Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sligo Athletic Club: Running Shoes

In this beautiful county of ours winning two Gaelic football matches generates much celebration among the natives. You can imagine the feeling of celebration and pride those of us from Sligo who travelled to Tullamore last Saturday felt as William Crowe strode home to win the All Ireland under 14 1500mts title. On his heels strode his North Sligo team mate Cian McBride to finish in second in the All Ireland championship. Another North Sligo athlete Sinead Keogh finished 3rd in the All Ireland girls under 14 2000mts. Sligo celebrations for this trio had hardly abated when Dylan Carty the young Sligo Athletic Club race walker crossed the line to win the All Ireland 2000mts title. In winning he mangled the championship record taking a full 25seconds off the record winning in 9mins51secs. Sligo Athletic Club had also two near misses when Anna Reddin finished a heroic 4th place in the girls under 19 1500mts. Stacey Kerr the young Calry girl was the third fastest qualifier in the heats of the girls under 14, she was drawn in lane 7 in the final which did her no favours but she ran brilliantly to finish 4th in a blanket finish in 26.3secs. And so the curtain came down on a brilliant track season for our juvenile athletes. A season where County and Connaught titles were not celebrated. The focus was on the big prize and boy did our athletes once again do the business. All Ireland winners, All Ireland medals… Let the real celebrations begin!
The much anticipated European Athletics Championships kick off in Barcelona today Tuesday. I accompany the largest ever Irish team (34) at those championships. It is with great hope and expectation that we embark on this journey. It is a great time for Irish athletics. We have a great blend of youth and experience in the squad. I hear much talk about how many medals we are going to win but we need to be realistic. In the history of this championship we have only won a total of five medals. However we have athletes of the calibre of Derval O’Rourke, David Gillick, Olive Loughnane, Paul Hession, Robert Heffernan and Alistair Cragg who on their day are all capable of winning a medal of some colour. Young athletes like Jason Smyth, Steven Colvert and Kelly Proper who if they don’t win medals will gain invaluable experience in a major championship atmosphere. I’m really excited by the week ahead and congratulations to my good friend Robert Heffernan (pictured) who finished a very creditable fourth place in the 20k walk, agonisingly missing out on bronze by a few seconds.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sligo AC update: Coolaney 8k & Bogtrotters!

A busy weekend of action took place for local sligo athletes with both the Coolaney 8k road race and the Bogtrotters Marathon being held. All the usual suspects toed the line in Coolaney where the undulating course was sure to test the field. Sligo AC athletes were prominent with Alan Kearins (pictured) pushing the pace from the off making sure that the race would be a competitive one. However with Emmet Dunleavy(Sligo AC) in the leading group it was only a matter of time before he pulled away to record 1st place in 27.40. The battle for 2nd and 3rd came right down to the wire with Kearins and Seamus Somers pushing hard for local bragging rights. On this occasion Somers just shaded it crossing the line in 28.34 with Kearins a fraction behind in 28.36. In the womens section, Cindy McCarthy (Sligo AC) took top honours with clubmate Roseanne Mitchell taking second spot. Meanwhile in the Bogtrotters Marathon, which took place in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Sligo AC's Lucy Brennan (pictured) won the womens section outright and came 3rd overall in a time of 3:11:20. This was achieved whilst also running an extra two miles over the statutory 26.2 due to a wrong turn! Well done to all athletes who competed over the weekend from all at the club.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sligo AC members old spikes!

For any club member who has old spikes that they wish to get rid of for a variety of reasons (too worn, too small –even if torn on top) please do not throw out. Instead please make contact with club officials and we'll arrange to collect as they are useful for children who are just starting and could be used for cross country until they get their own proper ones. you can email us at or ring at 0872274622

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sligo Athletic Club: Running Shoes

A podium finish for Sligo AC athlete Emmett Dunleavy at the Woodies DIY AAI National championships was the highlight for Sligo athletic fans at Santry Stadium at the weekend. A very credible fifth place in the final of a very competitive 800mts by North Sligo AC athlete Tommy Carroll was also noteworthy. Throw in the fact that Rachel Flynn collected the bronze medal in the ladies 5000mts walk wearing the colours of Tuam AC and Paddy Brennan made the final of the 1500mts in the Letterkenny colours all adds up to a good weekend for Sligo athletes. The men’s steeplechase was one of the races of the day and had its fair share of drama. With 400mts remaining Emmett Dunleavy had worked his way through the field to be in 3rd place. He was still some 70mts behind Paul Rupprect of Leevale AC and eventual race winner Rory Chesser of Ennis track club. However Dunleavy unleashed a tremendous sprint down the back straight and was gaining on the leaders with every stride. However disaster struck as he cleared the second last barrier with just 100mts remaining. He tripped and fell into the water. His chance of gold or silver had gone and the chasing pack were closing in fast. This West Sligo athlete is made of stern stuff however. He picked himself up and held on to claim a well deserved and hard earned bronze medal. Tommy Carroll’s 5th place finish in the 800mts was the highest place by a Sligo athlete since Roddy Gaynor claimed the title in the late seventies. A fast first lap of 53secs took the sting out of his usual finishing kick but in a season where he has improved so much he can be very happy with his run. Another Sligo athlete Ciaran Collins just failed to make a high-class 400mts final but he can be happy with his time of 50.02sesc. It was certainly a wonderful championships and a 30 strong team will be heading for Barcelona in the next ten days. Great times indeed for Irish athletics.
Next weekend we have the second round of the AAI National league. Athlone IT track is the venue and Sligo travel with another strong squad. It is now all about making the final in four weeks time in Tullamore and this Sligo squad with its blend of youth and experience should be well capable of achieving that target. The team is strengthened by the return of Emmett Dunleavy and Tommy Carroll and those two lads should be able to garner maximum points in their middle distance events. A bus will travel on Sunday morning and supporters are most welcome. They can contact Dermot McDermott on 0863593482.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sligo AC News: What a weekend for Sligo athletes!

The 2 gold medals from James Mcgeough and Anna Reddin in their respective races were the highlight of a very successful weekend for young Sligo athletes. The weekend got off to a great start with David lynch running a fine race in the u-15 hurdles to finish 5th in his heat, Conal Boal finished 5th in the u-19 boys javelin final, throwing short of his best which would have grabbed him a silver if produced. Both Kerrs, Graham and Stacey cruised through their 80m heats in fine style with victories but later in the day they both had to settle for 4th place finishes, Graham missing out on bronze by 100th of a second but both athletes can be proud of their achievemnets as a sprint final is so hard to make. Graham went onto finish 12th in the long jump the next day and Stacey now focuses on the 200m in 2 week's time where she has already had the benefit of training sessions with Paul Hession. There was also an excellent performance by Rianne McHugh in the girls u-19 400m final where she finished 7th. Onto the Sunday and the turn of the distance athletes. Caelinn McGonigle stepped up first in the u-13 girls 600m where she ran a blinder to finish 4th place in the final and will learn a lot from this, next came Claire Conlon who ran her heart out in the u-15 girls 800m final as did Shane Kilcawley in the u-17 boys 800m final where he finished a very credible 8th place and not far off the winner at all. Colm Bourke did really well finishing 9th in the triple jump after contesting the long jump the day before. Now onto the 3,000m races where in the u-16 boys we had 2 of the most up and coming distance runners in Sligo lining out in James McGeough and Aisham Patil. After 1 false start they got on their way with a bit of a pile up at the start. James avoided all but Aisham took a spike, a push and ended up hurdling 2 lads. After lap 1 James was settled nicely in 2nd with Aisham cutting through the field onto his heels in 4th. As the race progressed McGeough made a decisive move at 1,500m to take up the running and moved well away from the field, never to be caught and record his first All Ireland title with Aisham finishing a very credible 4th place. Next up showed a real return to form from Anna Reddin, an injury packed preparation for the schools track and field showed Anna finishing 5th that day in a time of 11min 12 seconds less than 1 month later she comes out to win the u-19 girls 3000m in a time of 10min 44 seconds at her ease. This was down to her true determination and drive to succeed as not many 17 year old girls would get up at 7am and head to the pool to aqua jog for 3 months every second morning through their easter holidays. Well done to all athletes at the weekend and the best of luck to all athletes making the trip to the 2nd weekend of Nationals in under 3 weeks where we can look forward to Dylan Carty in the walk, Stacey Kerr in the 200m and Anna Reddin & Aisham Patil in the 1,500m. On the senior front, Sligo AC's Emmett Dunleavy had a fine race in Belgium over 3000m, finishing 4th in 8:16.26 a PB by 2 seconds. This sets him up nicely for the 3000m steeplechase which he will be competing in this weekend. The best of luck to him in his endeavours from all at the club.