Clonliffe men retain National Indoor title, women 4th

The Clonliffe Harriers men’s team, despite being weakened through injuries, came through nicely today to successfully retain the national indoor league title, indeed the Clonliffe men have now won 7 of the last 8. The women’s team unfortunately finished just out of the medals in 4th place with an extraordinary performance by Jess Tappin setting 3 club records as she took 2 wins and a 2nd place.

It must be said that expectations on the men’s prospects were somewhat dampened as a number of withdrawals meant that was considerable adjustments to the make-up of the team, however with some standout performances in particular from Niall Allen, in the throws, Rolus Olusa in the technical events and the middle distance boys victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat. The team hit the front after 5 events and in fairness never looked back and maintained a lead throughout, at the end of the day the table was topped with 87 points, 2nd place Ratoath AC on 80 and Leevale AC on 79.

Young Keith Bourke, who was a very late call-up to the team, gave it his all in the 1st event, the 60, finishing in 8th place (7.69). Rolus was in action in the pole vault where he secured maximum points with a best of 4.20m, he then followed this up by taking 2nd place in the high jump (1.80m) and likewise was 2nd in the 60 H (8.48). Also at this stage Eamon Fahey was in action, 4th in the long jump (5.93) and later in the day 4th in the triple jump (11.58).

Eoin Pierce ran very well in the 1500, although of course Eoin being Eoin, was disappointed to finish ‘only’ 2nd (3.54.36). 2nd place also for young Sean Cronin in the 800, losing out on maximum points by a fraction, in a new PB of 1.55.28. In the 3000 Ben Coughlan did precisely as required, beating the athletes from the 2 closest challenging teams, as he finished in 3rd place (8.37.03). In the 1500 race walk Greg Hossney once again the fine job taking 2nd place (8.18.88).

Niall Allen secured maximum points in the WFD with a best of 6.57m and in the afternoon was 2nd in the shot (11.15m).

Conor Wilson, like Keith Bourke, stepped up to the mark for the club running in his 1st 200 in a number of years finishing 4th in his heat, 8th overall (24.00). Aaron Tierney Smith was 2nd in his 400, 3rd overall 51.60.

The final event was the 4 x 400, the calculations had been done at this stage and it just required the safe return of the baton to secure the national title, the team, again had a somewhat unfamiliar look to it, Conor Wilson, Fintan Kerins, Jarlath Jordan and Oren Kenny, the boys got the job done, 4th in heat 2 (3.33.97) and 6th overall and the national indoor league men’s title was going back home to Santry.

The women’s team also unfortunately suffered a number of withdrawals through injury, and although there was a great battling performance put in by the team at the end of the day they came up just short, finishing 4th on 73 points, only 7 points off bronze. The title was retained comfortably by DSD on 105 points, Leevale AC were 2nd on 81 points with Ratoath AC 3rd on 80.

Stand out performer on the day from Clonliffe was Jess Tappin, who won the 400 in a new PB, and bettering her own club record set only a few weeks back, in a time of 54.95. Jess then took maximum points in the 60 H setting her 2nd club record of the day 8.63 and to finish off her day she took 2nd place in the shot put 10.77 extending the club record which she set in round 2.

Julie Larkin took an excellent 3rd place in the 3000 running a big PB of 10.30.09. Sarah Bateson also ran a PB, her 3rd of the season, finishing 8th in 2.22.12 in a stacked field. Greta Streimyte was 4th in the 1500 (4.43.31). In the 1500 race walk Aisling Killelea again made a fine contribution as she was 4th (10.00.91).

In the sprint events Molly Haslam took 7th in the 60 (8.18) and Snezana Bechtina 3rd in heat of the 200 took 5th overall with 27.41. The final track event the 4 x 400 the team of Snezana, Leah Bergin, Naoise Cullen and Anna Heavey were 4th in their heat, 6th overall (4.17.93).

Snezana, as always, was a very busy athlete indeed, in addition to the 200 and the relay, she was 4th in the pole vault (1.90) and 7th in the high jump (1.40).

Molly Haslam took 4th place in the triple jump (9.63) while Anna Heavey took an excellent 2nd in the WFD (5.26).

So disappointment for the women’s team having put in a monumental effort in round 2 to make the final, and but for injuries undoubtedly it would have been a different story.

The captains would like to thank sincerely the athletes for their performances over the 2 rounds and in today’s final, already thoughts are turning towards the outdoor league – dates for your diary: July 7 preliminary round and July 28 league final.