Boit, Cragg and Donegan win national titles

Aug 2, 2009 [] Clonliffe athletes collected 10 medals this past weekend at the National Championships.


Josphat Boit was first onto the rostrum when picking up his 10,000m gold medal on Saturday. Leading the race from the start Josphat was joined at the front by Mullingar’s Martin Fagan. With an exciting race promised it was highly unfortunate that Martin pulled out injured a little after the half way point. Josphat continued to run strongly until the end where his finishing time was 29.44.55. Josphat becomes the 3rd Clonliffe winner of this event after Jerry Kiernan (’81) and Richard Mulligan (’89 and ’90).

Clonliffe were treated to a second athlete on the rostrum in this race when Sergiu Turea successfully fought off the rest of the leading group to come home for silver in a time of 30.51.42. Brian Macmahon finished 7th in the same race in a time of 31.53.27 to help Clonliffe win the team title run in conjunction with this race.

Tomas Rauktys earned a bronze medal in the Shot with a distance of 14.51m. Luke Mangan was 4th in the same event with a throw of 13.71m.

Sunday saw most of our athletes take places in their respective finals. Martin Hunt was first into action when he came 4th in the Hammer with a throw of 50.85m. Marcin Klimkosz was 4th in the High Jump with 1.95m.

Back on the track Conor Healy was 8th in the eagerly anticipated 800m, with a time of 1.52.62. Alistair Cragg was next up and proved an easy winner over his speciality 5000m event. Leading after 200m Alistair proceeded to run solo for the remainder of the event, crossing the line for gold in a time of 13.52.15. Alistair becomes the third Clonliffe winner of this event after Tom Gregan (’74) and David Taylor (’86). It was also apt that another Clonliffe great, Danny McDaid was the official presenter of the medals.

In the same race Michael MacDiarmada came home in 18th place with a new personal best time of 15.19.55.

In the field Tomas Rauktys and Luke Mangan were back in the throwing circle, this time for the Discus. Tomas was just outside the medals this time with a throw of 45.25m. Luke was 11th with a throw of 34.87m.

Ready to toe the line for the next event were the men in the 400m Hurdles. Jeremy Lyons and John Fagan lined up for Clonliffe. One year ago Jeremy had to pull out of the final with an injury picked up in the warm up, so this race was a long time coming. Despite a delicate hurdling of the 7th barrier, Jeremy managed to secure the silver medal in a time of 53.84 seconds. Running from lane eight, John was able to break his personal best and cross the line in 5th with a time of 55.18 seconds.

The mens 100m was a slightly surprising event to see John Laffey compete in, but nonetheless he showed his competititive instincts by finishing 4th in a time of 11.21 seconds.

In the Javelin, Clonliffe’s three athletes put up solid performances. After struggling all Summer with injury Paul Marry’s 6th place finish with a throw of 55.71m is a testament to his ability. The evergreen Denis Delany was 9th with 52.62m while Marcin Klimkosz was 12th with 46.85m.

Tomas was back in action with the 56lbs weight for distance. Despite being new to the event, he proved an excellent student of the technique as he went on to pick up another bronze medal with his 7.35m throw.

The final track event of the day was the men’s 1500m and Mark Kenneally and Aidan Bailey lined up for Clonliffe. With Clonliffe’s Colm Rooney being the reigning Champion it was hoped we could hold on to the title for one more year. After a less than demanding first 700m Mark hit the front with two laps to go. Stretching out the field with a 57 second third lap, he wasn’t headed until just before the 200m by David Campbell. Aidan Bailey was tracking the group and despite running into some traffic was managing to get a free run as he entered the last 100m. Mark was hanging on to his hard earned silver medal position all the way up the final straight and successfully out leaned Leevale’s Mark Hanrahan on the line with a time of 3.54.05. Aidan finished just over a second behind in 6th with a time of 3.55.06.

Over on the Pole Vault runway Clonliffe was looking for an unprecedented 1,2,3 finish. Ian Rogers matched his personal best with a jump of 4.40m but had to settle for joint 4th. Michael Strezelczyk finished with a silver medal after his clearance of 4.50m. Reigning champion David Donegan had won the title with his clearance of 4.60m but continued to jump on to set both a personal best and a new Clonliffe Record with a gold mdeal final cleararance of 4.91m. With three good attempts at a new Irish record of 5.01m, David may very well have left the competition disappointed! This is the David’s 4th time to win this title following gold medals in 2002, 2006 and 2008.


With one medal and one 4th place finish the Clonliffe ladies wer outdid their performances from 2008.

Denise Byrne wone the silver mdeal in the women’s Javelin with a throw of 37.49m. Shauna Furman was 4th in the 100m Hurdles in a time of 15.86 seconds. Ailish McDermott was 8th in the 5,000m in a time of 18.52.69, while Agne Liadova was 6th in the High Jump with 1.60m. In the last women’s event of the day Louise Reilly was 7th in the 1500m with a time of 4.37.81. Considering the slow first 800m this time was quite close to her best performance this year. Becky Woods was 9th in the same race in 4.42.17

It was also wonderful to see Clonliffe’s multi-time National Championship winner and Record holder Claire Walsh present today.


In the Junior Men’s 3000m, we weren’t able to match Eoin Pearce’s silver medal run from last year. David Fitzmaurice was 5th place in a time of 9.03.36. Jayme Rossiter was 8th with 9.10.91, Eric McCann was 11th in 9.31.44 and Conor McGuniness was 13th in 9.40.89