Precious Metal Haul in Nenagh!
Craughwell AC were laden down with precious metal as they departed Nenagh on Saturday with an amazing haul of 95 medals weighing Liam Dervans bus down on the journey home from the Galway Indoor Track & Field Championships. Nenagh was a ghost-town that morning as our bus trundled through – the town still shell-shocked by the deaths a few days ago of three teenagers in a car accident. May they rest in peace.
Craughwell had a huge number of participants in action – over 100 athletes travelled down to Nenagh. Events got underway shortly after 11am with the senior men’s 3000m where Mark Davis and Tony Nevin claimed the gold and silver medals.
Each year, the club continues to increase the numbers of older teenagers in action … who will soon join the auld fellas like Mark and Tony 🙂 for senior track and field. This year, the club fielded two strong relay teams in the U17 boys 4x200m – the first time we had one team (never mind two) in action in this age group. And for the first time ever, the club fielded a senior women’s 4x200m relay team with Sarah and Rachel Finnegan, Sophie Ralston and Ashley McDonnell claiming the honour. The U17 B team staged a slight upset by taking the gold medal ahead of the A team and in the process set a new club record for the 4x200m with their team of Ruairi Finnegan, Pádraic Tobin, David Concannon and Peadar Harvey – in a time of 1.47.9.
Other club records to fall on the day were to Peadar Harvey who set a splendid time of 2.15.3 for the 800m in his first ever outing on a 200m track to claim the fastest 800m by a junior athlete in the club and to Tomás Keehan with his leap of 1.65m in the high jump, again setting a new junior record.
Craughwell were the dominant club across all of the events except the sprints where GCH won out. The club won a massive haul of 40 gold medals, 34 silver and 21 bronze and were particularly impressive in the jumps where we won 9 of the 12 long jump events and 9 of the 11 high jump events. In the relays, the club won silver and bronze in the U10 girls and boys, double gold in the U11 girls and boys, gold and silver in the U12 girls and boys, gold and silver in the U13 girls and boys, silver and bronze in the U14 girls and boys, gold and silver in the U15 boys and girls, gold and silver in the U17 boys and girls and silver in the senior women’s.
The following highlights some of the achievements on the day – but there were too many top notch performances to list all here, so consult the full results at
for full details.
Laura Cunningham and Rachel Hannify were the top performers in the U10 girls events, with Laura winning silver in the 60m sprint. Alan Callanan and Peter Martyn both medalled in the U10 boys events, with Alan winning silver in the sprint and gold in the 350m and Peter winning silver and bronze in the same events.
In the U11 girls, Michelle Duggan claimed bronze in the sprint with Emma Gaffney narrowly missing out on medals in both the sprint and the 550m. Hugh Lane and Nathan Lynskey were unlucky not to feature in the medals in the boys 550m and sprint.
In the U12 girls, Tara McNally looked like she was strolling casually up the track as she raced to gold in the 60m and added a further Galway title to that in the high jump. Grainne McDaid added to a strong club performance to take the title in the 600m. Rebecca Leahy added a further title for the club when winning the shot putt, with Ciara Kerse taking the silver. In the boys events Oisin Doyle made his debut for the club in style by claiming the gold in the long jump and the bronze in the 600m. Gary Clay added another title when taking gold in the shot putt, with Cathal O’Brien 3rd in the same event. Cathal Quill made his own piece of history for the club on the day, becoming the first athlete to represent the club who is also eligible for the Special Olympics. Cathal was competing in the shot putt and threw the shot a very respectable 2.44m.
The U13 girls exploits were led by Ellen Treacy who took gold in the high jump and bronze in the 600m. Ellen Fitzpatrick and Katie Donohue took silver in the high jump and the hurdles, with Ellen adding bronze in the long jump for good measure. The boys had possibly the strongest performance of all the Craughwell age groups – with Aidan Conneely winning the sprint in a blistering run and also adding the long jump title with a fine leap of 4.29cm – just 1cm short of his PB from last year’s indoors. Gavin O’Toole and Eoin Lally also featured twice in the medals, with Gavin claiming silver and bronze in the 600m and long jump and Eoin claiming gold and bronze in the high jump and hurdles. Jamie Spellman, Christopher McDonnell and Cillian McDaid added bronze in the hurdles, the shot putt and high jump.
In the U14 girls, Claire Ryder and Ella Bryan mopped up a lot of the medals with Claire taking silver in the sprint and gold in the long jump and Ella taking double gold in the high jump and hurdles. Gabrielle Tobin added silver for the club in the shot putt, with Orlaith Burke doing the same in high jump. In the boys’ events, Nicholas Sheehan had an amazing performance in the 800m – winning it in a time of 2.36.6, a time that catapults him close to the top of the club’s all-time rankings for this age group. Matthew Moran also had a fine performance in the 800m, taking the bronze medal. Nicholas also picked up a bronze in the hurdles for good measure. The top performer of the day from the club featured in this age group – with triple gold medal winner Oisin McNally having an outstanding day in winning the long jump, shot putt and high jump with super performances. Christopher O’Connor completed the medal haul in this age group with silver in the hurdles and bronze in the long jump.
In the U15 girls, Maria McNamara had convincing victories in the high jump and long jump, with Caoimhe Quill taking double silver in the high jump and hurdles. Sinead Gaffney took silver in the long jump, coming very close to her PB and for a long time looked like she was going to take gold in the 800m – leading it for the first 700m in a remarkable performance. But in a repeat performance of her summer Community Games exploits, Orla McDaid timed her move to perfection to break into the lead on the last bend and take the gold on the straight. In a welcome return to track and field, Anna Lane also had a super finish in the 800m to take the silver medal in a close battle with Orla. In the boys’ events, Finn Stoneman and Paul Fitzpatrick claimed a club double of gold/silver in the 800m while Jack Raftery recorded an impressive 1.43cm in the high jump on his return to action in that event after a 6-month absence.
The U17 girls saw a very strong performance from Linda Porter to claim her almost customary Galway title in the 800m with a good early season time of 2.32.1. Ashley McDonnell took gold in the long jump, almost leaping to a new PB and also took double bronze in the high jump and 200m. Club-mate Orla Ryan claimed the silver in the high jump. Debi Kenny was unlucky in the long jump, just missing out on the medals – with her best jump of 4.08 having been taken well behind the break line. The U17 boys’ events provided some proud moments for the club with 8 boys competing in the club’s colours in this age group – great to see the club succeeding in keeping its athletes involved into their older teens. Tomas Keehan took double gold in the high jump and long jump and bronze in the 200m. Peadar Harvey and David Concannon took silver and bronze in the 800m while Niall Rooney claimed silver in the high jump.
And in the senior women’s age group, Rachel Finnegan led the way in claiming triple gold in the hurdles, high jump and long jump, with sister Sarah in 2nd place in the hurdles and shot putt and in 3rd place in the 200m. Sophie Ralston claimed double silver in the high jump and long jump. In the senior men’s races, Mark Davis and Tony Nevin were 1-2 in the 3000m – with Tony also giving the 800m a go later in the day in a very respectable time of 2.29, just behind club-mate David Porter. There was triple gold also for William Finnegan in the senior men’s long jump, high jump and shot putt.
So a great day for the club in Nenagh and hopefully a sign of the future as the club's athletes start to move from the juvenile ranks into senior athletics.