As published in the “Evening Echo”, Thursday 7 Apr 2011
CAMARADERIE WINS OUT AT INDOOR FINALS
The relays on Sunday really brought out the best in the young athletes competing. The loud cheering from athletes and spectators alike was deafening at times but it was all in a good cause.
Twelve months ago Abbey Striders and Leevale fought out a great race in the boys U13 4 x 200m, with the north Cork team first past the post.
On Sunday both teams were back, with both teams qualifying easily for the final in the U14 age group.
Once again there was nothing between them as they raced stride for stride to the halfway mark.
Both third leg runners were locked together until disaster struck after 100m when the Abbey Striders runner suddenly fell to the side of the track after pulling a muscle in his leg.
To say all four youngsters were distraught would be an understatement.
The tears flowed, but even in the midst .of this disaster one member of the team followed the race and clapped loudly as the Leevale team won by big margin.
He then made his way over and shook hands with each of the Leevale runners, who were in turn a little subdued after what had happened to their great rivals.
Leevale won in a time of 1:50.44, which was a new record, bettering the 1:50.75 of Nenagh Olympic last year.
The camaraderie, concern and appreciation shown by the eight runners towards each other was definitely one of the highlights of the championships.
It shouldn’t be too long before these two teams are back competing with each other again.
Leevale was represented by Matthew Murnane, Jack Murphy, Sean O’Callaghan, Luke Ring and Barry Shanahan, while Abbey Striders had Greg Barrett, Daire Cronin Jenks, Garrett O’Hanlon and Conor Sexton.
There was some compensation for Abbey Striders when their boys U12 team finished a close second to Gneeveguilla.
Leevale scored a second fine win when their U19 team of Caroline Murnane, Jessica Sheehan and the Neville twins Christina and Jessica, won the 4 x 200m in 1:46.33, two seconds clear of Ferrybank.