AROUND twenty of the youngest Tullamore Harriers members travelled to Navan on Saturday last to compete in their Leinster Championships. The under 9, 10 and 11 ages are run on a pairs basis where two team members pair up and have their times or distances combined for ranking. The under 12 competitions on the under hand is run on a more conventional basis.
Under 9: Cormac Egan and Daire McDaid represented Tullamore in this age group in both the 300m and 60m sprint. In the 300m the two boys were convincing winners with Cormac winning convincingly and Daire had a great surge in the last hundred to fight his way through to third. In the sprint the duo again tried their best and were unlucky to finish in second two hundreds of a second off a medal.
Under 10: Niamh O’Reilly and Eabha Enright had a tough introduction to the pairs competition but the duo can be proud of their determined efforts. Both ran well in the 500m and despite fading a small amount over the last quarter of the race the team still finished sixth. In the sprint they also had good runs with both very competitive in their individual heats.
Michael Murphy was the Harriers sole competitor in the boys competitions in this age group. As a result of having no pair Michael was ineligible for podium finishes. Despite this he had great runs in both sprint and 500m with a lot of improvement evident.
Under 11: Danielle Donegan, Amy Cuskelly and Aine McDaid were the Harriers representatives in this age grade competing in Ball throw, Long Jump, sprint and 600m. While no medals were won they all competed brilliantly and should be proud of their endeavours.
James Dunne and Emmett Curley had the stand out performances of the day with victories in both their 600m and sprint. In the 600m the two had great individual runs in their separate heats. Their combined result gave them a nine second victory over second place. In the sprint the duo had a much narrower victory with only hundreds of seconds separating the first four teams. This pair are setting a great example for all the other Harriers juveniles.
Under 12: Kevin McDermott, Christopher Whittle, Ciaran Mulligan and Mark Milner toed the line for Tullamore at the start of the 600m. While all competed well only Mark and Ciaran got to the final. Both were in the leading group from the gun and while Ciaran drifted off the pace in the final one hundred, Mark ran an astounding final straight to get a great individual victory. In the sprint Mark and Christopher were joined by Shane Enright. The only one to make the final was Christopher who ran well to finish fifth. In the long jump Christopher continued his rich vein of recent form with a fine jump wich put him in the bronze medal position.
For the girls Geraldine Keegan, Niamh Rafter, Claire Rafter, Ciara McDaid and Geraldine Keegan represented the club in 600m, sprint, long jump and ball throw. The four all competed well, trying their best in all competitions. The only medals won were by the Rafter twins where Claire and Niamh ran brilliantly to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively having been at the front from the start.