Records Fall In National League Final

Records Fall In National League Final

Craughwell AC were missing some big hitters but still fielded a strong (mostly) young men’s team for the finals of the National League 2024 in Athlone Indoor Arena. The team finished 6th in the country overall and smashed several club records, including Pole Vault, 4x400m, Hurdles and Shot Put.

Justin Lane got one of the roars of the day with his Club record and personal best of 2.40 in the Pole Vault – showing life can begin at 50! See his clearance below. Unfortunately Justin got a nasty knock on the head which needed treatment on his last jump, but still managed to bravely muscle through to compete well in the WFD for 4th place and another 5 points in 4.81m.

Patrick Noonan has been looking extremely strong in training recently and showed great courage in his stacked 1500m race. Paddy drove out with the leaders and just got dropped in the last lap to 3rd after a fantastic battle but came home with a fine 3:56 clocking and some strong scalps.

Conor Penney took on the challenge of the High Hurdles and he ran brilliantly in his first senior outing to knock huge chunks off the club record and sail over the barriers, covering it in 8.55s. Clearing those high-hurdles is no mean feat!

The scheduling of the event made it impossible for Conor to compete in the High-Jump but Darragh Kelly stepped into the breach and leaped strongly to clear 1.75 for 3rd and 6 points. Darragh very nearly cleared 1.80 but the bar just fell off while he was on the mat.

Middle-distance man Kyle Moorhead was taking to the blocks for the first ever time in the 400m. Kyle has been struggling with a foot pain since the resolution run on New Years Day and he could feel it again in the warm-up. He blazed from the blocks at a good pace and despite running out of juice on the back straight he still ran a strong 52.14s and bagged a solid 4 points. We now have to deal with the foot issue however so it looks like his indoor season may be cut short – it is a tough game!.

With jumping superstar Evan Hallinan out injured and in the middle of his mocks, Josh Whyte took up the mantle and performed well. Josh leaped 5.08m for 7th in the Long Jump (2 points) and picked up another point in the triple jump with 10.40m clearance.

Jack Miskella felt he was a little off colour the last time he was on the track in the League Round 2, however that was blown away by an excellent outing this weekend over 800m. Jack smashed out a fine 1.55.67 performance, putting himself right in the mix for the win against some classy opponents. Watch the last 600m below:

Toyosi George got things going in the 60m sprint with a 7th place in the 60m sprints (7.53) and another two points in the 200m with 23.98.

In the words of shotput coach extrordinaire, Iain Shaw – Ronnie Warde does not have a clue how to throw a shot, but boy can he throw through sheer bloody brute force. Ronnie launched an excellent throw of 9.93 to take 4th place and a valuable 5 points.

William Fitzgerald has had a rough couple of weeks. About two weeks ago his achilles was at him and we took some time off and skipped some sessions to focus on rehab. He lost most of last year with this injury so we are all pretty terrified of it! Then on Sunday he got sick. All in all he decided last minute to run the 3000m and felt pretty rough on the start line. As the laps went by you could see he was a little off colour, but what was very impressive to me is how he kept his head up and fought through it. He got dropped from a group of 5 and worked hard to regain contact with 600m to run and pushed on to lead the group, making a big drive to claim the points. A few of them managed to hang on to his heels however and he got passed in the dying seconds by 3 to finish 5th in 8:37.51., less than a second off 2nd. It was a quality run from William and best of all, his achilles felt spot on so we are on course to return to Armagh 5km this Thursday with him, Paddy and Oisin.

When you fill in a teamsheet, you need to put names in all events so I put myself down for the walk on this occasion. I have no experience in this technical event and with a high DQ-risk decided to only do it if the field looked small enough to claim useful points. Unfortunately for me there was a small field so I lined up and took a few last-second tips from one of my loose-hipped competitors. My main objective was to not get DQ’d so after picking up two yellow cards on my first circuit of the track I gave up any pretense of effort and slowed things down to a cautious crawl, ignoring the whoops and jeers from the cheap seats. The poor judges took pity on me and I managed to get away with it and took home 4 points for my trouble. Then I opened the phone to check the inevitable memes 😂 :

The final event was the 4x400m relay and the lads had the club record in sight. At this point we were in 5th place, but Letterkenny AC in our heat were packing a lot of bandanas and had the look of actual sprinters, not to mention GCH with superstar Andrew Egan leading the charge. Our middle-distance heavy relay team started with Keelan Moorhead taking on the toughest task of leading out against the best sprinters in the clubs competing. Keelan handed on to his brother Kyle who blazed another 52-high outing before passing to Oisin Davis (53s) who had the satisfaction of catching and overtaking his Raheny rival before Jack Miskella saw us home in another 53s solo outing. Superb performances that you can watch below:

The standard of competition in the league final is top-notch and at the end of the day we finished 6th of the 8 finalists and can take great heart from this. In terms of endurance events, we would have finished 3rd on the league table. We have some rockstars on the way up and others who were unable to compete that would likely have made a big difference (e.g. Evan Hallinan would have raked in the points in the jumps and Sean Hoade hurdles, Sean Cotter, Jamie Fallon, and several others would all contribute). This is a very stern competition and to win a medal we would need all of our top athletes on peak form, but it’s very possible in the future so is a good target! Well done to all competitors in all teams, and of course the officials for making such great competition possible!!.

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