The club had some great results at the Irish Tailteann Games which were held on Saturday 25th June in Santry. These games were originally held every four years in ancient Ireland and mirrored the more famous Olympic Games held every four years at Olympia in Greece. They were revived from 1924 to 1932 and were reincarnated in 1963 as an interprovencial junior competition. The Connacht team is picked based on the results of the Connacht and Irish schools competition and this year the club had the honour of 4 of its athletes being represented to represent Connacht – with Finn Stoneman in the 1500m, Maria McNamara in the high jump, Maireád McCan in the long jump and Melissa Mullins in the triple jump.
Finn had an outstanding run in the 1500m to break the club’s senior record of 4.18.4 set by Peadar Harvey earlier this year in the South Connacht Schools T&F. Finn’s time was 4.14.29 and took 5th place in the event. Finn is bordering on making a big breakthrough at National level in middle-distance events and his run at the Tailteanns is great encouragement.
In the long jump, Maireád broke the majical 5m barrier for the first time with a jump of 5.09m. Maireád has been edging closer to this mark each year but particularly since focussing a lot more on the sport last September. On several occasions, she would have broken the 5m mark only for tiny breaks on the board so it was great to see her clear it on this occasions and it’s onwards and upwards from here hopefully. Maireád progress in long jump over the years shows steady improvement all the way and should make interesting reading for our outstanding long jumpers in all age group. In particular, it shows that the path to improvement is not always upwards every year but if you stick with it, you will get there!
The 5.09m jump has placed Maireád in an elite group of girls in the club who have cleared 5m – Cathriona Farrell (5.32m), Claire Ryder (5.22m) and Maria McNamara (5.05m).
Meanwhile in the triple jump, Melissa had a huge PB by 60cm when leaping 10.36m to set a new club senior record, breaking the old record of 10.19m set by Sarah Finnegan in 2010. This is a big breakthrough for Melissa who has taken to the triple jump very easily and developed a very good style quite quickly. Final competitor in action from the club was Maria McNamara. Maria is returning from injury and jumped very nicely up to and over 1.50m before exiting at 1.55m. This was an encouraging performance despite training being hampered by injury and there will be lots more to come from Maria later in the year.
Full results of the Tailteann Games are at http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/tailteann-2011-results.pdf.