This week is Leinster Schools qualifier week. The Leinster Regions commenced in sun drenched Morton Stadium on Tuesday with Day 1 of the West Leinsters. There was a fine run by Ben Guiden in the junior 1500 for Belvedere placing 3rd from a huge field of circa 40 athletes in a big pb of 4.41.6, to qualify for the Leinster finals in a couple of weeks time. Also competing today was Cillian Forrester in the minor 80m hurdles, Cillian won his heat and placed 5th in the final. A fine performance from a young man coming face to face with hurdles for the first time.
Pictured: Ronan Duggan (coach Belvedere) and Ben Guiden
Wednesday and another day of schools track and field at sun drenched Morton for the North Leinsters Day 1. A large number of Clonliffe athletes competing in this one. High lights included a win for Hope Saunders in the senior 1500 after one hell of battle over the last 400, Hope working hard to earn her win in 4.40, Laura Tuite unfortunately, after an injury hampered lead up to these championships, was in that unlucky 4th place (5.01). In the senior boys race Niall Norman had a good run placing 6th 4.34, with Jack Maughan, Eoin Keating and Thomas Ward all toghether in 4.38/39.
Alannah Cooley successfully qualified for the Leinster finals courtesy of a 2nd place finish in the inter 1500 (5.09) with Amiee McGrath in 7th place. In the inter boys 1500 Sean Carrigg negotiated safe passage to the Leinsters with a 2nd place finish (4.20). Finally in the 1500s there was great Clonliffe interest in the junior boys 1500 with 5 Clonliffe team mates lining up amongst the 36 starters to do battle. Young Cian Bolger came out on top on the inter club battle successfully holding off the late charge of Stephen Cashin down the home straight with Cian grabbing that precious 3rd spot in 4.45.1, Stephen was a hair`s breath away 4.45.9 in 4th, 6th Daniel Lacey (4.56), 8th Jordan Byrne (5.03) and 15th Sam Baker Gorman (5.17).
Pictured U/16 Milers: Sean GAA, Jenko Junior and Panda
The boys U/16 Mile also had good Clonliffe interest, a great sprint for the line saw Alex Hogan take 2nd in 4.45, with Sean O`Leary literally diving across the line to tie for 3rd place (4.46) and qualify for the Leinsters. Matthew Jenkinson had a strong run until he ran out of steam slightly on the final 400 (4.53). In the girls U/16 mile Cliona Cooley had one of her best races to date finishing 4th in her first run over the distance.
Aaron Cullen had a great run in the minor boys 1100m, another race to attrach a huge field, Aaron taking a fine win. A very good run also in the minor girls 1100 by Aimee Warren placing 5th in another big field. In the minor 500 Clonliffe duo Leah Brennan 3rd with Ellen Tucker 5th.
Some of the club`s sprinters were also in action Leah Bergin 3rd in the senior girls 400. Rebecca Fitzsimons ran three rounds in the minor girls 100, making it through her heat 2nd, semi final, 5 minutes later 3rd and then placing 5th in the final.
Also competing in the 400s were Mario Bowden and Alex Gibbons. Michael Curley took 2nd place in the senior shot.
Finally to finish off an excellent day`s track and field double gold for Clonliffe juniors as Brian Flanagan won the senior boys 2000sc (6.24) and Greg Hosseny won the inter 800 race walk.
Day 3 of the qualifiers, Thursday, and the sun continues to shine brightly for Day 2 of the West Leinsters.
Star of the day from a Clonliffe perspective was Lauren Carr who took an excellent junior 800 win. Kevin Loftus had a good solid run in the inter 3000 placing 6th.
Friday, North Leinsters Day 2, and the big question; Where`s the sun gone? A much fresher day today, in fact a little chilly, but the on track action was warming to the heart. Another excellent day`s athletics with huge numbers of young athletes taking part, again some really top class performances from the club`s athletes.
Hope Saunders made it a disctance double by adding the 3000 senior title to her 1500 in a time of 9.59.
A fine win also in the junior boys 800 from Craig Giles running a very controlled race to win with ease in 2.08, Jack Horan was unlucky to miss out on a Leinster final as he placed 4th (2.17, a big pb).
Joseph Hession qualified for the inter 800 Leinsters as he placed 3rd today in a fast 2.01, Greg Hosseny was 5th (2.07) with Matthew Jenkinson 7th (2.10).
Cliona Cooley took to the sand pit for the inter girls Long Jump and in her first ever competition in that event narrowly missed out on qualification placing 4th. 4th place also for Ellen Tucker in the minor girls high jump.
In the inter girls 800 Alannah Cooley lead the Clonliffe girls home in 5th place (2.29), 8th was Hannah Browne (2.33), 11th Aimee McGrath (2.50), and 13th Tara Wallnutt (2.57). Lizzie Murray ran her guts out in the senior 800 and only missed out on the final place meters from the line, 4th in a pb of 2.27.
In the senior boys 800 Niall Norman ran very well placing 5th (2.06), Alex Gibbons was 10th (2.16).
Mario Bowden was 3rd in the senior 200 in 24.25.
In the final race of the day the senior 5000 both Cathal Doyle and Adam O`Brien made it through after very good runs Cathal finishing 2nd in 16.12 with adam 3rd in 16.15. Good solid runs also by Jack Maughan 7th in 17.08, and Eoin Keating 9th in 17.18.
Thus ended an excellent week in the stadium. Next week the East comes to Morton Stadium.