2010 – a vintage year!

2010 – a vintage year!


Another year gone and another year of huge progress for Craughwell AC on both juvenile and senior fronts! The senior scene saw the club field a senior men’s team in the National League for the first time ever while 2 of our cross country runners Peter O’Sullivan and Gerry Ryan brought honour to themselves and the club when selected for the Irish Masters cross country teams that contested the international against England, Scotland and Wales, both athletes helping Ireland to victory in the M35 and M45 categories. Not to be outdone, our senior women took to the fields in the Connacht Novice cross country – the first time ever the club has fielded a senior women’s team in any cross country event, and incredibly on their debut the team took the Connacht title with Maeve Curley taking the individual gold with a storming performance, followed by Louise O’Rourke 5th, Anne Moran 6th and Reena Deely 8th. With interest in fit4life continuing to grow and our juvenile athletes starting to enter the senior ranks, the future looks bright for our senior section!

On the juvenile and junior front, it was another fantastic year with some exceptional performances right through the year. The club is firing on all cylinders in terms of both participation and success. With over 20 adults involved in juvenile coaching, the club grew its juvenile membership by another 25% this year – from 308 to 402 members. Our new U8s who joined in September quickly grew to a group of 60 while all age groups continued to show increases during the year – at times proving challenging to our hard-working coaches.

From a success perspective, our juvenile/junior athletes retained their place in the top 3 most successful Connacht clubs alongside Galway City Harriers and Westport. In fact at the National indoor championships, we were the 3rd most successful club in the country in terms of individual honours. Here’s a brief summary of our juvenile/junior successes in 2010 at National and international level:-


Cathriona Farrell retained her National Junior title in the high jump, clearing 1.70m on her first attempt.

2011 will be Cathriona’s last year in the junior ranks where she will hopefully be going for 3-in-a-row National junior indoor titles.

Later in the month, Cathriona received the prestigious Connacht Tribune Athletics Sportstar of the Year Award at a glittering ceremony in the Ardilaun Hotel. 

Peadar Harvey set a new club junior record of 2.13.2 when finishing 5th in the National Junior 800m. 

Rachel Finnegan claimed the National Junior title in the pentathlon with a score of 2377 points – 10.26 in the hurdles, 4.50m in the long jump, 6.18m in the shot putt, 1.33m in the high jump and 2.40.84 in the 800m.

Ashley McDonnell and Sophie Ralston combined to take the silver medals in the long jump at the Senior Indoor Relays – leaping a combined total of 9.14m. Sisters Sarah and Rachel Finnegan took the bronze medals in the same event, leaping 8.75m. The Finnegan sisters claimed further silverware when taking silver in the triple jump with a combined jump of 17.83m.



Maria McNamara joined Cathriona Farrell at the helm of high jump when taking silver at the Scottish Indoor U15 Championships in Glasgow with a fine jump of 1.55m.

Cathriona competing in her first University championships took the National title with a jump of 1.66m and followed this up later in the month with a fantastic bronze at the English AAA U20 Championships when clearing 1.75m on her first attempt.

The U13 boys took a splendid 3rd place in the team event in the rearranged National Cross Country Championships in Boyle – with Damien O’Boyle leading the team home in 11th place, Oisin Doyle 22nd, Jamie Spellman 33rd, Gavin O’Toole 41st and Cillian McDaid 55th.



 Conor Gillen put in an incredible performance in the Irish Schools Cross Country Championships when finishing in 12th place in the Junior Boys 3500m and claiming the final place on the Irish team that would contest the forthcoming international cross country.

In the international race later in the month, Conor was the 6th Irishman home and in the process helped Ireland to the bronze medals in the team event.

Linda Porter made a stunning return to form in the U17 girls 1500m at the National Indoors when racing to victory in an impressive time of 4.59.94.

Peadar Harvey made it a double middle distance celebration when he took the silver medal in the U18 boys 1500m in an equally impressive time of 4.17.41.



Claire Ryder landed yet another National bronze medal when jumping a superb 4.84m in the U15 girls long jump. Claire also set a new club record of 8.44s in the 60m sprint.

Rachel Finnegan had a fine performance in the U19 girls hurdles, claiming the silver medal in a time of 10.02.

Diarmuid Prendergast in only his 2nd ever high jump competition claimed the bronze medal in the U15 boys high jump with a leap of 1.50m.


Cathriona Farrell continued another fantastic season when breaking the U19 girls indoor record with a leap of 1.77m to claim the gold medal – clearing the 1.77m on her first attempt. Cathriona added yet another National title later in the month when jumping in the Irish Universities Track & Field in Santry at the weekend where she leaped cleanly over 1.75m to win the title and smash her college's (DCU) old record of 1.70m.

Tomas Keehan went even higher at the National indoors, the first time anyone in the club has surpassed Cathriona, when leaping 1.80m to tie for first place in the U18 boys’ high jump.


Peadar Harvey added a bronze in the U18 800m with an exceptional time and new club record of 2.02.92. Linda Porter added yet another medal when taking the silver in the U17 girls 800m in a time of 2.23.

Competing in her first National championships, Emma Byrne had a fine performance in the U14 girls 1000m walk when taking the silver medal in a time of 5.23.33, while Christopher O’Connor made it a double in race walking when adding a bronze medal in the U15 boys 1000m in a time of 5.11.74. Maeve Curley made it a triple when racing to the bronze medal in the U19 girls 1500m race walk in a time of 7.04.57.

The U14 boys relay team took the bronze medal in their 4x200m in a time of 1.53.17 – with their team being Kelvin Olayemi, Conor Duggan, Gavin O’Toole, Aidan Conneely and Damien O’Boyle


The month kicked off with a fantastic performance by our athletes in the Pres Athenry who formed the nucleus of the Pres team who won the Junior Girls trophy at the Irish Schools Track & Field finals in Tullamore. Having earlier smashed the Connacht record for the 4x100m relay, Maria McNamara, Jessica Heneghan and Claire Ryder combined with GCH’s Alanna Lally to take the silver medal in the National finals in a time of 52.48. There was further glory for Maria and Claire with Maria taking the bronze medal in the Junior Girls high jump with a leap of 1.55m and Claire jumped an incredible 5.22m to take the bronze medal in the Junior Girls long jump. Sinead Gaffney completed the Pres Athenry team and recorded a fine 2.32 in the Junior Girls 800m.


On the same occasion, Linda Porter ran a strong race to capture the National title in the U16 Girls mile, continuing a very successful year; while Maeve Curley had another fine performance when taking the silver medal in the 3000m race walk in a time of 14.43.32.

And at the U9-11 National track & field championships in Templemore, the next wave of talented athletes made their mark with our U9s in splendid form. Ryan Gallagher and Cian Garman combined in the long jump to take the silver medal with fine jumps of 3.07m and 3.13m, while Jane Trehy and Lenagh Gilligan almost did the same when taking the bronze medals in their long jump with jumps of 2.95m and 3.03m. Finbar McFadden had the 3rd fastest time overall in the U9 team event for the 300m, recording a time of 54.49.

In the National Junior track & field championships, Cathriona Farrell added her 5th National title of the year when jumping 1.70m to take the gold medal in the high jump. Maeve Curley added a bronze medal in the 3000m race walk and later in the month put in an exceptional performance at the English U23 AAA Championships when representing Ireland in the 10000m walk, where Maeve took the silver medal in a fantastic time of 52.36.05.


Cathal O’Brien made his mark at National level when taking the bronze medal in the U13 boys shot putt with a fine throw of 10.23m.

It was a first time individual medal also for Kelvin Olayemi in the U14 boys 80m with a breathtaking performance to claim silver in a time of 10.42.

Tara McNally claimed her first high jump medal with a fine performance in the U13 girls high jump, leaping 1.35m to take the bronze medal.

Claire Ryder continued her success story in the long jump when taking the bronze medal in the U15 girls category with a leap of 4.92m.

Cathriona Farrell added yet another high jump title when taking the gold medal in the U19 girls event with a leap of 1.68m and added a silver medal in the long jump with a new club record of 5.32m – rounding off her juvenile career in similar fashion to her first medal at National level where she had taken silver in the U12 girls long jump in 2003 with a leap of 4.44m.

Tomas Keehan took silver in the U18 boys event with another fine clearance of 1.80m, his second time clearing this mark in National competition this year.

Maeve Curley had an incredible race in the U19 girls 3000m race walk where she broke the National record to win the gold medal in a time of 14.05.42 – an elite time at this level.

The National relays saw the U14 boys and girls both make the medal podium, with the boys claiming the gold medal in a fantastic time of 52.34 with their team of Jamie Spellman, Kelvin Olayemi, Gavin O’Toole, Aidan Conneely and Damien O’Boyle. The U14 girls had a super run to take the bronze medals in their relay in a time of 53.51 with Dandy Murray, Sinead Treacy, Ellen Fitzpatrick, Tara McNally and Ellen Treacy.

 Earlier in the day, the U16 girls narrowly missed out on medals but set a new club record of 53.02 with Jessica Heneghan, Mairead McCan, Maria McNamara and Claire Ryder.


Rachel Finnegan had a super performance with gold the U19 Girls Heptathlon with 3760 points – 17.44 100m hurdles, 28.43 200m, 1.41 high jump, 11.92 javelin, 4.74m long jump, 5.82m shot putt and 2.37.05 800m.

Maria McNamara continued an outstanding year to take silver in the U16 Girls Pentathlon with an impressive score of 2751 points across the five events – 1.50m high jump, 4.68m long jump, 13.96 80m hurdles, 6.63m shot putt and 2.46.64 800m. Maria followed this up with a bronze medal in the National Community Games finals, leaping 1.55m to make the medal podium with still another year left in this age group in 2011.

This was the 6th year in a row that an athlete from the club has captured a medal in the National Community Games high hump final – with Cathriona Farrell claiming bronze in 2005, gold in 2006 and gold in 2007; Tomas Keehan bronze in 2008; Niall Rooney bronze in 2009 and now Maria McNamara bronze in 2010.

Linda and Laura Porter put in fine races in the U16 girls 7000m/marathon to help Galway to silver medals in the team event at the National Community Games finals.



The club was confirmed by Athletics Ireland as being the second largest club in the country with a membership of over 300 adults and 400 juveniles.


Former club member Laura Mitchell and niece of one of our coaches Mary Greaney, received the Camogie Young Player of the Year award.


Claire Ryder’s strong performances in long jump throughout the year and in particular her 5.22m at the Irish Schools track & field finals were rewarded with a call-up to the Irish U16 team to contest the Celtic International in Wales in January.



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