Craughwell athlete Maeve Curley delivered a performance of a lifetime to come home 10th from 24 finishers in the 21st European Junior Championships.
In challenging conditions, Curley finished the 10,000m walk in 51.22. The walk is an event dominated by Russia in recent years and this was no exception, with the top three finishers coming from Russia and the winner posting an unbelievable new world junior record of 42.59.
The other highlight of last weekend’s action came in the interclub relays in Tullamore where the Galway City Harriers boys’ u-13 4X100m relay team of Liam Costello, Jack Dempsey, Sean Kilmartin, Colin Murray and Luke O’Shaughnessy broke one of the longest standing Irish athletics records when they won in a time of 52.06. The Crusaders AC team set the record in 1974 with a time of 52.2 and that has withstood the test of time until last weekend.
The Galway city club almost claimed a second championship best when Laura Ann Costello produced an awesome run to win the u-15 girls’ 200m in a personal best time of 25.35 seconds - just outside Sarah Lavin's record of 25.34 seconds. This completed a great sprint double for Laura Ann.
Alanna Lally won the u-16 girls 1500m in 4m 45.73 seconds to add to her 800m title of two weeks ago. This was also a PB for her and the second year in a row that she has completed the double.
Maebh Brannigan won her first national individual track medal in the u-15 girls’ 1500m in another personal best time of 4 m 54.94 seconds, behind Aisling Quinn of Ferrybank. Keith Fallon also set a PB in the u-19 boys’ 1500m, just being edged out of gold on the line after a tremendous last lap battle with Cullen Lynch of Togher AC in 4m 03.16 seconds.
The GCH u-19 boys’ 4x400m team of Darragh Whyte, Keith Fallon, Anthony Hebron and Ronan Kelly also struck gold in a time of 3m 28.88 seconds from St Joseph’s AC. The third Galway gold went to the u-18 boys’ 4x100m team of Sean Kyne, Ronan Dobey, Anthony Hebron and Darragh Whyte, who came with a late charge over the last 20 metres to win in the best finish of the day in 45.47 seconds.
Craughwell AC's Ashley McDonnell and Tara McNally both claimed bronze medals. McNally raced to a super podium finish in the u-14 girls’ 200m in a time of 26.70, while McDonnell equalled her PB of 4.91m to claim the bronze medal in the u-19 girls’ long jump.
The Craughwell AC u-15 boys’ team of Conor Duggan, Kelvin Olayemi, Christopher McDonnell, Aidan Conneely and Damien O’Boyle took silver, as did Athenry AC’s u-13 girls’ team of Alysha Woods, Rebecca Ruane, Niamh Hannon, Michaela Finnerty, Siobhán McGrath and Lydia Doyle.
Also winning silver were the GCH u-16 girls’ 4x100m team of Olaide Taiwo, Laura Ann Costello, Rosin Dobey and Alannah Lally in 50.64 seconds, while the boys, Geoff Dempsey, James Fleming, Owen McDonnell and Simon O'Shaughnessy, also finished second.
The Craughwell u-17 girls’ team won medals in the 4x100m and 4x300m relays - the first time this group of girls has claimed national relay medals, having finished in fourth twice and fifth and sixth on two other occasions. The team of Sineád Gaffney, Jessica Heneghan, Claire Ryder, Maria McNamara and Maireád McCan set a new club record of 52.82 in the final to take bronze and, with Orla McDaid and Muireann Maloney, they added silver in the 4x300m.
The GCH u-18 girls’ 4x300m team of Jane Lydon, Eleanor Whyte, Solange Veranda and Michelle Maher won silver, as did the boys, Darragh Whyte, Sean Kyne, Anthony Hebron and Shane Fahey. Cillian Greene, John Maher, Luke O'Shaughnessy and Jack Dempsey also won silver in the u-14 boys’ 4x100m.
The sixth GCH silver was won by the u-19 girls’ 4x400m team, Emma Carter, Georgina Healy, Michelle Maher and Tara Hession, while Jane Lydon, Caoimhe Esslemont, Eleanor Whyte and Solange Varanda won bronze in the u-17 girls’ 4x300m, while the u-19 girls’ 4 x 100m team of Emma Carter, Michelle Maher, Georgina Healy and Tara Hession also took bronze.
Laura Ann Costello, Sineád Treacy, Tara McNally, Maebh Brannigan and Oliade Taiwo won silver for Galway in the u-15 girls’ 4x100 in 51.82.