Despite having many of our top athletes being away on training camps in Portugal and Kenya, and top coach Mike Tobin away in New Zealand, we still managed to field decent male and female league teams for day 1 of the Indoor league. The national league is a team competition where clubs compete over a range of disciplines and has been a good developmental competition for the club over the decades – basically it’s great craic! The indoor variant of the league is lot more feasible for clubs to field teams in due to the smaller event list.
Womens Team: League of Legends
Tireless captain Sarah Finnegan gathered together a very reduced Women’s team comprising of just three athletes, all absolutely nailed-down Galway athletics legends.
Sinead Treacy is the greatest sprinter in the history of the club, and arguably our greatest ever athlete, absolutely owning all club records from 60m to 400m junior and senior, indoor and out and also the long Jump!! It is early in the season but she ran a fine 25.4s for 4th in the 200m. Sinead then showed the outstanding character that has made her so good by running the 3000m which she completed in a very respectable 12:58. 3km on the track can seem like a marathon to a sprinter so if there was ever any doubt about her club icon status it’s been settled!
Laura Cunningham raked in the points with a strong 10.27 2nd place in the Triple Jump and a win in the WFD with a fine 5.79m throw. WFD is definitely not Laura’s event so this was way outside her comfort zone. Last but not least, captain Sarah Finnegan threw down a fine 11.77 in the 60mh for 13th and 8.96m in the Triple Jump for 4th.
At this point the team were in 6th place, but unfortunately were unable to find a 4th runner for the 4x400m team so ended up in 9th place. Top-8 qualify for the finals and with some of the top ladies coming back from training camps this weekend it’s all to play for this Sunday in Athlone!
Men’s Team: The lads make the cut
The men’s showed the sprit of the league by coping with plenty of adversity and fielding a competitor in all but the intimidating 60mh. The team took a big hit in the warm-up when middle-distance star Kyle Moorhead felt a foot niggle. He had felt it since the 5km race on Monday so decided not to compete on the advice of his coach. Kyle’s brother Keelan bravely stepped into the breach in the 800m with minutes to go and ran a very solid 2:20, keeping his powder dry for later.
Joshua Whyte cleared a fine 11.06 in the Triple Jump for 8th and claiming some valuable points.
Justin Lane was glad to get a few events in to tune up for National Masters next week and the versatile athlete performed solidly with 6th in the Pole Vault (2.20m) and 6th in the Shot (4.85m),
Toyosi George finished 4th overall with 23.39 in the 200m, which was enough to seal his path to AAA’s.
William Fitzgerald approached the 3km off a full week’s training and just wanted a hard workout to exercise his leg speed. The race started cautiously with 36.xs laps (about 9:05 pace) but wound up from half way and William finished 2nd in 8:40 with a hard last 1500m. An excellent day’s work!
The final event was the 4x400m and the distance lads stepped up with Keelan Moorhead leading them out with a fine first leg. Keelan handed over to Mark Davis and the injured m50 cross country runner thought at one point that he might actually catch the athlete ahead of him but was forced to carry an invisible fridge over the last 100m! Luke O’Sullivan who was racing later gamely ran a solid but not overextended lap and William Fitzgerald showed the most common-sense of the group by jogging it home with a hard 3km just in his legs! After the first days action, the lads sit in 8th, above the cut-line so all to play for in day 2!
Guests: O’Sullivan Stuns in 3km debut!
As well as the team events, there were Guest events being held, and many of these were of a high standard. The standout guest performance was from Luke O’Sullivan who was running his first ever indoor track race. Luke was seeking to get close to 9 minutes and was advised to track Irish distance great Shane Healy who was hoping to challenge the World M55 Record (current record being 8:58). 16-year old Luke managed to follow the Atlanta Olympic Semi-Finallist for over 1500m and finished with a stunning 8:52 for his efforts. This was an exceptional debut and shows a bright future in the sport for the popular young man.
(Shane Healy went on to SMASH the world record, running a superb 8:47 – if anyone wants to hear a truly inspiring life story, listen to this podcast here or look up “Back on Track” on Spotify or Apple. Even if you are not into running this will make you a lifelong fan of the man for what he has overcome. As is typical for Shane, he had many positive words of advice and encouragement before and after the race for young Luke)
Lauren Kilduff (8.14), Emma O’Donovan (8.51) and Emily Kinane (9.21) guested in the 60m. Lauren (26.05) and Emma (27.6) also guested in the 200m. Toyosi George also ran the 60m in 7.51 and Keelan Moorhead ran 56s in a straight 400m to top off the 800m and relay he had run earlier.