Week ending Saturday 3rd July
National Senior Medal for Cormac Dalton
In the 10,000m on the final day of the AAI National T&F Championships in Santry last Sunday, Cormac Dalton and Jamie Battle lined up for this gruelling twenty five lap event in warm conditions. Cormac and Jamie featured prominently in the early stages and were very much involved in instigating a breakaway group of the leading athletes in the first half of the race. Over the final 4km, Cormac was involved in a real battle for the medals and used his trademark strong finish to take third place in a time of 30 minutes 01.90 seconds. This is Cormac’s first medal at senior level. Jamie finished in seventh place in 31 minutes 05. 57 seconds, which was an excellent result in his first National Senior Championship and in his debut race over 10,000m. This was also Cormac’s final race of the track season before he departs for Tulsa University in August and it rounded off an excellent season where he significantly improved his personal bests in all distances from 1,500m to 10,000m and represented Ireland for the first time at senior level.
The first of our middle distance athletes were in action in the 800m heats on Friday evening. Colin (D) Smith was in the second heat and faced a tough task with only the first three advancing to the final. However Colin ran a very positive race and comfortably qualified in third position. Eoin Quinn was a decisive winner of the Irish under 20 title a week ago and transitioned with ease to Senior Championship racing, also securing automatic qualification for the final. On Saturday, Eoin and Colin lined up for their first National Senior final and both performed very well. Eoin finished ninth in a time of 1 minute 52.5 seconds, with Colin directly behind him in a personal best time of 1 minute 53. 36 seconds. Claire Fagan raced the 5,000m in which there was a very large entry. Claire positioned herself well in the leading pack for the first half of the race and battled hard to finish in tenth place. Her time of 16 minutes 49.09 seconds was just six seconds outside her personal best. Euan Lagan raced the 5,000m and despite a recent injury niggle he had a solid run to finish in 16 minutes 17.50 seconds.
Though it’s a Senior Championship, there is also an under 20 men 3,000m and we had two juvenile athletes racing to gain experience at this level. Ross Killalea finished in a time of 9 minutes 08.43 seconds, closely followed by Diarmuid Fagan in 9 minutes 13.20 seconds. This was very strong running by both of them and now they can turn their attention to their age group Championships over the coming weeks.
After her fantastic exploits over 3,000m race walk at the National under 20 T&F a week ago, Aisling Lane made the last minute decision to try a 5,000m race walk on Sunday afternoon for the first time, as she looks to the future. However, very warm and humid conditions with a strong breeze in the home straight do not assist fast times, so she had to settle for sixth place amongst the vastly experienced senior walkers. Next up was Colm Walsh taking on the challenge of 25 laps in the demanding 10,000m race walk. Walking with determination Colm stuck to the task and fought the conditions bravely to finish a highly commendable fourth and making him the clear favourite for the National Masters Championships later in the season.
Irish Masters Record for Sean McMullin
With no meaningful competition in his 3,000m race walk at the Northern Ireland Masters T&F at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast last Saturday, Sean McMullin decided to make it a time trial and try to break 18 minutes for the distance. Just under 18 minutes later, in fact 17 minutes 59 seconds later, Sean crossed the line the easy winner and setting a new Irish record in his master category into the bargain. This was excellent preparation for Sean for the Leinster masters and National masters T&F to come this season.
Welcome return to live road racing
After a very long time away because of the public health restrictions required due to the Covid pandemic, live road racing made an eagerly awaited return last Friday evening when the St. Coca’s AC 5k was held in Kilcock, Co. Kildare. Despite clashing with the National Senior T&F Championships taking place over the week-end, the demand for places was very high and the 200 places were snapped up within minutes of the event opening for entries. Among the lucky entrants was a number of Mullingar athletes delighted to be making a return to proper road racing.
The Kilcock course has a reputation as a fast one, and this was confirmed as after a fiercely contested race, the winner was Evan Fitzgerald (Clonmel AC) in 14:53, Mick Fogarty (Ferbane AC) second in 14:59, and Neil Wiktorski (Bray Runners) third in 15:02. The women’s race was won by Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) in 15:53, ahead of Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin) second in 17:05 and Noreen Brouder (Sportsworld) third in 17:09. Best of the Mullingar group was Andrew Nevin (16:14), followed in by Alan Crowley (16:40), Eddie Newman (17:03) third in his master category, Sinead Whitelaw (18:00), Michelle Bohan (19:07) and Amy Mahony (19:42).
The last Leinster outdoor T&F competition was held way back in 2019, that’s two years with no Leinster outdoors, but that competitive drought will end this coming week-end when the Leinster Junior, Senior and Masters T&F takes place in IT Carlow. There are 19 Mullingar athletes entered in 23 individual events across a very wide of disciplines from sprints, hurdles, steeplechase, race walk, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, high jump and weight for distance, and we wish them all the very best of luck.
Leinster Entries – born 2010 and 2009
Entries for the Leinster under 12 and under 13 T&F in Carlow on 10th July are now open but will close this Saturday, a very short entry window, so don’t delay if you wish to compete. You may enter a maximum of two events from 60m (under 12), 80m (under 13), 600m, high jump, long jump, shot putt, and javelin (under 13) or turbo javelin (under 12). The parent of any boy or girl that wishes to compete shall advise their child’s coach using the WhatsApp group no later than this Friday evening. There is no obligation to compete. Entry fees are paid by the Club but they are expensive, so please only ask to be entered if you really will compete, and only in events that you actually will do. You must be registered with Athletics Ireland to compete, that means you must have paid your Club membership for 2021.
Leinster entries – born 2008 to 2003
Entries for the older juveniles under 14 to under 19 in Carlow on 17th, 18th and 24th July are also now open and will close on Friday week, except for the 3,000m events which will take place with the under 12 and under 13 competition on 10th July, so those entries must be submitted this week. Anyone wishing to compete shall advise their coach before the closing date (anyone wishing to do the 3,000m be mindful of the earlier closing date). You may enter a maximum of two events for under 14, 15 and 16 and three events for under 17, 18 and 19.
Only the top three juveniles in all age groups will advance to the All-Ireland finals, not the top four as in a normal year. Also, there will be no open entry for under 17, 18 and 19 years to the All-Ireland (unless competing at the European under 20 T&F), so they must compete in Leinster and finish in the top three.
Finally, would you like to win €20,000? Buy a raffle ticket any night at training or online through the Mullingar Harriers website to help us finance the new track and be in with a chance of winning a great prize. Check our Facebook page for the great drone video filmed recently to see the great progress being made on construction of the new track.
Check the Club’s website at www.mullingarharriers.com or its Facebook page for all the latest news.