GCH Rampant at Relay and B Nationals
Many thanks to Seamus Lynch for this report.
Galway City Harriers finished their year emphatically with a sensational five relay titles, two Championship Best performances and numerous other podium places at the National Relay and B Championships in Tullamore. Aoibhe Deely, Chloe Casey and Seren O’Toole were Triple Gold medallists with double gold for Christian Ogbemudia, Conor Hoade & Emma Jane Moran.
In the Relays there were medals as follows:
The Under 18 Girls stormed to both 4x100 and 4x400m titles with the same squad of Seren O’Toole, Aoibhe Deeley, Eimear Rowe, Chloe Casey and Emma Jane Moran. The 4x100m team won in 51.54s while the 4x400m were victorious with over 11 seconds to spare, smashing the Championship Best Performance with their sensational Sub-4 time (3:59.73) in the process. It was also almost 9 seconds quicker than the club record.
The Under 19 Girls 4x100m team delivered yet another gold and a club record of 51.19s also, with Seren O’Toole, Chloe Casey, Aoibhe Deeley and Miriam Greene featuring.
The Under 15 Boys team came with a whisker of gold when crossing the line in 2nd. Franco Jara, Christian Ogbemudia, Evan Moran, Nick Ukaga, Emmanuel Chinagorm and Senan McDonnell was the squad and their 48.78s time was only 0.10s shy of the club record set last year.
The Under 16 boys team of Callum Healy, Christian Ugbemudia, Luke Dahler, Conor Hoade, Robert Urquhart and Franco Jara raced to stunning gold for a first ever win in this 2004 age group. Their time of 47.02s was 0.6s ahead of Leevale, reversing last year's 1-2.
the Under 17 boys team of Shaun Gilligan, Conor Hoade, Niall Breathnach & Andrew Egan also won the title, and once again, the club record was lowered, with a new mark of 44.82s.
At Under 18 level, GCH boys claimed an exciting bronze after a tight finish with Shaun Gilligan, Andrew Egan, Richard Kamson and Niall Breathnach
The Under 15 Girls team of Rachel Fahy, Chloe Hallinan, Grace Lynch, Anna Lee and Aoibhe Crowe made the final in a time of 53.82s and were placed 7th
The Under 16 B Girls team also finished 7th in their final featuring Eve Ayo, Gillian McGrath, Aoife Waldron, Aoibhe Crowe and Rebecca Lynch
The Under 17 Girls team were remarkably also 7th in the final, with Roisin Dalton, Nicole Quirke, Eimear Rowe, Emma Jane Moran and Ciara Hughes. Their best time was 53.19s.
Just missing out on their final were the under 16 A team with Aisling Healy, Anna Lee, Roisin Dalton and Nicole Quirke
The Under 14 Girls team of Clodagh Quirke, Chloe Hallinan, Tara Keane, Lianna Colleran and Grace Lynch were 11th overall with 57.18s
There were many successes in the All Ireland B Championships which are for athletes who did not get to compete in the Nationals as an individual.
Aisling Healy brought home a deserved bronze in the Under 16 Girls 100m in a fast 13.33s. Eve Ayo was just behind in 4th with 13.41s.
Under 15 sprinter Christian Ugbemudia obliterated the existing Championship Best Performance with an 11.89s time to win the 100m. Nick Ukaga followed him home in 3rd in 13.09s.
Christian’s time was 0.57s quicker than Kacper Poniatowski’s club best at Nationals and eclipsed Simon O’Shaughnessy’s overall club record of 12.1s for under 15s. He followed that up with a silver in the Shot Putt, throwing 10.28m in his first club competition.
Emmanuel Chinagorm completed the medal set with a silver with 1.35m in the Under 15 High Jump - again his first ever High Jump competition. Emmanuel was well in contention for a medal for much of his 800m but faded in the closing stages.
At Under 14 level Clodagh Quirke leaped to an impressive PB of 3.84m in Long Jump to finish 12th. She also ran a great 2:44 in adverse conditions to take 11th over 800m.
Lianna Colleran was hugely impressive in the 80m, massively lowering her PB to run 11.35s and finish 7th in a high-quality final.
Under 13s Jayne Fahy and Eireann Greene were 5th and 6th in their 80m heats with Eireann posting a very quick 12.07s time. The same girls jumped 3.15m and 3.79m in Long Jump, with the latter proving to be a PB.
Caitlin Podmore braved the worst of the weather to place 15th in her 800m.
It was the Under 12s who stole the show, with three medals and lots of high finishes;
Elisa Stapleton produced her best till last with a superb 3.79m final round leap to claim silver in Long Jump. Jessica Kay battled bravely with an injury, so her 3.40m for 7th does not reflect the fact that she would have otherwise medalled. Their friend Jodie Quirke was a creditable 13th with 2.59m. The three also competed in the 60m with Jodie running a good time of 10.37s in her heat. Both Elisa and Jessica ran very well to make their final, which is a great achievement at the B Nationals. Jessica’s injury meant she was wisely withdrawn – and Elisa was very close to medalling in 4th overall. Her time was 9.18s.
Jack Barry gave a powerful display of sprinting power when recovering from a bad start to win the under 12 boys 60m in 8.67s. A footnote is that another Jack – coach Noel Dempsey's son – holds the club record at 8.61s since 2010, so Jack was impressively close to that. Jack finished 6th in the Long Jump with 3.42m also.
Also at Under 12, Shane McGovern secured a brilliant silver in the 600m, leading the field for the first 400m, bravely holding off all but one runner in the run-in and almost sneaking gold at the finish line. Shane’s time was again, very close to the club record of 1:44.80 set by Colm Hughes in 2007.
Overall, the day could not have gone much better. With Laura Nally representing Ireland superbly on International duty and the Seniors excelling in the National League the previous day, the future looks incredibly bright for GCH!