SEVEN young Tullamore Harriers athletes have qualified for the All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships, which are to be held in Tullamore on Saturday, June 4.
The seven representing six different schools and competing in three different provinces performed brilliantly over the past week to secure qualification.
Niocle Cuskelly representing Killina Secondary School was taking part in the Junior 1500m last Wednesday in Santry. She went with early blistering pace set by Ella Fennelly of Mount Anville and the two passed the first lap with a seventy second time. From this point Nicole found herself drifting off the pace of young Fennelly but despite this she held on and ran a great personal best of 5.01 to finish second.
Kelly Cunningham was also representing Killina Secondary School and was competing in the Senior Discus. Kelly faced stiff competition from Emma Owens fro Loreto, Wexford and Emma Daly from St. Leo’s, Carlow. Her throw of 28.67m will mean that Kelly should be counted among the contenders for medals in the All Irelands.
James Mulligan has qualified in the Intermediate Shot Putt with a throw of 12.69m. The Rathangan student was also competing in the Hammer and was unlucky to narrowly miss the third spot by less than a metre. All the remarkable considering that James is underage again next year for this age group.
David McElligott of Tullamore College threw a great 44.52m to win the Leinster Schools Senior Javelin competition on Saturday. The throw was well clear of the compition.
Eileen Rafter representing Ursuline Thurles competed in the Munster Schools Junior 800m on Saturday. It was a hard fought tactical race ran in wind and rain with a lot of pushing and elbowing from the gun. Eileen took up a good position on the shoulder of the leader. She was here for the first five hundred when Louise Shanahan from Scoil Mhuire attacked with a blistering sprint. Eileen was unlucky to be pushed by another athlete just as the break was made by Shanahan and when she regained her balance she found herself in third. She responded with a gritty sprint for home and ten yards out from the finish line edged into the silver medal spot.
Liam Brady competed in the Senior 5000m in Santry last Saturday. Liam is just back from injury and won’t be too worried by his third place finish. The trio who took the medals at Leinster will also be favourites to take the podium positions at the All Irelands. However considering that when running the qualifying standard for the European Junior 10000m Liam ran two 5000m back to back faster than the 16.03 he ran on Saturday you can be sure that Liam is still a strong favourite.
Stephen Kelly won double gold in the Senior 400m and 400m Hurdles at the Connacht Schools competition. In the blustery conditions at the track in Athlone I.T. young Kelly performed brilliantly with his times 50.5 seconds for the 400m flat and the 56 seconds over hurdles a sign of huge amount of promise for upcoming competition.
Full profiles of the seven Tullamore Harriers athletes who have qualified will be published next week. It is also important to record the great victory that Conor Mulligan had in the Minor Boys Discus with a throw of 33.95m. He also came third in the Javelin. There is no All Irelands for the Minor Age group so Conor will have to wait another year to secure his first Irish Schools title.
Relays: A small bunch of Tullamore Harriers travelled to Greystones on Sunday to compete in the Leinster relays. It is great to be able to report that the boys Under 12 and Under 18 teams took gold in their respective 4 by 100m relays.
Under 12- Cormac Izuchukwu, Christopher Whittle, James Dunne, Ciaran Mulligan
Under 18- Darragh McNamara, Eoin Delaney, Sean Donegan, Patrick Heffernan
Upcoming Events: Saturday May 28- Leinster Championships for Under 9,10,11 and 12 in Navan. Bus leaves O’Connor Square at 8.00am
Saturday June 4- All Ireland Schools Tack and Field in Tullamore