded personal bests, but most importantly, everyone competed to the very best of their abilities and can take satisfaction from that. Pride of place though has to go to Lily Walsh and Conor Sherwin who recorded double successes, winning two Leinster titles each over the two days.

First on the track on Saturday morning was the walks and given Mullingar’s enviable reputation in the event, it was no surprise that our three athletes excelled in their events. It was gold for John Glennon (u/18 boys 3,000m walk), gold for Daniel Glennon (u/16 boys 3,000m walk) and in his first competitive Championship in the walk, it was gold for Gareth Glennon (u/13 boys 1,200m walk) in an extremely close finish. Gareth won in 6:06.46 and as this is a new event this year, his winning time is now the Championship Record.

Aoibhe Martyn won her heat of the u/14 girls 80m and even though she ran quicker in the final she finished out of the medals, but has to be happy to have reached the Leinster final. Cian Hyland, Andrew Lillis and Aaron Conroy contested the u/16 boys 100m but didn’t advance from the very competitive heats. Finn Roddy had no problem in the u/17 boys 100m heats where he cruised to second place to qualify automatically for the final. Unfortunately a poor start in the final cost him dearly and he finished out of the medal places on this occasion.

In the field events the Mullingar athletes competed with enthusiasm but there were no medals for Chloe Bell (u/13 long jump), Aaron Coroy and Cian Hyland (u/16 long jump), or Cadhla Guilfoyle (u/13 javelin).

Lily Walsh ran with real intent right from the start of the u/14 girls 1,500m and with a very dominant display of running she pulled well clear to win in a fantastic 4:47.45, which is a new Championship Record by over 3 seconds, improving on the previous record that was set back in 2019. Antonio Bertolo took a fall about 200m into the u/14 boys 1,500m but he got back on his feet quickly and worked his way back in to the race and was delighted to finish in third place despite the earlier fall. Also competing strongly was Oisin Clarke who gave a spirited performance to finish strongly and well up but out of the medal places. On to the u/15 girls 1,500m where Lisa O’Brien ran well but finished out of the medals. Scott Cogan was right up with the leaders in the early laps of the u/15 boys 1,500m but unfortunately injury forced him out of the race going into the final lap. We wish him well in his recovery. Conor Walsh raced hard in the u/16 boys 1,500m but despite his efforts he had to settle for a place out of the medals. We got back in the medals again thanks to Jessica Cunningham who worked hard throughout the u/19 girls 1,500m and was rewarded with a well-deserved silver medal for her efforts. The early laps of the u/19 boys 1,500m were quite slow and the lead group was quite bunched but Conor Sherwin and Pablo Lozano kept out of trouble but with 200m to go, Conor surged to the front followed closely by Pablo. Sprinting hard up the home straight they held their positions and Conor crossed the line first with Pablo on his heels in second.

Cian Hyland and Aaron Conroy returned to the track for the u/16 boys 400m but didn’t advance from the very tough heats. In the u/18 boys 400m Kyle Faherty was right up with the leaders for most of the race but coming into the home straight the leaders pulled clear and he finished out of the medals. Aonghus O’Reilly had a straight final in the u/14 boys 300m, competing well but finishing out of the medals.

The final race with a Mullingar interest was the u/18 girls 2,000m steeplechase where Ailbhe O’Farrell put in a great shift, negotiating the tough wooden barriers and water jumps, to finish strong in third place and was delighted to win the Leinster bronze medal.

In a busy weekend, Lily Walsh returned to action on Sunday morning where she won her heat of the u/14 girls 800m to qualify for the final. In the final later in the day, Lily tracked the early leader all the way and looked very strong and smooth but with 120m to go she made her move and charged to the front and the race was on for the gold. Not to be beaten, Lily held her form and crossed the line in 2:19.38, a big personal best by 3 seconds and she was absolutely delighted to win her second Leinster title.

There was 4 heats of the u/14 girls 200m, so competition was fierce. Clodagh Doran ran well but didn’t advance from her heat to join Aoibhe Martyn who was second in her heat and qualified for the final where she competed really well but finished out of the medal places, though she has to take satisfaction from reaching another Leinster sprint final, which is good progress. Finn Roddy qualified from his heat of the u/17 boys 200m but was drawn in the inside lane for the final, which is tight and therefore a difficult lane and though he battled well he finished out of the medals.

Clodagh Doran was busy in the field events and though she finished out of the medals in the u/14 girls long jump, she was very happy to jump a personal best of 3.37m. Clodagh also competed in the u/14 girls shot where she finished out of the medals but thoroughly enjoyed the competition.

We finished the day with the 3,000m which proved a rich vein for medals. Conor Walsh put in a great effort in the u/16 boys 3,000m and deserved more out of the race, but even though he finished just out of the medals in fourth place, he still qualifies for the All-Irelands finals. We had two in the u/17 boys 3,000m where Matthew Molloy worked very hard and making most of the running he built up a lead that was impossible to close and he was rewarded for his efforts with a solid victory and the Leinster title, followed in by the fast finishing Oisin Kehoe to take third place and the bronze medal. Despite running the 1,500m only the day before, Conor Sherwin and Pablo Lozano toed the line for the u/19 boys 3,000m with medals on their minds. The first half of the race was a relatively slow and cagey affair but as the pace increased in the closing laps, Conor and Pablo were right up with the leading pack and when Conor made his final push for home on the final bend, he hit the front and despite pressure from behind he held his form and sprinted clear to win, with Pablo on his heels also sprinting hard to the line to finish in second place and the win the silver medal to round off a strong Championship for Mullingar [GD].

Victory for Susan Glennon in Trim

The “Braveheart 5k” organised by Trim AC took place on a very warm evening last Friday in the Porchfields in Trim. This race is noted for its scenic route along the banks of the River Boyne and as the over 500 runners progressed through the course they could take in the sights of one of the finest collections of medieval monuments in Ireland. We had three athletes taking the notably challenging off-road terrain in their stride. First home for Mullingar was Susan Glennon, determined to take the win and this she did in style, crossing the finish line in a fantastic 19 minutes 21 seconds. Next home was Linda Cunningham in 22:24 and Michelle O’Halloran completed the group in 23:47, delighted to be awarded a prize for second place in her master category [LC].

Mullingar team success at Daingean 5k

Round 6 of the Offaly 5k Series, the Daingean 5k, was held last Friday evening. A very large field of 364 athletes competed in the event. Organised and excellently staged by the local Naomh Mhuire AC, it attracted a huge contingent from the other Offaly clubs, who have been magnificent in each of their respective towns and villages putting on a well stewarded even. Mullingar Harriers were very well represented with 23 taking part.

On a perfect evening for running, bright sunshine and a stiff breeze were the conditions on a looped course that ran parallel to the canal and intersected the main street before moving through a series of country roads to the finish just off the main street. Kevin Moore was always mixing it with the leaders before having to settle for a close fourth place in a season’s best of 15 minutes 52 second. With support from Eoin Clarke (17:34), Evan McCormack (18:07) and Eddie Newman (18:09), winning his master category comfortably, the team placed third Club.

Our women went even better by capturing the first Club place, thanks to Glenda Shaw running 18 minutes 30 seconds to finish third woman and first in her master category, Joan Flynn (18:54) third in her master category, Ann Hall (19:01) fourth in her master category, and Mary Stuart (19:53) winning her master category, combining to comfortably head the women team placings.

Others to complete the 5k were Dara O’Shea (19:16), Mark Geoghegan (19:30), Padraig Beglin (19:52), Orlaith Flanagan (20:24), Conleth Mullen (22:33) second u/20 man, Gemma Kelly (22:29), Michael O’Sullivan (23:23), Brigid McCabe (23:29) second in her master category, Claire Lennon (23:39), Catherine Gavin (23:41), Joel Kelly (24:07) second u/15 boy, Martin Mullen (24:14), Michael Purdue (24:19), Ray Smyth (24:24) and Kelly Dunne (24:54) [MO’S].

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