Day 2 of the Scottish Indoors saw plenty of drama unfold for our 12 athletes who took part. It was a day of ups and downs, with many fine performances and PBs and a number of performances which almost made the podium but didn't.
Special mention must go to Verona Crowley who kindly went out of her way to make up rolls to feed both parents and athletes at the event and even got approached by people from other clubs enquiring how much the rolls were! Special thanks to Verona and Nuala also for organising the lovely meal in the hotel Saturday night and also to Mark for providing the entertainment 3 nights in a row free of charge! And a big thank you also to Mark for transporting 11 of us to and from the airport in his "BC" Camper Van – we're confirmed now that we can fit the full club in for future trips!
Highlights of day 2 were the pair of gold medals won by Aisling Keady-Cummins in the U14 girls high jump and by Ciara Greene in the U16 girls 1500m. And there was plenty of hard luck too with Tara McNally and Sinead Treacy taking 4th place in the U16 girls 200m and U16 girls 60m, Aisling Keady-Cummins 4th by 9cm in the U14 girls long jump, Conor Duggan 5th in the U16 boys 60m – but Aisling already had a gold medal in her back pocket from the high jump and Tara, Sineád and Conor all had the consolation of a big PB in their events. The toughest luck of the day however had to be Damien O'Boyle in 2 of his events …
Damien ran a blistering time in his heat of the U16 Boys 400m – setting a new club record of 58.26 in the process. Third fastest going into the final, Damien ran a super first 200m to put him firmly into contention in 2nd place as the athletes raced through the break-line. Pulling out all the stops, Damien held 2nd place as they rounded the last bend and onto the short 30m home straight. One of the other athletes edged into 2nd place with 20m to go and in an almighty battle, it looked like Damien was going to hold 3rd place. But then disaster struck in the tight conditions as Damien took a tumble and hit the track heavily 10m from the line. And as if that was not enough, Damien was subsequently disqualified for an infringement on the first bend, adjudicated to have stepped out of his lane. The high jump competition later in the day provided Damien with a fresh challenge and again, he was in contention for a medal having cleared 1.50m on his 2nd attempt. But cruelly he was denied a medal on countback and had to settle for 4th place.
Fourth was the order of the day also for Tara McNally in the final of the 200m where she ran 27.37. Tara had a fantastic performance in the earlier rounds running 27.43 to win the heat and 27.25 to take 2nd place in the semi-final. And Sineád Treacy had some incredible sprint performances to qualify for the final, running a big PB of 8.16 in the semi-final and taking 4th place in the final with 8.19. Both Sinead and Tara broke the club record in the 60m (set recently by Katie O'Donoghue with 8.32) with Tara running 8.20 in the heats and 8.21 in the semi-final and Sinead now having the honour of holding the club record with her 8.16 from the semi-final. Tara's 200m time of 27.25 from the semi-finals is also a new club record, beating the old time of 28.41 set by Ashley McDonnell in 2008.
In the U16 girls 1500m, Ciara Greene had an outstanding race to shadow the leader for the first 1000m and make a big move 500m out to put 20m of space between herself and the chasing pack in one quick burst of speed and then hold out over the final 2 laps to take a very strong gold medal in a time of 5.16.25. It was a superb tactical race by Ciara and a fine victory.
There were also fine performances in the sprints by Jim Crowley with 29.75 in the U14 U14 200m, Michelle Duggan with 9.46 in the U14 60m and 11.07 in the 60m hurdles, Eimear Loughnane with a 9.15 in the U14 60m to make the semi where she ran 9.22. Eimear followed this up with a 31.97 in the 200m. Gearoid Treacy recorded a super PB of 34.09 to take 3rd place in his 200m heat while Sinead did likewise in her 200m heat, recording 28.71. In the U14 800m, Aoife Greene delivered a solid run to take 4th place in her heat in a time of 2:59.76.
Conor Duggan has a fantastic performance in the U16 60m running a new PB of 7.86 to take 3rd place in his heat and follow this up with a 5th place finish in the final in yet another PB of 7.82. Conor added a further PB in the 200m where he raced to a time of 26.11.
The performance of the day had to be Aisling Keady-Cummins who jumped 2 PBs to take the Scottish title in the U14 girls high jump. Joining the competition at 1.25, Aisling jumped 1.25, 1.30 and 1.35 cleanly. With the bar at 1.40, Aisling knocked it on her first attempt but make no mistake on her second attempt. However at this stage with 3 of her opponents over it on their first attempt, it put Aisling in 4th place. So 1.45 was going to be a key height. First to jump in each round, Aisling made a great effort but clipped the bar. The other 3 did likewise and Aisling soared over it on her second attempt. Only 1 of her opponents cleared it – doing so on her second attempt also. So this left Aisling in second place as the bar went to 1.48. With a PB of 1.46 from the Galway Indoors, Aisling made two great efforts at 1.48 but knocked it each time as did her Scottish opponent Erin Graham from Dunfermline. So last attempt and with the pressure all on Aisling as this next jump determined the destination of the gold medal. With one fastastic effort, Aisling sailed up and over, grazing the bar ever so slightly to make it wobble precariously. To the cheers (and prayers) of the Craughwell supporters, the bar stayed up and Aisling moved into the lead. Final attempt for the Scottish athlete saw her take the bar down so victory to Craughwell in this event!!
Not happy with 1 PB, Aisling asked for the bar to go to 1.50. Having jumped 10 times already (1.25,1.30,1.35,1.40×2,1.45×2,1.48×3), most high jumpers would have to recharge the batteries at this stage but Aisling proceeded to make 2 super efforts at 1.50 before 1 final mammoth leap to clear it cleanly and land yet another PB. Great jumping.
Unfortunately the timetable had the U14 long jump immediately next where Aisling would also be in medal contention. So after collecting her high jump gold, straight down to the long jump where the girls were just taking their marks. Both physically and mentally tired after the series of 13 high jumps, Aisling leaped 4.15 in the first set of jumps to make the top 6 and get an extra 3 jumps where she jumped 4.20 on her last jump to move into 4th place and lost out on a medal by just 9cm.
Also with the potential to medal in the long jump, Sineád Treacy jumped 4.45 to take 8th place but broke by a toe on her final attempt which looked to be over 4.80m – a jump which would have taken the bronze medal. Likewise Dylan Finn and Jim Crowley were unfortunate not to take a medal in the U14 long jump where both boys have PBs that are close to or greater than the jump that took bronze. Dylan finished in 6th place with 3.98 while Jim finished 8th in the same event with 3.82 and Gearoid Treacy took 14th place with 2.97m. Both Jim and Dylan were unlucky also not to progress further in the high jump with Dylan jumping 1.35 and Jim 1.30. However, it was great experience for both and will benefit them for our own championships.
To wrap up the report on the day, it was a fantastic weekend for everyone, albeit with some disappoinments but overall we saw great results – 3 medals, 5 fourth-placed finishes, lots of Season Bests, lots of Personal Bests and 4 club records. The records were as follows:
M 400m: Damien O'Boyle 58.26
And once I revise the club records from manual times to electronic times, its likely also that Conor Duggan will hold the 60m club record.