Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sligo AC National Indoors Update: Running Shoes

North Sligo golden girl Mary Cullen again stole the headlines after running a stunning performance at last weekend’s Woodie’s D.I.Y. Athletics Ireland Indoor Championships at the Odyssey arena in Belfast . In what was a great weekend for Sligo Athletics Club, Cullen won gold in the 1500m with a blistering last 300 metres to relegate the hot pre-race favourite Ciara Magean to third place. Considering that Mary had ran 3,000m in Birmingham just 24 hours earlier in a season’s best time of 8 minutes 53 seconds, puts into perspective her great performance. While Cullen was the only Sligo podium place, other Sligo athletes left there mark on what was a very exciting Championships. Popular Sligo A.C. athlete and coach Dermot McDermott reached his first ever championship final when he ran a personal best time of 1 minute 54.3 seconds. He went on to finish 6th in a high class final, recording exactly the same time. The Men’s 3,000m attracted such a huge field that it required the running of heats on Saturday evening.
To see two Sligo A.C. finalists on Sunday afternoon was gratifying. In reaching the final, Tommy Casey ran a lifetime best of 8 minutes 27 seconds. Alberto Sanchez also recorded a personal best when he reached the final in 8 minutes 28 seconds. In the final, Sanchez finished 9th with Casey in 10th place. Another Sligo A.C. athlete who left Belfast on Sunday evening happy was triple jumper Annia Bednow who finished 4th in the triple jump. While the Sligo senior athletes did the county proud in the senior championships, a bunch of promising juveniles proved that the production line of athletes is top quality with some great performances in the warm up races before the main event. Wins for Dylan Carty in the 1,000mwalk and Zak Irwin in the 60m sprint insured celebrations in the Sligo A.C. camp. A third place for Graham Kerr and great sprinting by his sister Stacey were also impressive. Cailim McGonagle ran a personal best in the 800m while Rianne McHugh, despite her age, did not look out of place in the senior 800m. While Mary Cullen upset the odds in the 1,500m, Leitrim race walker Laura Reynolds also caused a big surprise with victory in the 3,000m walk. The west is really awake in athletics.
Next weekend in Santry, Dublin , the final senior cross country takes place with the staging of the national inter clubs championships. Sligo A.C. will have a team in the senior men’s race where David Kelly will lead the team. Anna Reddin will lead a junior Sligo A.C. team who will be taking part in these championships for the first time in many years. Good luck to all then.

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