After five years dominating the National League premier division the title slipped away today in Tullamore as a considerably weakened men`s team were never in the hunt. Crusaders AC who pushed Clonliffe very close in last year`s exciting final never looked anything but champions from the off and in the end were worthy winners on 129 points, from Leevale AC 117 points and Clonliffe on 94. The women`s team at one stage looked like they may have medalled with some solid point scoring however failed to hold the advantage and finally placed 5th, well behind champions DSD.
With the men`s team decimated by injury and other unavailabilities it was always going to be an uphill task and in truth the team was only ever going to be chasing the minor places. There were two wins recorded World 400m semi finalist Brian Gregan in the 400 (47.56) and Dave Donegan in the pole vault (4.40), four second places: Mark Kenneally in the 1500 (3.58.14), and then from the club`s young athlets: Andrew Heney in the high jump (1.95), Ryan Whelan in the javelin (51.88) and Simon Galligan in the hammer (49.98) and third places from Keith Pike 100 (11.28), Ryan Cleary 3000 walk (14.36.59), and Marcin Klinzow in the shot (10.70) and discus (34.56).
In the relays there was a pretty disastrous 4 x 100 resulting in a dropped batton and then an experimental 4 x 400 team fairly struggled to make an impact. So at the end of the day the dreamed of six in a row was gone. Time to regroup and focus again for 2014.
The women`s team were an outside bet for a medal and performed very well all day, although there were no wins there second place finishes for Leah Moore in the 100 (12.21) and 200 (24.58), Eleanor Alexander in the 1500 (4.36.97) ,Denise Byrne javelin (41.89) and in the 4 x 100. Third places for both Ciara McCallion 400 (55.68) and Caoimhe Morris hammer (44.30). Although the team were disappointed with 5th place it was a step forward for the team in only their second year in the premier division.
And so the curtain comes down on the 2013 season. Roll on cross country!!
Also over the weekend Declan Power finished 2nd in the Howth Summit 10k Road Race on Saturday in 34.42.