The club had one of its greatest team achievements yesterday in the National Indoor Arena where our Senior Womens team won the bronze medal in the National League final in Dublin.
Pitted against the top 16 clubs in Ireland over 3 days of competition, the girls absolutely excelled to take the National bronze in an event which went right down to the wire in the last event of the day the 4x200m.
The league works on the basis of points scoring in each event – first place gets 9 pts, 2nd 7 pts, 3rd 6 pts etc down to 1 point for 8th place.
Expertly managed by team manager Sarah Finnegan, the team’s day got underway at 11am with Caoimhe Kilkenny racing to a rip-roaring PB of 8.14 in the 60m sprint, taking 5th place. Laura Cunningham was in action at the same time in the shot putt against formidable opposition, throwing the 4kg shot out to 8.66m for a fine 5th place.
Sinead Gaffney took to the track next for the 1500m, the first of 2 middle-distance races for Sinead on the same day. Sinead ran an absolutely perfect tactical race, tucking into the group in the early laps before making her move to claim 2nd place on the final lap in a fine time of 4:42.90 only 2 seconds away from her club record. Less than 2.5 hours later, Sinead was back on the track for the 800m where she powered around in an incredible 2:18.83 to take 5th place. We all know how hard a fast 800 like that is – but to run it after running a very fast 1500 is mind-blowing!
The intense action continued with our 4×400 quartet of Arlene Earls, Lorraine Delaney, Rachel Finnegan and Leonore Church taking to the track in heat 2. Arlene got the team off to a great start, passing to Lorraine who tore around the track handing off to Rachel who flew around to handoff to Leonore who took the team home to a super second place in their heat in a time of 4:15.75 only a fraction of a second behind the club record set a couple of weeks ago in round 2. It was a super team effort and great in particular to see Lorraine back in action at the top after an almost life-threatening accident prior to Christmas when she fainted at the top of her stairs and regained consciousness a minute later at the bottom of the stairs sustaining several injuries and a black eye.
Eva Kelleher was next in action in the long jump at noon in what was possibly the most stacked event of the day with no less than 6 competitors exceeding 5m and Eva leaping 3 PBs of 4.92, 4.96 and 4.97 to take 7th place – a super performance. Eva was followed swiftly by Holly Shaughnessy in the 1500m race walk who raced to a fantastic time 8:07.62 to take 3rd place – great for the team to have such an excellent race-walker in the club continuing the tradition set by Maeve Curley and Ann Loughnane.
Jade Moorhead was next up in the 60m hurdles where she a blistering race to take 6th place in a new PB time of 9.79 and in the process setting a new club senior record when taking 0.02s off the old record of 9.81 which was set back in 2008 by team manager Sarah Finnegan. Jade was back in action later in the high jump where she got off to a rocky start knocking her opening height of 1.50 twice but showed huge mental resolve to clear it on her 3rd attempt and went on to clear 1.55 and take 2nd place for the team. Fantastic jumping from Jade under a lot of pressure.
Laura was under pressure at the same time in the triple jump where she had broken her first 2 jumps by a tiny margin, both jumps looking to be 10.20+ metres. Laura had to move her mark back a shoe for the next jump to get a safe one in and recorded an excellent 9.70 for 5th place overall – fine jumping under pressure!
Meanwhile our bravest competitor of all Siofra Davis was in action in the pole vault – only her second time ever on the PV mats having done it in the earlier round a couple of weeks again. Siofra leaped to a new PB of 1.80 with a fine performance to take 4th place and score very valuable points for the team.
At the same time, Aisling Keady was in action in the Weight for Distance where she flung the 28 lbs weight out to a fine 4.84m on her 3rd attempt to take 4th place and again score vital team points. Club record holder in this unusual event, it’s not Aisling’s preferred discipline but a fine example of the team spirit epitomized by all the athletes on the team. And a new club record today into the bargain, breaking the old record of 4.63m that she set earlier this month!
Emily Miskella was another who epitomized this team spirit when called up at short notice to run in the 3000m where she recorded a fine time of 11:49.80 for 7th place and another valuable 2 points for the team.
Sinead Treacy’s busy day commenced with the 200m at 1.15pm where Sinead raced to a blistering 25.54 to place 2nd in her heat and 3rd overall. She followed it up just an hour later with a fantastic 57.46 to win her 400m heat and take 3rd place again – super running in such a short space of time. And this warrior of an athlete was back for more pain only 30 minutes after her 400m to run the first leg of the 4x200m race for the club. With Laura feeling ill, Eva was drafted into the relay, running in 2nd place and handing off to Jade who handed off to Caoimhe. The team was under a bit of pressure here as we were lying 3rd place entering this final event, only 3 points clear of Finn Valley – so we had to finish ahead or close to them.
But our fantastic four made no doubt of this, running a fine time of 1:49.15 to take 3rd place in our heat, 9 seconds ahead of Finn Valley. That sealed the bronze medals for the team on such a fantastic day for the club.
Well done to all the girls and to team manager Sarah Finnegan and to all the coaches on a great day!!