Strong Performances in Connacht U13-19 Track and Field

Strong Performances in Connacht U13-19 Track and Field

In the U13-19 Connacht finals in Dangan, the club had a large contingent in action and came home with a huge haul of 14 individual Connacht titles, 11 silver medals and 14 bronze medals, along with 2 relay golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronze medals. This was an improved performance from an already strong 2007 performance where the club won 11 individual gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze along with 3 relay gold.

Foremost amongst the medal winners was Claire Ryder who came home with no less than 4 gold medals and a bronze – taking individual gold in the long jump and 80m sprint, individual bronze in the 60m hurdles and anchoring the U13 girls and U14 girls 4x100m relay teams to Connacht titles. There was also some splendid high jumping by Craughwell athletes with several personal best performances, particularly Ella Bryan’s 1.45m to win the U13 girls high jump and Maria McNamara’s 1.50m to win the U14 girls event. Full results of Craughwell medallists were :- (note, apologies for any missing information here – I don’t have a full set of results yet and am compiling this from information received from various athletes and parents. I will update this when full results available)

U13 Girls 80m 1 Claire Ryder (11.12), 75m Hurdles 2 Kelly Harte (11.23), 3 Claire Ryder (11.68), Long Jump 1 Claire Ryder (4.26), High Jump 1 Ella Bryan (1.45); U14 Girls 800m 3 Orla McDaid (2.36.96), Long Jump 2 Maria McNamara (4.22), High Jump 1 Maria McNamara (1.50), 3 Caoimhe Quill (1.30); U15 Girls 250m Hurdles 2 Katie O'Donughue, 800m 1 Linda Porter (2.25.03), 1500m 1 Linda Porter (5.13.39), Long Jump 3 Debi Kenny (4.22), High Jump 2 Orla Ryan (1.30); U16 Girls 200m 2 Ashley McDonnell (27.38), Long Jump 2 Ashley McDonnell (4.47), 3 Sarah Helebert (4.37), High Jump 2 Sarah Helebert (1.45), 3 Ashley McDonnell (1.40);  U17 Girls 3k Walk 1 Maeve Curley (16.42), High Jump 3 Sophie Ralston, Shot Putt 2 Kelly O'Donoghue (7.56); U18 Girls 100m 2 Jane Healy (15.03), 200m 3 Jane Healy (31.06), Long Jump 1 Rachel Kenny (4.38), Triple Jump 1 Rachel Kenny (9.50). 

U13 Boys 600m 3 Nicholas Sheehan, 75m Hurdles 4 Christopher O'Connor (12.41), Long Jump 2 Oisin McNally (4.37), High Jump 1 Oisin McNally (1.35), Javelin 3 Oisin McNally (22.41); U14 Boys 1500m 2 Finn Stoneman (5.13.72), Long Jump 2 PJ Kelly (4.32), High Jump 1 Jack Raftery (1.40); U15 Shot Putt 1 Paul McGill (12.41), Javelin 1 Paul McGill (32.00), 3 Cathal Coppinger (19.08); U16 Boys 100m 3 Tomás Keehan (12.47), 800m 2 Ruairi Finnegan (2.15.33), Triple Jump 3 Niall Rooney (10.92), High Jump 1 Tomás Keehan (1.71), 3 Niall Rooney (1.65).

Highlight of the individual performances was Linda Porter's 2.25.03 800m which breaks the club record for 800m across all age groups. Niall Rooney's triple jump of 10.98 came close to matching this performance, and he hit a PB in high also. Linda's performance in the 1500m was also outstanding, recording the fastest 1500 of the day in the womens 1500 events. Also running exceptionally well, Finn Stoneman recorded a fantastic 800m time of 2.20 – a huge PB for him, and medalled in 1500 for good measure.  Special mention also for Oisin McNally who got two huge PBs in the U13 long jump and high jump and a competition PB in the javelin – taking 3 medals and a talent to watch for in the future.

The relays provided plenty of excitement at the end of the day and the club performed very well in them. They got underway with the U13 girls 4x100m with the team of Kelly Harte, Niamh Hannify, Sarah Molloy, Claire Ryder and sub Gabrielle Tobin. The team ran very strongly to move into the lead on the last leg for a comfortable victory over Connachts top teams in a time of 58.xx. The boys U13 team of Christopher O’Connor, Oisin McNally, David Byrne and Nicholas Sheehan ran strongly but finished outside the medals in a time of xx. The U14 girls relay was ran in 2 heats with the result been decided by times. Our U14 team were Maireád McCan, Maria McNamara, Orla McDaid, Claire Ryder and sub Caoimhe Quill. The team ran superbly to win their heat in 55.x. The other heat was won in almost an identical time – and when the result was announced, the Craughwell girls received the gold medals! 

The U14 boys team ran well in their relay but on this occasion Ballinasloe and GCH stole the show with a powerful Ballinasloe finish to take gold, GCH in silver and Craughwell in bronze in a time of 56.x. The Craughwell team were Peter Treacy, PJ Kelly, Finn Stoneman, Jack Raftery and sub Paul Fitzpatrick. In the U15 girls, Craughwell’s team were Orla Ryan, Debi Kenny, Katie O’Donoghue, Linda Porter and sub Danielle Madden. The team put in a very good performance to take silver medals in a time of 55.x.

The U15 boys team lined out with Cormac Dillon, David Farrell, Pádraic Tobin, Jack Raftery and sub Liam Dundon. They finished up in 4th place – slightly better baton changes might have given them a 3rd place finish. Next up was the U16 girls team. Its been quite a while since we fielded an U16 girls team and this particular team hadn’t run together before – Debi Kenny, Sarah Helebert, Katie O’Donoghue and Ashley McDonnell. With good baton passes, the team were placed 2nd going into the final exchange. Ashley powered down the home straight with an excellent run, closing the gap slightly on GCH’s Amy Rohan who is one of the top sprinters in the country in this age group. A fine performance which saw this team take silver and also record a club record for women’s 4x100m in a time of 54.x.

Final relay of the day was the U16 boys, with Ruairi Finnegan, Niall Rooney, Shaun Gallagher, Tomás Keehan and sub Kyle McCrann. The team ran well to win the silver medals in a time of 50.xx. Tomás was catching the leading GCH runner all the time in the final leg and had closed the gap to less than a metre by the finish line – but just hadn’t enough track left to win the gold. 

So 2 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronze in the relays – a strong performance. It was particularly encouraging to have an U16 girls and boys team in action – possibly the first time has fielded a full relay squad in these age groups.

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