Day 1 of Dublin juvenile c`ships bring haul of 33 medals

Jun 16, 2007 [Noel Guiden] By close of business on the first of the two day Dublin Juvenile Track and Field Championships 2007 today the Clonliffe stats read : Bronze medals 9, Silvers 13 and Dublin Champions 11. There is ,however, much more to report than mere stats. These outstanding results recorded by Clonliffe`s youngsters are a testament to the efforts they put in session after session under the guidence of the wonderful coaches we are so lucky to have in Santry.Accross the spectrum of track and field in the Morton Stadium the black and amber was to the fore : Gold in the long jump pit provided by Mark Moloney, in the throwing cage Tony Gallagher Gold in the Discus, Katie Jones Gold in the Shot Putt, on track from sprints, John Conroy delivering Gold, to distance Eoin Pierse (left) with Gold in the 1500m in the day`s fastest time (4:07).A day which well uses the phrase from a TV advert from long before Sky Digital ..”it were champion”.

Thing started off bright and early today with the throwers stepping into the cage well before most of us had even had our breakfast, health and safety fears concerning the cage, mean that throwing cannot take place while the track is in use. The early morning didn`t deter Tony Gallagher in the U/19s taking Gold in the Discus and Bronze in the Hammer.Also in the Discus (U/18) Ben Woods took Silver, while Katie Jones took to the circle for the U/15 Shot Putt where she also struck Gold.

The first track events of the day were the various Hurdle races where medals were won by Shauna Furman, Gold no less of course ,girls U/17 100m H and in the boys U/14 75m H Mark Moloney took his first medal( of three) of the day with Silver following this up later in the afternoon with Long Jump Gold and 80m Silver.

In the sprints there was a most impressive run from John Conroy, a recent gold medalist in the All Ireland Schools, today in the 200m when after an excellent bend he was strong enough to hold off a late challenge over the last 50m. Also in the sprints Patrick O`Connor took silver in the U/15 100m and Keith Hodson became our youngest medalist of the day when he took Bronze in the U/10 60m.

Mark McDonald, better know as an 800m man came down in distance to the 400m where he was a comfortable winner , Mark goes in tomorrow`s 800. Paul Breslin was 3rd in the same race. In the U/17 400 Gavin Redmond was a silver medal winner.

Sarah Finnegan also took Silver for Clonliffe in the U/18 300m.

In the boys steeple chase we had further success. First off from Larry Brady in the U/17 1500m 2nd, then in the U/18 2000m 2nd Tony Kavanagh with Paul Sherrin 3rd and Owen Khan taking U/19 Gold.

On then to the 1500m were Clonliffe dominated accross all of the boys age groups. First off in the U/14s where there was a great battle between the 3 Clonliffe lads and down the final 100 between Ian Guiden and Adam Greene with Ian retaking the lead he had held for most of the race only 30m from the line to take gold with Adam taking silver.In the U/16s Tom Austin showed great form to win Gold. A very classy performance by Eoin McDonnell, who has already had a great track season with the European Youth Olympic qualifying time to his credit and All Ireland Schools 1500m Gold, saw him run away from the field to win the U/18s in 4:08.04 with club mate Colin Murray 3rd after a gutsy last lap. On then to the all Clonliffe U/19s race and what a race it was with Dave Flynn up front Eoin Pierse on his shoulder and these two pulling away from their club mates, on to the last lap when Eoin unleased his finish to pull away and win in 4:07 with Dave Flynn 2nd and Dara Boylan proving stronger than the rest for 3rd.

Our girls were of course not to shy in showing that they too can do the business over 1500, Khadijah Dridi U/19 Silver, Lorna Preston U/14 Bronze, and Denise Callaghan U/16 Bronze (Denise also took Silver in the High Jump for good measure!)

Finally our other medal winners were Wayne Plunkett U/14 Long Jump bronze and Leah Bergin U/14 Long Jump Silver.

A great day for all our young athletes whether they were winners or not winners, (there`s no such thing as a looser when a young athlete pulls on a Clonliffe vest and does their best) and you know what? Tomorrow we`ll do it all over again.

A special thanks from Clonliffe Harriers to all the hard working officials at these Championships.