While many Leevale athletes were sunning themselves in warmer climes in the cause of warm weather training, the hardier types were braving the cold Nenagh indoor complex.. With the country awash with cash it remains a mystery why this ideally situated complex is not converted into one of the best in the country. Sports Minister John O’Donoghue and Irish Sports Council CEO John Treacy would seriously need to address the situation.
Our first visit was for the Munster senior and junior championships, and, inspite of the cold, there were some excellent performances. Closest race of the day came in the women’s 400m. Here Jessika Zebo set the early pace but was overtaken with 100m to go by Aisling Maunsell. A determined effort by Jess brought her back on terms, and, as they crossed the line, the photo finish equipment showed Jess ahead by just 0.11 sec. A clean sweep of the medals came when Niamh Cremin finished third.
Another clean sweep came in the junior men’s 200m. Carl McNamara was an impressive winner, in spite of his car sliding off the road on an icy patch leading into Nenagh. None the worse for his escapade he dominated the race, leading home David Quilligan and Christopher Murnane.
Derek Duff was flying in the 60m, winning easily, with Chris Murnane sixth.
Ciaran O’Lionaird took the lead from the gun in the combined junior and senior 1,500m race. As the race progressed he drew well clear of the rest of the field for a comprehensive victory.
The combined senior junior 3,000m race had John shine well positioned for most of the race. However he went a little early with three laps remaining and paid the price as long time leader Rory Chesser from Ennis rallied on the last lap to win. John was credited as senior champion.
One of our new Polish cousins, Pawel Hazler, was a good second in the junior shot and is eagerly looking forward to the outdoor season to get back throwing the discus. His compatriot Kosno Davia ran well in the heats o the junior 200m but did not progress to the final.
Michael Ruby made a surprise return to action and took silver in the senior high jump, while another returnee Robert Baer ran well in the senior 800m and also won silver.
Temperatures were a lot warmer on Sunday last in Nenagh as was the competition. Niall Walsh, better known for his exploits in the triple jump, concentrated on the long jump on this occasion. After a very close competition he won gold by just one centimetre after jumping 6.37m.
The men’s 1,000m was won in style by Danny Darcy from SLOT, while Ciaran O’Lionaird finished third, on the shoulder of Eoin Everard from KCH. Ciaran’s time was almost seven seconds faster than he ran last year. John Shine never got into the race and was sixth.
the sprints saw Derek Duff finish a good third in the 60m, with Carl McNamara second in Race 2, and he later easily won Race 2 of the 200m.
Jessika Zebo just got the better of Niamh Cremin in Race two of the 400m – just 0.1 separated them.
At the same venue the previous day Frank Stam was second in the over 45 shot and third in the high jump, while Joseph Nagle was second in the over 35 long jump and third in the shot.
Meanwhile, several of our cross country runners were in action at the Munster senior and junior cross country championships in Kerry. A waterlogged course and heavy rainfall made Nenagh feel like the right place to be! Carmel Parnell was best in the senior women’s race with a fine fourth place finish (22:05), just one ahead of Angela Shine (22:10), with Jennifer Goggin 10th (23:36), Catherine Keohane 12th (23:50) and Andrea Ryan 25th (25:59). the team finished second.
Graham O’Dwyer was best in the senior men’s race, finishing 21st (40:54), with Ian Donovan 26th (41:21), Cillian O’Tuama 29th (41:34) and Bernard Twomey 25th (42:55) to give the team third place.
Next on the agenda is the All Ireland underage B cross country championships next Sunday, and a week later Mark Hanrahan will be the only Cork athlete selected on the six Irish teams competing at the Celtic International in ALSAA. A day earlier Ciaran O’Lionaird fly’s the Irish flag at the Reebok Indoor Games, running the junior mile. Munster Indoors Results Here