Last Tuesday 21st June saw the running of the East Cork Track & Field championships for Junior, Senior and Masters athletes in the college in Carraig Na Bhfear. As Midsummers Day became evening it was warm and bright lending to a relaxed and friendly atmosphere which we have come to expect from this event. The grass tracks were in pristine condition ready for competition and with free refreshments on offer, no better value night out for €5! The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, a lot of familiar faces and plenty of new ones. Some of the highlights were the number of athletes competing in track races for the first time and some previous entrants who stepped up to have a go at new distances, masters medals in particular were hard won on the night. Great to see Fota Island Running club competing for the first time with good representation and taking home plenty of medals.
In the Junior events, Carraig were very prominent in numbers and subsequently in the medals. The sprints results were as follows.
100m Junior women: 1st Lily O’Riordan, 2nd Isobel O’Meara, 3rd Caoimhe Geoghegan.
100m Junior men: 1st Ruaidhri Boyle 2nd Cathal Whooley, 3rd Timmy Colbert.
300m – Junior Women: 1st Isobel O’Meara, 2nd Aine Sheridan and 3rd Lily O’Riordan.
300m – Junior Men – 1st Ruaidhri Boyle, 2nd Cathal Whooley, 3rd Timmy Colbert
Some excellent performances also in the middle-distance races, results are as follows.
1500m Junior women – 2nd Orlaith Merritt
1500m Junior men – 1st Aidan Maher, 2nd Timmy Hawkins, 3rd Cathal Whooley
3000m Junior Women – 1st Rebecca Kelleher
3000m Junior Men - 1st David Maher, 2nd Rian O’Luasa
In the 100m Senior Womens race a close contest saw Katie Walsh being pushed all the way by Orla Coffey with Cliona Martin also running well to take the bronze medal. In the senior mens race Ciaran Nugent was impressive in taking the win, however Ruaidhri Boyle is growing in to the sprint events very impressively and wasn’t far behind in 2nd place, Don Sheehan strong as ever in 3rd place.
Masters 100m women: Eileen O’Riordan picking up her first East Cork medal placing 2nd in the O35’s and Seanna Boyle adding to the family bling with 3rd in the O45’s. Not to be outdone, Robert Boyle took gold in the mens 100m O45’s just ahead of Dave O’Riordan in second place, a full contingent of 8 runners in this race great to see.
300m Senior women, it was as you were in the 100m, a close race with Katie, Orla and Cliona taking the podium positions. Ciaran Nugent was the winner of the mens senior 300m. In the 300m Master women 300m Rachel O Callaghan just getting edged in to 4th position in a good race. The 300m masters men was again one of the most hotly contested age groups with 8 athletes in the shake up, Don Sheehan again making us all question our training regime, returning to action to win gold with Robert Boyle in 2nd place.
And finally middle distance, a great mix of clubs in these and some great action around the 300m track. 1500m women, Eileen O’Riordan in 1st place with her second medal of the night and Orla Gorman taking 3rd, Helen Roche taking bronze in the O45’s encouraging signs for our womens cross-country team! Congratulations to Rebecca Kelleher finishing in 1st place overall in the overall combined womens Junior and senior race in 11:58 as well as taking the junior title.
The 3000m mens race was combined junior, senior and masters. A steady pace early on leading to an inevitable wind-up with Carraigs Daire O’Sullivan putting in an impressive burst of speed to finish ahead of East Corks Nick O’Donoghue and Midletons’ Tony Forristal with a time of 9m:46s. Congratulations to David Maher who was first Junior but also 3rd overall in the race, dipping under the 10-minute mark. Willie Walsh was close behind in 5th place overall running 10m04s to take gold in the M45 category. A mention also to John Ahern who celebrated his birthday (and eligibility for the M45 category) by taking 4th place, narrowly missing out on bronze.
In summary, a great nights’ racing made possible by a lot of hard work by our members in preparation which was acknowledged by all present, the evening finishing on a high with 7 teams competing in a mixed relay event.
Tailteann games: The schools’ event for Intermediate boys and girls took place in Tullamore on Friday 24th in difficult conditions. With an Irish singlet for the SIABs’ on offer for the first 2 finishers in each event, it is always hotly contested with a high standard of competition. Timmy Colbert (Scoil an chroi Naofa) threw a big PB of 45.75m in the 700g javelin to take a brilliant 4th place! In the 300m hurdles, Aine Sheridan (Colaiste An Mhuire, Cobh) ran a pb of 51.69m, great experience for Aine who will compete in this event in the club Nationals, Aine will be eligible for Tailteann games again next year. Similarly, Aidan Maher (St.Colmans, Fermoy) who finished 6th in the Boys 1500m Steeplechase will be eligible again for next years competition. Well done all!
National Senior Track & Field championships: A proud week for the club as we followed 2 of our athletes competing in what is the pinnacle of domestic athletics competition. It is a major goal of the club to retain juniors and hopefully see them make the difficult transition to Senior level. Daire O’Sullivan and Ciaran Nugent have put in serious work this year and deservedly took their place amongst Ireland elite, hopefully the first of many appearances. Daire was in heat 2 of the 1500m, in windy conditions, all middle distance races were very cagey, tactical affairs which made for great viewing. Daire, finishing well up the large field of runners 8th place with a time of 4:03.90, the first 4 qualifying automatically. Nice also to see East Cork divisional colleague Frank O’Brien running well in the same heat, Frank was officiating at our East Cork Track night earlier in the week!
In the 400m hurdles heats, Ciaran Nugent lined up against 4th placed Olympian Thomas Barr. Certainly not overawed by the occasion, Ciaran ran a pb of 54.81 to finish 4th in the heat and qualify for the final as 5th fastest overall, a magnificent achievement given the occasion and the challenging conditions. In the final on Sunday, Ciaran maintained his placing with a phenomenal 5th place finish in 55:00. Congratulations to Ciaran on a great performance.
Park Run: Glen River Stalwart Rian O’Luasa was joined this week by coach Willie Walsh and Timmy Colbert. A well balance field of runners with Willie first across the line in 19.00, Timmy 4th in 20.24 and Rian 7th in 21:09.
Look ahead: Day 1 of the Club National track and field championships take place in Tullamore on Sunday 3rd. Best of luck to Aidan Maher, David Maher, Timmy Hawkins, Aine Sheridan, Lily O’Riordan and Josh Judd who will compete on Day 1.
Report by Richard Hawkins