Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sligo Athletic Club News: Running Shoes

The availability of the magnificent odyssey arena in Belfast for the past few years has given the athletics Ireland indoor championships a huge boost. It’s hard to believe that the Celtic Tiger has come and gone and we have no indoor athletics arena in this country. Great credit is due to Nenagh athletic club for the indoor arena that they erected some years ago. However it does not come up to the standard required for our top athletes to compete in never mind international visitors. So it was left to Athletics Northern Ireland to come to our rescue and stage the national championships in the odyssey. Next Saturday and Sunday this venue will hold this years event again. Our top athletes such as Paul Hession, Dervil O’Rourke and David Gillick will contest some of the sprint events. Robert Heffernan will bring a bit of class to the race walking while our middle distance events will be loaded with talent from home and abroad. It is those same middle distance events that our Sligo athletes will contest. This time last year in the Odyssey Martin Conroy captured the bronze medal in the 3000mts in a high class field. He is back again on Saturday evening to try and regain that bronze or possibly improve on it. In the same race is Emmett Dunleavy who is returning to his summer form of 09 where he won silver in the steeplechase. Emmett Dunleavy finalised his preparations by finishing second in the Leinster indoor championship 1500mts on Sunday last. Those lads should be mixing it with the leaders in this race and it could prove to be one of the races of the weekend. Dermot McDermott will count the weekend a big success if he can make the final of the 800mts. Tommy Casey will have his first race in the Odyssey and indeed his first taste of senior competition when he also runs the 800mts although he also has an entry in the 1500mts. Sligo Athletic Club top juveniles Dylan Carty, Anna Reddin, Caolinn McGonigle and James McGeogh will also travel to the Belfast venue to take part in some high class juvenile races which will be held before the senior competition on both days.
The road to the schools all Ireland cross country final started in Sligo race course on Wednesday last with the staging of the north Connaught championships. Some impressive performances from teams and individuals augers well for a strong Sligo representation in the finals in late march in Cork. Individual winners were Sarah McGeogh Sligo Grammar School in the minor girls, Cian McBride Summerhill in the Minor Boys, Saoirse Fallon Ursuline College Junior girls and Anna Reddin Sligo Grammar School Senior Girls. Some strong looking teams also go forward to the Connaught finals. Sligo Grammar have a very strong looking minor boys team that includes Dylan Carty and William Crowe. Summerhill College have a strong intermediate boy’s team led by David Verdon. And Sligo Grammar School Senior Boys team led by Tommy Casey looks particularly strong. Good luck to them all in the Connaught final.

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