National U18 100m Champion Conor Duggan
pictured with Damian O’Boyle (U18 Steeplechase Silver Medallist) and Sinead Treacy (U18 100m Bronze Medallist)
Conor Duggan had his finest athletic achievement to date when he stormed to victory in the U18 100m final at the National Track & Field Championships in Tullamore recently. Having won his heat comfortably in 11.23s, Conor ran a breath-taking final to take the victory by 0.07s in a time of 11.27s. Conor’s steady progression in athletics is an inspiration for many and should be a huge motivation for other sprinters to continue to put in the effort and success will follow.
Read on for details of Conor’s steady progression from when he joined the club 6 years ago as an U12.
There was further success for the club on the day with Sineád Treacy taking bronze in the U18 Girls 100m in a time of 12.49s while Damian O’Boyle took the silver medal in the U18 3000m Steeplechase in 9.56.10. Matthew McKernan and Daniel Callanan-Forde came up just short of the medals in the long jump with Matthew placing 4th in the U17 age group with a leap of 5.72m and Daniel doing likewise in the U15 age group with 5.32m. Also featuring in the top eight, Mia Waters placed 5th in the U13 Girls Hurdles in a time of 10.49s, Oisin Shannon placed 5th in the U14 Boys Hurdles in 13.07, Aisling Keady took 6th place in the U16 Girls high jump with 1.45m while Maeve Cannon did likewise in the U15 high jump with 1.50m, Ryan Gallagher placed 7th in the U13 Boys Hurdles in 11.19 and Michelle Duggan placed 8th in the U16 Girls 100m. Cian Waters was unlucky to make the final of the U15 Boys Hurdles but unfortunately in a bizarre final, was part of a group of 4 athletes who were disqualified for false starts.
Also performing well, Luke Evans placed 9th in the U15 discus with 14.17m, Sean Cannon 10th in U13 high jump with 1.25m, Aoife Walsh 11th in the U15 girls high jump with 1.40m, Ava Finn 11th in U12 high jump with 1.20m, Alison Leahy 12th in the U14 long jump with 4.15 and 6th in the hurdle heats with 11.20, Aine Kelly 13th in U12 high jump with 1.15m, Daniel Callanan-Forde 4th in the U15 100m heats in 12.86, Shaun Gilligan 7th in the U12 60m sprint heats with 9.06s, Oisin Shannon 7th in the U14 80m sprint heats with 11.65.
But getting back to Conor’s achievement. This was Conor’s first time taking an individual medal at National level in athletics and for it to be the gold medal was a fantastic achievement. All of our young athletes should take a quick read of Conor’s progression below because it shows the keys to success are consistency and dedication combined with talent.
U12 (2008): Conor joined the club as an U12 in 2008 where team success almost immediately came his way with victory with Aidan Conneely in the paired U12 80m event at National level. Aidan ran 11.48 while Conor ran 11.60. Earlier in the indoors, Conor didn’t feature in the sprint medals in the Galway or Connacht indoors.
U13 (2009): Conor placed 4th in the Galway indoor 60m in a time 9.3h and 5th in the Connacht’s in a time of 8.92. He followed it up with a 5th place finish in the Galway outdoor 80m and missed out on making the top 4 in the Connacht’s.
U14 (2010): Conor placed 3rd in both Galway and Connacht indoors with a time of 8.47 in the Connachts to qualify for the National finals for the first time
U16 (2012): Conor placed 4th in the Connacht indoors 60m and in the outdoors took 3rd in the 100m and 4th in the 200m to qualify for the National finals. In the finals, he placed 9th in the 100m and 6th in the 200m. Conor capped a breakthrough year when taking the silver medal in the 100m at the National Community Games finals.
U17 (2013): Conor continued to move up notches at the National finals with a 6th place finish in the National indoor 60m and 8th place in the 200m. He followed this up with gold medals in the Connacht outdoors 100m and 200m – first time taking the Connacht gold. And with 9th in the National 100m finals and 4th in the 200m. In the process Conor set numerous club records in the sprints both indoors and outdoors.
U18 (2014): Another strong season kicked off with gold and silver in the Galway indoor 60m and 200m, following this up with double gold in the Connacht indoors and 5th place in both sprints in the National finals. In the outdoors, he contested the National Juniors for the first time, placing 8th in the 100m and 5th in the 200m. And capped it all with his fantastic gold medal in the National 100m finals last weekend!
Well done Conor!