There were many fine performances at the Galway Indoor Track & Field last Saturday in Nenagh. I will update this article tonight with a detailed report. If anyone has any photos that they'd like included, please email them on to me. Craughwell were the leading club on the day taking a massive total of 50 Galway titles, 41 2nd place and 32 3rd place. The detailed results are below.
Thanks to everyone from the club who helped out on the day – I know some of you will feel that the day was very long but it would have been much longer were it not for all the help we had from parents and coaches. We had at least 12 parents from Craughwell AC helping out for a large part of the day. It was particularly long for our 10s and we will definitely make representations to try to get the younger events completed earlier in the day in future – perhaps focussing on the younger ages first with older ages starting later in the day.
I have put provisional results on the web at:-
The following is a more detailed account of the performances across the age groups.
While I didn’t get to see many of the individual events, Finbar McFadden’s performance in the 350m was exceptional and his tactical awareness belied his young age. Sitting in 2nd place for the first half of the race a few metres adrift of the leader, he accelerated down the back straight and won the race at ease by several seconds. Mia Waters also had a strong run in her 350m to take individual silver having earlier took gold in the 60m sprint, while the relay teams performed very well, as did the long jumpers led by Ryan Gallagher, Cian Garman, Jane Trehy and Sarah McCartin. This is a particularly strong age group for the club – having had the best performance ever of any age group in the club at last year’s U9 National Championships – so it was great to see them out in force at this year’s indoors.
The U11s battled real hard against strong opposition, particularly from Athenry AC. Micheál McFadden took a fine individual sprint medal. With this being the first time any of these athletes had to jump from the board in the long jump, it was difficult to get long jump PBs on the day – but all of the athletes jumped very well and it will be very good experience for the outdoors. Siona Lawless and Roisin Hansbury were particularly impressive in the long jump.
The U12 boys were particularly impressive in their events. With each athlete allowed to do 3 out of 5 individual events, the club totally dominated taking all 3 medals in the high jump, all 3 medals in the long jump, 3 out of the 4 medals awarded in the 600m, 2 out of the 3 medals in the shot putt, 1 of the 3 medals in the 60m sprint and 2 sets of relay medals. It was an incredible performance but one highlight it missed was the fantastic performance of Diarmuid McCartin in the sprint. Diarmuid is lightening fast and often showed flashes of this sort of potential in training. So it was super to see him come within a whisker of a medal last Saturday. Luke Evans was unlucky in the long jump and could have added a metre to his jump with a bit more practise to get his mark accurate. Mark O’Brien and Cian Waters threw excellent shots to take gold and silver and incredibly 7 other athletes from the club in this age group took individual medals – Sean Delaney (HJ, 600m), Jerry Keary (60m, LJ, HJ), Brendan Commins (HJ, 600m), Cillian Doyle (HJ, LJ), Hugh Mulryan (600m) and Peter Martyn (LJ).
The girls had a good day out also, with Dearbhla Cronin leading the way with 3 medals. Our long jumps were a little down on the day on PBs but so were many older athletes so when we go to a warmer Nenagh in March it will be PB time again hopefully. Laura Cunningham took the silver in the long jump and will be eying up the Connachts ambitiously, hopefully with her jumping partner Aoife Walshe back from illness. Ciana Reidy was unlucky not to take a medal in the long jump and in the 600m, finishing in 2nd in her heat in the 600m which turned out to be the slower of the two heats. Shauna Tobin made her debut in the high jump with a bronze medal. Ciara Murphy and Caolin Milton performed very well, particularly in the relays, as did Sinead Kennedy.
Another strong performance by the U13s, particularly the girls with Aisling Keady-Cummins and Emma Gaffney being two of the very few athletes to get a PB in the long jump on the day, particularly good jumps. Brian Loughnane was very unlucky to break all 3 of his jumps – they were certainly good enough to make the medals. Michelle Duggan picked up an injury in the high jump but had competed well up to then. The relay teams in this age group were exemplary, winning both Galway titles with slick baton passing. Most improved athlete award must go to Eimear Loughnane who took a fine individual medal in the sprint.
Tara McNally was the star of this age group and the top athlete on the day for the club with 5 gold medals (2 relays). She had a real good battle with Athenry’s Grace Cahill in the high jump. Both athletes had shared the bronze medal in the outdoor All-Irelands last year and they pushed each other all the way last Saturday with Tara just shading it. In her first competitive outing and the first time (in many years at least) that race walking has featured in the Galway Indoors, Andrea Tobin competed very well to win gold in the 1000m race-walk. Grainne McDaid had her customary strong performance in the 800m, winning at ease by over 40m.
A strong performance in the sprints and the relays was the usual trademark of our U15s. Our sprinting prowess is growing by the day – with Kelvin, Aidan and Conor taking the top 3 places in this age group. Ellen Treacy made a super return to the high jump with a 1.30 clearance. Kelvin Olayemi heaved the shot putt over 10m, a very impressive throw, while Damien O’Boyle and Jamie Spellman had a good old battle in the 800m with Damien looking like he had the victory at the half-way stage but Jamie recovering on the 2nd last lap to go on to take the gold. Damien earlier had a fine performance in the high jump despite zero practise sessions! Shane Finn and Emma Byrne both had very good performance in the race walk, with the Battle of Ballywinna ensuing on the last lap as Emma challenged for the lead over her neighbour but Shane holding on to the top spot.
Combined with the U17s for this competition, it was always going to be tough for the U16s but nevertheless they had some top-class performances most notably from Ella Bryan who is back to form in the high jump. Only for difficulty with her long jump mark, Claire Ryder would have gone close to 5m in the long jump which would have been a very good early season jump. Gabrielle Tobin also competed well in the long jump, unlucky not to break her PB. Conor Gillen and Nicholas Sheehan had a real battle of wits in the 800m, with both running an extremely tactical race. Joined at the hip (and elbows!) for most of the race, the two friends made an incredible surge for the last 300m with Nicholas victorious on this occasion. Cathal Reidy had a strong performance in the sprints and long jump with a good PB of x.x, while Diarmuid Prendergast threw a great shot putt to win that competition. Christopher O’Connor put in a big race in the 1000m race walk, making great progress in this event. Oisin McNally was another athlete to make a welcome return to competition, competing well in the high jump to come close to his PB.
In the U17s, Maireád McCan and Maria McNamara were really top of their game in the long jump and high jump, with both been very unlucky not to break 5m in the long jump with a tiny break on their final jumps which looked 5+ metres. Maria was unlucky not to equal her PB of 1.55m in the high jump despite the cold conditions and Maireád (after years of persuasion!) finally attempted the high jump and jumped exceptionally well. Melissa Mullins was another athlete in good form, with a good performance in the hurdles and a strong long jump. Sineád Gaffney confirmed her potential in the 800m when taking the gold medal, with Orla McDaid making a welcome return to the event when taking the bronze medal, just ahead of Laura Porter who was also making a comeback after a lengthy season of camogie.
Coming out of retirement for this event, Peter Treacy sprinted well and also claimed a bronze in the long jump. New recruit Darren Kelly claimed 3 medals on his competition debut in the 60m, 200m and long jump – a particularly impressive performance with limited practise.
With U18s and 19s and seniors competing together, some events proved very challenging for our U18s.
Katie O’Donoghue attempted high jump in individual competition for the first time, scissoring an incredible 1.40m but leaving the competition at that stage as it clashed with the relays. Later Katie ran a strong 800m to take bronze, with Linda Porter making a welcome return to the track and delivering her trademark lung-bursting last 200m to take the 800m title in style.
Cathriona Farrell had a strong performance in the senior high jump to take the Galway title with a 1.70m clearance in spite of the exceptionally cold conditions. Cathriona later easily won the long jump and only for a tiny break on her final jump, would have recorded a very good 5.19m early season jump. It’s great for the club and for the younger athletes to have an athlete of Cathriona’s calibre compete in the Galway indoors – hopefully in years to come when younger athletes are watching Cathriona compete in major televised championships, they can say that they competed the same day as her in Nenagh!
Cathal Cronin put in a good performance on his debut for the club in the 200m and long jump. Peadar Harvey had a great battle in the 3000m with his friend and rival Keith Fallon – with Keith just shading it in the last few metres of the race, while Pádraic Tobin had a fine performance in the senior men’s 800m knocking an incredible 23 seconds off his indoor PB from 2009 when finishing 4th in 2:16.4. David Farrell underlined his potential again with a 5.40m jump in the long jump despite two breaks and ran a blistering first leg in the 4x200m relay. Unfortunately an injury prevented David from taking part in the individual 200m later in the day but hopefully he can do so in the Connachts as judging on his relay form, he will be a serious contender for a medal.