Good turnout at terrific National Masters T&F Championships
The National Masters Championships took place on Saturday last, 18th August in Tullamore. This event is highly recommended - the atmosphere, friendship and excitement really sets it apart from other events. Keep it in mind for next year!
As ever, the GCH master throwers were out in force with a haul of medals between them. In the master 35 category, Sean Breathnach took gold in the discus (45.41), shot putt (15.43), weight for distance (8.03) and bronze in the hammer. In the same category, Brendan Staunton took silver in the discus (38.71) and shot putt (12.88) and bronze in the weight for distance. In the master 45 category, Linus Mitkus took double gold – in the discus (43.71) and the shot putt (14.11). In the master 60 category, Richard O’Hanlon took silver in the shot (10.32), bronze in the weight for distance (6.84), bronze in the long jump and bronze in the 100m.
While the medal haul and participation in individual events on the track was not as high, it was still nonetheless a terrific experience for both competitors and spectators. The ageless Martin McEvilly, in his new age category (m70!) competed in four track events , leaving with three gold medals – in the 800m (2:46.75), 1500m (5:53.85) and a consolation 5000m gold (due to an error by organisers). Martin had declined the medal but it somehow ended up on his person. In the v45 women’s 100m, Majella Loftus took silver despite an injury two thirds into her race. In the 3000m for women, Niamh Hennelly took bronze in the v35 category (11:13.13).
Other club members who competed included Sonya King in the extremely competitive v35 200m, finishing eight in 30.80, Mags Sheridan in the v50 1500, Noel Dempsey eight in the v50 100m, Jim Phelan fifth in the v40 800m, Neil O’Leary sixth in the v35 1500m, Ronan O’ Conghaile ninth in the v40 1500m and Francis Ward fifth in the v60 800m and fourth in the v60 1500m.
The best and most exciting event is always the last and never disappoints. The GCH mens’ master relay teams have really just come together over the past year and will surely only keep on improving. The 4x100m relay team took second in a time of 50.36 (Neil O’Leary, Jason Cafferkey, Ronan O’Conghaile and Jim Phelan). The guys barely had time to draw breath as the 4x400m relay teams lined up immediately after the 4x100m. Terrific race by the same quartet to take bronze in a time of 3:54.22, with Jason Cafferkey storming round the final leg. Sprint coach Brendan Glynn provided following approx. 400m lap times Neil (60sec), Jim (59sec), Ronan (60sec), Jason (54sec).
Well done to all and roll on 2019 !