Some of Craughwell AC's athletes representing County Galway in the National League on Sunday
Lorraine Delaney, Jerry Keary, Jack Miskella, Ben Garrard, Gavin Cooney, Aoife Walsh
It was another bumper week of athletics with competition ranging from the local Christy Kennedy Sports held in Craughwell NS on Wednesday to the Sligo County Sports in Sligo IT the same evening to the National U9-11 Track & Field finals in Tullamore on Saturday to the inter-provincial Taillteann Games in Santry on Sunday and finally on to Round 1 of the National League held in Athlone IT on Sunday. A busy busy week!
The Christy Kennedy Sports saw teams competing from local primary schools including Ballyglas, Ballymana, Carrabane, Coldwood, Clarinbridge, Craughwell and Killeeneen. Craughwell NS emerged victorious in the larger schools competition with Ballyglas NS taking the honours in the event for smaller schools. Later that day at the Sligo City Sports, Ben Garrard and Gavin Cooney put in a blistering start in their 800m race going through the bell in 59 seconds with Ben holding on to place 5th in a new PB time of 2.00.35 and Gavin fading slightly towards the end to cross the line in 2.07.50.
Saturday saw our U9 to U11 athletes battle for National honours in Tullamore with many fine performances and close shaves with long jump duo Ben Moran and Dara Zimmerer claiming a fantastic silver medal in the U10 boys’ event and heroic performances from all of our young athletes on the National stage. See separate report from Tracy for full details. Full results are on Athletics Ireland website.
Also on Saturday in Santry, a number of our secondary school athletes were in action in the Taillteann Games which are an inter-provincial schools competition with teams selected from the best performers in the schools track and field earlier in June. Oisin Lyons ran a brilliant PB of 2.01.65 in the Boys 800m to place 6th amongst top-class opponents while Chloe Casey threw a massive 29.02cm to place 5th in the Girls Discus and heaved the shot putt out to 12.37m to take 5th place – strong performances from Chloe who is young enough again for this age group next year. Siona Lawless ran strongly on the Connacht 4x100m relay time that placed 4th in a time of 51.36.
Sunday saw Round 1 of the National League take place in Athlone IT where the club had several athletes in action on the Galway mens and womens teams. With a nice blend of youth and experience on both teams, the teams put in some terrific performances with the women’s team leading the Premier League team rankings after round 1 and the men’s team in 5th place in Division 1. For the men’s team Jerry Keary led the way with a PB-equalling 2m clearance in the high jump and followed it up with a 23.73 time to take 4th place in the 200m in addition to anchoring the Galway 4x100m to 5th place in a time of 45.78. Peter O’Sullivan ran an impressive 4.16.91 to take 3rd spot in the 1500m while Ben Garrard took 2nd place in the 800m in 2.00.51 and Gavin Cooney close behind in 5th in a time of 2.05.19. Gavin earlier ran 55.98 to place 5th in the 400m and later in the day combined with Ben Garrard, Jack Miskella and Athenry’s Ryan McNeilis to take 5th place in the 4x400m in a time of 3.42.28. Kevin Mooney placed 7th on his track debut in the 5000m in a time of 17.10.60, with Jack Miskella in 9th place.
In the women’s events, Maeve Curley made a welcome comeback to the track with victory in the 1500m walk in a time of 7.18.84 while Sarah Finnegan took victory in the triple jump with a leap of and took 3rd place in the 100m hurdles in a time of 18.76. In the jumps, Lorraine Delaney took 3rd place in the high jump with a leap of 1.45m while Aoife Walsh took 4th place in the pole vault with a clearance of 1.80m and Siona Lawless placed 5th in the long jump with a best of 4.78m. Rachel Finnegan was 4th in the 400m hurdles in 1.10.47 while Sinead Treacy took 5th place in the 200m in 26.57 having earlier anchored the Galway 4x100m team to an impressive victory in a time of 50.33.
What a great show of talent amongst our U9/U11 athletes yesterday in the All Irelands Championships.
We go along to enjoy the day and hope for PB's, which in all cases when pitched against the "best" in Ireland our kids certainly gave it their all..
One of my poor U10's were plagued today (sick tummy from a school bug), whihc forced our "super" athlete Kathlyn to forgo all her events and our brave Emma to step in last min to 500m with Kelly (not an easy run but what a brave Girl !!) And Kelly stepped up to the mark to partner with Emma in long jump where together they did themselves proud with PB's all round placing. This is a fantastic result considering they had just run 500m! SUch an effort showed their huge strength of character, not to shy away from a challenge. Our relay team got shook up too , so again the girls went with the flow, placing 4th in the heat just outside the qualifying time ...what Brilliant Girls!
Our boys Ben/Dara missed out on bronze by a 8/100th of a second to place 4th (60m ) in Ireland; however, they were rewarded in the long jump by winning the Silver medal... The 2nd BEST in Ireland.!!!!! Dean and Sean jumped out of their skins to place 4th overall in Ireland...a massive achievement with massive improvements since the Galways! Sean and Joseph threw the turbo brilliantly in what was an expert field!
Alex and Keelan were also pitched against the fastest 500m runners and they held their own, never giving up right until the second they cross the line....always a tough race !As Ben struggled also with a sick tummy, the boys relay they still managed to qualify into the final where we had to draft a replacement for Ben; young Tom (U9) straight after his final..Tom raced to the finish in fine form against boys an age group older than him....Good on you Tom! Ella and Hannah placed a brilliant 4th in Ireland in U11 LJ in what was a very high standard and our U9 Lauren and Saoirse, again 4th by a centimeter with Lauren having the biggest jump in All-Irelands U9 of the day! .... cruel! 4th is always a hard one as its so close to that All Ireland medal..But to be 4th place against all our Irish athletes is as massive achievement! So that's a quick round up of what I gathered during yet another eventful day out! Well done everyone, very proud of you all ranking in the top 13 teams/pairs In Ireland!! As coaches it a Pleasure to get part of your journeys , Thankyou for all yer hard work and fun loving characters !
Ben Ryan receiving a gift from Craughwell AC for his first International vest
(presented by Marion (Chairperson), Craughwell AC)
Ben Ryan (U17) has had a fantastic season so far and is going from strength to strength.
Below is a little background history over the past 6 months resulting in this amazing achievement of making an International Team.
Ben started his Cross-Country season with a superb run in the Connacht X Country championships held in Sligo in November where he came in at 4th position. This qualified him for the Cross Country All Ireland Championships held later in the month in Abbottstown. From the onsight of the All Ireland's race he held a dominate position by immediately charging down the first hill to get a good lead with the front runners, Ben held his strong position throughout the race and with only 300m to go, managed to take over a some of the leaders to storm to the finish in 16th place. This is a fantastic achievement as only a handful of athletes in Galway have such a finishing position in cross country at an All-Ireland Championship. Ireland’s greatest distance athletes meet for these coveted positions.
Following the All Ireland's Ben jetted off to New Zealand (during his transition year) to spend time with his Uncle and family. Taking full advantage of the mild climate he came back from NZ on fire!!! His newly improved running style coupled with his increased speed had him raring to take on the indoor track season. Unfortunately, he was only home a few days, when out for one of his many long cycles, he took a bad tumble from his bike. This left Ben unable to train for a good period.
It wasn't long before Ben was up and running (literally).
His performances in Schools Athletics demonstrated his hard work getting back to training after his injuries where he placed 4th in the South Connacht Schools 1500m and 2nd place in the Connacht Schools Finals in the 3000m.
Ben then proceeded to dominate the Galway 5k series. Entering the series Ben had a PB of 17.32 mins. With almost 700 athletes registered for this event he ran his first race in Ballybrit Racecourse storming into a finishing time of 16.51 in 2nd place, taking almost a minute off his original PB.
Below are some of Ben’s times and positions over this series:
Ballybrit: 16.21 (2nd Place)
Craughwell: 16.42 (2nd Place)
Loughrea: 17.55 (10th Place- Ben was a little tired this evening)
Athenry: 16.37 (3rd place).
As if all the above achievements were not enough for this talented runner, Ben decided to give mountain running a go. With little fuss and chat about the race (which we have learned is “his style”), Ben entered a Mountain Running Competition hosted by the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA).
IMRA: the governing body of the sport of Mountain Running in Ireland. It is affiliated through the Athletic Association of Ireland (AAI) to the World Mountain Running Association of (WMRA) for the purposes of competing in International Events.
Running as a junior male Ben for the first time in a mountain race, Ben had a tremendous race to come in second place, very close to the winner.
Ben describes his race; “the course was a technical one, 4.5km in distance with a 300m ascent and descent over rough terrain. This was my first mountain race and I didn't quite know what to expect! By halfway I had a comfortable lead but unfortunately after taking a wrong turn I lost my lead falling back to second place, I held this position to the end qualifying me for the international youth cup in Italy this year.”
The International World Mountain Championships are due to be held this coming Saturday 24th June in Cagliano del Capo, Italy.
Ben will have to run a distance of 4.7km with a climb of 580m in soaring temperatures.
We wish Ben every success in this event and will be eagerly waiting to hear his news after the race.
As a result of making this International Team, Craughwell AC presented Ben with a gift marking this success of achieving his first International vest in athletics.
U18 Girls – Connacht 4x100m Relay Gold and Silver Medalists 2017
Shauna Tobin, Laura Cunningham Aoife Walsh, Lorraine Delaney, Ciana Reidy, Siona Lawless, Arlene Earls, Caoilin Milton
45 athletes from the club made the trip back to Sligo IT yesterday for day 2 of the Connacht Track & Field Championships with some fantastic success for the club on a warm humid day in Sligo. The day kicked off with the U18 Girls 4x100m relay where the club had 2 teams in action – first time ever that the club had 2 teams in action in this grade. The teams were evenly balanced and put in fantastic runs to take first and second place in times of 54.13 and 54.94 with the team of Aoife Walsh, Arlene Earls, Shauna Tobin and Laura Cunningham taking the silver medals and the team of Caoilin Milton, Ciana Reidy, Lorraine Delaney and Siona Lawless taking the gold medals.
It was a busy early start to the day for the U18s some of whom were competing in triple jump and pole vault at the same time. Laura Cunningham put in a good series of jumps into the wind in the triple jump with a best of 10.42m to take the Connacht title with Aoife Walsh in second place with a best of 9.00m. Aoife also tackled the pole vault for the first time putting in a remarkable series of jumps to clear a best of 2.05m. It was a brilliant day also for Ciana Reidy in the pole vault adding significantly to her PB with a best of 2.65m to win the Connacht title.
Congratulations to all of our athletes on wonderful performances at day 1 of the Connacht Track & Field yesterday in Sligo IT where our U9s to U13s age groups took part. On a windy and sometimes wet day, there were some marvellous performances, plenty of PBs and hopefully everyone enjoyed taking part regardless of where they finished. The standard of athletics at regional level is very high so all of our athletes should be proud of their achievement in getting this far. And best of luck to the many qualifiers from the club for the All-Irelands. The top 3 pairs in the U9, U10 and U11 age groups go forward to the All-Irelands to be held in Tullamore on Satueday 24 June, as do the top 3 relay teams in those age groups. The program for the day for the All-Irelands is on the AAI website.
In the U12 and 13 age groups, the top 3 athletes in the 600m races and the top 4 athletes in all the other individual events go forward to the All-Irelands to be held on 8, 9 and 16 July in Tullamore. Program for those days is on the AAI fixture list while the relays for the U12 and 13s take place on 2nd July in Athlone.
Results of our athletes finishing in the top 4 in the Connachts are as follows:-
600m 3 Clodagh O'Meara (1.57.29)
High Jump 2 Jade Moorhead (1.38)
Long Jump 3 Jade Moorhead (4.01)
Javelin 1 Aoibhe Fahy (18.27), 3 Millie Geraghty (17.59)
Shot Putt 2 Aoibhe Fahy (7.68)
4x100m 4 Craughwell 59.65 (Erin Kelly, Jade Moorhead, Clodagh O'Meara, Fauve Aylmer, sub Alicia Locteau)
Hurdles 2 Evan Hallinan 10.74, 3 Cian Lavan 11.57, 4 Odhran Gilligan 11.73
High jump 1 Evan Hallinan (1.40), 2 Cian Lavan (1.35);
Long jump 2 Evan Hallinan (4.32), 4 Cian Lavan (4.10)
4x100m 2 Craughwell 57.36 (Ryan O'Donnell, Evan Hallinan, Odhran Gilligan, Cian Lavan
60m 2 Niamh Duffy 9.20
60m Hurdles 2 Chloe Hallinan 12.27
Long Jump 1 Chloe Hallinan (3.76), 3 Grace Lynch (3.65)
Turbo Javelin 2 Jenny Cloonan (12.75)
Shot Putt 1 Niamh Duffy (6.85)
4x100m 1 Craughwell 59.77 (Grace Keaveney, Niamh Duffy, Grace Lynch, Chloe Hallinan)
60m 4 Evan Moran 9.85
60m Hurdles 1 Evan Moran 11.15
600m 3 Eddie Silke (1.55.39)
Long Jump 1 Conor Gilligan (3.99), 4 Evan Moran (3.67)
High Jump 4 Conor Gilligan (1.20)
60m 4 Ella Farrelly/Evie Culhane (9.81/10.08)
600m 3 Sara Craven/Sophie McIlrath (2.12.73/2.07.40)
Long Jump 2 Ella Farrelly/Jessica Ross (3.57/3.31)
Turbo Javelin 2 Tara Keane/Mollie Gilligan (15.93/14.90)
4x100m 4 Craughwell 63.44 (Tara Keane, Mollie Gilligan, Sophie McIlrath, Ella Farrelly)
Long Jump 3 Darragh Kelly/Sean Lavan (3.21/3.61)
500m 2 Kelly Hallinan/Katelyn Walsh (1.43.87/1.48.18)
Long Jump 2 Katelyn Walsh/Emma O'Donovan (3.10/3.52)
4x100m 3 Craughwell 67.21
60m 2 Ben Moran/Dara Zimmerer (9.68/9.96)
500m 3 Keelan Moorhead/Alex Ryan (1.45.47/1.54.25)
Long Jump 1 Ben Moran/Dara Zimmerer (3.49/3.62), 2 Sean Hoade/Dean McNally (3.48/3.23)
Turbo Javelin 3 Sean Hoade/Joseph O'Dwyer (14.13/12.70)
4x100m 1 Craughwell 63.80
Long Jump 1 Saoirse O'Donnell/Lauren Morgan (2.76/3.28)
60m 3 Tom Malone/Eanna Morrissey (10.49/10.48)
Turbo Javelin 4 Daniel Farrelly/Paul Keaveney (9.38/6.92)
4x100m 4 Craughwell 69.95
Full results of the day are available here.
The club would like to offer its heartfelt condolences to one if its juvenile members Emily Staunton and her brother Eoin who is a former member of the club and to their mum Jenny and extended family on the death of their dad Brian at the weekend. Funeral arrangements Monday/Tuesday are at rip.i.e. Emily trains in our U13 training group and as a mark of respect tomorrow nights Monday U13 training session is cancelled.
Kyle Moorhead and Finbarr McFadden
Silver and gold medalists in the U16 Boys 1500m at the Galway Community Games Finals
The customary June bank holiday trip to Ballinderrin arrived again yesterday with the 2017 Galway Community Games finals. In its 2nd year of the 1-day format, it’s a far more suitable format as I think participation suffered in previous years if people had to give up their full holiday weekend.
Athletes from the club and from the parish had another wonderful day out, none more so that Finbarr McFadden who powered to victory in the U16 1500m in his final year of Community Games with Kyle Moorhead a strong second only a day after running a 2.11 PB in the 800m at the Irish Schools Track & Field finals.
For Finbarr, his victory wraps up many years of consistency in the Galway Community Games finals placing 5th in the U10 200m in 2011 and winning bronze in the U10 mixed relay the same year, a finalist in the U12 600m in 2012, silver in the U12 600m in 2013, gold in the U13 mixed relay in 2014 and 7th in the U14 800m, silver in the U14 boys relay in 2015 and 5th in the U14 800m, bronze in the U16 1500m in 2016 and now gold in the U16 1500m in 2017. Great to see the individual gold after such consistency in previous years.
Also in the U16 grade, James Furey won silver in the discus while Chloe Casey took the gold medal in the U16 Girls discus and Ryan Gallagher took gold in the U16 Boys High Jump and Aleisha Larkin took a brilliant gold medal in the U16 Girls 100m. In the U15 mixed relay, the Craughwell team of James Furey, Robert Urquhart, Ava Finn, Aoife Kelly and sub Emma Jane Moran won the silvers, just narrowly missing out on the gold medals.
Jade Moorhead and Ava Finn
Bronze and Gold Medalists in the U14 Long Jump at the Galway Community Games
In the U14 grade, Ava Finn leaped to the Galway title in the long jump while Jade Moorhead had some fine jumps t take bronze in the same event. Fauve Aylmer was unlucky to finish just outside the medals when taking 4th place in the U14 Girls 800m. But Fauve was on a high from an hour earlier when in the U13 mixed relay, the Craughwell team of Ryan McDonnell, Fauve, Jade Moorhead, Evan Hallinan and sub Erin Kelly powered to victory in their 4x100m to claim the Galway title. Rebecca Lynch made it a good day in the U14 grade victory in the U14 Girls javelin. The U14 80m Hurdles saw some fantastic performances with Siofra Davis taking 4th place by less than a metre from the bronze medallist and in the boys race, Conor Hoade (Clarinbridge) took a narrow victory ahead of Robert Urquhart in 2nd place and Evan Hallinan taking 4th place just a metre from the medals.
Craughwell's Mixed U15 4x100m Relay Team - Silver Medalists
Robert Urquhart, Ava Finn, James Furey, Aoife Kelly
Craughwell's Mixed U13 4x100m Relay Team - Galway Champions 2017
In the U12 grade, Niamh Duffy and Sarah Byrne had a series of splendid runs to make the final with Niamh just missing out on the podium with 4th place in the final and Sarah unlucky to get a bad start in the final and take 7th place. Tara Morgan and Adam Jordan came very close to the medals with each placing 4th in the U12 ball throw. The U12 boys placed 4th in the semi-final of the u12 4x100m with their of Evan Moran, Jamie Collins, Adam Jordan, Cormac Mc Fadden and sub Darragh Kelly. In the U12 600m Evan Moran and Cormac McFadden placed 5th and 7th in the heats and Evan went on to put in a fine run to place 5th in the final.
In the U10 age group, the mixed relay team of Lauren Morgan, Kelly Hallinan, Ben Moran, Paul Barry and subs Katlyn Walsh and Jason Greaney placed 3rd in the heats. Lauren and Jason placed 4th and 5th in the heats of the 100m sprints. Katelyn and Paul battled hard in the heats of the 200m but didn’t progress further while Keelan Moorhead made it out of the heats and semis into the final where he placed 5th. In the U10 60m hurdles Kelly Hallinan made it into the final where she placed 6th while Ben Moran won his heat and suffered the misfortune of slipping at the very start of the final and ended up placed 5th in the final. Sean Hoade (Clarinbridge) had a super run in the final to take the silver medal.
And in the U8 grade, there was plenty of excitement with Alan Hallinan taking the bronze medal in the final of the U8 60m and Callum McMahon placing 5th in the U8 80m final. Remy Aylmer had a fine run to make it through to the semis of the U8 80m.
Chloe Casey, St Raphaels Loughrea
Silver Medalist in the Intermediate Girls Shot Putt
at the Irish Schools Track & Field in Tullamore
On a blustery day in Tullamore with a few heavy showers to contend with, a dozen or more athletes from the club were in action in the finals of the Irish Schools Track & Field. These championships are generally regarded as the top level of juvenile athletics in the country with schools throughout Ireland north and south well represented.
Jerry Keary and Chloe Casey (both of St Raphael’s) led the way with impressive silver medals in the senior high jump and intermediate girls shot putt. Chloe heaved the 3kg shot putt out to 13.07m in her first year in the intermediate grade to continue her fine run of National medals. Jerry soared over 1.90m for a first-time clearance but ran into trouble at 1.95m in the sometimes windy conditions and had to settle for joint silver which he shared with GCH’s Bryan Ndego representing Sligo Grammar – great to see 2 Galway athletes medaling at the highest level in the same event.
Laura Cunningham had to contend with a torrential downpour during the warmup for the senior girls triple jump and did exceptionally well to record a strong 10.43m jump in the difficult conditions which took 6th place. Earlier Ciana Reidy and Laura placed 5th and 7th in the senior high jump with both athletes clearing 1.50m in blustery conditions and Ciana placing just ahead on countback. Ciana also jumped well in the senior pole vault, exiting at 2.40m which would have been a PB. Arlene Earls placed 9th in the senior girls 800m with 2.38.10 while Ben Garrard went close to going under the magical 2 minutes with a 2.01.02 time to place 7th in the Senior Boys 800m.
In the intermediate grade, Leanagh Gilligan and Eva Whyte placed 10th and 11th in the long jump with bests of 4.73m and 4.68m while both athletes also jumped well in difficult conditions in the triple jump with bests of 9.73m for Leanagh and 9.25m for Eva. Oisin Lyons ran strongly in the opening lap of the intermediate 800m before fading a little on the home straight of the final lap to take 9th in a time of 2.05.20. Kyle Moorhead notched another second off his PB when taking 9th place in the junior 800m in a time of 2.11.85. Garvin Surlis was a little down on his huge PB from the Connachts but nonetheless leaped an impressive 5.12m in the junior boys long jump, his second competition over the 5m mark.
Well Summer is here and we appear to be getting the temperatures to confirm it is indeed Summer in Galway. Secondary schools are closed to non exam students and the rest are surrounded by piles of books for those last few days of studying.
All our primary schools will be finishing up before we know where we are and what then????? -- weeks of boredom. We can alleviate that and break the monotony. Are you looking for an activity break? Are you a member of an athletics club? If not then come along and see what you are missing. Club members (from any club) why not bring along a new friend - this may be the sport they having been looking for.
We are FIT4FUN and would love you all to come and join us. We have fun, games and you can learn new events. Already know things? then maybe you would like to get some more experience and improve your skills and techniques. Camp is run by qualified coaches and experienced older athletes who are ready and willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you and still enjoy a good laugh along the way.
The Summer Camp will be held on two different weeks over the summer break and we cater for children from Junior infants to 6th class. It runs from 9.30am -2pm daily.
July 17th - 21st
Aug 7th -11th
Flyers were distributed to local national schools in the past two weeks. They can also be requested directly from me. Drop an email to [email protected]
Looking forward to two great weeks of Fun and learning and hopefully lots of sun
The timetable for tomorrow's schools All-Irelands is on line at:-
Best of luck to all of our participants !!
Evan Hallinan receiving the Galway Athlete of the Year (U12-15 Age Group)
from the President of Athletics Ireland Georgina Drumm (Photo credit: John O'Connor)
The Galway Athletics Awards took place last Sunday in the Westwood Hotel in Galway City where Evan Hallinan was the club's star on this occasion when receiving the Athlete of the Year Award for the U12-15 age group. It was a tremondous honour for Evan as its very difficult to win these awards when pitted against the best Galway athletes spanning 4 age groups.
It was also a memorable evening for Conor Duggan and Sinead Treacy who were each recipients of Training Bursaries of €300 awarded by the Galway County Board for achievements in 2016/17.
Conor Duggan, Sinead Treacy, Damien O'Boyle
at the Galway Awards
U13 Coaches with Evan at the Galway Awards
John Woods, Siobhan Moorhead, Mairead Lavan,
Helen Hallinan, Grace McDonnell, Michael Tobin
The club selects its nominees for the Galway Awards from athletes nominated by the coaches in different training groups and all coaches get to vote for who should go forward as nominees to the Galway Awards. The club had many fine nominations to consider and the details are set out below to recognise the achievements of the nominees in 2016.
Craughwell NS at the 2011 City Sports
Back: Ronan Nevin, Jack Miskella, Jack Craven, Cillian Dolan, Ian Connolly, Emma Gaffney, Aisling Keady, Grainne McDaid, Erin Fitzpatrick, Michelle Duggan
Middle: Conor Callaghan, Victor Costello, Dylan Fowler, Diarmuid McCartin, Darren Lyons, Cian Waters, Micheál McFadden, Dean Callanan, Aoife Walsh, Laura Cunningham, Sandra Greaney, Shauna Tobin, Anna Farrelly, Aoife Raftery, Sarah Phillips
Front: Emer Mulveen, Sarah McCartin, Cian Garman, Finbarr McFadden, Jack Walsh, Eanna McDaid, Ailbhe Miskella, Mia Waters, Jane Trehy, Zoe Gilligan
It’s being 12 years since Craughwell NS first took part in the Galway City Sports in 2005 with an uninterrupted record except for 2007 when we didn’t take part. Ashley McDonnell has the honour of being the first ever medal winner from the school in the City Sports with victory in the U13 800m when in 5th class in 2005. The same year the U13 girls relay team took our first relay medal with gold from Katie O’Donoghue, Debi Kenny, Orla McDaid, Maireád McCan and Maria McNamara.
Conor Duggan was the first boy from the school to medal with silver in the U11 sprint in 2008 while brothers Micheál and Finbar McFadden share the honour of being the first boys from the school to win individual gold with victory in the U9 sprint and 400m in 2010.
2015 was the club’s most successful year ever with 6 gold and 4 bronze medals, closely followed by 2010 with 5 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze. Grainne McDaid is the school’s most successful individual athlete in the City Sports with 2 golds in the U13 800m and bronze in the U11 400m.
The U13 Girls distance races are our most successful individual events with 5 victories in the U13 Girls 800m and 8 medals in the U11 Girls 400m.
The relays are our most successful event with 17 victories over the years and the U13 Girls are our most successful age group with ten Galway titles to their name together with four silver and six bronze medal performances.
Read on for more detail.
Ben Garrard and Sinéad Gaffney at the impressive facilities in Irishtown Stadium
The 3rd meet of the Dublin Graded Meet took place tonight in Irishtown Stadium in Ringsend Dublin. It was my first time at this particular track and its well worth a visit, tucked away in a corner of Ringsend and literally thronged with runners of all abilities who took part in the 10000m, 400m and 800m races. There were 4 women's 800m races of different standards and around 6 men's races ... fantastic to see such numbers. We met some familar faces up there, bumping into Castlegar's Sean McDermott on the way in (who later ran a decent 2.15 in the 800m) and later on our own Peadar Harvey taking a break from his secondary school teaching duties in Dublin.
Peader ran a solid 2.06 in his 800m race, just getting back into track form. Ben ran am impressive 2.01.7 time in the Men's 800m A race ... coming real close to his PB of 2.01.53 from last Thursday in the Connacht schools and only "a matter of time" now before Ben breaks the magical 2 minute barrier for the 800m.
But the highlight of the evening was a new club record and PB from the in-form Sinéad Gaffney who ran a time of 2.21.8 in the Women's 800m A race, almost a second inside Linda Porter's impressive club record of 2.22.60. The race was tightly bunched throughout which was both an advantage and a disadvantage as the pack running encouraged all runners but made it a little congested on the bends. It was a great race for Sinéad who is well positioned now to slice more time off her record in her international 800m race this coming Saturday.
Craughwell NS continued its fine tradition in the Galway City Sports when contesting every event and featuring on the podium 9 times between individual events and relays. Here is a brief report on the day and I will update it with any missing information for athletes from the club later today once official results come out.
In the U13 age group. Ross McGuinness and Darragh McCartin ran a super 800m race with Ross taking the silver medal and Darragh the bronze despite a heavy fall with 300m to go – fantastic determination from Darragh to bounce up and take a bronze medal. Clodagh O’Meara and Jade Moorhead also had great 800s with Clodagh 5th and Jade 7th. The U13 boys had a magnificent victory in the relays winning by a considerable margin with Evan Hallinan, Lukas Schukat, Kieran O’Connor and Robert Urquhart. The U13 girls were unlucky to miss out on making the final with their team of Sarah Byrne, Erin Kelly, Jade Moorhead and Rebecca Lynch.
The U11s age group saw Chloe Hallinan take a fine silver medal in the girls 400m with Aisling Whyte unlucky to just miss out on a medal in 4th place. In the boys Evan Moran strode to victory by over 20m in the 400m final. The relays saw the U11 girls run away with the victory with their team of Grace Keaveney, Ella Farrelly, Grace Lynch and Chloe Hallinan while the boys battled valiantly in the heats and just missed out on making the final.
The U9s took double relay bronze with the girls excelling first with their team of Lauren Morgan, Abby Haugh, Ciara O’Connor, Kelly Hallinan and subs Jessica McGlynn and Kayleigh Rabbitte and the boys doing likewise with Colm Doyle, Jack Cahill, Keelan Moorhead, Ben Moran, Eanna Morrisey and sub Alex Ryan. Ben Moran earlier took a fine bronze medal in the final of the 60m sprint.
Well done to all!
Sinéad Gaffney being presented with a training grant by Michael Tobin in recognition of
her selection for the Irish Universities Track & Field team to contest the forthcoming international with Scotland
Massive congratulations to one of our most talented and dedicated athletes Sinéad Gaffney on her selection for the 800m for the Irish Universities team to contest the annual track & field international against Scotland next weekend.
For Sinéad this is just reward for years of dedication to the sport which she has skilfully juggled alongside her love of camogie. She is currently part of the midfield engine-room for Craughwell’s intermediate camogie team and has starred on Galway county teams as well as winning a coveted Universities All-Ireland last year with the UL camogie team.
She has been with Craughwell AC since the age of 7 and to see her now selected for an international at the age of 21 is just brilliant!! Hopefully the first of many for Sinéad and hopefully something that will encourage our younger athletes to continue their dedication to the sport and the rewards will come.
Sinéad's first foray into athletics competition was as an U9 in 2003 and I can remember her relay team making it all the way to the National finals with Sinéad running the 3rd leg and when it came to the final, the eventual winners stepping into our lane and impeding our changeover as Sinéad was about to receive the baton. We finished 5th by one-third of a second … the impeded changeover almost certainly denying us a medal.
This early disappointment didn’t turn Sinéad away however and she went on to become one of our most successful athletes. In the early days it was sprints, jumps and relays that were mainly her competitive focus with cross country every autumn/winter - as back in the day all the club had to train on in winter times was a muddy field!
Sinéad enjoyed plenty of success in the cross country, just missing out on team medals in the National U11 Cross Country in 2005 where she placed 35th individually and the team 4th just 15 points away from 3rd place; and featuring strongly on the Craughwell NS team who won the coveted Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country title in 2006.
Irish University Cross Country Champions 2016
Autumn 2007 saw a nightmare experience for Sinéad's in the Galway U13 Girls 1200m held on the equine slopes of Dartfield. Cross country is tough as we all know but even tougher if you push yourself to the absolute limit something which Sinéad did that day and something clicked around 200m from the finish line when Sinéad more or less stopped breathing and staggered/gasped the last 200m over the line – not a pleasant experience but again not something that deterred Sinéad from continuing in athletics. This resulted in a temporary lull in cross country running for Sinéad but she was back in action at U16 level in 2010 with school’s cross country and also that autumn when she featured on the first ever Craughwell AC team to contest the Connacht U16 Girls Cross Country with the team placing 3rd and Sinéad 10th. And more recently in 2016, Sinéad had another outstanding day when running on the University of Limerick cross country team that won the Colleges title in Sligo.
Craughwell AC U16 Girls Cross Country Team 2010
Muireann Maloney, Dearbhla Maloney, Sinéad Gaffney, Gabrielle Tobin
While I am not quite sure when Sinéad first started running what was to become her forte the 800m race, one of her earliest distance races on the track was in 2006 where she won the silver in the U11 400m as well as winning gold in the U11 relay. In 2008, Sinéad ran what was possibly her first 800m track race when taking a splendid victory in the U13 Girls 800m in the Galway City Sports. Up until then, Sinéad hadn’t really tried the middle distance track races and stuck more to sprints, hurdles and long jump.
2009 saw Sinéad place close to the medals in the Connacht club championships with a 2.48.7 PB in the U15 800m. 2010 saw an indoor PB of 2.43.66 in the Connacht indoors followed by a 2.32.8 in the Connacht Schools Championships. Indeed 2010 was a remarkable year for Sinéad as she helped the Pres Athenry to the trophy for the best school in the junior grade in the Irish Schools Track & Field finals.
Pres Athenry Junior Girls Team receiving Bes School Award at the Irish Schools Track & Field
Sinéad was also a talented multi-eventer winning the Connacht Pentathlon Minor Girls title when in second year and following it up in later years with podium finishes in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Girls grades, performances which included a 4.85 PB in the long jump in 2012. Her multi-event endevours culminated with bronze in the National Junior Indoor Pentathlon in 2012.
Bronze Medallist in the National Junior Pentathlon 2012
Maria McNamara, Katie O'Donoghue, Sinéad Gaffney
National Pentathlon Squad 2012, Morton Stadium
She had plenty of success to her name in relays also, with many Galway and Connacht titles and numerous National medals. Having placed 4th in the National outdoors in 2005 as an U11 and again in 2010 as an U16, Sinéad's team hit the National podium big-time as U17s in 2011 with bronze medals in the 4x100m and silver medals in the 4x300m.
U17 4x100m Relay Team 2017
Jessica, Claire, Sineád, Maireád, Maria
U17 4x300m Relay Team 2017
Jessica, Orla, Muireann, Sineád, Maria
She followed this up with a little bit of history in 2012 when she ran the 3rd leg of the triumphant Connacht team who took the 4x300m title in the inter-provencial Tailteann Games – Connacht’s first time in the 50-year history of the Games in winning the gold medal. And helped the Pres Athenry to National bronze in the 4x100m the same year.
The History-making Connacht U17 4x300m Relay - Tailteann Games Champions 2012
Stacey Kerr (Sligo), Alanna Lally (Monivea), Sinéad Gaffney (Craughwell), Aisling Forkan (Swinford)
The Pres Athenry Intermediate Girls 4x100m - National Bronze Medallists
Claire Ryder, Sinéad Gaffney, Jessica Heneghan, Alanna Lally
2012 yielded further National relay medals for Sinéad with bronze medals in the U18 4x100m and silver in the U19 Girls 4x100m on the same day. And the relay success didn’t stop there for Sinéad with a silver medal for UL as the first runner on their relay team in the infamous “from the depths of hell” 4x400m in 2016, and followed this up with silver in the 4x100m in the 2017 Championships and for good measure, ran the anchor leg of the Universities road relays for UL in 2015 to win team silver. You can view "the depths of hell" video on youtube if you like ... it quickly became an Internet sensation.
2012 U18 Girls 4x100m Team
Jessica, Sineád, Claire and Maireád
2012 U19 Girls 4x100m Team
Jessica, Katie, Orla and Sineád
But back to her forte the 800m, in 2011 Sinéad set a unique record for the club when running the fastest ever time by an athlete with an arm in plaster cast when winning gold in the South Connacht Schools Track & Field Intermediate 800m in a time of 2.32.3. She went on to run a PB of 2.29.2 in the Connacht finals.
In 2012, she lowered her indoor PB in the Galways when winning the Galway Senior Indoor title in 2.32.7 and ran a big PB in the Connacht finals when taking silver in the U18 Girls 800m in 2.28.84. The National finals saw further progress when Sinéad ran a splendid 2.23.93 to place 4th in the U18 800m final, just an agonising 0.44 seconds from the podium.
Autumn 2015 saw a big renewed effort from Sinéad on the 800m and it paid rich dividends in early 2016. In January Sinéad ran a superb race to take the National U23 silver medal in a time of 2.23.13 - only 0.04 seconds away from Linda Porter’s 800m club record.
Sinéad on the podium at the National U23s in 2016
Sinéad followed it up with a 2.26.1 to place 6th in the final of the 800m at the Irish Universities indoors, disappointed in herself that she hadn’t improved on her PB. But the moment she was waiting for came a few weeks later in the semi-finals of the National Seniors where Sinéad smashed the club record by over 3 seconds with an exceptional 2.20.04 in a race that was won by World Youth and Junior silver medallist Ciara Mageean.
2017 has seen further PBs for Sinéad, this time on the outdoor circuit we with a fine 2.23.07 in the 800m heats at the Irish University Outdoors and 2.23.73 the same day to place 5th in the final – just a fraction of a second away from the club’s outdoor record of 2.22.60.
To say the club and her coaches are proud of Sinéad's achievements is an understatement. She is a role model for athletes young and old and hopefully there is plenty more to come from this talented athlete.
Sinéad in action in the final of the 2016 IUAA 800m
Sinéad beaming after breaking the club's indoor record in 2016
Jerry Keary (St Raphaels), Ryan Gallagher (St Raphaels) and Paul Armstrong (Pres Athenry)
at the Connacht Schools High Jump in Athlone IT
There were some exceptional performances from athletes from the club on Thursday in the finals of the Connacht Schools track & field which were held in Athlone, particularly in the 800m and triple jump events.
Weather conditions were not ideal with a swirling wind and bouts of rain but nonetheless the track saw some exceptional 800m times particularly from Kyle Moorhead with 2.12 in the Junior Boys, Oisin Lyons with 2.03 in the Intermediate Boys and Ben Garrard with 2.01 in the Senior Boys.
While there did not appear to be much of a trailing wind in the jumps, there were many PBs for our athletes with some exceptional jumping including a massive PB of 5.40m for Gavin Surlis in the Junior Boys long jump which was his first time over 5m and an equally massive PB for Laura Cunningham in the Senior Girls triple jump with an 11m jump on her final attempt which is 58cm further than Laura jumped only three and half weeks ago and a huge 71cm further than her PB from last July. Equally impressive, Leanagh Gilligan leaped a massive 10.50m in the Intermediate Triple Jump which is over a metre further than her best jump from last year – brilliant jumping! There were PBs also for Conor Roberts, Ava Finn and Shauna Tobin in the long jump and for Eva Whyte in both long jump and triple jump. In possibility the first time that Connacht schools has conducted a pole vault event, Ciana Reidy was very impressive when vaulting to a new PB of 2.30m.
Provisional results have still to be announced so there are no track times to report on yet for the sprints. The following are preliminary results gathered from our coaches who were there on the day. I will update them as more information becomes available.Minor Girls Long Jump 2 Ava Finn 4.62 Pres Athenry Shot Putt ? Caoinhe Starr St Brigids 200m 1 Chloe Farragher St Brigids 2 Ava Finn Pres Athenry 5 Emma Jane Moran Pres Athenry 800m ? Rebekah Flynn Pres Athenry 4x100m 4 Pres Athenry Junior Girls High Jump 1 Ellie Cronin Pres Athenry 3 Aine Kelly St Brigids Shot Putt ? Freya Bohan Pres Athenry Javelin ? Lauren McNally St Brigids ? Ornaith Coen St Brigids 100m 5 Aleisha Larkin St Brigids 6 Ornaith Coen St Brigids 75m Hurdles 4 Ellie Cronin Pres Athenry 5 Aine Kelly St Brigids 4x100m 2 Pres Athenry ? St Brigids Inter Girls Long Jump 2 Leanagh Gilligan 5.00 St Brigids 4 Eva Whyte 4.60 Calasanctius 5 Shauna Tobin 4.33 Pres Athenry ? Ava Power 3.92 St Raphaels Triple Jump 1 Leanagh Gilligan 10.50 St Brigids 2 Eva Whyte 9.37 Calasanctius Shot Putt 1 Chloe Casey St Raphaels Javelin ? Eva Kelly St Brigids 100m ? Siona Lawless St Brigids 4x100m > St Bridgids Senior Girls High Jump 1 Laura Cunningham 1.55 Pres Athenry 2 Ciana Reidy 1.50 St Brigids Triple Jump 1 Laura Cunningham 11.00 Pres Athenry Pole Vault 2 Ciana Reidy 2.30 St Brigids 400m ? Arlene Earls St Brigids 800m 2? Arlene Earls St Brigids 3000m ? Caron Ryan St Raphaels 4x100m 1 St Brigids Junior Boys High Jump ? Conor Trehy Pres Athenry Long Jump 1 Garvin Surlis 5.40 The Bish 2 Conor Roberts 5.21 Colaiste Bhaile Clair 75m Hurdles ? Conor Trehy Pres Athenry 200m ? Garvin Surlis The Bish 800m 2 Kyle Moorhead 2.12 Pres Athenry 8? Oisin Davis Pres Athenry 4x100m 4 Pres Athenry Inter Boys High Jump 2 Ryan Gallagher 1.65 St Raphaels 800m 1 Oisin Lyons 2.03 Calasanctius 1500m 5 Finbar McFadden 4.44 Pres Athenry 3000m 2 Ben Ryan St Raphaels Senior Boys High Jump 1 Jerry Keary 1.90 St Raphaels 3? Paul Armstrong 1.60 Pres Athenry Long Jump 4 Paul Armstrong 5.36 Pres Athenry 800m 2 Ben Garrard 2.01 Calasanctius
You may have read about Ciara Lawlor last year. Ciara was a niece of Fergus and Grace McDonnell whom most of you know.
Ciara died tragically at the Kodaline concert last year. As most will know, Grace is one of our U13 age group coaches. Fergus and Grace are patrons of our club have donated generously towards our land purchase, Their children are all very talented athletes in particular their oldest Ashley who won multiple All-Ireland titles in 600m and also medalled at National level in long jump.
Ciara was also an athlete like her talented McDonnell cousins. Fergus and Grace are looking for your support to raise money for charity in memory of Ciara. Please read below for information from Fergus and Grace and click on the picture to get to the fund-raising page.
at the South Connacht Schools Track & Field held in Athlone IT
The South Connacht Schools Track & Field took place in Dangan and Athlone recently where there were many fine performances none more so than Laura Cunningham who leaped to a new PB of 1.57m when winning the Senior Girls High Jump, with Ciana Reidy unlucky to exit at 1.50m. There were impressive 800m times from Ben Garrard and Oisin Lyons in the senior and inter boys categories with times of 2.04 and 2.05 in the warm conditions and from Ben Ryan and Finbarr McFadden in the intermediate 1500m.
The top 4 in the sprints and the top 6 in all other events now progress to the Connacht finals which will be held in Athlone IT this Thursday. Details of qualifiers from the club are as follows:-Senior Girls 800m 1 Arlene Earls (St Brigids), 2 Grainne McDaid (Pres Athenry) 2.44; 1500m 2 Caron Ryan (St Raphaels); High Jump 1 Laura Cunningham (Pres Athenry) 1.57m, 2 Ciana Reidy (St Brigids) 1.50; 4x100m 1 St Brigids, 4 Pres Athenry. Senior Boys 800m 1 Ben Garrard (Calasanctius) 2.04 Long Jump 3 Ben Garrard (Calasanctius) 5.83m, 4 Paul Armstrong (Pres Athenry); High Jump 1 Jerry Keary (St Raphaels) 1.85m, 2 Paul Armstrong (Pres Athenry) 1.60m. Intermediate Girls 100m 1 Siona Lawless (St Brigids), 3 Chloe Casey (St Raphaels); 800m 6? Sinead Kennedy (St Brigids); Long Jump 1 Leanagh Gilligan (St Brigids), 2 Eva Whyte (Calasanctius) 4.42, 4 Shauna Tobin (Pres Athenry) 4.15, 5 Ava Power (St Raphaels) 3.92; Shot Putt 1 Chloe Casey (St Raphaels). Intermediate Boys 80m Hurdles 2 Ryan Gallagher (St Raphaels); 800m 1 Oisin Lyons (Calasanctius) 2.05; 1500m 4 Ben Ryan, 5 Finbarr McFadden 4.40; High Jump 1 Ryan Gallagher (St Raphaels) 1.65m. Junior Girls 75m Hurdles 2 Ellie Cronin (Pres Athenry); 100m 2 Ornaith Coen (St Brigids) 13.48, 3 Alisha Larkin (St Raphaels) 13.49; 200m Chloe Farragher (St Brigids) 27.94, Ava Finn (Pres Athenry 28.17, Emma Jane Moran (Pres Athenry) 30.03; High Jump 1 Ellie Cronin (Pres Athenry) 1.50m; Shot Putt 1 Freya Bohan (Pres Athenry) 8.29m; Javelin 1 Lauren McNally (St Brigids) 18.76m, 3 Ornaith Coen (St Brigids) 13.76m; 4x100m 1 Pres Athenry 56.33, 3 St Brigids 58.10. Junior Boys 75m Hurdles 1 Conor Trehy (Pres Athenry); 200m 4 Garvin Surlis (The Bish) 26.50; 800m 1 Kyle Moorhead (Pres Athenry) 2.18.13, 2 Oisin Davis (Pres Athenry) 2.26.53; 1500m 3 Sean Cotter (Calasanctius) 4.47.98; High Jump 1 Conor Trehy (Pres Athenry), 2 James Furey (Pres Athenry); Long Jump 1 Garvin Surlis (The Bish) 4.90m, Conor Roberts (Colaiste Bhaile Chlair) 4.87m; 4x100m 2 The Bish 50.49, 3 Pres Athenry 51.91. Minor Girls 800m 6 Rebekah Flynn (Pres Athenry) 2.54.88; 1500m 3 Emily Miskella (Pres Athenry) 5.38.02, 5 Triona Furey (Calasanctius) 5.52.11; Long Jump 2 Ava Finn (Pres Athenry) 4.26m, 3 Annie deHora (Calasanctius) 4.04m, 4 Anna Molloy (Calasanctius) 3.87m, 6 Aoibheann Keane (HRC Mountbellew) 3.69m; Shot Putt 1 Caoimhe Starr (St Brigids) 7.65m, 5 Edel Farrelly (Pres Athenry) 6.07m; 4x100m 1 St Brigids 57.63, 2 Pres Athenry 57.81. Minor Boys 5 Lughaidh Morgan (St Raphaels) 3.90m; 4x100m 4 Pres Athenry 57.00.