Linda Porters Magnificent Return to Form!!
Linda Porter delivered an incredible return to form in Nenagh today in the U17 Girls 1500m at the National Juvenile Indoor Championships in Nenagh when winning the National title in fine style. This is Linda’s first National individual title and just reward for a lot of hard work over the years. Having had a year of ups and downs in 2009, Linda’s class won through today. Running a very controlled race that commenced with a 100m split of 17.57 followed by 6 laps ranging from 39 to 43 seconds, Linda put in a lung-splitting last lap of 33 seconds to take the gold medal a few metres ahead of Siobhan McGinley of Dublin City Harriers. In the process, Linda knocked over 7 seconds off her 1500m indoor PB and also set a new club record for senior women’s indoor 1500m. Well done Linda and dad/coach Thomas!
Also in record-breaking form, Claire Ryder had a blistering run in the U15 girls 60m, making the final with a new club record of 8.44s and finishing 6th in the final in an identical time. Staying with the sprints, an unfortunate injury to Aidan Conneely from last weekend’s Connacht championships ruled him out of today’s sprints. So Aidan watched from the sidelines when his club-mates Kelvin Olayemi and Conor Duggan strived to make the U14 60m final. Unfortunately both athletes didn’t make the final but both recorded good times of 8.51 and 8.59 respectively. Sinead Treacy was the club’s only other competitor in the sprints where she was in super form – recorded a new PB of 8.67s which ranks her 4th on the club’s all-time list of female sprinters, behind Claire Ryder (8.44), Cathriona Farrell (8.50) and Sarah Finnegan (8.6).
Another athlete in flying form, Peadar Harvey ran a very well paced 1500m to qualify for tomorrow’s final in 3rd place in a time of 4.26.56 (only milliseconds outside the club record of 4.26.18 held by David Concannon). Peadar’s pacing was impressive – 53.38 for the first 300m followed by 200m laps of 35.85, 36.97, 35.71, 35.82, 35.92 and 32.91. In the U19 girls 1500m, Maeve Curley ran a strong race to knock almost 10 seconds off her PB when finishing 6th in a time of 5.24.21 – a very impressive performance in what is not Maeve’s preferred event and only 10 seconds behind some very accomplished runners. And Laura Porter put in a good battle in the U16 girls to finish 7th in a time of 5.54.01.
Also in the distance races, it was a tough baptism of fire at National level for James Cahalane and Aoife Greene in the U12 600m races. Both athletes ran very well but didn’t make the final – with James running 1.58.11 and Aoife appearing to pick up an injury enroute and finishing in 2.10.11.
In the jumping events, Ashling Keady-Cummins had some great performance with a big PB of 3.54m in the U12 girls’ long jump and went on to equal her PB of 1.20m in the high jump and finish in 5th place – unlucky not to be amongst the medals with 1.25m taking bronze. Also in the high jump, Michelle Duggan equalled her PB with a leap of 1.10m – both girls showing great potential for this event. And in the U12 boys’ high jump, we also had 2 competitors who are showing great potential for high hump – Jim Crowley was very unlucky to exit the competition at 1.15m while Sam McArdle getting a new PB at that height.
The shot putt saw another outstanding performance from Cathal O’Brien in the U13 boys event where he heaved it a huge 9.89m to take 4th place just 24cm behind the bronze medal position. Andrea Tobin was also in PB form when she fired the shot 5.73m in her 2nd attempt in the U13 girls’ age group while Ronan Nevin also heaved the shot to a new PB of 6.73m in the U12 boy’s event.