Week ending Saturday 29th Feb
World Race Walk qualifying standards for Oisin Lane and Matthew Glennon
Organised by Manx Harriers AC, the Murray Lambden Memorial Open Walks Meeting last Saturday morning at the National Sports Centre in Douglas, Isle of Man took place in very cold and very blustery conditions but the Mullingar race walkers were more than able for the challenging tough conditions in what has become a regular early year competition opportunity for them.
Oisin Lane won the 10k race walk in 44 minutes 26 seconds, a big personal best, with Matthew Glennon in second place in 45 minutes 9 seconds, which is a huge personal best for him, but more importantly both times are inside the qualifying standard of 45 minutes 30 seconds set by Athletics Ireland for the World Cup of Race Walking that takes place in Minsk, Belarus in May. Matthew’s time is also inside the AAI standard of 48 minutes for the European u/18 T&F that takes place in Rieti, Italy in July.
Continuing the successes for Mullingar, Andrew Glennon took third place in the u/17 boys 5k race walk in 26 minutes 19 seconds and Aisling Lane won the u/15 girls 3k race walk in 15 minutes 33 seconds. Congratulations to our race walkers, especially Oisin and Matthew for achieving the tough International standards.
Junior, Senior and Master Leinster Medals for Mullingar
The National Indoor Arena in Dublin was the venue for the Leinster Junior, Senior and Masters Indoors last Saturday. First into action was Pauric Brady in the master men 1,500m and though he is not back to full racing form he dug deep and raced hard, only narrowly missing a podium place, coming fourth in a very competitive race. Not content to settle for that, Pauric made the brave decision to return to the track later in the day and was rewarded with the bronze medal in the master men 800m, perhaps taking inspiration from, and proving, the wise saying that training alone isn’t always enough and you need to race yourself fit. Mullingar’s well established reputation for excellence in race walking was confirmed by victories for Sean McMullin and Colm Walsh in their respective categories in the master men 3,000m race walk, with Colm setting a new Championship Record of 15 minutes 23.69 seconds, a huge improvement of nearly two minutes on the previous record.
The junior men 200m heats were a mere formality for Charles Okafor where he cruised to victory and set himself up as the clear pre-race favourite. Powering from the blocks in the final, Charles ran to a clear-cut victory in a new personal best and Championship Record of 22.04 seconds and he continues to improve with every race. Shauna Leydon put a good series of jumps together in the junior women triple jump, her best effort being 10.53m, which is her best in a couple of years and was good enough to win the bronze medal.
Making her debut in a Leinster senior track event, Andrea Brady competed well in the senior women 3,000m and though she finished out of the medals in fourth place, after the race she expressed satisfaction with her efforts. Being more accustomed to longer distances in cross country or road races in recent months, Gerard Gavin was very pleased to bring home the silver medal in the master men 3,000m despite his race not quite going to plan. Gerard’s race was over before he knew it, literally, but he did not know it and he believes he ran an extra lap, though it probably would not have altered the result.
Linda Cunningham made her debut in track racing in the senior women 400m. Her gamble not to race as a master but as a senior athlete certainly paid off handsomely and fighting all the way to the finish line she placed third to win her first Championship track medal. Linda would actually have won a medal in the master women 400m but a senior medal is more satisfying!
Medal winning performances on final day of Leinster Indoors
At the final day of the Leinster Juvenile Indoors at the National Indoor Arena in Dublin last Sunday, despite some understandable stiffness in her legs from competing the day before, Shauna Leydon proved her competitive mettle by jumping to the silver medal in the u/19 triple jump and qualifying for the All-Ireland finals in March.
Having won the Leinster and All-Ireland u/13 titles last year, all eyes were on the Mullingar team of Kyle Faherty, Jamie Wallace, Matthew Molloy and Criostoir Ormsby in the u/14 boys 4x200m relay and they certainly did not disappoint! Leading all the way in their heat to win by a distance, they reprised the performance in the final and thanks to a blinding start by Kyle that opened a sizeable gap on the opposition, Jamie and Matthew dug deep and reinforced the lead so that when Criostoir got the baton for the final leg, it was all over and he was never going to be caught and he gave it every last ounce of effort to bring the team home to win the Leinster title in style and will be a team to watch in the All-Ireland finals.
Intervarsity Indoors correction
We’ll blame the unfamiliar singlet for not spotting him, but in last week’s report on the Intervarsity Indoors, we omitted Andrew Daly among the Mullingar athletes that were competing for their Colleges. Andrew (TUD) was fourth in his heat of the men 800m and missed a place in the final but a consolation is that his time of 2:02.47 is a new TUD record. Well done to Andrew and apologies for missing him but we’re glad to correct that now!
March Committee Meeting
The next monthly meeting of the committee takes place next Tuesday 3rd March in the Club house at 8.20pm after training and a full attendance is requested.
For the latest results, news and details of all upcoming fixtures check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com.