Other reports on the Web site have covered the performances of Craughwell's juvenile athletes in field events on the final day of tne National Juvenile Championships in Cork. There were also some fantastic performances on the track, with several sprinters and middle distance runners in action. Also in action in the U9 multi-events competition were Eddie Madden and Tara McNally.
Both Eddie and Tara competing very strongly with Eddie taking 9th place overall and Tara taking a super 3rd place and the bronze medal in this very difficult competition. Eddie came 7th in the 60m in a time of 9.91m – a club record for this age group. He was 10th in the long jump with a jump of 3.12 and 7th in the ball throw. Tara came 6th in the 60m sprint in a time of 10.35, 13th in the long jump and 1st in the ball throw – a measure of the patience assistance she got from her dad Eddie in this event!
Craughwell had 3 sprinters in action – Claire Ryder in the U11 girls 60m, Jack Raftery in the U12 boys 80m and Paul McGill in the U13 boys 80m. All sprinted well and recorded either new or close to their PBs for their sprint but the competition proved too strong for them to make finals. Claire recorded 9.64 in her 60m sprint – 0.26s of an improvement on her Connacht time of 9.90. Jack recorded 11.75 in his 80m sprint, a big improvement of 0.52s on his Connacht PB of 12.27. Paul recorded 11.62 in his 80m sprint, slightly down on his time of 11.56 from Connacht.
With the track clear after all the sprints had completed, it was time for the 600m races for the U11, U12 and U13 age groups. With middle-distance considered by many to be the toughest events on the track, Craughwell had 2 athletes in action here – with Cathal Reidy in the U11 boys 600m and Linda Porter in the U13 girls 600m.
Cathal had finished 4th in this event in the Connachts and with only 3 qualifying in this event, was not preparing for this until the week before the competition when the club received late notice that 1 of the first three athletes was not taking part and that Cathal could go in his place. When the gun went, Cathal got off to a good start but with the fast early pace, quickly tailed off the leading pack. Staying in contention with the chasing pack, Cathal looked in trouble when the bell went for the final lap. As he rounded the bend, he found a 2nd wind and made a strong steady recovery down the back-straight, the final bend and into the home straight – moving up to 7th place by the finishing line, a super performance by Cathal, particularly in view of the late call-up and resulting lack of preparation. Cathal clearly has huge potential for middle-distance running – having run 2.08.7 to win the Galway Outdoors, improving this to 2.06.21 to finish 4th in the Connachts and improving this by an incredible 10 seconds to 1.56.59 to finish 7th in the National finals.
In the U13 girls 600m, Linda Porter was seeking to rediscover her form having finished 4th in this event as an U11 but not making the indoor 600m final earlier this year. Linda was showing signs however of rediscovering her form – having won the Connacht 600m in a PB time of 1.51.59 and also having won the 600m in the Galway Community Games. The gun went and a very congested start was accompanied by a lot of pushing and shoving around the first bend that resulted in Linda getting pushed to the back as they came into the straight. Running from the back, Linda moved to the outside of the bunch and put in a very strong run down the home straight to move from 2nd last to 5th place as the bell sounded for the last lap. The leading 3 runners had got a huge advantage from the start as they stayed clear of the congestion to move away from the pack and built up a 20 or 30m gap after 200m. Linda was slowly narrowing the gap and as she exited the final bend, Linda passed Swinford’s Nadine Rainey to move into 4th place. Only about 15m adrift of 3rd place at this point, Linda tried hard to make up the gap but ran out of track finishing 4th in a super PB time of 1.49.23 and only 2 seconds behind the runner in 3rd place. Super running and were it not for the congested start, Linda might well have finished in the medals.
So the end of another National Championships for Craughwell and again the club’s athletes exceeded performances of previous years – both in terms of numbers participating and final placing in the different events. In the relays, club teams took 1 gold, 1x4th, 1x5th, 1x6thand 1x8th. In the individual events U9-13, the club took 2 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze, 1x4th, 1x5th, 3x6th, 4x7th and 1x8th. And from the first weekend when the U14-19 individual events took place, the club had 3 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze, 2x4th and 2x6th. Fantastic achievements for everybody.