National League Final, GCH Men take Silver Medal West!!!
GCH is a great club. I believe in our club, the athletes, volunteers, parents are all amazing. However sometimes at senior level we don’t show this as a club at elite level competition, we always have some great individual performances but rarely as a team. This is beginning to change, we’re showing it in Cross country and now we’re showing it in track & field.
Our photos taken by Luis Figueiredo show the team proudly wearing our fancy new kit. These GCH tops made us really feel like a team. Sometimes the team element of athletics can be missing but we found it on Saturday. Thanks to Galway Clinic and our club for sponsoring the Kit for the team.
We fought hard and chased Cloniffe Harriers all the way to the end. Cloniffe won with 157 points, Galway City harriers 2nd with 143 points and Leevale and Donore Harriers were joint 3rd with 102 points. Cloniffe had a great team there on the day, they have a great reputation in Elite level competition and it was great that our team from the west could push them to the end.
We had some great performances to be proud of: Pole Vault: Cliff Jennings, the ultimate team player done the pole vault for us. We don’t have the facility for Pole Vault in Galway so it is really amazing to have someone be able to get over this for us. Cliff had to rush off so we missed him at the end for presentation but he was there in spirit. Long Jump: Michael was unlucky in the long jump just missing his mark for foul jumps. Knowing points counted he managed a safe 5.43m jump. He is capable of 1m further. We’re hoping Michael will be around for the outdoors as I believe he is a very good Javelin thrower!
Simon Callaghan guesting in the long jump and done 5.96m. He’ll be over 6m in no time at all. 60m Hurdles: Simon Callaghan, only recently returned to competition showed why he is a class act. Simon finished 3rd and improved his season time by .2. 60m Jack Dempsey, only 16 years of age really put it to the seniors. Jack ran an incredible 7.11 to finish 4th behind some of the best seniors in the country. Jack and his team mates will be a big part of GCH teams in the future.
Shot Putt: This was one of the great moments of the day that make you proud to be GCH. Powerhouse Sean Breathnach unofficially broke the Irish record in a practice throw. He threw 18.63m, the record is 18.07m. It doesn’t stand but it is only a matter of time before Sean officially owns this record. Sean of course won the event and secured max points. Both Igor Muntean and Breandan Staunton had fantastic throws in the shot putt too. Igor and Brendan are a huge part of the future of the club. Our Jumps and throws coaches. Igor is taking some of our young stars under his wing and we will see the results in the future. Breadan is ensuring that there is a throws group so that when the great Sean Breathnach finally has enough, the club will have throwers to come in and try fill his shoes.
1500m: Keith Fallon was going to do the double in the 800m and 1500m for us. Unfortunately there was only an hour between races. Keith is a smart competitor, he could have destroyed the field easily but instead just relaxed, conserved energy and done enough to win the race for team in 4.03. I spoke with him 1 minute after finishing and you couldn’t even tell he had run!
High Jump: Bryan Ndego is what you would call one of these incredible talents. With very little coaching he has managed to be one of the best jumpers in the country. He had a titanic battle for first and just missed out on final height to finish second. Igor Muntean is hopefully going to be helping Bryan out and we can expect to see Brian out in an Irish vest soon.
400m: Luke O’Shaughnessy has being going for strength to strength this season. Before this season, Luke has a 400m PB of 52.5. He ran 51.18 to finish 3rd for team. But it was the way he ran that made us all proud. Luke fought hard all the way to the line and never once gave up – this is what the character of our team is and was shown right here! Sean Kyne also had a great race in the 400m going under 54 again showing last time was no fluke. His improvement has been nothing short of stellar.
800m this was one of the most exciting races of the day. Keith Fallon was out again for us. Keith told me he hadn’t run a sub 60sec 400m all year so this was going to be interesting. Keith was in 3rd place with a lap to go. He went for it, he was still in 3rd place with 100m to go, he kept going for it, going for it and right at the line Keith got up there for the win! It was incredible and Keiths performances really gave us hope to go after Cloniffe.
Triple Jump: Henrique Nkolovata gained some valuable experience jumping 11.29m. With some training and coaching he can certainly be a contender in the future. 200m: Cillin Greene ran 22.15 for 2nd place overall for team. However heat he was in, he won the race. He battled hard all the way to the line and won his heat by 1/10th of a second. To me its that fighting spirit of not giving in, regardless of if you’re the person who wins by 1/10th of second or not is what athletics is about. Our club has shown that we have that spirit in abundance.
Sean Kilmartin, a tank of a teenager had a great race running 23.1 in the 200m too. 4x200m relay: We had a strong 4x200m relay of Jack Dempsey, Luke O’Shaughnessy, Sean Kilmartin and Cillin Greene. However, AAI decided that straight after the mens 200m they the mens 4x200m relay would be on. Sean and Cillin were both really tired. I tried telling the lads to take it easy, we can’t win now and no one can over take us. Inbetween legs, Sean and Cillin were bent over wrecked…. But of course they guys have mental toughness! As soon as baton was passed over, you just saw the elite athletes they were with no evidence of them being tired. They finished 2nd in a very exciting race!
It was a great day where the team really came together. This day was made possible by many coaches, parents and volunteers. Race Report Brendan Glynn