May 30, 2010 [Noel Guiden] News just in confirms that the men`s team have placed 4th in group B of the European Clubs Track and Field in Switzerland. While that represents an improvement of one place on last year, the guys where only half a point off third place. A real roller coaster of a day was how Joe Cooper described it. The highs included an excellent win by John Fagan in the 400m hurdles, a batch of 2nd places and two new club records: Brian Gregan in the 400m 47.2 breaking Anothony Folans 15 year old record and a club 4 X 400m record of 3.14.07 breaking the 19 year old record of 3.17.
Saturday`s glorious weather of sunshine and 26 degrees had given way to wind and rain and a nippy 14 degrees in Bern this morning. The Harriers got off to the best start possible with John Fagan`s win in the 400H (52.64). An excellent run by all accounts also by Conor McCrossan in the 110H running a PB (15.79) in 6th. In the sprints things turned somewhat John Laffey placed 4th in the 100m (10.93) and unfortunately Patrick O`Connor fell foul of the new false start proceedures and was disqualified from the 200m. Brian Gregan got things back on track with an excellent 400m, 2nd place in 47.21, a club record.
The middle distance boys weighed in with a batch of high scorring 2nd places. Second place from Conor Healy in the 800m (1.52.2) running his first 800 of the season, and another excellent battling run by Aidan Bailey in the 1500m for another 2nd place (3.54.94) and also young David Fitzmaurice 2nd (8.49.76) in a tactial 3,000m. Gary O`Hanlon was most disappointed with his run in the 5,000 as he was overhauled in the sprint to the line finishing 5th (15.26.82). Young Conor McGuinness, still a junior, in his first senior championship had a baptism of fire in the 3,000 sc, placing 6th in 10.38.53 and will benefit greatly from the whole expierence.
In the field events there were some really good performances Martin Hunt was 3rd in the hammer (53.87), Marco Mattuzzo was 3rd in the triple jump (13.32), and then regrettably had a disaster in the long jump 6th with a best of 5.04, 3rd place (1.95m) also from Marcin Klinzow in the high jump. 4th by Luke Mangan in the shot (14.37). Both Tomas Rauktys in the discus (40.76) 5th and David Donegan in the pole vault 64th with a best clearance of 4.00m, and failing at 4.60m had one of those days when things just didn`t go right. While Paul Marry had a best throw of 53.73 for 5th in the javelin.
Finally in the relays the 4 X 100 squad placed 5th (42.24) and onto the final event: the 4 x 400. The team was 4th with the Swiss 3rd, however, if we could beat them by three places we`d leap frog them. A real gutsy effort from the guys John Laffey, John Fagan, Ciaran Mackey and Brian Greegan breaking a 19 year old club record finishing 3rd, however with the Swiss finished 5th meaning that the guys missed out on 3rd place by the tightess of margins..half a point.
A fantastic effort by Joe, the team and coaches. Well done, you`ve all done us proud. The team returns home tomorrow. We`ll have the Inside Story from Lonergan and McGuinness during the week.