The Tailteann Games in its original form is one of the oldest festivals of sport in the world, almost 2000 yrs old. After a lull it was revived by the Irish free state in the 1920s as a way of reconnecting with and re-establishing ancient Irish cultural heritage following independence from Britain. The idea was for a bigger better version of the Olympic Games with events such as Motorcycling included. The motorcycling never got off the ground but the Athletics did and is still going strong with some of the most talented young athletes from all four provinces competing for the team and individual honours.
The teams are picked from both the provincial and national school championships. So our five athletes were representing not only themselves and their families but their clubs and schools also. In fact five athletes from one club is no small achievement for a small provincial town but Nenagh always punches above its weight in most sports and athletics is no different.
On the day Ted Collins, Glenstal Abbey and Jodie McGrath, St Mary's Nenagh were our top performers. Ted put the disappointment of the Irish schools well behind him with a classy bit of 800m running. Starting conservatively and going through the Bell in 7th position in 59sec. Starting his run 300m out and looking magestic he got to 2nd with 100m to go. He tired a little with 50m to go but held on for 3rd and a podium position.
Jodie McGrath despite being younger than her competitors also took a podium position and the experience gained from her 3rd place finish will be invaluable as she is also young enough to compete next year. Jodie is having a great year and with the nationals only a couple of weeks away it looks good for the rest of her season.
We had three other athletes on the day James Sage, St Joseph's Borrisoleigh was 5th in the 100m hurdles. Ailbhe O'Neill, St Mary's Nenagh was 6th in the 1500m and Padraig Hassett, Glenstal was 6th in the 400m hurdles and all will benifit from the experience gained. So as you can see the motorcycling never made it. But you never know with a little luck maybe next year.
Our next outing is the 2nd leg of the National senior league next Sunday in Santry. The club are in 5th position after the first weekend and will need a good overall performance to reach the final.
Our final Munster competition of the Track & Field season, the Munster Juvenile "B" & Juvenile Quadrathlon/Pentathlon Championships takes place on Sunday 30th June in Lee's Road, Ennis, Co. Clare commencing at 10.30am.
Entries to Brian or Andy no later than MONDAY 24th June.
Just a few details to bring your attention to:-
See all information on the Quadrathlon/Pentathlon Competition here - http://munsterathletics.com/forms/2019/Outdoors/Letter%20to%20all%20Clubs%20re%20Outdoor%20Multi%202019.pdf
Directions to Lee's Road, Ennis
Update 1st July.
Entries are now closed for the competitions below. Final entries can be viewed via the following links (Tip: You can type the Athlete Name into the 'Athlete Name' field or to see Club entries type Nenagh into the 'Club' field ):
Jun - U23 = https://athleticsireland.entry4sports.com/entry/v5/competition/showEntries.php?compid=152
Juvenile Champs = https://ireland.entry4sports.com/entry/v5/competition/showEntries.php?compid=61
Irish Life Health Junior & U/23 T&F Championships
National Junior to U23 competition takes place on Sat 6th July in Tullamore, Competition entry is open now and closes next Wed 26th June.
Entries to Andy Hodgins or Brian O'Neill as soon as possible please. thank you.
Jun - U23 Entries
Irish Life Health Juvenile T&F Championships
National juvenile competition day 1, day 2, day 3, (7th, 13th and 14th July) will be opening soon. The Munster officials will give us the names of those athletes that qualified from munsters up to age U16.
From U17 up is open competition so looking for entries for that age group as soon as you can please.
Entries to Andy Hodgins or Brian O'Neill as soon as possible please. thank you.
Event details will be published here once they are made available to us.
Juvenile T&F Championships Entries
We had day 2 of the Munster U12/19 championships which were held in Castleisland and we had a relatively small representation out but they performed superbly and had us looking forward to more tomorrow.
Sarah Lane got us off to the best of starts with a win in the U18 400m. Last week her sister decided what's yours is mine and what's mine is my own and promptly headed off to Spain for a couple of months with Sarah's gear. But cool calm and collected she borrowed some gear from Ailbhe O'Neill and has now won two Munster titles in two weeks. Ailbhe, don't expect the gear back anytime soon.
Young Mairead O'Brien belied her lack of experience to finish a very close 5th in her U12 60m final and teamed up with Anna Paxman, Anna O'Dwyer and Lilly Duffy later on to also finish 5th in their U12 4x100m relay. A little baton practice will surely have this quartet in the hunt for titles.
Emma Carolan had a return to form finishing 3rd in the U15 shot while her brother Seán threw a superb 44.48m to win the U19 boys Javelin later on. Second to Seán was his clubmate Joe McEvoy who threw 39.80m for the silver medal.
Our two cross country specialists Luke Purcell and Jamie Moloney took to the track in the 3000m and finished 4th & 5th despite excellent runs. Watch out for these boys in future.
James Sage and Louis Doyle both finished 5th in their respective U16 & 17 100m finals with their strong events to come tomorrow, hurdles and 200m.
Micheál Moylan, better known as an 800m runner ran the U15 100m and finished a superb 5th in 12.94s. He will look forward to the 200m tomorrow.
Ellen O'Dwyer jumped 4.60m in her U15 long jump to finish 4th just outside the medals.
Day 3 of the Munsters was supposed to be wet but the sun greeted us in Castleisland and just like yesterday we got off to a flying start. This time it was our two U19 Hammer throwers Seán Carolan and Brian Naughton with a 1-2 finish. Seán also won the Discus later in the day from another teammate Darragh Miniter with Brian Naughton 4th.
If you can't fly then run
If you can't run then walk.
If you can't walk then crawl.
But by all means keep moving.
These words by Martin Luther King Jr
could be the story of Cian Hodgins last six months missing the whole cross country season. All kinds of little injuries collectively called growing pains have kept him from any kind of continuity in training so he walked, swam, ran and cycled. Whatever it took to keep moving till today finally he had his first proper race of the season. He will be well pleased with his second place to his international teammate and training partner Tom Walshe who has had his own share of troubles with growing pains. The two of them ran away from the opposition early in the race with Cian pushing the pace but in the end a classy finish from Tom clinched the U15 race with Cian just two secs behind in second.
Tom's younger brother Ben running his first 1500m race enjoyed himself immensely and his 5th place finish shows Hugh promise for the future.
Ailbhe O'Neill is delighted to have her junior cert over but with the focus on the exams and study these last few weeks she will be delighted with her 2nd place finish in the U17 1500m behind Newport's Aimee Hayde and can now refocus on her running in time for next week's Tailteann games.
Our trio of U16 boys Sean Hayes, Luke Purcell and Jamie Moloney really got stuck in to their 1500m early and all three ran well. Seán Hayes improves with every race and his 4th place finish sees him qualify for the nationals. Luke finished very well for 5th with Jamie 7th.
Ted Collins showed good form in his U18 1500m. He finished 3rd and this bodes well going into the Tailteanns next week in his preferred 800m distance.
George O'Leary and Seán Himli were 6th and 9th in the U17 1500m whiz is promising from this inexperienced pair.
Something completely different saw Caitríona Finn finish 4th in the U14 shot with a new PB of 9.93m.
In the 200m Tom McCutcheon ran very well for second in the U16 final.
Louis Doyle finished an agonising 4th in the U17 final and Pádraig Hassett 8th. Also in the 200m Mícheál Moylan
ran strongly for 5th in his U15 final.
In the U18 triple jump Josh Egan jumped very well when finishing 2nd with a hop, skip and jump of 12.66m.
Finally our U17 boys finished off the day nicely when winning their relay. Our team of James Sage, Tom McCutcheon, Pádraig Hassett and the fast finishing Louis Doyle held off Dooneen for the title.
Next week is we have four athletes representing the club and their schools in the Tailteann Games in Santry. Ted Collins, Glenstal, Ailbhe O'Neill, St Mary's Nenagh, Jodie McGrath, St Mary's Nenagh and James Sage, St Joseph's Borrisoleigh have all been selected on the Munster team so best of luck to all from everyone in the club.
Munster U/12 to U/19 T&F Championships - Day 1 & Junior, U23, Senior & Masters T&F Championships
The outdoor season just keeps rolling along and this weekend we were In Templemore for the Munster u12-19 on Saturday and Munster U20/23, Senior and Masters on Sunday.
Ruairi Walshe, he may have been our youngest, smallest, quietest, OK not quiet but two out of three is not bad, athlete on Saturday but he was also one of the bravest and his third place finish in the U12 600m was a great reward for this youngest member of the highly talented Walshe dynasty. Older brothers Tom who is a schools cross country international was 2nd in the U15 800m and Ben an All Ireland cross country individual medalist was 6th in the u14 800. Both are looking forward to the longer 1500m event next week. Ingebrigtsen brothers had better watch out.
Anna Paxman and Lilly Duffy reached the final of their U12 600m but didn't medal despite good performances.
Diarmuid Moloney had to endure the U13 600m on Saturday despite preferring something a little longer so he turned up on Sunday to the Carrig 10k and won the U16 catagory in an astonishing 38min despite being only 12 yrs of age.
In the U14 catagory Roisin Duffy had a wonderful competition and won it with a 1.50m clearence.
U15 the afore mentioned Tom Walshe was 2nd in the 800m after a great battle with Newports Dara Kennedy. Micheal Moylan was 5th in this race also.
Jack O'Callaghan also got a silver medal this time in the Pole Vault with a 2.55m clearence.
In the U15 girls high jump Ellen O'Dwyer and Ellie McEvoy finished 2nd & 3rd both clearing 1.45m.
U16 James Sage was 2nd in the 100m hurdles and 3rd in the long jump.
Alex Reynolds was 4th in his discus competition with a throw of over 34m.
Ben Connolly cleared 3.30m to finish 2nd in the pole vault competition.
Also U16 Sean Hayes with 5th in the 800m with a brilliant new pb of 2m.09s.
Jodie McGrath was not at her best but still finished 2nd in the U16 girls pole vault with 2. 55m.
Sarah Lane showed she is getting back to her best after injury with an emphatic victory in the U18 girls 800m. Staying with the pack for 400m she then increased her pace on the second lap and ran away from her persuers to win in 2m21s.
Ted Collins also U18 was 2nd in his 800m in 2m.06m
Josh Egan had a great new pb when finishing 4th in the long jump with a jump of 6.31m.
The quartet of Josh Egan, Joe Cunningham, Ted Collins and Louis Doyle had a great battle in the U18 relay eventually finishing 3rd.
U19s Sean Carolan and Darragh Miniter were 2nd and 3rd in the long jump with 6.41 & 6.21m respectively. They finished in the same order and placing in the shot putt comp when Sean threw 13.45m and Darragh 11.73m.
The 2nd & 3rd day of these munsters are next Saturday and Sunday in Casteisland.
Thanks to Sean Finn for the summary.
If your an athletics fan then the All Ireland schools Track & Field finals in Tullamore are the place to be every June. All track & Field events are straight finals with only the best 8-16 athletes in the country in each event so there is little room for error or having a bad day.
The competition starts early to a strict timetable and a lot of our athletes especially the endurance athletes were not even in Tullamore when Jodie McGrath got us off to a great start when winning the Inter girls Pole Vault in a new national record of 3 meters. This was Jodie's first national schools title so well done to her.
After that initial success we had a mixed couple of hours.
Caitríona Finn finished 6th in the minor girls shot with a throw of 9.46m. This was an excellent performance in her first national schools final and shows a lot of potential for the future.
The best of our juniors was Ben Connolly, Nenagh CBS who was 3rd in his Pole Vault competition. Ben felt he didn't perform to his full potential but the 3m clearence was still enough for the bronze medal.
Also in the junior catagory Ellie McEvoy, St Anne's Killaloe finished 7th in the High jump with 1.45m and Emma Carolan, St Mary's Newport 11th in the Shot Putt with a throw of 8.55m.
In the Inter catagory Sarah Lane, St Anne's Killaloe had a great run in the 800m running 2m17s finishing 4th in what was the most competitive race of the day and won by Newport's Aimee Hayde in a schools record.
James Sage, St Joseph's Borrisoleigh also finished 4th in the 100m hurdles an agonizing .02 of a sec off the bronze medal.
Mark Carroll, Nenagh CBS 5.92m in the long jump and Ted Collins, Glenstal Abbey 2m06s in the 800m were performances below their own expectations but they will bounce back in the upcoming weeks.
St Joseph's, Borrisoleigh quartet of Alex Reynolds, James Sage, Tom McCutcheon and Lewis Doyle did not have their best day with a couple of changes not as slick as normal and eventually finishing 6th.
Our senior boys of Joe McEvoy, St Anne's Killaloe, Sean Carolan, St Mary's Newport and Darragh Miniter, Ennistymon CBS had mixed fortunes Joe was 3rd in the High jump with 1.95m but knocked a hurdle in the 110m H and finished 5th. Seán was 3rd in the Shot with an excellent 14.14m and 4th in the Long jump with a good 6.70m clearance. Darragh was just one place behind his clubmate in 5th with a 6.67m jump.
Our last individual competitor of the day was definitely worth waiting for. Ailbhe O'Neill, St Mary's Nenagh was favourite for the U16 mile in many peoples eyes. For Ailbhe the favourites tag was something new but you wouldn't have known that on the day for she dominated the race from the start and ran away from her competitors on the last lap to win in 5m.20s. This junior cert student has pressures of a different kind this week but I'm sure she will deal with them in the same cool, calm manner she always deals with what life throws at her.
Speaking of exams best of luck to all our junior and leaving cert students in the coming weeks.
Next week we have U12/19 juvenile Munster champs in Templemore on Saturday and Munster junior, U23 and masters also in Templemore on Sunday
Weekly Guardian Notes + More