Ryan McNelis selected for Irish Celtic Games Squad

Published in Club News on 28th July 2017

Athletics Ireland today released the names of the athletes representing Ireland for the upcoming Celtic Games to be held in Santry on August 5th (http://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/celtic-games-team-announced-2017/).  Athenry ACs own Ryan McNelis (on left of picture) will be representing Ireland in the 400m Hurdles as part of the Irish Development squad.  Ryan's selection is just reward for the hard work that he has put in over the past 6 months which culminated in a fantastic silver medal at the recent Irish Life Health National Juvenile T&F Championships where he smashed his PB by nearly 3 seconds to set a fantastic time of 56.81s.  This really has been a breakthrough year for Ryan in his first real competitive season over the 400m Hurdles, and the juvenile medal goes along with the national junior silver medal he also received earlier this summer.  We all wish Ryan the best of luck at the Celtics and look forward to seeing further progression from him over the next 12 months.

There will be 8 County Galway athletes representing Ireland at the Celtic Games - Aoife Sheehy (GCH) – 400mH & 4x400m, Lydia Doyle (GCH) – 100mH & 4x100m, Laura Nally (GCH) – 4x400m, Chloe Casey (Craughwell) – Discus, Jerry Keary (Craughwell) – High Jump, Laura Cunningham (Craughwell) – Triple Jump, Ryan McNelis (Athenry) – 400mH and Daniel Callanan-Forde (Loughrea) – Triple Jump.  Coupled with the recent inclusion of Cillin Greene and Alanna Lally at the U20 and U23 European Championships respectively there really is a resurgence in County Galway athletes making a mark on the National athletics scene. Long may this continue.

Medals for Ryan and Patryk at National Juniors

Published in Club News on 2nd July 2017

Saturday saw two representatives from Athenry AC compete at the National Junior / U23 championships.  Ryan McNelis and Patryk Woleniuk had both targetted these championships as their main summer goal and both came away with medals and PBs.  Ryan, who is a youth athlete, was entered for both the 400mH and the 110mH, both of which were at heights greater that Ryans usual heights.  In the 400mH Ryan clocked a new PB over the 3 foot barriers of 59.54 and took silver in the process.  Patryk, in his first EVER run over the 400mH took bronze.  In the 110mH the boys came in 6th and 7th in the final but both crossed the lines with smiles on their faces (OK, may have been a grimace in Patryk's case).  Patryk rounded off the day with a run down the straight in what is an ultra-competitive 100m at junior level.  Unfortunately a stumble after coming out of the blocks - which is usually one of his strong points - left Patryk fighting a very steep uphill battle and unfortunately he did not progress past the semi-finals.  The boys have both put in a solid block of training for the past 4 months, and the medals were just rewards for their dedication and the 7am Saturday sessions in Dangan.

Athenry AC athletes representing County Galway in National League

Published in Club News on 26th June 2017

At this weekends National Track and Field league, three of Athenry ACs young stars were on show representing County Galway.  This is the first year for a number of years that a mens county team was entered, and they were competing in Divison 1 in Athlone.  Galway Women had a great year last year and so they find themselves in the Premier League (again cometing in Athlone).

For the men, Patryk Woleniuk (100m and 4x100m) and Ryan McNelis (400mH and 4x400m) carried on their seasons good form to score valuable points for the county.  Ryan had an exceptional run over the longer hurdle distance, clocking 60s and finishing a close second.  This was all the sweeter for Ryan who had to jump over the 3 foot height compared to his usual height of 2 foot 9.  Ryan is still a Youth athlete and has an exciting future ahead as a junior athlete.  Ryan is on a 3 year plan to grab a European Junior standard at 400mH.  Ryan finished the day running the third leg of the 4x400m, taking the baton in last place but coming through the field to clock a 54s 400m split at changeover.  Patryk, who is a junior sprint hurdler coached by Dermot McNamara, decided not to contest the 110mH as they were at the full senior height for the league and instead opted for the sprint and the 4x100m.  Patryk has been working hard on his raw speed and this was put to good use on Sunday and he clocked a PB in the 100m.  It won't be long before Patryk is running sub-12 for the 100.  Patryk was a recent recipient of a County Galway Athletics Bursary to help further his athletic development.  Both Ryan and Patryk are in action this weekend at the National Junior Championships where both will be chasing down medals, Ryan in the 400mH and 110mH and Patryk in the 110mH and 100m.

The sole female representative from Athenry AC in the womens County Team was Aine O'Farrell.  Aine has had a great season making huge strides both in XC and on the track.  Her selected event for the league was the 3000m and she put in a great performance to finish 3rd woman in the Premier League, against some seasoned 3000m runners, clocking an 8 second PB in the process.  Aine ran a great race, latching on to the lead group from an early stage and holding on as long as possible, and when she knew that the third place was not in doubt she eased off slightly to ensure the points - no point in heroics when there are larger issues at stake !!  Her PB follows on from her fantastic performance to win the U18 1500m at last weekends Connacht Championships, clocking another large PB improvement.  Aine has set some very ambitious, but achieveable goals for this autumns cross country season and she is most certainly a name to keep an eye on.

So Day 1 of the league ended with the Mens County Team in 6th place, just 1 point behind 5th and well positioned to get themselves into the final later in the year.  The Womens team had a truly amazing set of results to top the table after Day 1 taking the scalps of some very established county teams.  Day 2 is on 30th July in Templemore.

Full results from Day 1 can be found at http://www.athleticsireland.ie/competition/results/

Thank You to Justin Lane of Tuam AC for the photograph

Iain Shaw appointed National Technical Official for 2017-2020

Published in Club News on 27th May 2017

At the recent Athletics Ireland AGM, the names of the new panel of National Technical Officials were announced for the period 2017 - 2020.  Amongst those new NTOs were two from County Galway, GCH's Eamonn O'Donnell and Athenry AC's own Iain Shaw.  Both Eamonn and Iain now hold the IAAF level 1 certificate of the Technical Officials Education and Certification System (TOECS) - https://www.iaaf.org/development/education/officials.  This award allows Iain to officiate at National events, and also International events held on Irish soil.  Iain already holds national certification as a photofinish operator and has operated electronic timing at many county/regional/national and international events over the past 4 years.

If anyone would like to get involved in training as a T&F official, or would like to get involved in photofinish/electronic timing then please send an email to [email protected]

Tough day but a nice shiny PB for Patryk

Published in Club News on 30th January 2017

Patryk Woleniuk was the sole representative for Athenry AC at this year's Irish LIfe National Junior and U23 Indoor Championships held at the Athlone International Arena today, Sunday, 29 January.

Patryk has been consistently chipping away at his times for 60m Hurdles and today was reward for the hard work during this year's indoor season.  

Patryk lined up for the final of the Junior Boys 60mH, amongst some very tough competition including the currently in-form Daniel Ryan and Valentino Goularas.  

As expected Ryan blitzed the opposition, winning by nearly 0.3 of a second in a time of 8.03, with Patryk came home in 9.78s, taking nearly 0.5s of his PB and almost a full second off his season's best.  

Next up for Patryk will be the Connacht and then National Indoors as he continues his preparataion for his first Decathlon in May.

Great day at Galway Indoors

Published in Club News on 24th January 2017

Athenry AC came away from Athlone IT International Arena with a bumper haul of medals at the recent Galway Indoor Championships.  This was our most successful year since the championships moved to Athlone, taking 33 medals including 9 gold which placed us third in the overall medal table.  There were great performances across all disciplines and at all age groups.  There were even three Championship Best Performances set by our athletes including Calum Healy in the U14 60m (8.23s), Liam Shaw in U13 Shot Putt (11.88m) and Brandon Lee in the U16/U17 Hurdles (9.17s).  It was nice to see the progression of some of our older juveniles into the senior competition, which included a bronze medal apiece for our senior womens and mens relay teams.  I can't remember the last time we were able to field two relay teams at senior level at these championships.  Well done to all who represented Athenry AC at these championships, and wishing you every success in the upcoming Connacht Indoor Championships (25th/26th February) and securing progression to the National Finals in March.

Attached picture shows the Senior Mens 4x200m team of Ryan McNelis, Patryk Woleniuk, Shea Hennessy and Brandon Lee