Sunshine Blesses Final Day of Domestic Track Season

The finals of the Mazda national league were held at a sun drenched Tullamore Harriers stadium today, perfect for the last track and field meet of the season.  Highlight of the day was Mark Carroll’s appearance for Leevale, in spite of a poor finish in the Golden League event in Brussels on Friday.  He is at a loss to know just what has gone wrong in recent weeks, but will continue to race, with Berlin on Friday next on his schedule.  Carroll raced in the 1,500m today and had little difficulty adding maximum points for Leevale who were competing in the Premier Division.  Taking the lead from the gun he had Daniel Caulfield beaten after some 200m.  Jer O’Donoghue has shown real potential as a sprinter for a number of years now.  However, this year has been something of a struggle for him, failing to make any kind of real impact.  But, after winning the 100m, the Leevale man was very much upbeat that things were finally going his way.  In the 200m, Darren O’Donovan put in a storming run to take second place, an excellent performance for someone who has been ultra consistent since the season started in May.  Sean Casey ran the 400m hurdles and performed as expected – fluent over the hurdles, a natural!  A super fourth place finish.  There was a big improvement from James Grufferty in the 5k from the second leg of the league with a 4th place finish.  His season should have finished about a month ago, but he struggled on to run for the club.  Brian Murphy has shown great consistency all season and finished a good third in the 400m.  Darren Keenan is going from strength to strength since he started his comeback.  A good fighting 800m race saw him finish 5th.  Paddy Moore also had a fifth place finish in the javelin – not bad for the oldest member of the men’s team who featured prominently on the winning Leevale teams of the late 70’s.  Photo shows Paddy demonstrating to the youngsters how it is done!  Barry O’Brien held the fort in the high jump, long jump and 110m hurdles.  Sprints coach John Sheehan showed his strength in the shot and 56lbs, while Kevin Shine was equally proficcient in the hammer and discus.  The 4x400m team ran 3:43, but the 4x100m team were more impressive as they finished second, even without Donal McCarthy!In the women’s Premier Division, Sharon Kelly is another who has competed consistently well all season, especially in the sprint hurdles.  Today, she again showed a clean pair of heels as she added yet another win to her collection this season.  Later she placed fourth in the 200m.  A series of excellent performances from all the Leevale team ensured a super third place finish behind DCH who were winners by half a point from Tirchonaill.  Ailis McSweeney will be one to watch when she gets a little stronger, but still had a good run in the 100m to take third.  Aisling Maunsell always battles hard when she runs and had a good fifth place finish in the 400m.  Sharon O’Mahony went way up in distance to run the 800m and finish 6th, while Sinead Falvey ran well in the 400m hurdles to take 4th.  Sharon also finished fourth in the long jump – very close to the third athlete.  There was once again a gutsy performance from Carmel Parnell who doubled up in the 1500m and 3000m, finishing third in both behind Una English.  Deirdre Murphy was third in the discus and also picked up two points in the javelin.  Fionnuala Lombard, who many think should be following in the footsteps of her two runner brothers, had two third place finishes in the shot and hammer.  Caroline Lane was a good fourth in the triple jump, and Rosin Foley picked up two valuable points in the walk.  And in the realys there were two battling performances with a second place finish in the 4x100m (see team photo) and a third place finish in the 4x400m.  All in all another great day for all the Leevale athletes.  Apologies to anyone missed.  (Results)