Some brilliant performances saw Craughwell AC take the silver team medals in the inaugural National Indoor League today in Athlone in a very tight battle with Leevale AC and St Abban’s AC. The Cork club came out on top by a solitary point with a score of 65 points against Craughwell’s 64 points and St Abban’s 60 points. The National Indoor League is a new event introduced in 2014 for athletes aged 16 and older and has proven to be an ideal competition for Craughwell’s young squad which comprises both junior and senior athletes. Led by Cathriona Farrell with victories in the high jump and long jump, the club also took maximum points in the 200m where Sinead Treacy was in blistering form with a 25.44 clocking and in the triple jump with Sarah Finnegan leaping an impressive 10.20.
The day kicked off with the shot putt where Tara McNally threw the 4kg weight out to 7.14m to take 4th place and 4 points with St Abban’s taking 6 points and Leevale 3. Next up, the 60m hurdles where St Abban’s took the victory for the maximum 8 points, Leevale 2nd and Sarah Finnegan taking 4th place for Craughwell. At the same time, the pole vault was underway – the club didn’t have a competitor here (a gap to be plugged for next year!) with St Abbans claiming 2nd place and a valuable 7 points to move into a significant lead with 19 points to Leevale’s 9 and Craughwell’s 8.
Cathriona Farrell quickly pulled Craughwell back into the mix with a 1.70m clearance to take the maximum points in the high jump with Leevale 3rd. Katie O’Donoghue jumped very well in the same high jump event with a season’s best of 1.55 to take joint 2nd place with Orla Ryan unlucky to exit at 1.50m. With the high jump in progress, Ciara Greene ran a fantastic race in the 1500m to take 2nd place and 6 points for the club in a strong time of 5.23.97. The leader board painted a much closer picture at this stage with St Abban’s 2 points clear on 24 points and Craughwell and Leevale tied on 22 apiece.
Under a little pressure due to it commencing during the high jump, Cathriona had to quickly switch to long jump where she struggled with her mark but recorded a single all-important valid jump of 5.02m to take the victory ahead of St Abban’s Nessa Millet on 4.98m and Leevale’s Jayne Pennefeather on 4.84m. This levelled up the competition with St Abban’s with both on 30 points. Tara McNally ran a season’s best of 8.26 to take further valuable points in the 60m while Sineád Treacy made her debut in the 400m to take 3rd place and record an impressive 59.50 which incidentally is a new club record.
A quick look at the leader board at this point showed St Abban’s on 43 points with a slender lead of 2 points over Leevale’s 41 with Craughwell on 38. The 800m was up next where Rachel Finnegan took 4th place with a good time of 2.33.4 fractionally behind St Abban’s with Leevale taking the victory. Sinead Treacy followed up with a fantastic victory in the 200m in a time of 25.44 with Leevale 3rd and St Abbans 4th. The scores on the board now read Leevale 54, St Abbans 52 and Craughwell 50. It was down to the wire with just the relay and the triple jump left. A scintillating 4x200m saw Craughwell take a valuable 6 points and 2nd place behind Leevale with St Abban’s 3rd while Sarah Finnegan triumphed with a new indoor PB and club record of 10.20m to take the maximum 8 points in the triple jump where critically St Abban’s and Leevale could only manage 5th and 6th places – their lowest of the day. When the scores of these 2 events were crunched, it placed Leevale on top with 65, Craughwell with 64 and St Abban’s on 60.
Craughwell’s junior and senior men also competed very well in the individual events where Peadar Harvey was in blistering form to set a new PB and new club indoor record in the 800m with a time of 1.57.21. Unfortunately due to a mix-up on my part (Peadar paid me!), the previous holder of the club record Paul Joyce wasn’t entered for the race in time and had to wait anxiously from a distance to learn that his recent club record was snatched off him by Peadar. Next year Paul!
Our leading sprinters Aidan Conneely and Conor Duggan were in flying form as usual placing 2nd and 3rd in their 60m race with Conor taking 2nd in 7.26s and Aidan 3rd in 7.34s. Aidan followed this up with a strong 23.45s in the 200m while Conor traded the 200m for a rare appearance in the 400m where he raced to a fine time of 52.22 in a well-paced race, only 1 second outside the club record. So another great day for the club – a number of club records broken and a fantastic silver team victory for our women’s team and hopefully a foretaste of what is to come in the years ahead.
Full results are at http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/?p=37369.