Team silver and bronze won in Tullamore Nationals

Jan 17, 2011 [Noel Guiden ] Between the National Juvenile (uneven ages) and National Novice Championships held in Tullamore yesterday there were a lot of Clonliffe athletes in action with a lot of encouraging performances. These championships were the 2010 version as the original December date was vacated due to weather problems. The performance of the men’s U/17 and U/19 teams in particular was very encouraging with a number of quality performances and when the results were totted up team bronze for the U/17s and silver for the U/19 men’s teams. In addition a lot of our athletes were running on the Dublin inter-county teams in the National inter counties and also the Dublin Region teams in the Provincial championships which resulted in a lot of our athletes actually winning medals on the day.

By all accounts the championships were very well organised by Tullamore Harriers and the underfoot conditions were surprisingly good after a lot of rainfall during the week and in particular the day prior to the Championships.

The first Clonliffe athlete in action was Craig McCourt, our sole representative in the Boys U/15 race. Craig had a very good run finishing in 42nd position and scoring on the Dublin inter-county team that took inter-county gold. Rachel Murray was the sole Clonliffe athlete in the Girls U/15 race and again she had a solid run finishing in 41st position and also scoring on the Dublin Regional Team which finished just out of the medals in 4th place.

Clonliffe did not have a full team in the girls U/17 race, however, both Laura Brennan and Roisin Leahy were on the Dublin Region and Dublin inter-county squads respectively. Both girls again ran very solid races with Laura Brennan finishing in 35th place and scoring on the Dublin Regional Team which won bronze. Roisin Leahy finished 41st and scored on the Dublin inter-county team which won inter-county gold.

The U/17 Boys team came into this race as Dublin champions and once again ran very well with very encouraging performances. By all accounts Ian Guiden had a very good run always well up in the race to finish in 7th place. It was particularly encouraging to see the rest of the team, who are actually stepping up a year, really getting stuck into the proceedings in particular Liam Ashton who ran very well for a top twenty position taking 19th place and Owen McCullough was 42nd with John Buckley 61st and Mark in 73rd position. The team won bronze and were only one point off silver. Ian also won inter-county gold on the Dublin team leading the Dublin team home and also led home the Dublin Regional squad who won silver. Liam Ashton picked up silver also in that Dublin Regional squad. This was an excellent team performance. These guys have been together a few years and this is the first time this team has medalled at the Nationals.

Disappointingly Denise Callaghan was the only Clonliffe athlete in action in the girls U/19 race from the team entered. Denise ran well to finish in 21st position.

The final race on the juvenile national programme was the U/19 boys race and it was particularly pleasing in this race to see Fintan Doherty get a good run under his belt placing 14th followed home by Andrew Jenkinson 29th, Ronan Doyle 34th and Johnny Bradley-Ward 36th for the team to take an excellent silver medal. In addition Fintan took inter-county gold with Dublin and Regional silver with the Dublin Regional team.

Moving on to the men’s and women’s novice championships. There was a somewhat weakened Clonliffe team in action, the guys ultimately placed 6th of the 21 teams with James Kevans 40th, Stephen Harkness 44th, Eric McCann 62nd and good runs also from Colm Groom and Declan Ryan.

The women’s novice team, as will be noted from the previous
entry, placed 5th overall and were led home by Marie Byrne 29th, Bronagh Ní Bhriaian 34th, Christine Hannelly 40th, Joyce O’Hare 48th, Kate Purcell 67th and Ciara Brennan 103rd.

The day before the cross country two of our sprinters were in action also in Tullamore, in the National Junior Indoor championships. Patrick O’Connor got his season underway in finishing in 3rd position in the men’s 60m in a time of 7.16 with Keith Pike finishing 4th and recording the same time.