Just a quick update on juvenile athletics. While the Connacht Tribune has been excellent as usual in publishing weekly reports on the club activities, I’ve been slow to update the website so I hope to correct that this weekend and post a backlog of reports and photos. But here’s a summary of what’s being happening in the last 6 weeks.
Pat Kelly Retiring
I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Pat Kelly for the immense contribution that he has made to the athletic club. As most of you will know, Pat is Principal of the local national school and without his support in partnering with the club on the development of the facilities at the school and in encouraging the sport in the school, the club would never be as large and as successful as it is today. So the club owes a huge debt of gratitude to Pat for this support and he can take great pride in the success of the club since his support was instrumental in making Craughwell AC what it is today.
Fit4fun Summer Camp
We still have places available for our fit4fun summer camps on weeks of 4th July, 11th July and 15th August – please contact Michael Tobin at 087 6591879 if interested in your child(ren) going so that I know approximate numbers and can organise sufficient coaches.
Our U9, 10 and 11s have now finished up training for the summer. They will recommence again towards end of August/early September. Can anyone who is involved in the National finals of Community Games come up to the U12 training sessions at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays to keep preparing for those finals.
U12s and 13s continue to train for their National finals in mid end end July and we will wrap up training for these age groups with a team-based competition in Dangan on Tuesday 19th July from 7 to 9pm. We ran this last year for the current U12s and it was very successful with 3 teams of 15, athletes receiving points for their team after each event and all teams receiving medals. I will need to know in advance who is taking part in order to organise the teams and medals.
U14s and older also continue to train for their National finals and we will figure out some sort of social event once the finals are out of the way.
In September, we will need to recruit more parents to help out, particularly with the new group of U8 children who will be starting in September. So please contact Michael Tobin if interested in helping! In particular, if you have a child starting in the U8s and can spare some time, think about getting involved … its a great pasttime!
Open Sports Days
We had some fantastic performances earlier in the summer at two open sports days in Donegal and Ennis. And last night, some hardy families ventured down to Castleisland in Kerry for another one where again our athletes excelled – with gold for our u10 mixed relay team, gold for Ryan Gallagher in U10 long jump with 3.44m, Cian Garman 4th, silver for Mia Waters in U10 long jump with 3.51m, Jane Trehy 4th with 3.20m, silver for Micheál McFadden in the U11 sprint, silver for Finbarr McFadden in the U10 sprint, Cian Garman 4th, gold for Finbarr in U10 500m and bronze for Cian, silver for Micheál in U12 long jump with 4.06m, Cian Waters 4th, 4th for Cian in U13 shot putt with a big PB of 8.08m. Great results all around and something that the club hopes to do a lot more of in the future. There are still a few coming up later in the summer:-
· 22 July – Fanahan McSweeney Open Sports, Cork
· 1 August – Rising Sun Open Sports, Cork
· 7 August – Liscarroll Open Sports, Cork
· 14 August – Boyne AC Open Sports, Louth
U9, 10, 11, 12 Super Heroes
Our U9, 10, 11 and 12 athletes dominated the recent Connacht championships where they took home a staggering 25% of all of the medals awarded and had by far the greatest participation. In the U9-11 team pairs, Craughwell finished in the top three with 16 team pairs – with Westport the next strongest club with 10 successful team pairs and Athenry and GCH next each with 7 team pairs. This success was replicated in the U12 age group where Craughwell medalled in 10 individual events with Westport and Athenry next with 5 individual medals. And the relays continued this trend with Craughwell featuring on the winners’ podium in 7 of the 8 races.
The U9s, 10s and 11s went on to put in some tremendous performances in the National finals last weekend with 2 sets of long jump medals (U9 girls silver Ava Finn/Kate Reilly, U10 boys bronze Ryan Gallagher/Cian Garman) and 2 sets of relay medals (U9 girls bronze and U10 girls silver) and a few top-notch individual performances also. I will have a full report on the web shortly.
The U12s will be in action in the National finals in July.
Galway City Sports
Athletes from the club enjoyed remarkable success while representing their primary schools at the Galway City Sports in Dangan. In the U9 grade, Craughwell NS girl’s team raced to bronze medals in their 4x100m relay, while in the U9 boys relay club members representing Oranmore Boys NS took the gold medals with Craughwell NS taking 4th place. Fortunes were reversed in the U11 boys 4x100m where Craughwell NS won gold with Oranmore Boys NS close behind in 2nd place. The Craughwell NS U13 girls won gold in style while Oranmore Boys did likewise in the U13 boys relay.
Having dominated the relays, both schools proceeded to do the same in the distance events with Finbarr McFadden leading a 1-2-3 in the U9 boys 400m ahead of Sean Cannon and Estavio from Oranmore, Sean Delaney and Brendan Commins taking gold and silver in the U11 boys 400m, Grainne McDaid taking gold in the U13 girls 800m and Oisin Doyle and Matthew Barrett taking gold and silver in the U13 boys 800m. And in the sprints, Michelle Duggan took the bronze medal in the U13 girls 100m with Eddie Madden taking gold in the U13 boys 100m and Christopher Mooney taking the bronze.
There were too many successes at the Galway Community Games finals to mention here so I will detail all on the club’s website. The highlights came at the very end of the day when Craughwell took double gold in the U16 boys and girls relay. In the girls event, Ellen Fitzpatrick, Maria McNamara, Sineád Gaffney, Maireád McCan and sub Gabrielle Tobin raced to glory ahead of Athenry. And a towering performance in the U16 boys relay saw the team of Cathal Reidy, Conor O’Donoghue, Jamie Spellman and Conor Duggan power around the track to take the gold medals in style.
In the National Community Games cross-country, 6 athletes from the club featured on medal winning Galway teams with some fine performances. Oisin Doyle had a splendid race to take individual 3rd place in the U13 1200m race, with Matthew Barrett and Grainne McDaid finishing strongly to help the Co. Galway team to take the silver medals in a tough battle with Co. Clare and Co. Kerry who took 1st and 3rd places. The U12 boys team also took silver medals with James Cahalane, Brian Loughnane and Jerry Keary all running superbly in the county colours.
Secondary Schools Athletics
We had many fine performances at the Connacht schools track & field in Athlone, with the stand-out performances from a Craughwell AC perspective being Ciara Greene’s breathtaking 5.02 time when winning the Minor Girls 1500 and Sineád Gaffney ‘s victory in the Intermediate Girls 300m which followed a third place finish in the 800m.
In the follow-on National finals, Maeve Curley took the only medal of the day by a Craughwell AC athlete when finishing in 2nd place in the Senior Girls 3000m walk, a placing which should further consolidate Maeve’s selection for the European Junior Track & Field later this summer. Maeve followed this up with an impressive performance at the European Cup of Race Walking in Olhao, Portugal as part of the Irish junior girl’s team which took 5th place in the team event. It was Maeve's first major international championships and she recorded a solid time of 52:37 over the 10k distance to finish as the second Irish girl home after Waterford's Kate Veale.
The secondary schools athletics wrapped up with the inter-provencial competition known as the Tailteann Games. These games were originally held every four years in ancient Ireland and mirrored the more famous Olympic Games held every four years at Olympia in Greece. They were revived from 1924 to 1932 and were reincarnated in 1963 as an interprovencial junior competition. This year the club had the honour of 4 of its athletes representing Connacht – with Finn Stoneman in the 1500m, Maria McNamara in the high jump, Maireád McCan in the long jump and Melissa Mullins in the triple jump. Maireád broke the majical 5m barrier for the first time with a jump of 5.09m, in the process joining an elite group of 3 club members comprising Cathriona Farrell (5.32m), Claire Ryder (5.22m) and Maria McNamara (5.05m). Melissa had a huge PB by 60cm when leaping 10.36m in the triple jump to set a new club senior record, while Finn repeated this feat by racing to a fine time of 4.14.29 to break the club’s senior record in the 1500m.
Teenage Track & Field
The Galway U13/19 event was destroyed by absolutely miserable weather in Dangan. Incessant rain fell all day long which dampened spirits for most of the day. Nevertheless the large number of Craughwell AC athletes in attendance competed with distinction with many fine performances. Maria McNamara was in top form when winning the U17 long jump and triple jump, taking silver in the shot putt, adding 2 gold medals in the U17 and U18 relays and guesting in the 300m and 300m hurdles which she duly won. Katie O’Donoghue set a new club record in the shot putt when taking gold in the U18 girl’s event with a throw of 7.45m while Pádraic Tobin won a tight 800m battle with Finn Stoneman and Conor Gillen, crossing the line to take the U18 title in a time of 2.07.2.
In the follow-on Connacht Championships, the club had another fine set of performances in Sligo with Tara McNally and Mairead McCan leading the way with sprint and jump doubles, and Aidan Conneely making a very welcome return to top form when finishing 2nd in the U15 100m by a whisker. I will put full details on the website.
Meanwhile at the Galway senior track & field championships in Dangan, several of our older juveniles made their senior debuts. Finn Stoneman took the bronze medal in the senior 1500m in a time of 4.28 while the club took a clean sweep in the senior women's 200m with Katie O'Donoghue taking gold in 27.6, Sarah Finnegan silver in 28.3 and Sinead Gaffney bronze in 29.2. A further clean sweep following in the senior women's high jump with Cathriona Farrell taking gold with 1.65m, Maria McNamara silver with 1.50m and Katie O'Donoghue bronze with 1.45m. A solid performance from the club was wrapped up by Maria McNamara when taking gold in the javelin with a throw of 15.63m with Sarah Finnegan 3rd with 10.72m.
Cathriona Farrell completed a fine hat-trick of National Junior outdoor high jump titles in Tullamore with a jump of 1.71m in windy conditions. This is Cathriona’s last year as a junior (U20) and it was nice to wrap it up with yet another National title for the club’s most successful athlete. This makes it a hat-trick of outdoor and indoor junior titles for Cathriona – an exceptional achievement. For good measure, she added a silver medal in the long jump with a jump of 5.24m.
I have alot more detail on the above events to post on the website (for historical purposes!) and some photos. So will do so soon.