The Clonliffe athletes in action for their schools at today`s All Ireland Schools track and field in Tullamore put in excellent performances winning a magnificent seven medals: 2 golds, 2 silvers and 3 bronze. Andrew Heney (Mount Temple) gets the bravery award. He arrived at the venue on crutches, visited the medical people for ice to treat an injury picked up at last weekend`s European Clubs, jogged a lap, put on more ice and then checked in for his senior high jump. The result a 1.90m clearance and a gold medal around his neck. Unbelieveable (Andrew joins previous Clonliffe school`s champion Thomas Quinn who won All Ireland senior high jump gold in both 1996 and 1997). More success for our athletes in the jumps from young Megan Coomber in the girls inter long jump with an excellent 5.32m to take bronze for Maryfield.
On the track Aaran Hanlon (St. Mary`s, Drogheda) justified his favourite tag in the inter 1500 running a most positive race as he took up the running with 1,000 to go running the legs off the field with laps of 66, 65 and 63 to take a very fine win in a time of 4:01.30 over two seconds clear of second. Aaron joins an illustrious list of previous Clonliffe inter 1500 winners Derek Watters 1991-4:03 and Eoin McDonnell 2007-4:12. Training partner Ian Guiden (St. Aidans) ran a very gutsy 5,000m in the senior race to claim his first All Ireland individual medal taking bronze with a 35 second PB of 15:23.57. Ian joins previous Clonliffe senior 5,000 bronze medalists Derek Carroll 1972-15:27, Martin Greene 1973-15:27, David Nolan 1985-15:32 and Dave Flynn 2007-15:42.
Ryan Cleary continues his climb to the top in the race walk as he took a fine silver in the inter 2,000 in 9:01.23 (as a matter of interest Clonliffe Harrier, although not at the time, and future International Race Walker, Pierce O`Callaghan was also an inter silver medalist in this event in 1991). Silver also for Ryan`s fellow Belvedere school mate Manuel Calvo-Curry in the senior hammer 51.19m, previous Clonliffe silver medalists in the senior hammer: James Russell in 1983-57.16m and Colm Flynn 1999-51.59m. In the javelin competition Ryan Whelan looked to be carrying an injury which caused him some difficulty, however he still managed a best throw of 46.18m which was enough for bronze for the Balbriggan CC man.
Our two other athletes competiting today also put in great performances: young Cathal Doyle (Colaiste Choilm, Swords) put in a great effort in the junior 1500, Cathal more a distance man who was a silver medalist in the Junior All Ireland Schools cross country in March, ran a very competitive race and with a very strong final lap moved from around 10th at the bell to power into 6th place finish in a time of 4:28.24. 6th place also for Eoin McCullough in the colours of Belvedere in the senior 2,000 sc.
A great end to the schools season. Well done to all nine of our finalists today.
As usual the Irish Milers Club had some top notch races on the card. The only Clonliffe athlete in the field was Kris Valters in the B 800. Kris, a former Lativian National Champion, was second in 1:55.94, as he races himself towards full racing shape.