Peadar Harvey on the podium after a super silver in the U18 1500m
Another day of drama unfolded in Nenagh on day 2 of the National indoor finals. First into action was Claire Ryder in the U15 girls long jump. Claire is the club’s most consistent long jumper over the years – finishing in the bronze medal in the U12 indoors in 2007, just 5cm behind the winner Fingallian’s Bronwyn Keogh; finishing 4th in 2008 just 1cm off bronze and 4th again in 2009 just 4cm from bronze. And each year the outdoor season has brought even greater success to Claire with bronze in 2009 and in 2008, and joint gold with Ella Bryan in 2007. This year, in another tense battle with Ireland’s best, Claire had to dig deep on her final jump to move from 6th place into 3rd place with a 4.84m effort and claim the bronze medal to match her indoor achievement of 2007 – coincidentally again just a handful of centimetres behind the victor Browyn Keogh. Claire struggled with getting consistency on the board, only actually getting a toe onto the board for her final jump. With a bit more consistency on her run-up, a string of National titles will soon be Claire’s reward.
The hurdles were underway about the same time, where Rachel Finnegan had a fine race in the U19 girls event, claiming the silver medal in a time of 10.02. Shortly afterwards, Diarmuid Prendergast in only his 2nd ever competition put in a fantastic performance to take the bronze medal in the U15 boys high jump with a leap of 1.50m. Also in action at this time, Siobhan Connolly threw the shot putt 7.81m to take 12th place and a new personal best.
The U18 boys 1500m was next up, with Peadar Harvey aiming to improve on yesterday’s PB of 4:26. As the gun went, Peadar assumed a position at the back of the pack of 8 finalists, staying out of trouble in the early laps. The first 700m was run in almost identical splits to yesterday – 53.75, 36.94 and 36.43. Peadar sat at the back of the field but with a noticeable pick-up in pace, moved into 6th at this point about 6m adrift of the leading 5. With the the tempo picking up by 3 seconds per lap, Peadar closed the gap to the leading 5 and as laps of 33.44, 32.97 and 33.16 were ticked off he dug deep to move into 3rd place. As the bell approached he edged into 2nd place and put in an all-out final lap of 30.72 to claim a fantastic silver medal, only a second behind the winner and fellow Connacht athlete Barry Healy from Claremorris with whom Peadar has had some great tussles this year. Hopefully the first of many National medals for Peadar and a great boost for him and the club. His time of 4.17.41 is a new senior record for the club.
Final competitor of the day and another dramatic competition for Ella Bryan in the U15 girls high jump. Joining the competition at 1.25m and jumping 1.25m, 1.30m and 1.35m with ease. Struggling a little at 1.40m, Ella got it on her 3rd attempt and cleared 1.45m first time. Onto 1.50m, Ella made a great effort on her first attempt and got it on her 2nd to record a super new PB. In 4th place at this point, 1.55m proved a height too far on this occasion – but Ella demonstrated her potential today and there’s much more to come from this super high jumper.