Athenry AC Press Release - 060611

Published in Club News on 11th June 2006

Athenry AC athlete Claire McNamara capped off an incredible
schools athletics career with a win in the Senior Girls high
jump at the Kit Kat Irish Schools Championships in
Tullamore on Saturday week last, while representing
Presentation College Athenry. Claire was the only athlete to
clear 1.63 on the day and looks well capable of going higher
as the summer progresses. Claire's win is of particular
significance given the arduous battle with injury she has
fought over the last two years and she deserves immense credit
for the manner in which she stuck to the task when the light
at the end of the tunnel did not shine so brightly. This win
is also a just reward for her coaches Dermot McNamara and Jim
Ryan who have played an invaluable role in seeing Claire
return to fitness. Claire can look back on her six years of
schools athletics with a great deal of satisfaction. In her
first outing at these championships in 2001 she captured the
80m hurdles title before discovering her calling as a high
jumper. She has since won high jump titles in junior,
intermediate and senior grades in what is universally
acknowledged as the premier track and field event on the
island of Ireland.

Claire was not alone on the rostrum on Saturday as fellow
Athenry AC athlete Conor Caulfield, representing Athenry
Vocational School, captured the silver medal in the junior
boy's 200m. This is an outstanding achievement for Conor and
underlines his tremendous potential. Conor is also an
accomplished athlete over longer distances. Perhaps he is
capable of matching the achievements of another 200m athlete
who represented Athenry AC and Athenry Vocational School - one
Paul Hession!

Incidentally, Hession opened his account for the season with a
100m/200m double at a meet in Uden, Holland this past weekend
week also. Paul had planned to race the previous Saturday but
withdrew due to illness. However, this did not seem to effect
his performance this past weekend week as Paul clocked a very
impressive 10.52 for the 100m (with a negligible wind reading)
and 20.98 to finish 2nd in the 200m against a -1.6M headwind.
This performance places Paul 16th in the current European
Ranking list.

Athenry AC's Brian O'Connor was 3rd in the recent ING Europe
Half Marathon (79:05) which took place on 27 May in
Luxembourg. A team of five athletes from Athenry AC took part
in the event with Gary Doherty and Alan Burke but coming home
in the top 75, in an event where over 2350 finished.

The Galway 5KM Race Series, which took place over four
Tuesdays in May, was a huge success. Congratulations to the
clubs who hosted races (Athenry, Tuam, Craughwell and GCH) and
to the 160 different athletes who took part. Over 35 athletes
ran in all four races. It is hoped that the series will take
place again next year.

Athenry AC are to host a top class international track event
on the evening of 8 July on Dangan racetrack in Galway. There
will be many different track and field events, most of which
will be open to all comers. More details are available on the
club's web site, http://www.athenryac.com.