What a day, what a group of athletes, what a result.
They say its extremely hard to retain a trophy and there are statistics on the record to bear this out. But in order to get any way near winning a national team championship you have to have your strongest available team out competing, and in our case everyone selected turned up and competed at the top end of their ability levels.
While we won in the end by a record score (the highest points across both men and women’s teams) there were some moments of drama in the first hour of activity when our competitive spirit was tested to the full.
In the first event-the Pole Vault – Muireann uncharacteristically missed a couple of attempts at low heights meaning she had to vault higher than her last remaining opponent to win the competition. With nerves of steel she dug in and got over 2.70M to win and set us up for the day. Shortly after Emily had a similar ordeal to overcome and again had to jump higher than her remaining opponent to win. Struggling with her approach following lack of practice due to a recent hamstring injury she nailed 1.63 to win.
In the midst of this Bridget was involved in a tough Shot competition and threw 9.75 for second place. Alison had a great start in the 60M Hurdles and commanded the race to the finish, winning in 9.34. Claire’s 1500M was a tough fast/slow/fast race and was just edged out for first place in 4.48.2. So after five events we had three wins and two second placings, and a good early lead.
Catherine had to juggle the 60M and Long Jump which were scheduled for roughly the same time. Having warmed up for the LJ she dashed out to record a seasonal best of 7.66 in the sprint, a mere 0.01 behind the winner. She then returned to the Long Jump pit immediately after the sprint and won the event well in 5.24M. In the 400M Caoimhe battled hard and recorded a seasonal best to finish fourth in 60.61.
In the 800M, one of the most competitive events of the day Cliona ran a well thought out and clever race to finish third in 2.19.2 a PB. In the final individual event- the 200M -Catherine flew around the track to win in 24.23 for an indoor personal best, and in the final field event Siobhan, who volunteered for this Triple Jump finish fifth.
That left the 4 X 200M to close out the days competition and while we did expect a high placing, we didn’t expect the performance that emerged. Chloe led off strongly and handed over to Alison who battled brilliantly on the highly physical second leg to give a lead to Caoimhe who raced hard to protect the advantage and hand over to Catherine who brought the club home for not just a win, but an Irish Senior Club record, subject to ratification, magnificent! (Video below!)
What a day and all the more pleasing in the knowledge that the whole team from Emily and Chloe at 16 years of age, to Bridget who admits to being a tad north of 21, have been club members since early teenage or even pre teenage years. Its only right that we salute this group all of whom were introduced to athletics by Mary (or in Bridget’s case, competed with Mary!).
A special word of thanks to our loyal band of supporters whose encouragement does not go unnoticed.