Six Mayo AC athletes travelled to Dundalk on Sunday to compete in the National Masters Cross Country Championships in the grounds of the institute of technology. They lined up in a competitive field of 220 from clubs nationwide. The 4k race was for all women athletes and was run over a testing two lap course in tough conditions.
Five of the six Mayo AC runners won medals. In individual categories Colette Tuohy won bronze W45 and finished a brilliant seventh overall. Pauline Moran came home with silver W55, while Mags Glavey retained the title she won in Tuam last year with gold in W65. Angela O'Connor just missed out on a medal - she was fourth W50, with Ann Murray 14th. O'Connor and Murray combined with Moran and Glavey to win bronze in the o50 team championships.
In the men's over 65 category Tom Hunt finished fifth. It was an excellent start to Mayo AC's 2016 National medal campaign. The five medal winners will be among 16 club members who will be honoured at the 2015 Mayo County Athletics Board Awards at the annual ceremony which takes place this year at Breaffy House Hotel on Sunday February 7.
Rob Kennan named as 2015 Mayo Athletic Hall of Fame Recipient
All roads lead to Breaffy House Resort on Sunday February 7 when Lake District A/C will host the 2015 C&C Cellular/Vodafone Mayo Athletic Awards. Athletes from all over Mayo will be honoured for their contribution to athletics during the past year. Certificates or awards will be presented to all athletes who won national and international medals in 2015. On the night more than 100 awards will be presented. Mayo is privileged to have so many athletes representing their clubs and county with distinction in all aspects of athletics.
Rob Kennan, Westport Athletic Club, will be honoured as the 2015 Hall of Fame recipient for his dedication and time given to athletics over many years. Kennan started running at an early age at boarding prep school in South Africa and later in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe ), where he also played hockey, rugby and cricket. Both he and his brother had some success in the school inter-house athletics competitions before moving to Ireland at the age of 12, where he was enrolled in St Columba’s College in Dublin.
It was here that he was introduced to the high jump and pole vault, while also continuing to run throughout his secondary school years. He moved on to Trinity College where he represented the university in cross country, high jump, and pole vault, training and competing with team-mates Mike Bull (British decathlete and Commonwealth pole vault champion ) and Brendan Curtin (Irish Decathlon Champion ).
After graduating he moved to London and joined Highgate Harriers, as an extremely versatile athlete, who in addition to training and competing in high jump and pole vault, ran competitively in cross country. To add to his repertoire, he discovered the steeplechase and in 1981 set an impressive PB and club record of 9:14.1. In addition to running fast, he continued to compete in the more technical events of long jump, hurdles, triple jump and hammer, making him an ideal decathlete. It is no surprise therefore that in his competitive career, he continued up to masters, winning a Middlesex County Gold medal in the decathlon.
Parallel to competing, Kennan started coaching juvenile athletes with Highgate Harriers in 1982. Rob continued coaching with Highgate until he moved to Westport in 2000. In Westport he found an athletic club eager to learn and hungry for success. He fitted in seamlessly and was very quickly coaching athletes to compete at and win at National Level, mainly in the field events.
Kennan is an ever present member of the coaching team at Westport AC. His work and dedication to the young athletes of Westport, Mayo and Connacht is unparalleled. Highgate’s loss has definitely been the west of Ireland’s gain.