(Report by Liam)
Our women’s team put in a brilliant performance at the Nation Track and Field League Finals in Tullamore yesterday. Despite missing 2 of our star international athletes Ailis Mc Sweeney (injured) and Derval on International duty they finished second in the Women’s Premier Division.
They were just pipped by Abbey AC from Northern Ireland for the title.
This was a fantastic performance for a very young team. We certainly have a new sprinting star in Louise Mc Ardle who fought every inch of the way to snatch a great win in the 100m. Alana Quinn surprised everybody by winning a very exciting pole vault contest. The evergreen and recently crowned European 5,000m Master’s champion, Carmel Parnell was an easy victor in the 3000m. Niamh Cremin played a captain’s role by coasting to victory in the 400m hurdles. Claire McSweeney’s runner up positions in both the 200 and 400 meters shows that this young athlete has a bright future in the sport.
Katy Byrd showed her versatility with runner up position in the 100m hurdles and also securing valuable points in the triple and high jump jumps. Deirdre Murphy had to contend with most of the top throwers in the country but still secured second in the discus and 4th in the shot. 2005 National Senior Long Jump champion Donna Hosford was up against the best in the country and did well to finish 4th. Both our relay teams finished second, with the 4 x 100 team being very unlucky not to secure victory. In addition to those already mentioned the other members of the team to contribute valuable points were Aisling Maunsell (800m and relay), Cliona O’Shea the baby of the team (Relay), and Sinead Mackey (hammer). We must
not forget Jennifer Goggin and Jessika Zebo, who contributed hugely in getting the team to the final. It must have been heartbreaking for both of them to cry off the team, Jennifer at the 11th hour, through illness and
Jessika with a hamstring strain. The entire team was presented with silver medals.
Our Men’s Team did well to reach the final of Division One and eventually finished 7th. There were impressive performances from some of our young rising stars. Mark Hanrahan looked very impressive in winning the 1500m.
The up and coming young Thomas O’Sullivan was delighted with his PB in the 400m. Irish Junior discus champion Pavel Hazler set a new PB in the Senior discus when finishing second.
The band of supporters who followed the team were in great voice. Indeed if the other participating clubs brought along supporters as vociferous, then the atmosphere at the Tullamore venue would resemble that of any other sport at a National final!
The League Finals traditionally put an end to the domestic outdoor track season. Congratulations to all our successful athletes for bringing great honour to the club throughout the entire season. To every athlete who has competed in the club colours, regardless of success, you have been a great credit to your club and families. You have provided us fantastic entertainment and excitement throughout the track season.