The Dublin Graded series of meets for 2013 got underway this evening making a first visit to the fine Tallaght AC facility on the Greenhills Road on the southside of Dublin. The small group of Clonliffe athletes made it a successful sortie with the club`s athletes hitting fine early season form with several wins put on the board noteably a sub 1.55 800 by Kris Valters, a first win for Clonliffe by new boy Paul Whelan in the 100 and a first sub 4 1500 from Ian Guiden.
First in action just before 7.00pm was Becky Woods in the open 1500. An impressive season opener by Becky running her fastest 1500 in a couple of years to finished 2nd in 4.37.11. Next up were junior pairing of Aaron Hanlon and Ian Guiden in the men`s open 1500, the black and amber immediately taking the lead and opening a commanding lead with Ian then out kicking Aaron down the home straight to record a new pb and first sub 4 1500 of 3.59.91 with Aaron running 4.01.30.
In the 100 race A Paul Whelan after his recent transfer was only today eligible to compete for Clonliffe and got things off to the best possible outcome winning in 11.32, a great start and hopefully the first of many for the club. Stuart Roche was 6th in 11.62.
The first of an exciting crop of young Clonliffe juniors were making their debut in senior competition this evening and despite some understandable nerves performed admirably. First into the fray was Sally Ahern in the 800, and an excellent run at this level by the young Clonliffe girl placing 5th and chopping a wopping 6 seconds off her pb in running 2.26.57. Laura Tuite was not only debuting at this level but running her maiden 3000 into the bargin, another superb effort with a battling performance as she recorded a time of 11.04.01 for 4th place. In the men`s B 3,000 Cathal Doyle reeled off 74/75 second laps until 3 from home when he upped the pace honing in on the two pace setters gradually closing a 25m gap until at the bell he was 10m in arrears, with less than 300 to go he had turned this 10m deficit into a 10m advantage with a 63 second last lap to take a thrilling win in 9.16.4. A fine run also in this race by Ross Kearney as he recorded a pb of 10.06.4 after a race long midfield battle.
Of the more seasoned athletes Orlaith Durkan was making her 800 debut and a pretty fine run also from Orla 7th in 2.29.47. In the men`s 800 A Kris Valters look very smooth and efficent upping the gears from the top bend to win in 1.54.71 after a nippy opening 56 second opening lap, Mark McDonald also look pretty good this early in the season as he placed 4th in 1.56.87. Tom Sherlock ran 2.09.50 in the C 800. Finally on the track Mounir Bouzaine recorded a time of 9.03.4 in the A 3000.
In the field events Big Man Tomas Rauktys took the discus with a best of 54.96m. Denise Byrne kept the Clonliffe wins coming with a best throw of 32.63m winning the javelin competition. A great debut for Clonliffe also by Nadine Lattimore: 3rd in the shot (7.40m), 4th in the discus (19.95m) and 6th in the javelin (15.06m). The ever green Frances Mansfield was also in Tallaght finishing 4th in the shot (4.64m) and 5th in the discus (14.42m)
The next graded meet sees the athletes return Northside (Southsiders please ensure that your passports are still valid!) to Morton Stadium on May 15th for 200m/1500m/Pole Vault/Hammer/Long Jump/High Jump and the small matter of the Dublin 10,000m championships.