2012 National Champions: Donegan, Flynn and Rautkys

The second and final day of the National Championships saw Clonliffe Harrier athletes collect three Gold medals. David Donegan¬†secured the title when clearing 4.70m in the Pole Vault. Remarkably this was David’s 7th outdoor title, his 6th for Clonliffe. With 5 more Indoor titles representing Clonliffe, David is surely top of list of National Championship gold medal winners in the club. Losing a medal on count back was Ian Rogers. Though he tied the joint silver medalists with a clearance of 4.60m, previous failures counted against him and he ended the competition in 4th.

After his near miss in yesterday’s Shot Putt competition, Tomas Rautkys gained some revenge when reversing the top two placings in today’s Discus. With his longest throw of the day, also his second longest ever, being 53.40m, he was almost 7m in front of the runner-up. This was Tomas’ third National discus title in a row.

In the 3000m Steeplechase, David Flynn bridged a 42 year old gap (back to Des McCormack) in winning the title for Clonliffe Harriers. Always controlling the race David pulled away from his nearest pursuer over the final 200m. David stated that, ‘after a disappointing end to the 2011 race, I was determined to return and claim the title’. His winning time of 9.06.58mins brought him home over 3 seconds ahead of Letterkenny’s Ciararn Doherty.

Jayme Rossiter’s brave attempt to earn a medal saw him finish 4th in 9.27.84. Going in to the last third of the race, it looked like Jayme might be able to challenge for a medal, but unfortunately his missed training due to a recent injury caught up with him and it wasn’t to be. He’ll be back in the hunt in 2013.

Clonliffe Harrier’s fourth athlete to finish in 4th place this weekend was Sarah Woods. Running her second 400m Hurdles race of the day, Sarah’s disappointment at finishing out the medals was cushioned with a new personal best time of 63.27secs. This also moves Sarah up to second place on the Club’s all time list for the event. Young Elaine Begley finished 6th in the final running her third fastest time of 65.70 secs. Competing twice in one day at Senior level was in itself an excellent achievement for Elaine and the experience gained this weekend will have done her the world of good.

Aaron Hanlon collected a silver medal in the Junior men’s 3000m race. As is his style, Aaron was never far from the front. Taking the race by the scruff of the neck in the second half, the combative nature of athletics was evident as both Aaron and Armagh’s Stephen Kerr battled for the inside lane leading in to the bell. Despite giving up over two years in age to his rival, Aaron fought his ground well. Though he was passed going down the back straight he fought all the way to the line to finish a close 2nd, less than half a second behind the winner, in a time of 8.42.94mins.

Lorna Begley was another Clonliffe athlete to leave the stadium today with a personal best time. Racing in a high class 1500m field, Lorna acquitted herself very well from the start. Despite losing touch with the front group during the third lap, Lorna maintained her composure very well. Crossing the line in 7th and with a time of 4.41.08, she was well rewarded for her consistent training throughout the year.

In the Men’s 800m race, Kris Valters also finished 7th. Running in the middle of the pack throughout the first lap, Kris was caught for position when the pace increased after the bell and was always struggling to close the gap after that. His finishing time of 1.54.44 was his 2nd fastest of the season.

The first Clonliffe athlete competing today was young Ryan Cleary. In his debut over the 10,000m distance, Ryan’s 25 lap performance was as tough as anyone’s over the weekend. In the rain and prior the appearance of most of day’s spectators Ryan did himself and his club proud with his determined effort. His time of 51.21.07 was an excellent return ¬†and will stand him in great stead for his next races at more familiar distances.

Another Ryan, Ryan Whelan, was competing in the men’s Javelin. Throwing the Senior weighted Javelin in competition for the first time, his furthest distance of 43.15m saw him finishing in 10th place.

After two excellent 200m races yesterday and a heat of the 100m this morning, Leah Moore closed out her weekend with an 8th place finish in the 100m, in a time of 12.23secs.