Ten Craughwell athletes headed south to Nenagh a week ago for the National Juvenile Penathlon Championships with some oustanding successes which saw 3 medals come our way and some close battles for further silverware. Foremost of the success was Katie O'Donoghue's fine victory in the U19 Girls Pentathlon. Having recently set club records in the 60m sprint and in the shot putt, Katie is going from strength to strength in every competition.
In an enthralling battle with Bohermeen's Karen Dunne, the pentathlon kicked off with the Meath athlete taking a 104 point lead from the long jump having leaped 4.90 versus Katie's 4.50. The gap widened to 122 points afte rthe shot putt with throws of 8.51 vs 8.22. But Katie turned the tables in the 60m hurdles with a 10.47 vs 10.90 performance to narrow the gap to 50 points. Into the 2nd last event of the competition, Katie had to outperform in the high jump to have a chance of victory. With both athletes jumping very well, the Bohermeen girl exited at 1.50m. Katie attempted and cleared the next 2 heights of 1.53 and 1.56 which gave her a critical extra 68 points to put her ahead by 18 points.
Some rapid calculations estimated this difference as being somewhere between 1.5 and 1.7 seconds of a difference in the 800m. Into the final event of the day, Katie shadowed the Meath girl on the first 3 laps and then made a galliant attempt to take the lead before the bell … which triggered an accelerated response as Katie tried to hang onto Karen over the last lap. A gap of 6 or more metres opened on Katie who stuck to her task. As they crossed the line, I timed the gap at less than 1.5 seconds but it was too close to call. So we waited eagerly for the official result to be confirmed and when it was, victory went to Katie by the tiny margin of 4 points. Her full score was 2554 points (60m hurdles 10.47, LJ 4.50, SP 8.22, HJ 1.56, 800m 2.40.54).
Full marks to both athletes for a fine battle and in particular lots of credit to Karen Dunne who was very sporting despite losing a close battle and both girls warmed down together afterwards.
In the U18 Girls event, Maria McNamara recovered from her nasty hurdles fall at the previous week's Junior Pentathlon to put in a solid performance to take silver with a score of 2134 points (60m hurdles 11.37, LJ 4.70, SP 7.52, HJ 1.50, 800m 3.01.26). In the U16 Boys event, the ever-improving Damien O’Boyle had some notable performances – in particular his 1.61m in the high jump, taking 5th place overall with a score of 2405 points, just a single point behind 4th place (60m hurdles 10.66, LJ 4.69, SP 7.29, HJ 1.61, 800m 2.19.95).
In the U14 Boys category, Dylan Finn had an outstanding performance to claim his first National medal when taking the bronze medal with a score of 1598 points (60m hurdles 11.46, LJ 4.09, SP 6.31, HJ 1.33, 800m 2.42.72). Sam McArdle was a close 4th in the same event with 1574 points (60m hurdles 11.75, LJ 3.74, SP 8.02, HJ 1.30, 800m 2.43.64) while Jim Crowley placed 6th with 1521 points (60m hurdles 11.54, LJ 3.67, SP 6.75, HJ 1.33, 800m 2.45.17) and Nathan Lynskey placed 10th with 1239 points (60m hurdles 13.17, LJ 3.72, SP 7.52, HJ 1.15, 800m 2.48.83).
In the U14 Girls event, Aisling Keady-Cummins was the highest placed from the club when taking 6th place with 1841 points (60m hurdles 10.92, LJ 3.89, SP 5.88, HJ 1.38, 800m 2.54.15), with Emma Gaffney in 8th place with 1656 points (60m hurdles 11.03, LJ 3.93, SP 6.12, HJ 1.20, 800m 2.56.28) and Michelle Duggan 10th with 1566 points (60m hurdles 11.52, LJ 3.66, SP 7.24, HJ 1.23, 800m 3.01.42).
Full results of the day are at:- http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/combined-events-indoor-2012-result-juv.pdf
And for those who'd like more information on this event, the scoring tables for multi-events are at:-