Day three of the All Ireland Juvenile indoors
Day three of the All Ireland Juvenile indoors U12 / 19 turned out to be a good day for the club in Athlone on Sunday. Star of the show was Joe McEvoy who continued his fine sprinting form of late with a good win in the U18 60m hurdles. After a great start he dominated the race and got a new PB with an 8.24s run. He defeated his good friend and training partner Darragh Miniter from Kilrush who picked up the silver medal who travels to Nenagh a couple of times a week to train.
James Sage finished second in the Scottish nationals two weeks ago and he also continued his good form with the silver medal in the U15 60m hurdles. This was James first track individual All Ireland indoor medal and he will carry a lot of confidence into the upcoming outdoor season.
Our third medal of the day went to Ailbhe O’Neill with a bronze medal in the U16 girls 800m. A week ago Ailbhe finished fourth in the 1500m and she turned up this week determined not to finish outside the medals. She needed all her fighting spirit and talent to medal in a very competitive race. Her time of 2.22.01 was a new indoor Pb. With the outdoor club & Schools not too far away she will be on a high going into the new season.
Josh Delaney had a fine 12.10m throw in the U16 shot for a very close fourth place finish and he too will be determined to turn the form around in the outdoor season.
Also in the throws Emma Carolan threw the shot 10.10m for a fifth place finish.
Ted Collins had a welcome return to form this weekend. After a difficult year with problems caused by growing 10 in the last 18 months he turned the corner in a big way this weekend reaching the final and securing a great new Pb of 2m.05s in the U17 800m . This 6ft 3in 15 yr old will benefit from a little more strength growth rather than height in the coming year and will be a formidable competitor going forward.
The last day of the indoors is in two weeks with the relay finals in Athlone .
All Ireland's Day 1
In sport as in life it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every now and again to expand our thinking and see an alternative way of doing things.
With this in mind two of our young athletes James Sage and Louis Doyle headed to Glasgow for the Scottish champs instead of competing in the county championships.
This decision turned out to be very beneficial as James finished a very close second in the U15 60m hurdles final. Both boys also reached the semifinals of the 60m narrowly missing out on the final by just 3 hundredths of a second. Well done to both these young athletes and they can now look forward to the All Ireland champs In Athlone next week.
Today was the first day of the Juvenile All Ireland indoor track and field championships and we only had three athletes involved this week with a much larger contingent entering the fray next week.
Ben Connolly competing in the U15 pole vault was a little behind his best but still secured 3rd place with a vault of 2.15 m.
Alex Reynolds was competing in the U15 high jump and had an excellent jump of 1.60 m to finish joint 4th. This equalled Alex’s competition Pb and will set him up nicely for the upcoming outdoor season.
Our third competitor of the day was Ailbhe O Neill in the girls U16 1500m. Ailbhe is starting to show some fine form and finished 4th in a very classy race which was won by Aimee Hayde of Newport in a new Irish record. Ailbhe will take a lot of confidence from this race going into next week’s 800m so roll on next week for the next instalment of the All Ireland indoor champs.
All Ireland champions !!!!!!
It sure has a lovely ring to it . As a coach in Athletics you’re dream has got to be the ultimate, an Olympic title
or else your selling your athletes short. If you set your aims too low there is a good chance you will achieve them. Where would that leave us now post race , waking up as All Ireland school champions , 12 / 13 yrs of age with their dream accomplished . Could they still find the motivation and drive to train five days a week, to keep up
the intensity needed. Well we have absolutely no worries on that score because our dreams rely on celestial navigation these boys would probably have slept in their running gear hardly able to sleep in anticipation of getting out for a steady 40 min recovery run on Sunday morning. I love being a coach.
I told Gary Scully who is a science teacher in the CBS around this time last year that he had a sunami of talent heading his way within the new crop of first years. Since then Gary himself has formed a bond with these boys as he doesn’t just teach, he inspires and the first years love him. We need more Mr Scully’s in our schools. So I as their coach and Gary as their teacher have had a wonderful journey in our athletic meandering’s over the last few months cumulating in this All Ireland win.
We turned up in Waterford for the 2500m race and as munster champions we had expected a little mention in the pre race promotion. The number one rule in sport is respect and with little or none coming from either our national association or main rivals for the team title the Leinster champions, St Kieran’s of Kilkenny we felt that we could use it to our advantage. The tough sticky conditions meant a little cautious start for the Nenagh boys with the Kilkenny school a good fifteen points clear after the first of two laps. But the 500m longer second lap was always going to be where the title was decided. Tipperary are no strangers to epic comebacks and so it was to be again when these proud Tipp men dug deep and all of the scoring four Cian Hodgins, Tom Walshe , Luke Purcell & Seán Hayes made ground passing opponents until they had turned a fifteen point deficit into a four point win. The most ironic thing was our third scorer Luke Purcell who’s dad Donal hails from Mooncoin in Kilkenny and Luke passed nine opponents on the final hill to put the final nail in the Kilkenny coffin. It just goes to show that we can take a raw Kilkenny gem stone and polish it into a proper Tipperary diamond .
Cian went from eight to fourth in the last 800m. Tom also making four places to finish 9th. Seán also made a couple of places to finish 38th. With leaders like Cian & Tom success is inevitable as they inspire their teammates around them. It’s taken five years for them to become an overnight success but they have grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The four other members of our squad Philip McIntyre , Aiden O’Dwyer , Eoin Moloney & Jamie Moloney also ran exceptionally well and in our quest to win all four school age groups in the coming years we will need all eight boys motivated.
The St Marys team went into the All Ireland schools cross country champs as last year’s All Ireland minor team champions. With this in mind they were determined to put up a good show and this they did in spades. The CBS are headed by the twin spearhead of Cian & Tom and the convent ladies have their own twin spearhead literally in the form of the Cunneen twins from Dolla. Niamh & Ellen are not runners in the conventional sense but are very fine natural athletes all the same. Very few people have come from a team sport into the ultra tough world of cross country running and made an impact. It’s not as if they need to find something new to excel at as they already do that at Gaelic & soccer so fair play to them for finding the desire and motivation within themselves to do cross country for their school.
Niamh & Ellen along with Nenagh Olympic’s track star Ailbhe O’Neill knew it was going to be tough and so it turned out to be. The twins settled into 15 & 16 position with Ailbhe around 38th position. As they got into the last third of the race the Cunneen’s had made some headway climbing to 11th and 13th and up the final hill they were getting stronger eventually Niamh finished 9th and Ellen 12th. With Ailbhe backing them up strongly with a very strong finish in 34th for an excellent silver medal position in the team competition. Hopefully for next year we can get the Cunneens to do some more athletics for the only thing between them and a top 3 finish is some more experience and the confidence that comes from running specific training. We might even tempt them on to the track in the summer over 3000m where Ailbhe excels over the shorter 800/1500m distances.
:Munster Indoor u13/19 Championships
What a weekend for Nenagh Olympic at the Munster Indoor U13 / 19 championships. We had winners in a variety of events Ailbhe O’Neill’s first munster title in the U16 800m , Tom Walshe’s first title in the U14 800m, Ben Connolly ‘s first title in the U15 Pole Vault , Joe McEvoy’s win in the U18 60m hurdles and Jodie McGrath ‘s first title in the U15 Pole Vault.
These wonderful performances were backed up with Cian Hodgins 2nd in U14 800m , Sarah Lane 2nd U17 800m , Seán Carolan 2nd in U18 Shot, Josh Delaney 2nd U16 Shot , James Sage 2nd U15 long jump & 3rd 60m hurdles , Joe McEvoy 3rd U18 high jump , Ailbhe O’Neill 3rd U16 1500m , Dane Ryan 3rd U19 1500m and Ted Collins 3rd U17 800m.
Add in a number of athletes just off the podium in fourth & fifth like Alex Reynolds high jump, Lucy Mulcahy 1500m , Ben Walshe 600m & Tom McCutcheon 800m and we have one of the most successful munster championships ever for the club. Well done everyone , keep up the good work and we can carry this form into the All Ireland championships.
Munster Schools Cross Country Championships
A Munster Schools competition of any kind is always very competitive but Munster Schools cross country day is as tough as it gets . All the big powerhouses in schools sport arrive with great expectation. A look at the trophy afterwards has all the usual names St Flannan’s, St Augustine’s , Glenstal Abbey and of course Br Dooley’s beloved North Mon from Cork but Nenagh CBS added another chapter to Br John’s sporting legacy when the first year boys of Sean Hayes ( Puckaun), Luke Purcell (Newtown) , Cian Hodgins ( Nenagh), Tom Walshe (Nenagh) , Philip McIntyre (Nenagh), Aiden Dwyer (Youghalarra), Eoin Moloney (Portroe ) & Jamie Moloney (Ballycommon) won the minor boys title for the first time.
As expected Cian Hodgins & Tom Walshe went with the leading group with Sean Hayes , Luke Purcell & Philip McIntyre not far behind in the second group and Aiden Dwyer just behind. With 800m to go Cian hit the front and bringing Fennell of St Augustine’s ,Dungarvan with him. In a very close finish Cian just got out sprinted to finish second. Tom was a close fifth and with Luke 13th, Sean 14th , Philip 15th & Aiden 34th they ran away with the team title beating St Flannan’s by 47pts with St Augustine’s third.
These boys will go into the All Ireland’s in a couple of weeks as one of the favourites for the team title so roll on the nationals which will also be held in Waterford.
Not to be outdone the junior girls from St Mary’s Nenagh we’re equally as fabulous. The Cunneen twins from Dolla are a formidable duo at many sports and are now carving a name for themselves in the toughest of all , cross country.
Niamh was second in the east Munster’s but was not going to be outdone in the Munsters. Running in third for most of the race she hit the front on the last hill and won in a very exciting sprint finish. Her twin sister Ellen had a fantastic race to finish sixth. Sarah Murphy in 44th completed the team on the day to help them to a third place finish and qualify for the nationals. With Ailbhe O’Neill to come into the squad for the nationals they also will be one of the favourites for the team title.
In the senior girls Lucy Mulcahy running for her school Presentation Thurles had an outstanding run in 10th position to help Pres to a 3rd place finish in the team competition.
National Senior Indoor Championships
As a coach we have different barometers with which we measure success in sport. If we use winning as our only indicator then in sport as in life we would have many losers. Luckily we have other indicators and a young up and coming athlete making a final and performing at a very high standard is one of those. Technically a barometer is anything that indicates change and for the last year we have seen that with a succession of top class performances at provincial and national level by our athletes.
Today’s national senior indoor finals was a continuation of that trend even though our only representation was from one of our more inexperienced racers at this level Aoife Delargy. A series of minor niggles kept Paul White , Robbie Bennett and Tom Hennessey, three serious medal prospects out of the championships. But up stepped Aoife Delargy on Saturday running determinedly to finish third in her heat and proceed to the 800m final on Sunday. Sunday’s final started fast with Aoife towards the back of the group. At the 400m halfway mark Aoife had moved up to fifth. Running on strongly she climbed to fourth just outside the medals by the finish. This by anyone’s standards has got to be considered a major success and we look forward to her competing for a top three finish in next year’s competition.
On a more local level Ciara Cummins ran the county Novice 3000m road race in Moyne today and came away with a fine win to continue her domination of the county road & cross country scene.
Well done to both these young ladies and they can now get in a good block of training before the outdoor track season kicks off.
All Ireland Cross Country Relay Championships
We Travelled to a very wet , very chilly & very snowy Clarinbridge in Galway on Sunday to the All Ireland cross country relays with our boys U14 team of Cian Hodgins, Luke Purcell, Tom Walshe & Seán Hayes. This team have rampaged through the cross country season already winning the county & Munster titles in both the club & relay competitions. Last Thursday in Waterford in cruel conditions these first years in Nenagh CBS got their school athletic careers off to a winning start when winning the East Munster schools cross country title .
In Clarinbridge today they added the All Ireland cross country relay silver medals to their haul. In very tough conditions they had to dig deep for the second time in four days . Cian Hodgins led off on the first uphill leg and after a very strong performance handed over to Tom Walshe on the down hill leg in second position behind Wexford team United Striders.Toms track pace showed as he opened daylight back to Shercock club from Cavan. Sean Hayes is the newest member of this team but you wouldn’t think so today as his run showed a lot of composure and left Luke Purcell still in second & thirty metres clear of third team Shercock. It looked for half of the 500m last leg as if we may be caught but Luke dig deep and if anything extended our lead over third place. So another great result for this team and it’s on to the Munster schools cross country championships in Waterford on Friday week.
Irish University Championships
For our coaches and the club in general we have many hopes , aims and aspirations. Sure we want to win titles and gain international success but on Friday in the All Ireland University’s championships in Athlone we were reminded of a simpler aspiration that all our athletes can evolve into happy , independent and self motivated young adults. We hit all those markers and probably a few we weren’t even aiming for on Friday . One could wax lyrical about each and every athletes performance but as a group they were outstanding.
rom UCC’s Aoife Delargy’s superb first national title in the 800m achieved in such a calm , determined and professional manner. UL’s Paul White’s outstanding performance in claiming the silver medal in another PB of 48.07 not to mention the many new scalps to put him closer to the top of Irish senior 400m rankings. Also UL’s Tom Hennessey continues on his road to Damascus journey with a very impressive silver in the 800m .
A new year , new goals and inspiration for Tom sees him back on a journey to who knows where but I for one am enjoying every step with him . Two unsung heroes of Nenagh athletics Dan Finnerty & Oisín Fitzpatrick ran superb legs of the men’s 4x200m relay to help IT Carlow win the title for the first time. Mikey Quilligan also running an inspired leg of the same relay to help DCU to the silver medals. We also had Deirbhle Ryan UL 4th in high jump & 6th in shot. Darren Dunne UL 6th in 3000m & Ciara Cummins DCU 8th in the 1500m and last but not least Margaret Mary Grace IT Waterford with an excellent new PB of 62s in the 400m. Now to the national cross country relays on Sunday in Clarinbridge Galway with our U14 boys team.
I’ve heard it said that God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them. Well the club has at least another twelve months to grow into the dream of winning the National senior indoor title. Despite a very solid showing from our very young team we finished fourth but this is going to make us a little more determined and a little more battle hardened for our step up to the senior ranks.
Oisín Fitzpatrick got us off to a good start with second in the 60m hurdles. Only for hitting the third hurdle heavily he would surely have won the race but such is life. Oisín also had a fine jump of 12.25 m to finish fifth in the triple jump.
Darren Dunne continued his excellent form with second in the 1500m in a new Pb of 4.05. Darren is also an international Triathlete but after a few years of concentrating on improving his swimming prowess he is back doing more running which will surely benefit all his endeavors.
Paul White showed us he is coming into good form with an indoor PB of 48.6 which was good enough for second in the 400m behind fellow international Kervick of Clonliffe.
Normally a 400m runner Mikey Quilligan dropped down to the 60m to help out the team. His time of 7.3 was very solid and earned him sixth place. The next day Mikey ran an excellent 51.08 400m in the AAI indoor games .
Tom Hennessy is another endurance runner on the comeback trail . He ran another excellent 800m race and achieved an indoor PB of 1.56.1 for a second place finish.
In the shot putt Dan Finnerty putt the shot 10.05m for a fifth place finish.
Robbie Bennett our 6ft 3in sprinter is more suited to the larger outdoor track but he acquitted himself well with a 22.5 and third place finish in the 200m.
Our youngest competitor Joe McEvoy who will be just 17 yrs old this year contributed handsomely to our cause with second in the High jump with 1.85m and third in the long jump with 6.29m . We’re looking forward to watching this young man progress over the next couple of years after earning his first international singlet last year.
Mark Tierney equaled his Pb in the pole vault with a 2.70m clearance which earned him fourth place.
We went into the last event the 4x200m relay just four points off third place but despite an excellent third place finish we still could not close the gap to finish on the podium. The relay team of Robbie Bennett, Dan Finnerty, Mikey Quilligan & Paul White ran an excellent time of 1.31.3 for a new club record.
Well done to all involved and we will be back with a renewed vigor next year to get on the podium.