Aug 6, 2011 [Noel Guiden] Mark Kenneally won the 10,000 at day one of the National Track and field in Santry and Brian Gregan re wrote the club history books with not once but twice today. Kenneally looked fit and strong in his first race in a number of months as he torn into a top class field and ran away with the national title in an excellent time of 28:58.4.
From the off Kenneally was at the front as he lead Gary Thornton and Mark Fagan through a 67 second opening lap. These three quickly broke away from the pack as they shared the work load on the opening laps. At lap 9, however, the Clonliffe man applied the pressure opening a gap, Thornton chased, however, Fagan was beaten and soon walked off the track. Running solo for the next 15 laps Mark never let up on his pace powering away to a lead of over half a lap on the defending 10,000 champion to record a very popular win by some 250 plus meters over Thornton. Michael Mac Diarmada was 12th in 32:06.27 and the fast finishing Declan Power 17th in 33:28.33.
The other big Clonliffe story of the day was the performance of U/23 European silver medalist Brian Gregan in firstly winning his 200m heat in 21.34. A new club record, bettering the existing record of Paul Dolan of 21.60 set in the Helsinki Olympics back in 1952! A few hours later and Gregan was at it again, lowering the record to 21.09 in winning National bronze. You wait 59 years for a club 200 record and then like buses two come together!! Great stuff also today from 18 year old Patrick O`Connor who ran very well in his 200 heat to make the final and then placed 5th in the final in a new personal best time of 21.78; great going in his first National senior. Neither Chris Minn or John Hartnett made it through from their runs in the heats.
Tomas Rauktys as always shone in today`s Nationals as he took silver in the shot with a best of 16.11m, with his favoured event the Discus to come tomorrow. A great performance also by Marcin Klinkzow in the high jump as he took bronze with a jump of 1.90. Young Andrew Heeney was 5th with 1.85m.
In the other qualifying races today all three of our 1500m men made it through to tomorrows final. Gary O`Hanlon was 6th and Mark McDonald 7th in a new PB of 3.55 in heat 1 while Eoin Pierce ran a most gutsy race in heat 2 to finish like a train down the home straight and take 2nd place. 2nd place also for Connor Healy in his 800m heat in 1.50.7 to progress to tomorrow`s final, while Andrew Jenkinson was run out in 1.56.02, likewise both Stephen Harkness and Brian Tobin didn`t progress from their heats.
Orna McGinley ran very well in her 800 heat and although she didn`t make it through she did run a PB of 2.20.9. In the women`s 5,000 final Ailish Malone was 4th in a personal best time of 17:57.82 with Louise Reilly 5th in her first ever 5000m with a time of 18:14.78.
Finally Cira McCallion looked impressive in successfully negotating safe passage to tomorrow`s 400 final, Snezana Bechtina, was, however, run out of her heat and doesn`t go through. Safe passage to the men`s 400 final also for Ciaran Mackey.