Craughwell’s Young Adults Dominant at Connachts

Craughwell’s Young Adults Dominant at Connachts

Craughwell U19 Boys 4x200m – Connacht Indoor Champions 2014
Aidan Conneely, Nicholas Sheehan, John Cormican, Conor Duggan

Craughwell AC’s older juveniles and young seniors had some fantastic performances in the Connacht Indoor Track & Field at the weekend in Athlone IT. There were many highlights particularly amongst the older boys where the relay team of Aidan Conneely, Nicholas Sheehan, John Cormican and Conor Duggan blitzed the club record by over 4 seconds to set a new record of 1.35.36 and take the Connacht title ahead of Galway City Harriers. The sprints also threw up some notable performances with Aidan Conneely and Conor Duggan having a great battle in the 200m with Aidan leading going into the home straight and Conor just managing to pull back the gap before the finish line, crossing the line in 23.25 with Aidan marginally behind in 23.39 – both PBs for the 2 athletes and a new club indoor record for Conor. 

The 800s also threw up some impressive performances, in particular the senior men and U19 boys race where Peadar Harvey was attempting to break the magical 2 minute barrier for the first time. As Nicholas Sheehan was not racing the 800m, we were fortunate that he was allowed to take part as a pacer. Blitzing it out from the start, Nicholas led the Craughwell trio of Paul Joyce, Peadar and John Cormican on a blistering pace which immediately saw them leave a gap to the chasing field. Going through 600m in 1.27, the sub-2 was on. With Paul leading, Peadar put in a big surge on the back straight to overtake Paul and hammer home for the line and cross in a brilliant of 1.58.93. With Paul only metres behind, he might also have broken the 2 minute barrier, a great performance without a lot of preparation for it in the last 2 weeks. He can be happy though that his club record of 1.58.05 survives to another day. John crossed only metres behind Paul and will have gone very close to the 2 minute mark and a possible PB and the Connacht U19 title.

In the senior women’s high jump, we had 3 athletes in action with Cathriona Farrell taking the victory with another impressive 1.80m. It’s only a matter of time now for Cathriona to jump mid-1.80’s as this was her 4th time in recent weeks in jumping the 1.80. Katie O’Donoghue and Orla Ryan both cleared 1.50m to take silver and bronze – a little below their best but still on the comeback trail after a lengthy absence last year. Unfortunately due to a long delay with the start of the women’s long jump from its scheduled 11.30am start time, the 3 athletes could not delay in Athlone until the eventual start time of 1.15pm for the women’s long jump.

Nicholas Sheehan ran an impressive 50.9 in the 400m to take the silver behind the highly rated Zak Irwin from Sligo. It was an amazing performance from Nicholas who has only trained 4 or 5 times this year due to the Leaving Certificate. Nicholas followed it up by going for a hard training session outside with Jamie Fallon, popped back into the arena to pace the first 600m of the men’s 800m in 1.27 and finished his day with a powerful leg of the 4×200 men’s relay. Think what might be when he has time to train!

In the other senior events, Peadar Harvey took silver in the 400m in an unofficial time of 52.x while Neil Greaney ran a fine 4.13 (unofficial) to take silver in the senior 1500m, a time that would be a big PB if confirmed while Damian O’Boyle looked very comfortable in the same race when taking the U18 title in 4.07 and Conor Gillen placing 3rd or 4th in the U19s.

u16b relay

Craughwell U16 Boys 4x200m – Connacht Indoor Silver Medallists 2014
Daniel Callanan-Forde, Cian Waters, Dylan Finn, Cillian Dolan

In the U18 sprint, the club had an impressive 1-2-3 with Conor Duggan leading the way with 7.24s, Aidan Conneely fractionally behind in 7.33s and Kelvin Oleyemi taking the bronze medal. The trio added the gold medal in the 4x200m where U17 Matthew McKernan completed the quartet. Cillian Dolan had a strong performance in the U16 sprint where he took the bronze medal, as had Dylan Finn on his return to competitive track & field after a 2-year sabbatical! Cillian also placed 4th in the 200m. The U16 relay team took silver in the 4x200m with Daniel Callanan-Forde, Cian Waters, Dylan Finn and Cillian Dolan. Matthew McKernan jumped an outstanding 5.62m to take the title in the U17 long jump.

Ben Sharkey’s incredible speed came to prominence in the 800m. Appearing to struggle in the early laps, Ben was tagging along at the end of a group of 6 athletes, not looking at all comfortable. As the pace kicked on the bell for the final lap, Ben managed to move into 4th but with a gap of 10m or so to the leading 3 athletes. With 150m to go, Ben found an extra gear and closed the gap on 3rd place, overtaking him on the final bend. Not content with 3rd, Ben continued to accelerate and edged past the 2nd place athlete and came very close to the heels of the leading athlete as he crossed the line for a fantastic silver medal. Also running a fine race, James Cahalane did fantastic in the early laps of the U16-17 1500m to stay in contention with the leading 3 athletes. James hung in there until the final 250m when the pace kicked before the bell but still ran a fine last lap to take silver in the U16s and a big PB for the distance.

u18g relay

Craughwell U18 Girls 4x200m – Connacht Indoor Champions 2014
Grainne McDaid, Miriam Lacey, Tara McNally, Sineád Treacy

Staying with the middle-distance races, Grainne McDaid had one of her finest performances on the track in a few years where she was holding 3rd place in the U17 800m for most of the race but was just pipped on the home straight for the medal. Dearbhaile Walsh ran a fine race in the U16 1500m to take 4th place. Ellen Treacy took the gold medal in the U18 1500m while Laura Keane made her track debut in the U16 800m. Laura ran a brave race putting herself right up with the leaders in the first 300m, struggling a little on the 3rd lap but recovering to run a strong final lap and take 5th or 6th place.

Keeping the best wine until last, the performances of some of the girls in the U16 and U18 girls was incredible. Sinead Treacy took home an impressive haul of 4 gold medals in the U18 60m, 200m, long jump and relay where she teamed up with Miriam Lacey, Tara McNally and Grainne McDaid. Michelle Duggan equalled this quadruple feat when taking the Connacht title in the 60m, 60m hurdles and 200m and helping the U16 4x200m team to gold along with Aisling Keady, Eimear Loughnane and Dearbhaile Walshe. Dearbhaile had a particularly impressive run in the relay, holding off a fast finishing Loughrea athlete to take the Connacht title.

u16g relay

Craughwell U16 Girls 4x200m – Connacht Indoor Champions 2014
Aisling Keady, Michelle Duggan, Eimear Loughnane, Dearbhaile Walshe

Aisling Keady continued her return to the sport after a long layoff due to injury with a fine 1.50m performance to take the silver medal in the U16 high jump, achieving it without any training! Tammy Klynsmith and Laura Keane placed 4th and 5th in the same event. Tammy also took 4th place in the U16 long jump where Mary Dunphy took the silver medal. Ellen Treacy took bronze in the U18 long jump while Tara McNally took bronze in the U17 60m.

All in all, it was an exceptional day for the club and augurs well for the future.

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