All Ireland Junior/U23 Indoor Championships 2020
Over a dozen young Harriers men and women made their way to Athlone on Saturday, January 25, to compete in the All Ireland Junior/U23 Indoor Championships 2020. Ireland won eight middle to long-distance medals at European competitions in the Junior and U23 age categories in 2019 and this success gives an idea of the level of competition in these championships. The youthful Tullamore members gave it their all and alongside the decent haul of medals you could see all enjoying
participating in their sport.
Double Take by Ava O’Connor
Ava O’Connor was on the track early in the Junior 1500m and led from the start. By the halfway point Ava had a lead of ten meters and went on to stretch this further the whole way to the finish line. In doing so Ava set a new Championship Best Performance of 4.35. This was no mean achievement when you consider that these championships have been held since 1988. Ruby Stueven also won an All Ireland medal in this race coming through strongly from the halfway point and running a massive new PB of 4.43. When you consider that Ruby started the year with a PB of 5.05 you get an idea of her improvement in 2020. Laura Mooney also ran well in this event and finished sixth against tough competition. Five hours later Ava lined up in the 800m and after a blistering first lap of 29 seconds she took control of the race and led to the finish. Her winning time
of 2.11:9 is just off her PB and augurs well for the upcoming season.
The Drive for Five
James Dunne completed a great five in a row for Tullamore Harriers athletes in Junior 800m races. Each year since 2016 a Tullamore Harrier has been on top of the podium in AIT at the National Juniors with Chinnie Izuchukwu (2016), Mark Milner (2017, 2018) and James Dunne (2019, 2020). Aaron Mangan also won silver in 2018 when Tullamore took the gold and silver. James took control of the race on Saturday with 250m to go after a very physical and tactical first half of the race. The pace James inserted gave him a lead of a couple of meters, a lead he held at the finish line despite the best efforts of Tommy Connolly of Leevale. Darragh Carroll also competed in this race and ran a brilliant new PB of 2.12. Earlier in the day Ronan Hyland competed in the Junior 1500m and continued to improve on his SB finishing sixth in 4.14. Ronan is a very talented young man and can have a huge impact this year.
Sprinters At National Junior Championships
As well as the middle distance athletes, three of the clubs sprinters competed at the National Junior and U23 championships in Athlone. The sprint competitions in the last few years have proven to be the high octane gold ribbon events as there is huge competition among the country’s young up and coming sprinters to qualify for the very successful national relay teams we have seen in recent years. Rachel Keane, the club 100m and 200m record holder, was back on the track between her demanding studies in Physiotherapy at University Limerick, competed in the ladies U23 60m, her first short sprint race in 3 years. Rachel was drawn in a heat with two of the country’s fastest ever female sprinters and world Junior Relay silver medalists Ciara Neville and Molly Scott. Rachel acquitted herself very respectfully with a very decent time of 8.09 seconds.
Luke Bourke joined the fray of the Junior men short sprints in which there was over 40 competitors in both the 60m and 200m. Rattled a little by the supercharged warm-up area and call room tension, Luke's 60m didn't go exactly to plan but he still ran his second fastest 60m time ever with 7.55 seconds. After a shakedown and good recovery, he reset himself and produced a big 200m three hours later to come second in this heat and run a personal best of 23.57 seconds. The step up to this
level of competition will be a big learning experience and confidence booster for this young man as he grows in stature as a developing sprinter.
To round off the day, Aaron Keane, who has been restricted to low impact training since Christmas due to a foot tendon micro tear and was only back on the track for two training sessions this week, and while rusty in a very tough heat (one of 5), he qualified for his final, and again after implementing a good recovery process between races the young man, more renowned for this short sprinting prowess, stepped up his game to run a personal best of 50.63 seconds and claim a coveted
National Junior 400m Bronze medal.
Milner steps up to U23 Level
Having won two Junior titles and represented Ireland at the European Junior Championships Mark Milner made the step up to the U23 grade at the weekend. Mark was wearing the yellow and blue of UCD and dominated both his heat and final and won at his ease. Mark looked at relaxed all the way and has big plans for the year ahead.
Mangan in Action in Missouri
Aaron Mangan was in action as part of Fort Hays State Men's Track and Field team who competed at the Northwest Open, January 24-25 in Maryville Missouri. Aaron had been sick last week but bounced back to compete on the college's distance medley relay team on Friday and a split 1.55 for an 800m leg. The Fort Hays team finished second. He then returned to the track the next day and came third in the individual 800m in a time of 1.54.
AIT Open Races
On Sunday last, January 19, a small number of Harriers travelled to Athlone IT to compete in some open indoor races and there were some great performances - 3000m: Matthew Molloy 9.16, Cian Martin 9.43, Emily Grennan 10.52; 800m: Philip King 2.03, Cian Law 2.09, Lydia Buckley 2.30, Cara Martin 2.39; 400m: Sian Corrigan 68. Well done to all.
Indoor athletics at Cushionstown
Well done to all our juvenile athletes who competed in the indoor athletics meeting at Cushionstown, Co. Meath on Sunday, January 26.
Ennis in Raheny
Pauric Ennis posted yet another personal best time at the Raheny 5 mile road race held on Sunday, January 26 with a fantastic time of 26.06. Classed as one of the fastest road races in Ireland, Pauric was joined by over 4000 athletes on the road. Ennis finished in 55th position alongside second lady finisher AnnMarie McGlynn. Normally, 55th position is well down the field but with 15 athletes under 24 minutes and Pauric running at 5.12 min miles he was well up with the elite road runners in Raheny. Pauric has been racing most weekends lately and his performances on each outing is testament to his dedication to his training. The race was won by Hiko Tonosa taking the title in 22.40 minutes and Fionnuala Britton took the lady’s win in 25.55. Super running Pauric.
Charlie Curran 5 Mile Road Race
Well done Melissa Hogan and Olivia Weldon who competed in the Charlie Curran 5 mile race in Carlow on Sunday, January 26. Melissa posted a PB in 59.35 and Olivia posted 45.44. Well done ladies.
Sun 16th February Ballyboy Comhaltas 5k
A list of AAI-licensed fixtures is available on www.athleticsireland.ie.
The club AGM will be held on Monday 10 th February 2020 @ 7.30pm upstairs in the Club House. Nominations for positions on the Committee can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to the Club Secretary prior to or on the night of the AGM. Please note only fully paid up members may attend and all are very welcome.
Tullamore Harriers Couch to 5K 2020
The Programme started on Monday, January 6 and continues each Monday and Wednesday at 6.30pm for 10 weeks, at a cost of €25 that is only €1 per session so it is excellent value for money. It’s not too late to start, come along any Monday or Wednesday evening. See you there!
Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon
The 2020 Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon is now open for registration. As always, it is on the last Saturday in August - so next year it will be August 29. Don't make the mistake like so many last year who (despite our warning!) didn't get in before sell out. Register here: www.primoevents.com.
Training for adults every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30pm and Sunday at 8.00am except on race days. New members always welcome. Please contact Leslie Buckley 087-6130971 or Anna Hyland Guilfoyle 086-8248928 or any club member. Full details regarding Juvenile training on tullamore.com
Club Membership 2020/Access to Facilities
Thank you to all who have renewed their annual membership, to new members and parents who have submitted all details required for club membership with Tullamore Harriers. Just a reminder that any person using the club facilities must be a paid-up member. The fee covers club membership and registration with Athletics Ireland which is necessary in order to take part in club training and competition. You cannot compete for Tullamore Harriers without current membership. Membership is from January 1 to December 31. Membership forms can be found in the clubhouse and on our website www.tullamoreharriers.com/join. Please note: ASSOCIATE MEMBERS are only entitled to WALK on the tarmac track and must not use the track after 5.30pm on weekdays or on days of competition. Any enquiries to Club Registrar, coach or any committee member.